A research paper recently published by two Columbia University doctoral students examined the perception of vehicle range requirements in relation to actual driving habits. What they discovered is that while consumers are looking for a 272 mile range to consider purchasing an electric vehicle, driving habits suggest this is overkill by a wide margin. In line with previous figures on driving habits, actual trips are much shorter with 10% under a mile, 95% under 30 miles and 99% under 70 miles. These obviously fall well under the 272 mile range and show that current highway capable EVs could be used for most trips and even more with strategically placed charging stations. Even LSVs would be capable of handling a sizable portion of the trips. In addition the research showed that 64% of households with vehicles, owned two vehicles. This represents a sizable market for EVs or even LSVs as secondary vehicles.
Comment: I believe this is one reason the Volt is such an interesting vehicle. Not so much that it relieves the range anxiety but that owners, through their own driving experience, will discover how few trips they take will actually require more than the fully charged batteries. Anecdotally you hear of LSV owners using their highway capable vehicles even less than originally planned. Learn more: Treehugger.com