400+ mile range EV’s

(from the blog at TampaBaySolar.com)

(The Lucid Air sedan.)

Here at Tampa Bay Solar we love plug-in electric vehicles! 

Most of our employees use the solar array on their homes to charge their electric vehicles. 

Over the last six months we’ve been adding a 240 volt outlet to the garage wall of any new client who buys rooftop solar. A 240 volt outlet is needed to fast charge an electric vehicle, so our clients not only enjoy a “solar home” but their home is also “electric vehicle ready”.  

The price of sunshine never changes, and solar panels will last 35 to 50 years, so it makes sense to fuel your transportation off your roof! 

Most consumers are worried about the total RANGE per charge if they buy an electric vehicle, so we’ve looked at the longest range electric vehicles that are available for purchase in 2022.

One caveat here; the longest range EV’s tend to be in the top price brackets, but like any new technology these prices will go down and become more affordable over time.

#1. The Tesla Roadster: 620 mile range. This is a 2 seat sports car that Tesla unveiled in 2020. One of the reasons for the longer Tesla Roadster range is the lower weight and better aerodynamics of the vehicle. 

#2. The Lucid Air: 520 mile range (see picture above). The Lucid Air is a 4 door luxury car developed by former Tesla engineers. The long range of the Lucid Air is attributable to superior aerodynamics and the efficiency of the overall design.

#3. The Tesla Cybertruck: 500 miles. This is Tesla’s first SUV, with a three motor option and the long range battery it should have a 500 mile range. The Cybertruck uses a much larger battery than other EV’s on this list, thus resulting in better range, even for a heavier vehicle.  

#4. Tesla Model S Long Range: 412 miles. This is the long range version of the popular Model S four door sedan that is commonly seen on roads everywhere.

#5. Audi E6 E-tron: 400 miles. This is the new Audi SUV with an extended range battery. Both Audi and VW are spending billions of research dollars on EV technology.   

Of course, Tesla dominates this list because Tesla has been the leader in EV innovation for the last decade. While all the vehicles on this list exceed 400 miles of range on a single charge there are many electric vehicles for sale that feature 300+ miles of range, from the Ford F-150 Lightning to the new BMW IX SUV.

All the current EV’s use lithium ion battery technology, but this will be replaced by solid state battery tech in the next 3 to 5 years. This further leap in EV technology will result in far longer EV ranges, perhaps in the 600 to 800 mile (per charge) range. Solid state batteries will also recharge much faster than current technology. The longer range and faster charge rate will make it more feasible to totally recharge your vehicle in 20 minutes to an hour.  

Solid State technology will also drive down the price of lithium ion batteries, making older tech lithium ion more affordable for battery back-up units in homes and businesses.  

The purchase price for brand new EV’s typically exceeds $45,000, but within the next three years many of these cars will be available as used vehicles for sale in the under $25,000 price range. The typical life of an EV is around 300,000 miles, so the used car market will make EV’s affordable to the majority of car buyers. 

As EV’s increase in range and more choices become available we think that many buyers will own 1 EV for shorter commutes, combined with a 2nd vehicle that is a gas / electric hybrid. Most drivers do not commute farther than 100 miles per day, so a married couple with 2 vehicles might still own a gas powered vehicle for longer roadtrips. 

The charger infrastructure across the United States is increasing rapidly; Electrify America and ChargePoint are installing charging stations at regular intervals all over the national highway system, and Tesla already has the largest charging network in the United States.

With a convenient phone app drivers can see where EV chargers are located along the next highway exit, and in many cases how many chargers are open for use at any given time. 

More hotel owners will add solar and some form of public charging in the next 5 years, here at Tampa Bay Solar we are installing solar on local hotel rooftops along with car chargers on the outer edge of those parking lots. 

Current EV drivers tend to be in a higher income bracket, with more disposable income, the perfect demographic for high end hotel owners looking to attract more business to their location.    

If your EV has a 400 mile range that’s the equivalent of 7 hours of driving, so using overnight charging at hotels makes logical sense. In this manner hotel clients are fully charging their EV for the next day of driving.   

Some of the newer EV’s are higher voltage (like the Hyundai Ioniq 5) so these vehicles can charge in far less time, making the case for more fast charging stations at restaurants.

Restaurant and hotel owners who install free EV charging can use that feature as a way to add value and attract customers who might not stop there otherwise. In the future we’ll see highway billboards that say “Motel 6, exit 220, FREE EV charging here”. 

We believe that rooftop solar and EV charging go hand in hand, not just for environmental reasons, but also for the bottom line profitability of any hotel, shopping center or restaurant. 

NOTE: In the next few years I’m working on PPA’s (Power Purchase Agreements) that allow a hotel owner the chance to get rooftop solar and car chargers on a long term lease, with no capital outlay.

More details will be posted in the next few months.

Ben Alexander

December 28th :: 2022

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