One of the main talking points about EVs is range. The range is the amount of distance that an EV can cover with the amount of charge left in its batteries. The range is calculated by performing various tests on the car. As a result, this number can have a major impact on how well the public receives this car as it points towards the capabilities of the EV to be a solid alternative to an Internal Combustion Engine(ICE) car.
Real World vs EPA Range Test
Types of Range Tests
The different types of range tests are: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency(EPA), Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure(WLTP), New European Driving Cycle(NEDC), etc. Because of the differences between the tests, it becomes hard to estimate the real range for an EV. Hence, InsideEVs conducts its own EV range tests to give buyers a better understanding of the cars that they are considering.
The Range Test by InsideEVs
InsideEVs conducts their range tests at a constant speed of 70 mph(112 kph). While they know that they cannot control all variables involved in the real world, they attempt to make the test as realistic as possible. However, they try to ensure that they can control as many variables as they can. The pressure levels in the tires are at the recommended level, a GPS is used to crosscheck the speedometer for accuracy and the test cars try to enter the highway with 100% battery charge. Then the cars run at a constant speed in long loops. 2 team members run such tests and then they consider the average of these tests. While temperature variations as small as 10°F have a meaningful effect on the results, the tests are as accurate as possible. However, these 70 mph have shown some interesting results.
While most cars scored less than their EPA tests, cars like the Porsche Taycan 4S had a whopping +36.9% difference. The BMW i3 and the Hyundai Ioniq equaled their EPA rating while the Chevy Spark had a -23% result. The usual suspects from Tesla scored -9%(Model 3) and -12%(Model Y), while the Audi e-tron had a -7.9% score. The rest of the cars all had a negative score as well. On an average the cars had a score of about -5 to -10%(except for the Taycan).
|Vehicle||Price||Real Range (Miles)||EPA Range (Miles)||Difference||Efficiency (mi/kWh)|
Model 3 AWD
|2020 Porsche Taycan 4S||$103,800*||278||203||+36.9%||3.32|
|2020 Tesla Model Y AWD||$49,990||276||316
|2020 Hyundai Kona EV||$37,190||238||258||-7.8%||3.9|
|2020 Nissan LEAF SL +||$43,900||190||215||-11.6%||3.4|
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These tests aren’t exactly enlightening in terms of whether the cars are better or worse than the EPA results. However, what these tests do highlight is that the EPA tests are not very trustworthy either. This conundrum will continue until a proper range test comes around and will not be solved by then.