Electric Cars

EV drivers 'misled' by flawed range tests overestimating battery life

Flawed tests on electric car batteries mean drivers have been misled on their range, a motoring expert claimed.

Laboratory tests have "inadequacies" and could leave drivers "disappointed", Steve Huntingford, editor of What Car? said.

Under international rules, car manufacturers must test battery range by driving at an average speed of 28.8 mph in 23C summer temperatures, running down the clock from 100 per cent charge to zero.

But NimbleFins previously reported cold weather can make an EV lose 20% of its usual range.

Mr Huntingford said: “When they test the cars it’s quite warm, which is good for the battery.

“At the same time, it’s also quite a weak test that doesn’t ask that much of the car. They don’t drive at a particularly high speed and they accelerate very slowly. It’s the kind of acceleration that would get you in trouble if you drove that way on the road.

"Manufacturers are not conning people — they have no choice but to use those figures. It just shows how poor the test is and how unreflective it is of real-world conditions.”

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Backing up NimbleFins' previous reports, What Car?'s own tests showed none of the 12 latest EV models it tested in winter came within 20% of the official ranges stated.

Some had a shortfall of up to 40%.

The comprehensive testing saw the Mercedes EQE 300 Sport Edition coming out with the highest range at 300 miles and also the closest to its official range.

Mercedes tops the NimbleFins chart of the best electric cars for long range in the UK with the Mercedes EQS 450+ having an official average range of 395 miles. The Mercedes EQE 350 and EQE 300 came seventh and eighth in the chart with an official range of 320 miles each.

What Car? is campaigning for an overhaul of the official testing methods, known as the worldwide harmonised light vehicle test procedure (WLTP).

For more information on the investigation, click here.

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Helen Barnett

Helen is a journalist, editor and copywriter with 15 years' experience writing across print and digital publications. She previously edited the Daily Express website and has won awards as a reporter. Read more here.


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