In a petrol vehicle, you usually drive until the fuel runs out, and then you refuel. You’ve been doing this all your life, and you assume that you would do it with an electric car and that the waiting time would be unbearable, especially after a long day at work or whatever.
But refueling an electric vehicle is something completely different – you now have a personal gas station in your driveway and refuel every night while you sleep – you are not in line, you do not visit the dirt and breathe in the exhaust gases, you do not watch how it is refueling and waiting impatiently for the departure. Instead, you sit in your comfortable armchair, read a book or watch TV.
So the real question you should ask yourself is:
How often do you stop at a petrol station in your normal driving style in a day when you start with a full tank? If you do a lot of long-distance journeys, this may often be the case for you.
For most people, the answer is ‘almost never’. And this is how it feels for electric car drivers who are charged at home. Every day starts with a full charge (I limit this to ~ 80% of the capacity so that I can brake fully regeneratively and have good battery health in the long term). It is very rare that I have to do more than that on a normal day.
I only visit charging stations on long journeys. In such situations, a moderate rest is welcome after driving the full range on a train. Some of the best compressors have a fully equipped A / C lounge with nice bathrooms, vending machines, a cafe with live baristas, etc. These are strategically located, such as Kettleman City, between LA and SF. Charging can also be faster than you might think. Here is my M3LR drawing 149 of the maximum 150 kW in Truckee, for 638 mi / hr (1027 km / h) that will be added.
If you run in at 10% and charge to 80%, that’s about 220 miles (354 km) that you’d add to the long range M3 battery, and just over 20 minutes at top speed. But here’s something else – you don’t have to wait all the time if you don’t want to. You only need enough juice to reach the next supercharger. So if you feel like driving instead of taking a break, you can probably start earlier. You can decide for yourself how much buffer you feel comfortable with. If you become too aggressive, the car will warn you about the lack of fuel – in this case, you can increase your range by driving more slowly.
To sum up, everyone is suppressed by the drudgery at the gas station, so it is understandable that you don’t want to spend any more time there. The reality is that a long-range electric vehicle that charges at home will completely free you from stopping for regular trips at all as long as you have an outlet that you park at night.
It’s also very comfortable for long journeys (in a Tesla, because of the charger network – I wouldn’t be so enthusiastic without this network), but it’s a different kind of journey. You may find that you hate it because of it. In this case, you could use / borrow another vehicle for this time, just as you may not want to take a long trip in a gasoline car that is too small for your group.
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