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The national emphasis on a massive public Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure rollout may be contributing more to the perpetuation of range anxiety than it is to mitigating concerns for the average driver. Americans driving habits are based on a century of experience with gas tanks. This experience of run-until-empty followed by a fill-up-to-full at a public gas station is not how EV's will be used. This legacy places too much emphasis on public high-speed Level-2 (L2) charging. All EV's are designed to be charged overnight from standard 115v outlets, Level-1 (L1), which can give about 32 miles of range for 8 hours charge. The overnight charge plus another 8 hour charge from 115v at work, gives the EV driver a daily range of at least 64 miles. This is well above the national average commute (32 miles round trip) and actually satisfies more than 90% of USA commute distances. In addition, mid-range L1 charging to not-fully-full and daily use to not-fully-empty is the best long-life profile for EV batteries. The EV is not intended to out-right replace all gasoline vehicle usage, but is ideal for the commuter who can plug-in at home and plug-in at work. An EV is more like a laptop or cell phone that expects to be plugged in at home and at work when not in use. The commuter vehicle spends at least 16 hours a day just sitting at home and at work, where low-speed L1 charging can exceed 90% of all USA commuter distances. The paper concludes with a list of recommendations for the EV infrastructure rollout.
Date of Conference: 4-8 March 2012