More and more people are buying electric vehicles. But some still hesitate because they worry the car will run out of power in the middle of a drive.
Sam Jaffe is with Cairn ERA, a research firm that specializes in energy storage. He says electric vehicle batteries are improving every year.
“When the Nissan Leaf first came out it was 100 miles range,” he says.
The new S-Plus model can go roughly twice as far, and higher-end cars can travel even farther.
“The recent Tesla Model 3 is over 300 miles range,” Jaffe says.
But he says fully reducing people’s range anxiety may require a new type of battery technology.
“I think the leapfrog technology is solid state batteries – a battery with no liquid material inside,” he says. “So everything is a solid material, which means that it’s safer, but also it can be more energy dense.”
So an electric vehicle battery could store more electricity and travel more miles on a single charge.
Several companies are developing solid state batteries. But Jaffe says it will be years before solid state batteries are affordable and durable enough to be widely used.
“It’s going to take another 10 years, but they are definitely coming,” he says.
And when they do, range anxiety could become a worry of the past.
Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.