Getting Real with Real World EV Range Tests

Getting Real with Real World EV Range Tests

by Gill D on June 28, 2021

When it comes to range estimations, articles regarding electric cars (EVs) are unclear. The confusion stems from the fact that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates are significantly lower than the original New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) estimates, and the legal European estimate is shifting to the Worldwide harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP), which sits somewhere in between the EPA and NEDC estimates. From September 2018, all new automobile registrations in Europe must use WLTP range estimates. Speed, temperature, topography, and other traffic conditions all influence how far an electric car can travel on a single charge.

This is why government-backed range ratings such as the EPA and WLTP are just estimates of what an EV user might expect in a mix of city and highway driving in mainly favourable temperatures.

InsideEVs conducted its own EV range tests in the best conditions possible. Although some variables such as wind, weather, and traffic, the tests were done using a consistent speed of 70 miles per hour, setting the tire pressure according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, and checking the speedometer with a GPS for accuracy. Each EV’s battery was fully charged and were tested along the same route once. A different course was then chosen to run a second test for each EV and then an average was calculated for both tests. The conditions were also recorded for each test because slight changes in temperatures does affect the EV’s range.

Let’s look at the top 3 results. When comparing the real range in miles, EPA range and efficiency, Tesla’s 2021 Model 3 AWD hit first place with the Porsche 2021 Taycan AWD coming in second and Tesla’s 2019 Model 3 AWD in third place. It’s significant because the Porsche Taycan model has a price tag of around $85k and both Tesla models cost around $48k.

2021 Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor, Long Range

  • Real-world Highway Range: 310 miles
  • EPA-estimated Range: 353 miles

    2021 Porsche Taycan RWD

    • Real-world Highway Range: 293 miles
    • EPA-estimated Range: 225 miles

      2019 Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor, Long Range

      • Real-world Highway Range: 290 miles
      • EPA-estimated Range: 322 miles

      The new 2021 Porsche Taycan RWD rides on Porsche's J1 electric vehicle architecture and has just a single rear motor. The base model has 321 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque and a two-speed automatic transmission. Its battery pack, called the Performance Battery, has a 79.2-kWh capacity; an optional, 93.4-kWh battery, called the Performance Battery Plus, is available for an additional $5,780.

      Performance-wise, the rear-drive Taycan needs is considered less powerful, and less efficient. It is a good-looking car, which is well-built as Porsche is known for its quality. The exterior sport design is compelling and the interior trim choices along with list of individual options and accessories.

      Standard tech includes Apple CarPlay capability, Apple Music, Plug and Charge automatic payments, over-the-air updates, and three years of free Electrify America charging, plus a 19.2-kWh onboard charger and a head-up display.

      In almost every category, AWD vehicles outperform RWD vehicles. While RWD cars can execute a better burnout and are favoured in drifting, AWD cars often have greater handling, harder cornering, and acceleration.

      Now, if we bring the Tesla Model S Plaid into the fore (which wasn’t included in the Real World tests), you’re looking to get an estimated range of 390 miles with a price of over $130,000. Tesla still boasts a better equipped base model that is faster with more range. While the Porsche brand is sure to catch attention, it somehow seems you’d be paying more for less?

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