Range anxiety, Debunked!

In Sri Lanka, wondering if an EV is a good gift for you or your significant other this year?

We addressed the focal points locally on usage costs and resale values prior, lets talk of Range and Energy.

Electric vehicles account for just 1.2% of the U.S. vehicle market, but sales are booming, growing 30 percent last year. 

In Sri Lanka approximately 80,000 cars had been registered in 2018 but the percentage of EVs is just 0.0005% of the total.

The government policies had been badly affected the downfall, although corrected to some extent late last year. Still the cars over 100 kW in power attracts a higher duty than its ICE competitors.

Now, for not having longer distance EV s in the market and degradation of very few leaf batteries has a negative impact on new EV sales. In fact the low population barred the infrastructure development and support services, contrary to the global scenario and environmental needs.

However if there’s no economic value of purchasing of a EV none will simply invest in an EV just for environmental reasons, which is logical.

And it is now proved that owning an EV now is more beneficial in both CPK (Cost Per Kilometer) and TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) as well.

Lets get to the topic now, range anxiety is an issue which hampered EV growth in Sri lanka. We being a small country and our travel distances are low the need of longer range batteries and fast charging is at a minimum compared to the world.

And globally both EVs are getting better and cheaper as researchers improve the batteries that power them. 

Let’s look at the RANGE to help you decide if an EV is for you replacing ICE, or if you just want to be smarter about one of the next big things in energy.

The first thing to realize about electric cars is they can drive more than enough kilometers for you on a single charge, even if you live out of Colombo, with limited infrastructure.

THE DISTANCE MYTH

Try keeping track of your actual daily use. Here is what America says and we speak of Colombo next!

“If you’re an insurance salesman, you’re logging a lot of miles, so an electric car’s not going to be for you,” “But if you look at how many miles you drive in a day, for most people in the United States, even in rural areas, that number is under 40 miles per day. So if your car has a range of 100 miles, that’s a lot of wiggle room.”

According to the Federal Highway Administration, the average American drives 25 miles per day, and for rural areas that average is 34 miles a day.

Well…in Sri Lanka the same numbers will apply to a greater extent. A person who lives in Moratuwa, Kottawa or Ja Ela will be needing 60 kms a day, say another 40 extra for emergencies.

Now what, a Leaf which can be bought for less than LKR 5.5 million can deliver 250 kms in our city conditions, so one only needs a recharge of up to 10 units of electricity at home. This costs only LKR 120 if you are under TOU tariff, even without Solar!

Nissan Leaf ~ Malabe to Anuradhapura in one shot ~ Further 99 km remains

Another reason; it’s worth thinking realistically about your daily mileage comes with the easiest possible refueling method. When an electric car is done driving for the day, you can plug it in to recharge overnight. Essentially, you’re topping off the gas tank while you sleep, giving you a fully-charged battery every morning.

ENERGY, INFRASTRUCTURE and COSTS

For some people, one of the biggest selling points for electric cars is their effect on the environment, atop its financial benefits both on usage and ownership.

In the USA, the sources of electricity for a local utility vary across the country — some areas depend heavily on coal-fired power plants, others use larger shares of solar or wind energy. One major environmental group analyzed all those local electric utility fuel mixes and determined that, for most of the country, electric vehicles have much less of an effect on the environment than conventional vehicles. 

“Seventy-five percent of people now live in places where driving on electricity is cleaner than a 50 mpg gasoline car,” the report from the Union of Concerned Scientists states.

For Sri lanka this is altogether a different ball game, have a rooftop solar solution and you get your travelling totally FREE.

Even if isn’t, with TOU tariff, when charging at night your approximate cost per kilometer will be LKR 1.50.

Then why, we are only with a share of 0.0005% whilst USA reaching 2% of sales, and some scandinavian countries topping 50%. Is it the price? NO, our prices are cheaper than its competitors up to 100 kW range, whilst USA and Europe pay a premium for an EV on the same classes.

And we ask for the availability of fast chargers, yet we do have enough for current units in operation. But don’t forget even a 2018 Leaf costing just LKR 5.3M can travel from Colombo to Batticaloa in one charge.

This is why we say, it’s high time to buy an EV.

And we have much more reasons to justify the decision than the rest of the world from purchase price, usage costs and resale values.

-Thanks to Paul Wesslund (for some parts of this writeup) who writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association in USA

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