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Electric Cars Struggle, AAA Study Finds

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A recent study by AAA has determined that electric vehicles struggle more depending on the weather conditions that they are exposed to. Since the more recent releases of the environmentally friendly more fuel efficient vehicles entered the market, a surge of sales has impacted the brands offering them. So the question that now surfaces is, where are the electric cars headed with the discharge of this new study?

Electric Cars on the Marketelectric cars

When one thinks of electric cars, Tesla is often the first name on the list to come to mind. But unless you have roughly $60,000 dollars to shell out on a premium luxury fully electric car, some of the more affordable brands are more your speed. Emphasis on affordable may be stretching it. The average electric car is not cheap when compared against its fuel sipping gasoline counterpart.

For example: A fuel sipping Nissan Versa Note starts out at $14,000 dollars and achieves 31 mpg city / 40 mpg highway. Whereas the Nissan Leaf (electric car) starts out at $29,000 dollars and boasts that it will get roughly 126 MPGe city and 101 MPGe highway. You can add another $5,000 dollars onto the cost of the car, because you’ll need the charging station added at home in order to charge the car in between uses.

Electric cars are currently the biggest rage because of their economical and environmentally savvy qualities. Not having to pay for gas with electricity being heavily subsidized can cut down the overall fueling costs when owning and operating an electric car. Some of the most popular electric cars come from the more affordable brands such as Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Honda. Even Chevrolet and Cadillac have been toying with producing electric vehicles. It is clear that the market is shifting towards making everyday commuter cars into electrically powered cars. It is only a matter of time until mass production allows for electric cars on a broad scale, when they can be more common and affordable to the general public without sacrificing comfort and space for range.

electric cars 1What AAA Found

AAA found that the temperature affects the overall range of the electric cars, significantly. According to the study, AAA found that the electric cars averaged per full charge, had a total range of about 105 miles when the temperature was at 75 degrees. This matched up perfectly with the invoices on the affordable electric cars tested: the electric Ford Focus, Nissan Leaf, and the Mitsubishi iMiEV. All of the cars were put through a battery of tests from the constant stop and going that would be seen in city driving to the long haul highway driving. 105 miles per full charge is nothing special if you are the average regular American commuter that does roughly 15,000 miles per year.

AAA put the electric cars through all of these tests three times in different temperature conditions. At 75 degrees the car performed optimally to what their sticker price bragged they could do. However at 20 degrees the cars range dropped to only 43 miles per full charge. Quite a dramatic difference from the 105 miles it was marketed as being able to perform at. Likewise when the cars were tested in 95 degree weather the range dropped from 105 miles per full charge to only 69 miles per full charge. The biggest issue that AAA said they found was not so much in the lack of performance found in the cars but in the fact that their drivers hadn’t prepared for such a dramatic decrease in performance. This variance in range as AAA states can pose a significant threat to reliability for daily commuters whom may face varying temperatures depending on where they live. The tested cars were observed losing as much as 57% or their range in the colder weather and as much as 33%of their range in the warmer weather.

The importance of the study is a great tool for consumers looking to buy either electric cars or more fuel efficient hybrid or gas sipping vehicles.electric cars 2

The future of the auto industry is undoubtedly the electric car. But it is important for you the consumer to realize that electric car technology is only in the baby stages right now. Investing in an electric car is not a bad idea, but not understanding what you are paying for is. Since the technology is relatively new it is understandable that the electric cars would struggle as was confirmed by this study done by AAA. However like all great ideas, there is always room for improvement. Since everyone is pretty much new to the concept of building electric cars, there is going to be progression only achieved by trial and error. The future of the automobile is the electric car, but like any masterpiece, perfection will take time to achieve.


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