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Old 8th February 2023, 11:25   #1
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Long Range EVs don't make sense, says Mazda US CEO

According to a media report, Mazda US CEO Jeffrey Guyton is sceptical about long-range EVs, stating that they may not be viable solutions for the future. He added that customers don't even need an EV with 300 miles of range, let alone any longer.

At the unveiling event of the Mazda CX-90, Guyton suggested that EV owners will soon shift their priorities and needs based on experience. According to Guyton, once customers note that they don't need a high battery range for their daily commute, they will stop seeking long-range EVs. He added that the improvement of the public charging infrastructure is more important.

Long Range EVs don't make sense, says Mazda US CEO-mazdaev.jpg

With the resources used to produce EV batteries being finite, it makes more sense to use small battery packs that weigh less and can be charged significantly quicker. Guyton added that there is no need to carry around a massive battery pack when chances are an urban user may only drive the EV a few dozen miles per day.

Mazda's most recent model unveil was the range-extender version of its electric MX-30 called the E-Skyactiv R-EV. The vehicle is said to be powered by a small 17.8 kWh battery pack offering 85 km of range. This is paired with an 803cc petrol engine which acts as a range-extender which gives the E-Skyactiv R-EV a max range of 600 km on a 50-litre fuel tank. The small battery on the range-extender MX-30 can recharge in just 25 minutes.

Source: Green Car Reports

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Old 8th February 2023, 11:34   #2
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Re: Long Range EVs don't make sense, says Mazda US CEO

So he's saying EVs can live with smaller batteries/range as people do not drive so much on a daily basis and will figure this out themselves once they get over the range anxiety phenomenon.

It's not like he's not advocating for EVs, especially being the head of US operations. Because in 2022 America saw fully electric vehicle sales reach over 800,000, nearly doubling from 2021 to reach almost 6% overall market share.

A quarter of cars sold in the US could be EVs by 2025, if not earlier.
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Old 8th February 2023, 12:49   #3
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Re: Long Range EVs don't make sense, says Mazda US CEO

He is spot on. I feel that 250-300km is the sweet spot as it coincides with a bio break or a food break. A 30-40 minute break will ensure you are topped up and ready for the next journey. Even in a petrol cars, if you are travelling with the family this is usually the way most people drive.
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Old 8th February 2023, 13:15   #4
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Re: Long Range EVs don't make sense, says Mazda US CEO

That is a sensible comment. Nobody cares about the fuel tank capacity in an ICE car. What matters is the charging speed and availability of chargers without wait time. If these are sorted, nobody will care about the range of EVs. Even Nexon EV's 250 KM real-world range is all one needs. A 10-15 mins break every 3-4 hours is fine for everyone. But in the current scenario, the wait time is almost an hour, that too if one gets lucky to find a charger without a queue.
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Old 8th February 2023, 13:34   #5
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Re: Long Range EVs don't make sense, says Mazda US CEO

Agreed, a car with 300km is enough for most people and use cases, no need of large batteries, Nexon EV MAX, Kona, XUV 400 have hit the sweet spot in terms of range. We need good charging infra, ultimately people will prefer 300km range cars.

Having said that, the MX-30 with a range of 160km and costing >$35K is a very underwhelming product. No doubt the sales of MX-30 is abysmal.

Last edited by SKC-auto : 8th February 2023 at 13:36.
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Old 8th February 2023, 13:44   #6
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Re: Long Range EVs don't make sense, says Mazda US CEO

Quote:
Originally Posted by SKC-auto View Post
Agreed, a car with 300km is enough for most people and use cases, no need of large batteries, Nexon EV MAX, Kona, XUV 400 have hit the sweet spot in terms of range. We need good charging infra, ultimately people will prefer 300km range cars.
Yes. That is the sweet spot in terms of range. However they might have missed the sweet spot on charging speed. Target should be to get to 80% SOC within 20 mins. That is when users will be comfortable. I know there are challenges with battery technology for fast charging but only when users will be assured that a 20 min break will cover them for another 200 KM run, will the adoption increase.
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Old 8th February 2023, 16:07   #7
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Re: Long Range EVs don't make sense, says Mazda US CEO

Well the thought that most of the new cars sold in USA within this decade will be ZEV, no wonder laggards of the technology are trying to find alluring arguments.
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Old 8th February 2023, 20:08   #8
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Re: Long Range EVs don't make sense, says Mazda US CEO

Time to top-up the range is the problem, Most car owners never operate on 100% fuel capacity because accessibility of fuel station and topping up the range is super easy. You will find pump every 2 Kms and you will get range extension when every you want in just 5 mins and a few thousand rupees.

With EV unless time to charge to 100% or 80% comes down to 15-30 mins, having 300 Kms range for a primary commuter is not possible. If Charging requires 2 Hrs then the amount of real estate required to build charging infra is huge.

Think this way, between 6-9 PM on a Saturday Night how many cars get fuelled in a city like Bangalore / Mumbai / Delhi and imagine if charging times are not improved then to fuel/ charge the same number of cars in the same 6-9pm window how much area is required.

Reality is technology moves much faster than what people of that times can think off. When N72 (2 mxp) came people said this is the disruption in mobile cameras then we have seen journey from 2-100 mxp in a decade, and today's cameras are competing with DSLRs. If you go and pitch cloud content (Netflix / Hotstar) to some one from 2010 (just 10 years) and tell them Hard Drive for storing TV series will go useless in 6-8 years, you will be laughed on. 10 years down the line he would be laughing at his own statement.
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Old 12th February 2023, 09:54   #9
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Re: Long Range EVs don't make sense, says Mazda US CEO

Agree with Mazda US CEO, what some of the posts have missed out is he is primarily referring to city / daily commute & not highway drives.
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Old 12th February 2023, 10:34   #10
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Re: Long Range EVs don't make sense, says Mazda US CEO

Well if the premises is that EVs are for short commute, then small batteries are ok.

