Electric cars able to travel up to 19 miles after range is depleted, new tests find

·2-min read

Electric cars are able to travel up to 19 miles after their range readout hits zero, new research has discovered.

What Car tested 10 of the latest full electric models to see how far they could go in optimum conditions. In all, contenders fell short by between 8.1 and 18.6 per cent of what their official claimed range was.

However, the vehicles were helped as they continued to run for several miles despite the gauges reading that the battery was entirely depleted. What Car says this suggests that the readouts are being programmed conservatively so that drivers are left with a buffer if they do run out of charge.

The BMW i4 eDrive 40 also had the longest range of the EVs tested – travelling 316 miles to a charge.

Out of all the cars tested, the new BMW i4 eDrive40 M Sport went the furthest on a single charge and had the greatest buffer too, of 316 miles and 19 miles respectively.

On the other side, Cupra’s Born had the shortest summer range of 219 miles, while the BMW iX3 had the smallest emergency buffer of just five miles.

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

Tesla Model Y
The Tesla Model Y could travel 57 miles further in summer than in winter. (Tesla)

Three of the cars had also been tested during winter time by What Car. The difference in summer ranges compared with those during colder temperatures was apparent, with the BMW iX3 M Sport Pro covering an extra 41 miles in summer and the Kia EV6 RWD GT-Line adding an additional 50 miles in the warmer weather. The Tesla Model Y Long Range gained an extra 57 miles, too.

What Car editor Steve Huntingford said: “The fear of what will happen if you run out of charge in an electric car continues to put many people off making the switch, but our test showed that you not only get plenty of warning, but that even when the range readout hits zero, you’ve still got plenty of time to make it to a refuge area or find somewhere else safe to stop.”

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