What Is Electric Range
Electric range, EV range, or just range, is the estimated distance that your electric or hybrid car can travel on a single charge.
In an electric vehicle, youll often find the remaining or estimated range displayed in the driver’s binnacle or other digital displays as a percentage or number of miles/kilometres remaining.
Although manufacturers will quote a given range for any vehicle, the actual range can vary considerably depending on a number of factors such as your driving and charging habits and the ambient air temperature.
So What Do You Need To Know About Range Anxiety
The good news is its increasingly a phrase that belongs in the past. Theres no doubt that early electric models lacked the sort of range that people had become accustomed to from a car with a combustion engine.
The range of a first-generation Nissan Leaf, which went on sale in 2010, was an anxiety-inducing 73 miles. Not great on paper and even less so in real life, when you consider that the charging infrastructure in 2010 was non-existent compared to what we have now.
Fast forward a decade and the latest-gen Nissan Leaf e+ give you up to 239 miles of range from its 62kWh battery. And if you plug it into a 50kW rapid charger at a charging station, you can boost your charge in minutes rather than hours.
The simple fact is, as technology continues to improve and the charging network grows and grows, electric cars will increasingly offer us the sort of range comparable to even the most fuel efficient diesels.
Not only that – but charging costs are a fraction of the price of fuel.
There Are So Many New EVs To Suit Your Needs
Of course, just as with conventional cars, the range and fuel efficiency of electric vehicles will still depend on their spec, size and performance. So it pays to get a good understanding of your daily driving habits to find the car thats perfect for you.
Ways To Improve Electric Car Range In Cold Weather:
1. If youve got a garage use it! Parking in a covered area to charge means its easier to keep the batteries in their sweet spot.
2. Set your charging period to end when youre ready to leave. The heat from charging helps to pre-warm the battery pack which means you set off with a warm and happy car that is less likely to lose range.
3. Pre-heat your cars interior half an hour before setting off. Many EVs allow you to turn on the climate control from your smartphone. That means you can fire up the heating while the car is still plugged in to the mains. That means clear windscreens, a lovely warm cabin and no loss of range when you head off
4. Switch to ECO mode. If your car has an ECO mode and most new EVs will then remembering to use it when the temperature drops outside is one simple way to eke more miles out of a charge. In ECO mode cars will commonly limit top speeds, reduce heater output and turn up regen braking if they have it.
5. Keep your tyres well pumped up Just like in a normal car, poorly inflated tyres mean more friction on the road and less efficient travel.
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Are You Ready To Switch To An Ev
Electric cars vary in price, just like petrol cars. You can find out more about buying an EV in our handy guide. Or consider leasing – a great option that lets you enjoy a new car without a huge upfront spend. We’ve got great EV leasing offers and you can also get your EV home charger with us plus our EV tariff that has Britains lowest off-peak rate for cheaper charging overnight.
Tesla Model X 474 Kilometres
The biggest vehicle offered by the controversial California automaker, the Model X is a technological wonder. While the falcon wing doors are amazing, the fact you can go so far on a single charge with this large SUV, if you go for the P100D version, is quite impressive. You also enjoy access to Teslas Supercharger network, which allows for rapid replenishing of the vehicle battery, which is another huge plus.
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How Iselectric Car Range Worked Out
Electric vehicles must state their standard range according to the Worldwide Harmonized LightVehicle Test Procedure . All car manufacturers must put theirelectric models through WLTP.
Alongside the WLTP figures,Volkswagen gives you an additional number. WLTP only takes driving intoaccount when it calculates range, but range is also affected by other factors includingair conditioning, driving conditions and what kind of road is being driven on. Thats why we also provide you with a realistic customer range, which is a better representation of real-world range.
If They Work In Norway Evs Can Handle Our Winters
To see if EVs work in cold weather, one can look at the example of Norway. Norways generous incentives for EVs has made electric vehicles popular in this Nordic country. Over 70,000 EVs have been sold in Norway, and EVs made up over 20% of all new cars sold in the first 9 months of 2015. Subsidies are a major reason for these high EV sales rates, but drivers wouldnt be picking these cars if they didnt work for their driving needs. Not only are Norwegians picking EVs, but also many of them are choosing shorter range EVs from Nissan and Volkswagen, despite the sub-freezing average winter temperatures. EVs are also working closer to home in colder climates like Canada and Vermont.
One Chevy dealer in Quebec has even moved his dealership to selling mostly Chevy Volt plug-in hybrids.
