“When Americans are asked why they haven’t yet switched to an electric car, there is one answer that appears more than almost everything else: range. Charging an electric car, after all, isn’t like filling a tank with gas; fast charging takes at least 20 minutes, and slower charging can take hours. People worry about getting stranded, or having to vie for a charger.
So automakers have started producing ever more gigantic batteries, using large caches of minerals to satisfy the American need for distance. This year, one EV on the market — the sleek $140,000 Lucid Air Grand Touring — boasts a whopping 516-mile range. Toyota recently announced that it had achieved a breakthrough with solid-state battery technology, saying it will soon be able to produce electric cars that can go 746 miles on a single charge.
But some analysts say that all that range — and all that battery — misses the point, and wastes resources. Only 5 percent of trips in the U.S. are longer than 30 miles. The vast majority of big batteries will never be used — particularly if the owner has a place to plug in their car every day.”