Understanding electric vehicle range figures
At DriveElectric we always advise our customers that the mileage range you can expect to achieve from your electric vehicle will be lower than the ‘Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP)‘ figure claimed by the manufacturer. This is mainly due to the conditions of the WLTP test which generates the figure.
However the good news is that the WLTP test is much more true to life than the previous ‘New European Driving Cycle’ (NEDC) test. We were delighted when new WLTP testing began in 2018, we have been concerned since 2013 about the previous test cycle’s inability to reflect real world driving conditions. Read more about the new test conditions here>
Driving in the real world there are a significant combination of factors which will affect the vehicle’s performance. These include;
- Outside temperature: batteries perform best in the heat, so if its cold outside, you get less energy out of the battery plus you’ll want to heat the car too which uses up electricity
- Speed and acceleration: the heavier you are on the accelerator pedal and the faster you go, the more quickly your battery will deplete. Soft acceleration and lower speeds conserve energy so it’s always a good idea to look at the road ahead. Driving at 55mph compared to 70mph can increase your range by up to 25%.
- Inside the car: ancillary power use such as air-conditioning will affect the range a little but radio, lights and windscreen wipers have no noticeable effect on the range, where possible the ability to pre-heat the vehicle whilst connected to a charger will help retain battery range.
- Topography: driving up inclines, even slight ones, will affect the range. You can use the regenerative braking (energy recovered when slowing down) to counter this, but overall, hilly journeys use more battery power than driving on a flat road
- Weight: the heavier your car – from passengers or luggage – the more energy it needs to move; your range will be affected by the load you are carrying although unless you have an exceptionally heavy payload, the range reduction is not too noticeable.
- Battery age: it’s true that energy storage in a battery does decrease over time and after numerous charge cycles, however older electric vehicles, that have covered many miles, have been found to still provide a very similar range to when they were new with just a few percent fewer miles range as they get older
- Driving style: if you accelerate slowly and allow the car to decelerate using the regenerative braking (which will save you on the cost of brake pads) rather than using the brakes, you can increase the range significantly compared to accelerating and braking hard
DriveElectric’s ‘real-world’ range figure is provided as an illustration based on our own testing and does not constitute a guarantee of mileage range. It is merely a guide of what is possible in preferred conditions using an efficient driving style.
Got any questions? We’re happy to help. Send us a message or give us a call on 01628 899727.