The study defines a trip as a movement followed by a stay of at least 10 minutes
The trips studied include all types of transportation, not just cars
An earlier study showed that EVs available in 2016 could take care of the driving needs of 90% of Americans
A recent study shows that most daily trips taken by Americans are less than 3 miles in distance, which means that the range of electric vehicles is not such a concern.
The Maryland Transportation Institute used location data from millions of phones and electronic devices to monitor the movements of a large sample of Americans in order to determine the average length of daily trips in the country.
For this study, a trip was defined as a movement that is accompanied by a stay at a place away from home for at least 10 minutes.
What the study found is that the majority of trips are very short, with 52% of them being under 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) in distance and 28% being even shorter, at less than one mile (1.6 kilometers).
This is even more surprising considering that the study looked at every form of transport, including planes and trains and found that only 2% of trips were longer than 50 miles (80 kilometers)
This means that most drivers are overestimating the distance they drive day to day, something that is slowing down the adoption of electric vehicle.
Indeed, range is stated as one of the leading factors that make buyers turn away from electric vehicles, along with their high price.
Since most trips are less than three miles long, any electric vehicle on the market should be able to complete their owner’s daily commutes for at least two weeks without being recharged, even accounting for unexpected events.
This was even confirmed by an earlier study, back in 2016, which found that EVs that were available at the time were able to fulfil the need of around 90% of drivers in the United States.
This proportion is even higher now, since EV technology has made huge leaps since then, with many vehicles now advertising ranges of over 300 miles (482 kilometers), something that only on Tesla model could boast about back then.
As long as buyers will continue to demand longer ranges, automakers will have to work on larger batteries and more efficient drivetrains, but the public perception could change at some point and then, more affordable EVs that offer less range could become very successful at advancing the electrification of the global fleet.