General Motors' Chevrolet Bolt will be launched with a range of 200 miles (321 km), while Tesla’s Model 3 has an estimated range of 215 miles (346 km) on a single charge. Nissan’s Leaf electric vehicle will also get a redesign in the future, which will include increasing the range to 200 miles (321 km) on a single charge.
When asked about plans regarding a potential range extension for the Focus Electric, Ford’s director of electrification programs and engineering explained that the estimated range of the 2017 Focus Electric is “enough to cover the daily commute of most drivers.”
Kevin Layden, the Ford official mentioned above, was present at the SAE World Congress, where he was interviewed by Automotive News and explained that increasing the single-charge range of the Focus Electric will increase both the cost and weight of the car. Meanwhile, the smaller range when compared to its rivals allows the use of a smaller, cheaper, and lighter battery pack.
As Automotive News notes, several speakers stated that the “range anxiety” which makes some customers fear electric cars can be transcended by providing a range of at least 200 miles (321 km) with a single charge.
While average commuting distances support the opinion of Ford’s director of electrification programs and engineering, people have proved statistics wrong in the past, as the horsepower wars started by American and German automakers have shown over the years.
One day, an automaker comes up with the most powerful vehicle in its category, a few months or a year later, a competitor launches one that exceeds its output. Eventually, power figures reach stratospheric heights, and you start to wonder who needs 600 HP from a street car, but it is all for bragging rights and brand image.
We believe the same will happen for electric cars, but we support the idea that carmakers should do the best they can to enhance the range of EVs to eliminate the whole range anxiety thing.