Six Electric Sedans Were Tested Until Their Batteries Ran Out. The Findings Are Surprising

Electric Car Range: A Detailed Examination

When it comes to electric vehicles, one of the most important factors for potential buyers is the range the car can deliver. However, determining a car’s range isn’t as simple as looking at a number on a spec sheet. Various factors such as weather, driving habits, and the vehicle itself can all impact the range that a driver experiences. Real-world range tests are essential in providing a comprehensive understanding of a car’s capabilities. In a recent experiment conducted by Mat Watson and his team at CarWow, six electric sedans were driven until their batteries died to evaluate their real-world range and performance when pushed to the limit.

Contenders in the Test
The selection of cars used in the CarWow experiment included popular electric sedans such as the Porsche Taycan, Mercedes EQE, Tesla Model 3, Polestar 2, BYD Seal, and BMW i5. Although these models are European-spec and may have variations compared to their U.S. counterparts, the goal was to conduct the test under real-world conditions to provide practical insights for potential buyers. The driving conditions simulated typical usage scenarios, with the cars driven at posted speed limits, using standard drive modes, and regulating the heater for comfort. When the battery warning indicators appeared, the drivers switched to energy-conserving modes to maximize the remaining range, creating a true-to-life test scenario.

Analysis of Range Results
The results of the range test revealed interesting insights into the performance of each electric sedan. The Porsche Taycan, equipped with the largest 97 kWh battery, achieved the highest observed range of 368 miles, representing 88% of its advertised range. The Mercedes EQE demonstrated exceptional efficiency by delivering 94% of its advertised range, showcasing its capability to meet expectations. Surprisingly, the Tesla Model 3 with the smallest 75 kWh battery outperformed larger battery car models with its impressive efficiency, covering 352 miles and achieving 90% of its advertised range. The BYD Seal and BMW i5 also displayed respectable performances, highlighting their capabilities in real-world driving conditions.

Lessons Learned from the Test
One of the key takeaways from the experiment was the importance of considering efficiency alongside battery size when evaluating electric vehicle range. While larger batteries may offer more extended range, it’s crucial to factor in the car’s efficiency to maximize overall distance traveled. The Tesla Model 3’s performance in the test demonstrated that efficiency can play a significant role in achieving impressive range despite having a smaller battery compared to its competitors. This highlights the importance of optimizing efficiency in electric vehicle design to deliver practical benefits to consumers.

What Happens When an EV Runs Out of Battery?
When an electric vehicle’s battery is depleted, the car provides warnings to the driver and gradually reduces power before coming to a complete stop. However, even after the display shows zero miles of range remaining, there may still be a few miles left in the “tank.” In some cases, drivers have reported being able to eke out additional range by coasting downhill or utilizing the remaining energy in the battery. This demonstrates that EVs can provide a buffer even after reaching zero range, offering a safety net for drivers in emergency situations. Understanding how an EV behaves when the battery is depleted can help drivers make informed decisions and plan their journeys effectively.

In conclusion, the CarWow experiment provided valuable insights into the real-world range capabilities of electric sedans and highlighted the importance of efficiency in maximizing range. By evaluating a diverse range of EV models under typical driving conditions, the test offered practical data that potential buyers can use to make informed decisions. The results underscored the significance of considering efficiency, in addition to battery size, when assessing an electric vehicle’s range. Despite variations in performance among the models tested, the overall message is clear – electric vehicles are a viable and practical option for consumers seeking efficient and sustainable transportation solutions. As technology advances and EV infrastructure expands, the future looks promising for electric vehicles and their role in shaping the automotive industry.

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