Mat Watson – An electric car enthusiast in the United Kingdom recently tested small electric hatchbacks. He drove the cars from full charge to the point when their battery completely died out. The testers conducted the test in cars such as Honda E, Peugeot e-208, Volkswagen E-Up, Vauxhall Corsa E, Mini Electric, and the Renault Zoe. The test drive started in London from where the drivers drove their cars in formation northwards.
The Range Battle of Small Electric Vehicles
Honda E led the pack. The car has a claimed range of 125 miles in a single charge. It has a 35.5 kWh battery with fast charging available. The weight of the car is 1520 Kilograms. It has a motor with 152hp which is located on the rear axle of the vehicle. Honda E starts from 27000 pounds after a government tax credit of 3000 pounds.
The cars drove on the highway for a while. Companies build small electric cars mainly for city slicking. The companies which have made these cars have made them to be driven on city roads, not high-speed motorways. That is why they exited the highway after a while and the drivers started driving on roads that these cars were meant to be driven on.
The cars performed delightfully on city roads. Each time the car stopped, regenerative braking charged the batteries a small bit. Due to this, the range of the cars got a boost while drivers were driving the car. In addition to this, the drivers got this boost without stopping anywhere explicitly for charging their vehicles.
The unit for mileage of electric vehicles is Miles(or Kilometers)/ Kilowatt-hour. The testers checked the mileage of the cars in the city. The Renault Zoe had the highest mileage of 5.2 miles/KWh followed by Peugeot e-208 with a mileage of 4.2 miles/kWh. Vauxhall Corsa E came in third with a mileage of 4.1 miles/kWh. Mini Electric had a mileage of 3.8 miles/kWh. The Honda E and Volkswagen E UP came in last with a mileage of 3.7 miles/kWh.
The testers conducted this part of the test on city roads that do not have high-quality roads. In addition to this, the roads have traffic which means the drivers have to slow down and can’t always drive optimally. Furthermore, the roads have several potholes which again reduces the speed of the cars. After a short drive in the city, they were back on the highway heading north.
The Mini Electric has a battery capacity of 32.6 KWh. The company claims that the range of the Mini Electric is 145 miles in a single charge. The car has a motor of 184hp which is located in the rear end of the vehicle. Although the Mini is lighter than the Honda E with a weight of just over 1300 kilograms it feels bulkier. Mini has overworked on the styling of the Mini Electric. The Honda E has better styling than the Mini Electric. The Honda E feels like a car designed in the 1970s as a vision for cars of the future. The Mini Electric starts at 24000 pounds and the price can go over 30000 pounds when the customer chooses all the high accessories and versions of the vehicle.
The Volkswagen E-Up feels like a downgrade to economy class. True to its name this car is really a people’s car. It starts at 20000 pounds. The car is lighter with a weight of 1235 kilograms. The claimed range of the vehicle in 159 miles in a single charge which is better than both Honda E and the Mini Electric. The car has a battery capacity of 36.8 KWh. It has an 80hp motor. This car is noisier than the previous two vehicles but it has a better suspension than the Mini Electric and goes smoothly over road bumps without the driver feeling the shock.
The Honda E was the first car down. When the car had only 4% charge left a small orange turtle indicator lit up on the front console. This light indicator signals the driver to drive slowly as more speed means more charge is lost. When the battery completely drained out in the Honda E, it forced itself into neutral and stopped. The car traveled 113 miles on a full charge which is 12 miles less than the claimed range of the vehicle.
Peugeot e-208 & Vauxhall Corsa-e
Peugeot e-208 starts over 26000 pounds. It comes with a 136hp motor installed on the front axle. It has a 50 kWh battery with a range of 217 miles in a single charge. Corsa is quite similar to the Peugeot e-208 about specifications but it has a very different styling than the Peugeot. The Corsa E has the same 50 KWh battery, motor. The Corsa has a top-end version priced at 30000 pounds. The Vauxhall Corsa-e has different motor characteristics and is quicker than the Peugeot. Peugeot is lighter with a weight of 1483 kilograms. The weight of the Corsa is 1530 Kilograms. The claimed range for the Corsa E is 209 miles on a full charge.
Mini Electric was the next car to go down. When 15% charge was left in the mini electric the front console showed a low battery indication after which the driver took the car off the motorway to avoid any traffic congestions. Peugeot e-208 exited the highway next when it had 8 miles of juice left. The VW E-Up was the next car to go down. However, there was a glitch in the battery indicator of the vehicle. It showed 9 miles of range which put the car in Eco mode limiting its speed to 50 miles/hour and turning off the air conditioning. Then after a while the range climbed up to 14 miles but the speed remained constant and the driver was unable to turn on the AC.
Renault Zoe starts at 26995 pounds. It has 110hp – 130hp motor. The range of the vehicle is 238 miles on a single charge. It has a 55 kWh battery. Zoe is the heaviest car in the set with a weight of 1577 kilograms. It is much more comfortable than other cars and has a smooth suspension.
The Peugeot e-208 traveled 161 miles much less than the claimed 217 miles. The Corsa E performed better than the Peugeot with 174 miles however the claimed range is 209 miles. The Volkswagen E-Up and Mini Electric performed better than their claimed range. The prior giving 162 miles on a single charge with VW claiming 159 miles. The Mini traveled 154 miles when the claim made by the company was 145 miles. Renault Zoe came very close to the actual claimed range by the company. The car traveled 229 miles. Renault claims that the range of the Electric vehicle is 238 miles.
The cars would have performed better if the temperature was lower. the test was conducted on a sunny day with an average temperature of 31 degrees Celsius. When the cars shut down on the road there is a roadside service in the United Kingdom named RAC which charges electric cars up to a range limit where they can go to the nearest charging station to top off their batteries. This is really helpful for electric car drivers.