I live in Munich and here many people is thinking about buying electric cars in the near future. This is because in cities like this one is easy to assume that the range is not going to be a big deal.
Munich is a city with an urban population of 2.6 million people. You can cross the entire city in a few minutes without traffic and during rush hour is not a big deal neither. It is also expected that Munich will be one of the firsts cities with infrastructure to widely support electric cars.
But what would happen with an EV (electric vehicle) in a mega-city that could have up to 10 times more population than Munich?
Two weeks ago I was working in Buenos Aires. This city is the third largest city in Latin America behind Mexico and San Pablo. It has a total population of almost 13 million people in its urban area and most of the people work in Buenos Aires downtown. The city infrastructure is not very good and the public transport can be considered unusable.
I have asked some people if they would use an electric car. Their answer was unanimous. It’s impossible. It takes me two hours to reach my work and I drive more than 40 kms (about 24 miles) each way. My first impression was the same, it must be impossible with the current EV ranges.
But anyway I’ve decided to give it a try. So I took a Ford Focus diesel and packed my iPhone with iEV and started the test. It is always nice to spend a day in the traffic, right?
I started my trip at 7:30 in the morning. I’ve made 10.62 kms (6.6 miles) from my parent’s house to the city downtown. The trip was a huge traffic jam in a highway so my average speed was 30 km/h (about 18 m/s). Do you think it was slow? Then I went all the way to the north of the city at 6:30 PM. It was about 21.85 kms or (13.57 miles). My average speed was 18.26 km/h (11.34 m/s).
Then I’ve made several small trips more to the north at similar speeds and I went back to my starting point at night with no traffic. The last trip was 51.48 kms (about 32 miles) with an average speed of 73.28 km/h (45 m/s).
How big is the battery that a person would need to perform about 110 kms in a city with high traffic? About 20 kWh. To put it in perspective, the Nissan Leaf has a battery size of 24 kWh.
When you are stocked in traffic, your electric motor is not consuming energy at all. Only your stereo is consuming electricity and perhaps your air conditioning. So, don’t be afraid about your range. Most people will never have any problems with it. Just remember to plug in the car as you do it with your cell phone and you’ll be just fine. If you have doubts, grab iEV and test it!
If you have any experiences, just write us a comment!
Photo by Lingaraj G J.