EVs fall short of official range

Electric car drivers are being warned the real-world range of their cars in winter could be almost a third less than the official figures suggest.

What Car? drove 12 of the best-selling EVs from fully charged until they stopped, to accurately measure range.

All cars were driven at the same time at a test venue, with the 15-mile route chosen to simulate real-world driving conditions, taking in 2.6 miles of stop-start urban driving, four miles at a steady 50mph and eight miles at a constant 70mph.

The Funky Cat, launched by Chinese car maker Ora, fell 32.8% short of its official range, covering just 130 miles compared with the official figure of 193 miles.

Even the car that got closest to its official range, the Nissan Ariya, fell 16% short of its official figure, covering 269 miles rather than the 322 suggested.

Will Nightingale, who heads What Car?’s test team, said: “While it’s common knowledge that cold weather negatively affects battery performance and efficiency, especially if the car’s heating system is in use, What Car?’s Real Range testing is designed to give car buyers the clearest possible understanding of how many miles they will typically be able to cover in wintery British conditions.”

He added: “Despite falling short of their official figures, it’s still clear that many of these electric cars have the advantage of being cheaper to run than petrol or diesel equivalents assuming you can charge at home – even with the price of electricity so high at the moment.”