The Big Electric Car Debate: Small Battery or Big Battery
By Douglas Stansfield  2015-09-21

Nissan DC fast Charger
The big debate for me in the Electric Vehicle world is the one for small
battery, big battery. Nobody may actually understand this debate but I’m
sure many do. The two sides in this debate are EVs with small batteries vs.
EVs with big batteries and which ones are better.

There are two schools of thought out there and over time one school of
thought might win out and the other will pass away. It’s difficult to tell
at the moment which one will prevail but I have my suspicions.

There are many EVs with small battery packs which rely heavily on DC fast
charging to take them on longer trips. The benefits of this school of
thought are that you do NOT have to lug around extra battery weight and
capacity that you will only use once in a while. This keeps the cars initial
purchase price low and in many cases can easily satisfy the USAs average
distances of 40 miles. This does however, limit you on your year’s vacation
trip that is 400 miles from your home. This group of EV pioneers has managed
to complete some crazy stories of nightmare DC fast charging ordeals and
very long trips indeed because of malfunctions, freak weather patterns and
overall neglect.

The Electric cars in this camp are the Mitsubishi iMiev, the Smart EV, the
Ford Focus EV and the Nissan Leaf EV.

The second EV big battery school of thought is currently sitting with Tesla.
Tesla has the most of any current EV offering and yet also has the highest
price tag. It does however, also boast of the lowest cost per watt of energy
storage. This makes the 260 miles range Model S has into an EV camel. It can
easily travel great distances because of the marrying of Tesla’s Fast
Charging network but if these Tesla owners only travel short distances they
wouldn’t need the extra battery capacity. I realize there are many other
reasons for wanting to own a Tesla but that isn’t what I’m talking about

If the average US person drives only 40 miles a day or less, then a double
that range battery would satisfy a great deal of the populations needs
however that 400 mile vacation would be much more doable in the Tesla S but
the rest of the year it is just carrying around extra battery capacity for
no reason. You see my point.

As the EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) continues its roll out into
America, small battery packs will be much more easily accommodative of small
EV battery packs. Once the DC fast charging infrastructure is rolled out,
the less difficult it will be to take the small EV battery pack cars on
longer trips.

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