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Americans Expect EVs to Have a Significantly Longer Range Than Drivers in Other Countries

The average range of a battery-powered car, SUV, or truck sold in the U.S. is now 290.8 miles.

Examples of the ubiquitous Tesla plugging into the EV power grid. Photo: Courtesy of Tesla.

The U.S. has been slower to embrace the EV than countries in Europe or Asia, but that might be because their expectations—at least in regard to one metric—are higher.

A recent study by Bloomberg found that American drivers expect a range of 300 miles from their EVs. That figure, which is increasingly becoming the standard for premium battery-powered vehicles sold in the U.S., is far higher than the expectation of drivers in Europe and China.

The average range of an EV sold in the U.S. has risen dramatically since the launch of the Tesla Model S a decade ago. In 2013, the average range of an American EV was 128.5 miles; last year, it was 290.8 miles. The most recent figure far outpaces the average range of a battery-powered vehicle sold elsewhere in the world, which was 216.9 miles in 2021, the last year the news service has data from. It would seem that a big part of the reason for the difference in range is the expectations of consumers. Not only do most Americans want their EV to have a range of 300 miles, only 10 percent would accept a range under 200 miles, according to another Bloomberg study from last year.

The Platinum edition of the all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning towing a horse trailer.
The Ford F-150 Lightning has a 300-plus-mile range when equipped with an Extended Range battery Ford Motor Company

Since the average commute in the U.S. is just 55 miles per day, it’s easy to wonder why American feel they need a big EV with a long-lasting battery that can drive 300 miles on a single charge. The news service notes that there are several reasons for high-range expectations, though. Americans spend more time in their car than people in other countries, combining to drive more than four trillion miles per year, a third more than any other country. Because of that, range anxiety is a real thing, especially since our charging infrastructure is still lacking. Additionally, advertised ranges—even those certified by the EPA—aren’t always replicable in the real world. Factors such as the use of a climate control system, driving through bad weather, and stop-and-go traffic can all see a 250-mile battery struggle to last for 90 miles.

In 2022, 8 percent of new cars, SUVs and trucks sold in the U.S. were plug-in, according to Bloomberg. That was a new record for the country, but trails far behind the number in China (30 percent) and Europe (32 percent). But with the magic 300-mile range becoming increasingly commonplace stateside—and EVs like the Lucid Air with ranges in excess of 500 miles—it’s not hard to imagine the country starting to catch up with its peers in the years to come.

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