American drivers have become accustomed to the vehicle performance and availability standards established by gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles for vehicle range, fueling time, diversity of vehicle models, and—for commercial vehicles—weight. EVs have been improving rapidly across all these dimensions, such that electric car technology and electric car range can serve the needs of all American drivers. Our analysis suggests new electric vehicle performance or standards will not present significant barriers to the accelerated EV deployment envisioned in the DRIVE Clean scenario.
Light-duty ICE vehicles have an average range of about 350 miles on a full tank of gasoline, whereas the median range of today’s EVs is over 250 miles and the industry maximum is over 400 miles, with a substantial upfront price premium for the longest-range vehicles. Yet average electric vehicle range has been increasing, and the price of all models—including longer-range models—has been falling. Nearly 75% of daily U.S. trips are less than 50 miles, and 96% are less than 125 miles, suggesting that a single EV charge is already sufficient to accomplish average driving tasks. In the near future, when average EV range increases, nearly 98% of all daily trips can be taken on a single charge. By 2025, a number of EV models will provide 350 miles on a single charge. However, upfront vehicle prices will need to continue declining to make these vehicles widely accessible to all American consumers.