RANGE anxiety is thought to be one of the main reasons Brits are put off from buying an electric car.
It’s fair to say, that much like MPG (miles per gallon) for petrol and diesels, the claimed distance a plug-in can travel is often more than how far a motor can actually go.
This is because test and real-world conditions differ – but some models have far greater disparity than others.
On the back of WhatCar?’s recent test of real range on a selection of electric models – ranking which can travel furthest – Sun Motors has compared the results to car makers’ official mileage.
It proved that models have a range as little as 60 per cent of what the manufacturer’s claim.
The worst offender was Smart, whose ForFour and ForTwo Cabrio electric models both missed the mark by nearly 40 per cent.
Smart also had the shortest real-world range out of all cars tested, with 57 miles for the ForFour and 59 miles for the drop-top ForTwo.
The BMW i3 94Ah fell short in the tests too – only reaching just over 62 per cent of the claimed range.
Britain’s best-selling electric car, the Nissan Leaf, also performed poorly – travelling three quarters of its official distance.
Meanwhile, the Hyundai Ioniq Electric was truest to its official figures – achieving 90 per cent of its range in the real world.
Electric and hybrid car ranges are approved by WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light-Duty Vehicles Test Procedure), so the mileage provided by all manufacturers are technically correct.
BRITAIN’S BEST-SELLING EVs
- Nissan Leaf
- Renault Zoe
- BMW i3
- Volkswagen e-Golf
- Jaguar I-Pace
- Kia Soul
- Hyundai Ioniq Electric
- Smart ForTwo Coupe EQ
- Hyundai Kona Electric
- Smart ForFour EQ
*Based on purely electric car sale figures from Oct 2017-18
A spokesperson for Smart said in response to the range discrepancies: “Our vehicles are certified and approved according to current regulations.
“The Smart EQ ForTwo and Smart EQ ForFour are compact vehicles designed to meet the needs of urban and suburban drivers. Because of their compact size, they have comparatively small batteries and a commensurate range.”
Steve Huntingford, What Car? Editor, added: “Our True MPG test has always been the best way to cut through the official noise and see how economical a car will really be. But with the surge in interest in electric cars, now is the time for us to provide the same service to EV buyers.
“One of the few remaining concerns for people considering an EV is range anxiety – the fear that their battery will run flat and leave them stranded. Real Range gives them the information they need to choose the right car for their needs.”