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How Much is Too Much for EV Driving Range?

How long should an EV be able to travel on a full battery?  ‘Neue Klasse’, from BMW, suggests that 1000 kilometres is about right.  BMW’s New Class of vehicles are not far off the runway now, said to be arriving in 2025.  And they are going to be the first BMWs-ever that have been designed from the ground up to be specifically all-electric, EV through-and-through.

That does raise an interesting question: How far should we expect our brand spanking new EVs to go on a full charge (a full tank of electrons instead of a full tank of gas)?  Should we be able to drive from Sydney to Melbourne (877 km), Sydney to Adelaide (1374 km), Sydney to Cairns (2430 km), Sydney to Perth (3932 km), or just Sydney to Wollongong and back (about 175 km) on a full battery?

Most of us are probably sick of driving non-stop after 6–8 hours max in a day.  So, say most of that was done at 100 km/h, then 100 × 8 hours would get you to 800 kilometres before you’d be needing a proper cup of coffee in a proper coffee cup!  It would be then you’d want a rest and a sleep, right?

Perhaps Neue Klasse has got it bang on then.  1000 km would cover an all day blast up the coast from Sydney to Brisbane, which is approximately a total of 911 kilometres via the coastal route.  Get to the end of that journey, and you could pull up at a mate’s place for tea, or a motel, and plug in your EV overnight ready for the long drive back home.

According to Thomas Albrecht (BMW’s head of Efficient Dynamics), in 2025, New Class EV BMWs are set to have “thirty-percent or more” range than what’s currently available now.  That means that the brand-new BMW EV platform with lots of fresh pieces of technology, including 46 mm cylindrical battery cells, should push the Generation 6 batteries out to around 1000 km before they run out of electron juice.  Even though BMW could go further than this 1000 kilometre range, Albrecht suggested that this would be the maximum that BMW will offer because they don’t think that such a long range is necessary.

BMW will debut the new Generation 6 batteries in the 2025 BMW 3 Series EV.  How much do you think we should be able to get out of the battery packs in any new EV bought in 2025–2030?  I’d be interested to know – remembering that battery tech and recharging times will likely have vastly improved by then.