Long Range Electric Cars Cost Less

Dr Peter Harrop
Car driving down a long road through hills
No one complained about gasoline cars going much further than you would ever drive. As people got used to them, it was realized that long-range means less hassle. With electric cars, the argument is even stronger. Long-range saves you money. If we process data from a recent listing by Visual Capitalist, we discover that the top ten by range (average 316 miles) have half the cost per mile ($206/mile) of the bottom ten. IDTechEx has separately found that long-range electric cars depreciate one-third as much as short-range ones. Indeed, those long-range cars, with about double the range, cycle their batteries half as often, potentially delaying the day when their owners need to buy an eye-wateringly expensive new battery. 80% of the longest-range cars are Teslas and that company is now by far the world's most valuable car company. What a coincidence.
The new IDTechEx report, "Routes to 1000 Mile (1600km) Battery Electric Cars 2021-2041" cautions about new Chinese cars doing even better because they use the NEDC test cycle that exaggerates range. However, the race is on and the short-range electric cars will go the way of gasoline cars that could only struggle 200 miles or less.
Raghu Das, IDTechEx CEO advises, "Too much emphasis is put on waiting for widely-deployed, solid-state batteries to sharply increase range without costing a fortune. That may not happen until 2030 but the savvy car companies are doing a wealth of less-glamorous options in the meantime. Cable reduction by wireless signaling, high voltage, better layout. We even see 10% more range achievable from improved battery-management software. Efficiency gains, such as those from wide-bandgap semiconductors, multiply into less cooling, space, and weight. Too few are working on low-power autonomy to increase range."
He envisages a lot of grunt work and no silver bullet. He continues,
"In-wheel motors replace 20 parts, in-mold electronics and multifunctional composites each replace up 100 parts every time they are introduced, big die-castings and structural batteries replace up to 370 parts - you can do all of these together, increasing range by both efficiency and weight reduction. Lower-cost batteries mean we can now viably fit bigger ones to increase range. That can be environmental when they last longer through fewer charge cycles and have trickle charging from the new solar bodywork. Holistic thermal management using better heat pumps and the new thermal insulators and conductors - we predict large range gains from this. Our report gives far more options, best practice, and the 20-year view of this existential struggle."
Only IDTechEx has the drill-down reports as well. They cover such aspects as "Lithium-ion Batteries for Electric Vehicles 2021-2031" which includes their thermal management and there is specifically a report on thermal interface materials.
Examples of car range miles vs temperature C with climate control. Source: IDTechEx
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