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Electric cars can travel up to 19 miles after their range readout hits zero | What Car?


It should be noted that exact emergency buffer figures that we saw should be taken as a guide only, because they were influenced by the point on the test route that each car began to display zero miles remaining.

Three of the cars were also involved in our most recent winter range test, with the BMW iX3 M Sport Pro covering an extra 41 miles in summer, the Kia EV6 RWD GT-Line an extra 50 miles and the Tesla Model Y Long Range an extra 57 miles, giving an indication of how weather extremes can affect electric vehicle performance.

On average, the trio went 49 miles (21.4%) farther in the summer range test, when the air temperature ranged from 24-29deg C, than in winter, when it was 3-7deg C.

Previous research by What Car? found electric cars equipped with a heat pump lose less range when temperatures drop, with the heat pump drawing excess heat from the electric drivetrain and distributing it around the interior of the car through the air conditioning, reducing the strain on the battery. 

The tests were conducted on a closed vehicle proving ground, on a 15-mile route consisting of 2.6 miles of simulated stop-start urban traffic, four miles of steady 50mph driving and eight miles driving at a constant speed of 70mph, to simulate motorway journeys. 

Each of the 10 cars was fully charged and left outside for 15 hours, before being plugged in again to check the batteries were still at 100% for the start of the test. They then had their climate control systems set to 21deg C and were driven until they ran flat, with driver swaps at the end of each circuit, and the cars’ positions also changed to ensure no car was constantly punching a hole in the air to improve aerodynamic efficiency for the others.



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