EV performance is impacted by cold weather, but an electric vehicle can be a good choice for many Americans, even those in the northern reaches of the country. And in the Northwest and Northeast states EV drivers can access some of the cleanest electricity in the country, greatly reducing emissions from driving . Affordable longer range EVs will make cold weather even less of an issuebut even todays EVs are working all-year round in every state in the nation.
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Using The Range Chart
How fast do you plan to drive? Find that on the chart, then look up at the top and bottom of the colored area above it. Your range is likely to fall in there somewhere, depending on how many accessories you have turned on. This is mostly about A/C and heatheadlights, wipers and radio dont make much of a dent.
For a given speed, the best range is Tesla data it can be found at . Tesla owners driving on a nice day, flat road, at a constant speed with all of the accessories turned off get this range. Note that if you go less than ~55mph in these conditions, you will get more than the rated range faster, you will get less. At 70mph your range is only 3/4 of the range at 55mph.
The lower edge of the colored area is the Tesla range data minus my calculated draw for running all of the accessories at the same time. After speed, climate control is by far the largest power drawespecially in the Roadster which has a resistive heater . This is what you can expect if it is a really cold, rainy evening, and you have the heat on full blast and A/C running to clear the windows, headlights, radio, etc. Going slower means you spend more time running accessories, so there is a larger effect at slower speeds.
There are other factors that could stretch out this chart. Some, like wind, can help as much as hurt. Others, like quick acceleration, the driver has control over and can avoid when range is an issue.
What Happens If Your Electric Car Runs Out Of Battery
Youll usually get plenty of warning when your car is due to run out of battery, with some models even offering to navigate you to the nearest charging point to avoid total drain.
Many manufacturers offer Roadside Assistance to pick you up and take you to the nearest charging facility, and AA and RAC also provide options for electric cars. If your battery does end up totally empty, you could experience some damage to the cells, with reduced performance, so aim to charge up at around the 20% mark whenever possible.
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Above All Relax And Enjoy The Ride
The reality is, electric car range anxiety is easily overcome with a modern EV and by applying the really simple tips weve given you to help get even better mileage from your new machine.
Sure, youll always be able to find some know-it-all who says electric cars wont work in the cold. If you do, just ask them why Norway has bought more EVs per head than any other country on the planet? If electric cars work in Scandinavia, they are going to work just fine in Britain too.
How We Did It
For fairly obvious reasons, it wouldnt have been safe to deliberately run the cars out of charge on the public road, so we used our proving ground in Bedfordshire.
We devised a relatively simple test route of around 15 miles, which included 2.6 miles of simulated stop-start urban driving, four miles at a steady 50mph and eight miles at a constant 70mph. The rationale for the high percentage of motorway driving was that drivers who want to travel a long distance in one hit are likely to be using the motorway network.
The cars were fully charged and then left out in the open overnight for roughly 15 hours in 13-18deg C ambient conditions. The following morning, all 10 were plugged in again to check they were fully charged before the climate control was set to 21deg and the headlights switched to auto.
Normal driving mode was selected and the cars were left in their default regenerative braking setting with the exception of the Porsche Taycan, in which the default setting is off. Auto was chosen instead.
The cars were then driven repeatedly around our test route in convoy, with driver changes and a switch in running order at the end of each lap.
It was a relatively mild day with a mixture of sun and cloud and an air temperature of between 17deg C and 24deg. It was relatively still and there was no rain at all. In other words, it was near-ideal conditions for these electric cars.
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Can I Improve The Range Of An Electric Vehicle
An internal combustion engine is used in extended-range electric vehicles . They vary from hybrid vehicles in that the engine acts as a generator, charging the battery and extending its range.The combustion engine never drives the cars wheels. The BMW i3 REx offers a 95-mile all-electric range and an extra 68-mile gasoline range. The fuel-burning engine kicks in to keep the electric motor charged when the battery is exhausted. The REx outperformed the original i3 in miles traveled, but it is more expensive to buy and maintain.In terms of a ready-to-use solution, electric car design isnt yet at the point where the batteries can be replaced as easily as those in a TV remote control.Samsung introduced a more powerful battery pack for carmakers to put into future models at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. Various options, such as the REXpack, which allows drivers to replace batteries as quickly as they can fill up their tank at a gas station, are still in the conceptual stages.There are ways you can extend the range of your electric car during a journey. Here are some helpful tips for doing so:
How Long Will Your Journey Take
The electric cars now available on the market are roughly comparable to their petrol and diesel equivalents in terms of top speed. Some like the Smart EQ models are pitched more as city cars, while the Tesla models are by far the fastest electric cars available, with all the glamour and glitz of a high-end sports car.
