What happens when you take six brand new electric cars and drive them until they run out of juice? The delightful blokes at Carwow decided to put it to the test. There are so many questions to answer here, and the scientific method will provide. Obviously, by testing these cars in a real world environment they have to deal with the variables created by other humans. But, on the same day and in the same traffic, these cars can all be compared to each other fairly.
So, from the start line at the charge station, just how far can a Tesla Model 3 long range, Nissan Leaf Plus, Jaguar iPace, Kia E Niro, Mercedes-Benz EQC, and Audi eTron make it?
Well, variable number one came first thing in the morning when the testing crew got to the charge station and each of the cars had lost a few percentage points of charge overnight. I guess it takes a few miles of range to run things when the car is off. A little night time leakage? It happens to the best of us.
From there, these cars were each driven like a normal car would be driven. The route seemed to be largely interstate miles with the occasional stop to swap cars or take a loo break, I imagine. This is already going to reduce miles on a charge because running at sustained high speed isn’t exactly an EV’s forte. Can’t do much regenerative braking if you’re running in cruise control.
In addition, the temperatures were slightly on the brisk side, measured for the test at around seven degrees centigrade, which is about 45 degrees f. Batteries don’t like cold weather in general, and range suffers slightly as a result.
So what kind of numbers did these electric machines put up?
Mercedes-Benz EQC - 194 miles, 75 percent of claimed range
Audi eTron - 206 miles, 81 percent of claimed range
Nissan Leaf Plus - 208 miles, 87 percent of claimed range
Jaguar iPace - 223 miles, 76 percent of claimed range
Kia E Niro - 255 miles, 90 percent of claimed range
Tesla Model 3 - 270 miles, 78 percent of claimed range
The Tesla Model 3 went far enough to go “from greater London to Newcastle on Tyne” which if you don’t know UK geography, is far.
I don’t know too many people who drive 194 miles in a day regularly, so I still wouldn’t consider range anxiety too high on my list of things to be worried about when buying a new EV. Realistically, if you’re commuting 20 miles or so every day and plugging in for a charge every night, you’d be fine with an EV range of about 80 miles with plenty to run a few errands after work or go out for lunch on your break.
It’s interesting that some of these EVs responded better to the temperatures and high speeds than others. The Kia running 90% of its claimed range, for example, indicates to me that its batteries are probably pretty well insulated and it likely has a pretty good motor efficiency. Then again, they could just be sandbagging by claiming a lower range than it can actually do.
So what did we learn from Carwow’s experiment? I guess that an EQC will lock its wheels up unless there is someone in the driver’s seat. And that the Tesla is still the range champion.