What is the range of an electric car?

One of the usual concerns of those who are interested in e-mobility is to know what real range their electric car has.

Will I make it to my destination?

The two pillars for the autonomy of our electric car are consumption per kilometer and the capacity of the batteries. It is relatively simple as you will see.

In our previous post we wrote about consumption, so we won’t repeat the basic concepts related to the vehicle, but we would like to emphasise the “external” factors, both travel-related ones and driver-related ones. Keep reading and at the end of this article you will have all the information you need to decide whether you should rent an electric car for your next weekend or holiday. Or whether you will decide to buy one.

Consumption of the different models of electric car

The real consumption of an electric car depends on the specific model, that is, from the 15kWh / 100 km of a BMW i3 to the 25kWh of a BYDe6 in mixed conditions. The capacity of the batteries also depends on the model: the new Nissan Leaf 30kW runs a 30kWh battery, the BMWi3 and the Renault ZOE one of 22kWh, while BYDe6 comes with a 60kWh battery and Tesla Model S has 90kWh in some versions. The calculations are simple. If our car consumes 20kWh per 100 km and we have 40kWh in our battery, we can travel 200 km. In conclusion, the maximum autonomy of each model depends on consumption per km and the total capacity of the batteries. Easy?

Example of the calculation of consumption of an electric vehicle

To refine the calculation. As an example, let’s look at the Nissan Leaf. If we take the battery of 30kWh and our average consumption is 17kWh per 100km, with the battery fully loaded we can drive for 176km. Real.

What happens when we don’t have the battery fully charged?

Help with this is built in by the manufacturers. As we are driving calculations are continually being made, based on consumption and driving style. This information is then shown on the display. This is very handy, but it can be a bit misleading when driving on a steep mountain road. However, they remain reliable because the forecasts are adjusted continuously.

The ECO mode

All electric cars have a driving mode called ECO, configured by the manufacturer to optimise the consumption of the batteries. In ECO mode the power is limited to achieve the lowest consumption per km.

We recommend you use the ECO mode by default, but if you’re full of energy and don’t need to drive a long distance, test your vehicle on a mountain road and you’ll discover the great response of electric motors.

Autonomy of the electric car

This brings us back to talk about those external factors that have considerable influence on the autonomy of the batteries. Firstly, you need to take the characteristics of the road into account. All cars consume more on uphill journeys or at high speeds on the motorway. It is clear that on a journey into a mountainous region, you are going to consume more on your way up there than you will on your way back down.

Other important factors are: the exterior temperature, which influences the performance of the battery; and the increased consumption of energy if you turn on the air conditioning unit. Nothing new or different to what happens with any car.

We recommend you err on the side of caution during your first journeys, you will be able to adjust your calculations more precisely when you become more familiar with the car and your driving style.

Plan the route

And of course, we need to talk in more detail about planning and calculating for your trips, because the autonomy of your car is not limited to the total battery load available.

The good news is that you can upload it on the road. How? That will be a new post!

Watch this space!

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