Saturday, November 19, 2011

EVs: Drivers demand range, convenience

Nissan's latest electric concept car, the Pivo 3, was unveiled in Tokyo last Saturday. Whether it will allay consumer fears is debateable.
By Peter Gorrie - Toronto Star
Two weeks ago, I asked how much range an electric vehicle must have before you’d consider buying one.
From your responses, carmakers must dramatically improve range, but charging convenience is equally important.
“Although today’s electric vehicles may suffice for commuting, they’re woefully inadequate for longer trips,” writes John Pereira. “How do I get a five-minute fill or 80 per cent recharge during the trip?”
Ron Robinson, who drives a Mini, notes electric-vehicle owners could rent for longer trips, but that “still adds to my costs as well as the trouble it takes to pick up and return the vehicle. He awaits “an infrastructure to support battery swaps because I am not going to sit for a few hours on a trip to wait for a battery charge.”
“I really want a vehicle I can drive from, say, Toronto to Montreal,” writes Alister Sutherland. “I suppose one can always rent a conventional car for trips like that, but I want to use the one I paid for.”
Gunther Petersen, of Barrie, says his minimum range requirement is 500 kilometres. “As well, you have to take winter driving into consideration, first to keep the windshield clear, and second to heat the car’s interior. I have spent many winter nights driving in Ontario. Only a big, fat, fully charged battery would be acceptable.”
Andre Tonelli agrees on 500 kilometres. “But the real question is: How much does it cost to recharge?”
“I will be persuaded not by range of kilometres or even price, but rather by charging that is as fast, available and convenient as gas is now,” says Al Strickler, of Toronto.
Read full story here.

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