Juice preservation

One of the primary objections to electric cars is so-called “range anxiety”: omigod what are we to do when the battery starts to fade? A TTAC commenter has a suggestion:

The solution to range anxiety is a 200+ battery and a small gas tank with a small gas motor. If the battery goes flat, the gas engine propels the car while recharging the battery. A slightly raised CUV/SUV, for example, could have plenty of battery at the floorboards while still looking offroady (it’s not going creek wading, anyway).

Then the manufacturer could stage an around-the-country or cross-country challenge between the highest MPG gas car, the highest range electric car, and the combo gas/electric. The gas car would have to stop every three hours for fuel, the electric every three hours to recharge, and the combo every five or six hours to fill up with a bit of gasoline. The electrics could recharge overnight with no time penalties, since they would do that under normal usage anyway.

They could present it Top Gear style, and live-cast it on Periscope or Twitter or whatever. Once the public sees that the new Ford Rangefinder won’t leave you stranded on the way to Grandma’s house, it would become generally accepted as a car to seriously consider when the current lease contract runs out.

The three presenters/drivers could tally up the scores at the end on a large whiteboard, with total CO/NOx/CO2 emissions, total MPG, total cost of fuel and electricity, down time to refuel, and miscellaneous offbeat challenge scores to determine the winner.

Think of it as the reincarnation of the Mobil Economy Run.


  1. McGehee »

    8 September 2018 · 12:31 pm

    Every three hours? My car currently posts 22 mpg and has a 17½-gallon tank, for a range of 385 miles. I don’t expect to hit 125 mph on any public road.

  2. CGHill »

    8 September 2018 · 4:51 pm

    Three hours used to be the functional limit of my bladder. Not happening.

  3. hollyh »

    10 September 2018 · 8:39 am

    Years ago, when I worked for a natural gas company and still believed in it as “the clean energy”, I investigated CNG cars. The company offered me these choices, used, from the company inventory: 1)Teeny weeny Honda Civic, with half its trunk space used for the converter; or 2) Giant trucks, so big that their gas mileage dropped to 15 mpg, which destroyed the whole efficiency factor. Either way, I was going to have to stop halfway between Dallas and OKC, hoping to find a cng dispensary at all hours, since I tended to travel at night.

    Needless to say, I resisted.

RSS feed for comments on this post