NREL: EVs Need 300 Miles of Range for Most Consumers


The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released a new report, “Consumer Views on Plug-in Electric Vehicles-National Benchmark Report,” that finds, among other things, approximately 24% of consumers plan to buy a plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle (EV) as their next purchase.

The report, posted here, interviewed 1,015 households on their sentiments toward plug-in hybrids and EVs. In terms of plug-in vehicle awareness, the study found the following:

  • 48% of respondents could name a specific plug-in vehicle make and model;
  • 49% have reported seeing a plug-in vehicle in parking lots;
  • 52% have stated that plug-in hybrids are just as good or better than conventional gasoline vehicles;
  • 45% stated pure EVs are just as good or better than conventional gasoline vehicles;
  • 24% said they would consider or expect to purchase or lease a plug-in hybrid as their next vehicle; and
  • 20% said they would consider or expect to purchase or lease a pure EV as their next vehicle.

With regard to pure EVs, consumers responded in the following ways:

  • 56% of respondents said a pure EV would need at least 300 miles of driving range on a single charge for them to consider buying one;
  • 55% said they would not consider a pure EV because it is too expensive;
  • 70% of respondents plan to pay $30,000 or less on their next vehicle, and 42% plan to spend $20,000 or less;
  • 53% of respondents regularly park near home electrical outlets;
  • 51% of respondents would be willing to pay incremental costs for pure EVs; and
  • 18% are aware of charging stations on routes they regularly drive.

Although the NREL study suggests that many consumers remain wary of pure EVs, Tesla Motors recently took over 325,000 reservations for its upcoming Model 3, a $35,000 EV with at least 215 miles of driving range per charge. GM’s Chevrolet Bolt EV has also generated a lot of consumer interest, although the automaker is not taking reservations for it just yet.

Notify of
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
8 years ago

“EVs Need 300 Miles of Range”

That’s just one measure. It won’t be long before car buyers start going to regular dealers & asking for cars that fill themselves up overnight, also when you lift your foot off the gas.

A series of contained explosions? How primitive!

jim stack
jim stack
8 years ago

They only need a 300 mile range if it doesn’t have a Nationwide network of FREE Super Chargers like Tesla has. They already have them every 100 miles all across the US on major highways. They are adding more this year and by 2017 the USA will be covered. There are also even more Tesla chargers at many hotels and restaurants all across the USA. OH and Tesla is USA made, they have their own USA battery factory and the new Tesla model 3 starts at $35K before incentives. They already have about 400,000 pre-Orders so get in line fast… Read more »