Rather than display a single range estimate, display an accurate indication of the state of charge remaining and the ranges that result based on a variety of possible conditions. For example, (using U.S. units)
42.0 kWh remaining.
Consumption over last 10 minutes (average speed Z mi/h): x mi/kWh -> range X mi
Expected consumption at 55 mph: y mi/kWh -> range Y1 mi with climate control on, Y2 mi with climate control off
Expected consumption at 65 mph: z mi/kWh -> range Z1 mi with climate control on, Z2 mi with climate control off
etc. The question is how best to present this information in an easily digested form. If the destination is entered, the car can calculate the route and highlight in red any of the range numbers that are lower than the required range, thus showing you that you really can't get there if the destination is 1000 feet up a mountain and you average 75 mph with the climate control on, say.
What do you think? Does anyone want to work up a suggested display? Do you agree that the single range number estimate is a problem?
A lot of anti-EV press is based on the premise that you can't trust the car's range indicator. Some writers take this simple observation to ridiculous conclusions such as EV manufacturers lying about range, that EVs really don't work, and so on.
Think about the problem for a moment. Users are expecting a single number to give them accurate information about the future. This is simply impossible. Your range depends on the energy you have available in the battery and your power consumption. The latter depends on your speed, on your use of heating or cooling, on elevation change, on the weight of the car, on headwind vs tailwind, and a bunch of smaller factors. There is no way to accurately predict all of this, though you hypothetically could come close if you assume the driver goes the speed limit and you have extensive geographical data.
When you get in an ICE car, do you see a range number anywhere? No, you see a fuel gauge that tells you roughly how much energy you have left.
Now, what happens in the world of aviation? Pilots are required by law to compute fuel requirements prior to takeoff, taking into consideration the expected cruising altitude and winds at that altitude. They also have to allow for the possibility of a missed approach at destination and a flight from there to their alternate. And even with all that, the number is padded (there is a reserve) to allow for conditions not being as predicted. Further, if anything goes wrong during the flight, the pilot may need to make a decision, instantly, to alter the flight plan and land short of the destination to refuel.
That is reality. The exact same thing applies to ICE cars, it's just that "landing short" is usually not a problem because of the ubiquity of gas stations, and the speed at which a "recharge" is possible.
People are lazy - they want so much range that they don't ever have to think about it. Catering to that laziness by providing one guesstimate of range is a strategy which I think is backfiring. How can people trust a number that changes to be completely unrealistic when going up or down a hill, or as soon as you take the car out of the garage into a really cold, snowy environment? They can't. And those who, for whatever reason, want EVs to fail, take advantage of this issue.
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