If you’ve ever assumed that you “need” a gasoline powered car in your household for things an electric vehicle just can’t do, think again. Maybe you only have one car and wonder whether an electric would work for you. Or perhaps you’re already enjoying an electric vehicle but have a secondary vehicle, or spouse’s vehicle that relies on fossil fuels just in case. I’m here to tell you that for most of us, an electric vehicles meets all driving needs.
The Federal Highway Administration publishes the average annual mileage that drivers drive per year by age. The aggregate amount (that is, both males and females) driven by both the 20-34 and 35-54 age groups is about 15,000 miles per year. A study done by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that in 2016, respondents drove an average of 31.5 miles per day, up slightly from 30.0 miles per day in 2015.
The most popular fully electric vehicles available for sale in the United States today all have a range that far exceeds 31.5 miles, meaning that of course you can get to work and back home without breaking a sweat. In fact, every vehicle in our top 10 list exceeds 200 miles of rated range. At 31.5 miles per day, you wouldn’t even need to charge daily. By now, you’re likely well aware that your needs on an average day can be met by an EV, especially if you already own one. But what about the rest of your traveling needs?
Long Distance Travel
We’ve already shared with you 7 great apps for finding charging stations on the go. Every year that passes, additional DC fast chargers are installed in various places across the country to help facilitate long distance travel. Tesla’s proprietary Supercharger network is among the most popular, plus a fan favorite with seamless integration into the car’s on-board navigation system. I have personally done several long trips in my 2014 Model S since taking delivery and these folks do it even more. Other networks include the use of CHAdeMO or CCS-Combo connections, which are compatible with several makes and models of EV. According to CHAdeMO, their technology is compatible with 44% of all BEVs and there are 25,000 charge points across the world.
A hatchback by any other name is still… convenient. A Nissan Leaf has folding rear seats that give way to cargo space large enough to accommodate a bike. The Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model S are also hatchbacks, and the Tesla Model X and Hyundai Kona are SUVs with a traditional rear opening. Just this summer, I managed an entire home remodel and the vast majority of project materials were hauled in a Tesla. That included tile galore, 5-gallon paint buckets, heavy landscaping materials, and 8′ lengths of trim.
Ford has teased what an electric pickup truck can be capable of in terms of towing. Rivian plans to begin production on an electric pickup truck next year, and Tesla has referenced a reveal for their take on a pickup truck later this year. For now, your best bet is to outfit a Tesla Model X with an optional $1,250 towing package capable of hauling up to 5,000 pounds.
Real World Example
My household has been fully electric since February of 2018 when I took delivery of a Tesla Model 3. My husband and I each commute for work, traveling just 20-30 miles per day on weekdays. We somehow put nearly 20,000 miles on our Model S in the first year of ownership alone. We haul anything from groceries to the aforementioned construction materials on weekends. We recently outfitted our Model S with a roof rail and bike rack system and regularly bring our dog to visit family. We take two or more trips per year of greater than 750 miles and my husband travels a moderate distance (> 300 miles) for work once a month or so. We have not missed having a gasoline powered car and in fact, could easily swap one of our long range EVs for a more affordable option as a daily commuter and still never miss a beat.