The average top speed of an electric car from this list is 110 mph. Thats a bit lower than a standard car could claim and bumped up considerably by Teslas performance prowess but for electric car drivers speed and performance arent necessarily a priority. Many newer electric cars have good acceleration in comparison to their petrol and diesel counterparts. This is because electric motors produce 100% of their power from a standstill, meaning they accelerate surprisingly quickly from low speeds.
Motorway driving reduces the overall range of an electric car before it needs to be recharged. As mentioned before though, theres more than enough opportunity to power up at a charging station along the way. Plus, if you have an LV= electric car insurance policy, and you do happen to run out of charge, we’ve partnered with AFF to get you on the go again.
You may find a trip takes longer overall when including the time it takes to charge up your electric car. So if youre driving a long distance by electric car, be sure to factor in an extra couple of hours.
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How To Plan A Long Journey In An Electric Car
While the electric car industry is still growing, charge points arent always super-easy to find. Thats why its crucial to do some planning before you set off on a very long journey, so you wont be left in the lurch if you need some extra juice!
First of all, get a good idea of the real-world range of your car. Then, familiarise yourself with the chargers your car can use. Can it work with rapid chargers, for instance?
How Does Charging Work
You can charge an electric vehicle by plugging it into a public charging station or into a home charger. There are plenty of charging stations around the UK to stay fully charged while you’re out and about. But to get the best deal for home charging, it’s important to get the right EV electricity tariff, so you can spend less money charging and save more on your bill.
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Can I Extend The Range Of An Electric Vehicle
Extended-range electric vehicles make use of an internal combustion engine. Theyre different from a hybrid vehicle in that the engine functions as a generator, to top up the depleted battery giving it more range. The combustion engine never drives the wheels of the car.
The BMW i3 REx has an all-electric range of 95 miles, and a fuel range of an additional 68 miles. When the electric battery is depleted, the fuel-burning engine kicks in to keep the electric motor charged. The added fuel range made the REx an improvement over the original i3 in terms of distance covered but it costs more to buy and keep running. Mazda has also confirmed that future EV models will contain a rotary engine as a range extender.
In terms of an off-the-shelf solution, electric car design isnt yet at the stage where you can simply replace the batteries as you would in a TV remote control. At the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, Samsung unveiled a more powerful battery pack for carmakers to incorporate into future models. Various solutions such as the REXpack allowing drivers to swap batteries as quickly as they could fuel up at a petrol station are still in the conceptual stages.
If you decide your next vehicle will be electric, at LV= we offer insurance created specifically for electric car drivers to ensure youre covered.
This article contains links to other sites, and we’re not responsible for the contents of any of these websites.
How To Maximize Ev Range
- Keep your tires properly inflated to reduce rolling resistance and friction.
- Precondition your car before driving: preheat or pre-cool your car in the morning while it is still plugged in. In the winter, you may then be able to rely only on your seat heater to keep you warm.
- Keep your battery charged between 20% and 80% to avoid battery degradation and loss of range.
- Set your cruise control to a reasonable, legal speed. High speed and sudden acceleration put more strain on a battery.
- Park in a garage if you can, especially in extreme temperatures. If you cannot, park in the shade in the summer and in the sun in the winter.
- To reduce drag, remove any unnecessary weight from the vehicle and close the windows at higher speeds.
- Allow your car to slow itself down using regenerative braking. Sudden or harsh braking engages the disc brakes and does nothing to increase your range.
- Take advantage of economy mode, which can increase range by limiting acceleration rates and by engaging regenerative braking more assertively.
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Electric Cars Are Going Further Than Ever Before
Those very first electric cars, which were very much prototypes that were there to prove the technology, couldnt manage much more than 100 miles on a single charge.
To see how much things have improved over the last 10 years its worth comparing those early cars to their successors. Its a visible demonstration of how engineers have stretched more and more miles from a single charge.
Take two cars that have played a massive part in the EV revolution the Nissan Leaf and the Renault Zoe. The Nissan first came to market at the end of 2010 and boasted what was then an impressive range of 73 miles! Wind the clock on 10 years and the latest long-range version of the Leaf the E+ model can now deliver over 3 times that distance: 239 miles according the latest WLTP testing regime.
Renaults little Zoe has a similar story to tell. Its first 2013 version could deliver around 90 miles in city running. The latest top spec model the Z.E 50 has a 245-mile WLTP range.
So you can see that a decade has brought huge advances in range for even the most affordable electric cars and, whats more, your choice has never been greater with many new models coming to market over the last year with ranges comfortably in excess of 250 miles.