Electric vehicles fall on average 45 miles short of official figures

Image: Volkswagen

Consumer group finds that real-world range estimates are around 20 percent less than advertised

Consumers are being advised to “be sceptical” when buying an electric vehicle, as research finds that official tests were overstating range estimates by as much as 20 percent.

The independent study carried out by the consumer group Which? found that EVs fall on average 45 miles of the short of official figures, while requiring 15 percent more power to fully charge. In both cases, this means higher running costs for drivers.

Which? found that, on average, EVs fell 56 miles short of the official figures, while requiring an additional 11.5kWh to charge.

Selected figures

Nissan Leaf
Official range: 239 miles
Tested range: 187 miles

Kia Niro
Official range: 285 miles
Tested range: 165-230 miles

Tesla Model 3
Official range: 374 miles
Tested range: 260 miles

Tesla Model Y
Official range: 331 miles
Tested range: 231 miles

Volkswagen ID.3
Official range: 265 miles
Tested range: 209 miles

Speaking to The Times, sustainability editor at Which?, Emily Seymour, said: “Our research suggests electric vehicle drivers could end up being disappointed by the distance they can realistically cover on a single charge.

“The electric cars in our tests fall on average 45 miles short of official figures, meaning owners will have to charge more frequently. This will have a greater impact on those who regularly drive long distances or cannot charge at home.

“If you are in the market for an electric car, be sceptical of the official range as they don’t always reflect real-world driving conditions and be sure to read independent and rigorous reviews before buying.”

EVs falling short of the official range estimates is nothing new; how far an electric vehicle can travel on a full charge is dependent on a number of factors. These include the temperature, style of driving, topography of the route and any accessories in use in the car.

It’s also worth remembering that, even in the age of WLTP tests, the majority of petrol and diesel cars fall short of the official figures.

Last week, the government announced its ZEV mandate, which sets the minimum targets for new cars sold as the country prepares for the 2030 ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars. The proposed minimum ZEV trajectory begins at 22 percent in 2024, increasing to 80 percent in 2030.

Source: The Times

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