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BMW Says 500 Kilometres of Range Is Enough for an EV




If you don't know, electric vehicles have been around for quite some time now, and I'm not talking about the Nissan Leaf that was first introduced in 2010 or the Even General Motors project in the 90s. At the end of the 1800s, there was more electric car on the road than anything else ''steam or gas car''. The only problem back then was that it was really difficult to control the power of electricity in cars, and the manufacturing process became more efficient for gas cars which led to the death of steam and electric cars eventually. 


However, the idea of an electric car has always been there, and the manufacturer has tried to resurrect the concept many times since the beginning of the last century, but it never really became possible until very recently. Today, electric cars are very powerful, practical and they offer a satisfying range. Of course, it's never enough, but manufacturers like BMW are saying that Range isn't what we should be worrying about. In Fact, BMW recently stated that a range of 500 kilometers is more than enough for a modern EV. 


Focus on the right Challenge


Of course, Range is one of the first things you're going to look at if you ever consider buying an electric car. Then why isn't something you do with a gas-powered car? The answer is simple. Gas stations are everywhere, and as long we have enough Range to get from one gas station to another, it's fine. According to David Ferrufino (Project Leader at the BMW I4), ''the goal should be to improve infrastructure and charge time before improving the range,'' and he is not wrong. 


As I mentioned, Range isn't really something you look at when you are purchasing a gas car. Anyway. To improve that, you need to reduce fuel consumption or increase the gas tank capacity. In both situations, technologies and innovation have reached their potential with all the restriction there is in the automobile industry. You can use a hybrid system to improve fuel consumption, but batteries are heavy, and the space they usually take handicaps another useful space. So, it is really a question of balance. If you add the political situation and love around electric vehicles, every manufacturer should work together to improve this sphere of the industry. 


The Covid-19 crisis showed us that batteries are way harder to manufacture than they look, and to be honest, it isn't better for the environment than the whole life cycle of a gas-powered car. Of course, technologies are improving, and battery sizes will decrease with time, but the solution is not to replace old batteries with more efficient batteries of the same size. Think about it. If a car is lighter, it needs less energy to be propelled. 


That's basically why BMW wants to stop focusing on the Range and more on the infrastructure and the charging speed. If you could recharge your EV at the same time, it needs to fill your gas car, and you could find fast-charging stations in every gas station. Would you care so much about Range? I don't think so, and that's why I'm on the BMW side on this one. Again, everything is a question of balance.  


Right now, the fastest charge you can get on average is 80% in 30 or 40 minutes with some EVs. BMW claims the i4 is able to get an 80% charge in 31 minutes which is very good. So just imagine if you could get a 100% charge in 5 minutes or less. 


Jean-Sébastien Poudrier


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