But to my understanding in India, tata motors found from the data of first generation Nexon EVs that quite a lot of people were using it for long distance travel and hence the Nexon EVs Max.

Ofcourse not everyone requires a long distance ev, but if you can afford only one car, it's better to have a decent range.

All this could have been ok if battery charging times would be comparable to ice vehicle refueling speeds.

Until then his view seems impractical.
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Old 12th February 2023, 12:43   #11
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Re: Long Range EVs don't make sense, says Mazda US CEO

I believe he made a good point. I also believe that in this whole energy transition the world is going through a lot of people are making a fundamental mistake in what they are looking for all this new tech. Whether it is a car, how electricity is generated, how your own house is being heated etc.

Humans have difficulty in seeing beyond their own experiences. So something new is always looked upon from a historical context of what you expect such an item to do, to cost etc. In the new item we like to see as a minimum all what we already know and then some new stuff thrown in as well.

In this energy transition we will have to get used to leave some of these old historical references and experiences behind.

Data of just about all countries suggest most people rarely if ever do long distance driving. Depends at what data and what country you look, but the average driving distance is somewhere between 50-75 km a year. It is makes a lot of sense to have an electrical cars adjusted to that, but it also requires a good charging infrastructure. Charging your car is completely different from filling up your car with petrol or diesel. People are still comparing charging times versus filling time. Again, because filling time is their reference. But here in then Netherlands I can charge my EV just about everywhere. When I go to work, to do the shopping, to the library, to a museum, and in many cases just overnight at home.

It makes a lot of sense to have an EV car that caters for your daily use. And if you do need to travel further, there can be other alternatives. Maybe rent a car with a big range? Or dare I say it, take public transportation?

By sticking to the experience we have and demanding/expecting the exact same experience in something new, we are limiting ourselves considerable.

An energy transition is not just about going from fossil fuel to something more green and sustainable. It will also affect how we go about our daily life.

Think about heating your home. Here in the Netherlands just about any home has a gas fired central heating system. As from 2026 onwards new heating systems can not be gas fired anymore. So there is going to be a number of different solutions. Our home being very old is going to require multiple systems, instead of one gas fired system. There is not a single solution that will just replace the convenience of the single gas fired system. So we will have to adjust.

Obviously, all of this takes time, a lot of time.

Jeroen
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Old 12th February 2023, 12:47   #12
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Re: Long Range EVs don't make sense, says Mazda US CEO

I believe folks above have missed the part where the CEO said 300 miles which equals to approximately 482 km and not 300 km. No way an EV with 300 km range is going to be adequate because its the border line. One needs an EV with a range of at least 400-450 km to easily do highway runs. Then he can take a break at every 300 km and in case there is some issue he will still have 100-150 km charge left to take care of that. Also one needs to account for the battery degradation in the long term which will anyways reduce the range by 30-50 km (optimistic) or 80-100 km (pessimistic) in the long run.

Coming to the statement of Mazda's CEO one needs to read between the lines to understand from where that statement is coming. See Mazda has no EVs which offer long range whatever they have offers a range of below 300 miles. Had they had any EV with 400 or even with3500 miles range and then made this statement then it would have been a gullible argument. Because charging infra, even though very advanced, is still not 100 percent reliable in the US. They are also plagued with issues like broken charger, charger offline, etc. So having EVs that offer 300-400 miles (for USA) and 400-500 km (for India) range is the least one should look for.
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Old 12th February 2023, 12:49   #13
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Re: Long Range EVs don't make sense, says Mazda US CEO

I totally agree with Mazda's CEO, but the thing they need to shift their focus on is making the "full tank time" less. The primary cause of pote ntial buyers swaying away from EVs right now is the charging times and infrastructure. This can also be done by making battery swap stations, like the ones nio is doing in China. This might be one solution to this problem, till the time manufacturers come up with more new technology.

Of course, India will not get these stations even when they become popular in countries like the USA, as seen with the fast chargers!:Frustrated
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Old 12th February 2023, 13:08   #14
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Re: Long Range EVs don't make sense, says Mazda US CEO

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
But here in then Netherlands I can charge my EV just about everywhere.
OT

Is it a figure of speech or u already got an EV? If you got an EV already, would love to see a review in your inimitable style. Thanks.
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Old 12th February 2023, 17:26   #15
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Re: Long Range EVs don't make sense, says Mazda US CEO

Quote:
Originally Posted by AROO7 View Post
...
No way an EV with 300 km range is going to be adequate because its the border line. One needs an EV with a range of at least 400-450 km to easily do highway runs. Then he can take a break at every 300 km and in case there is some issue he will still have 100-150 km charge left to take care of that.
...
You are absolutely right 300 is on the border line. Assuming you start with 100%, best case you get 270 kms before charging. After that you charge to 80% and now you got max 210 kms before charging. Even for this you have to be cruising at ~80, getting average of 50 to 60 kms. This means best case ~4 hrs driving 1 hr charging, then repeat ~3 hrs driving and 1 hr charging. If you want to cruise at ~100 then it will be much worse.

The folks who do highway with original Nexon EV and Tigor are enthusiastic pioneers with lot of patience. They have inspired the EV adoption.
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