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E-cars in the test: These are the range emperors

E-cars in the test: These are the range emperors
We drove until the battery was completely empty.
Image: VOLKER WEIHBOLD

“We looked at whether and to what extent the actual range deviates from the manufacturer’s specifications. We drove until the battery was completely empty,” explains Florian Merker, who was on site for the ÖAMTC at the current winter test. In total, over 1000 meters of altitude were overcome in Norway, and the outside temperature was between -5 and -10 degrees Celsius – so the results are definitely relevant to Austrian conditions.

The most important findings from the test: While the deviations from the WLTP are largely negligible in moderate summer temperatures (with some cars you can even go further than stated by the manufacturer), in extreme cases you have to expect a range of over 30 percent less in winter. The behavior of individual vehicles can vary greatly. The ÖAMTC expert gives two examples: “According to the WLTP, the XPeng G9 has a range of 520 kilometers. In the summer practical test it managed almost 590 kilometers, in winter only 452 kilometers, which means that the WLTP hits the average very well in this case “It’s different with the Toyota bz4X AWD: its range was three percent below the WLTP value of 460 kilometers in summer and almost 32 percent in winter.”

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WLTP stands for Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure. This is a procedure for determining the consumption and emission values ​​of passenger cars. The values ​​determined on the chassis dynamometer are often also communicated in the sales documents – however, experience and tests such as the “El Prix” show that the actual consumption is sometimes differs massively from the WLTP measurements. For most test candidates, the winter range differs between 12 and 30 percent from the WLTP. “Even if it is generally known that extreme temperatures have a major influence on electricity consumption, both manufacturers and retailers should clearly point out this fact,” demands ÖAMTC technician Merker.

Chinese luxury model as the range winner

An exceptional phenomenon in the range test comes from China: the HiPhi Z, which is still largely unknown in Europe, only ran out of juice after 522 kilometers in the Norwegian winter. “This means it was just under six percent below the WLTP range of 555 kilometers and is the clear test winner – no other candidate could hold a candle to it, both in absolute terms and in terms of deviation from the WLTP,” explains Merker. Of course, the result of the HiPhi Z is currently particularly interesting from a technical point of view: the purchase price is currently around 100,000 euros. “Even if this car is only suitable for a few buyers, the test shows what is still possible – we hope that other manufacturers will follow suit from a technical point of view,” says the ÖAMTC expert.

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Charging time: From 10 to 80 percent in under 30 minutes

In addition to the range, what is particularly important for e-car buyers is how long charging takes. “The good news: Half of the test candidates needed less than 30 minutes to charge from ten to 80 percent,” says Merker. “It also became apparent that larger batteries are not only relevant for the maximum possible range, but are also charged faster.”

The conclusion of the ÖAMTC technician: Current electric cars are very sophisticated both in terms of range and charging technology. These factors could soon take a back seat when it comes to consumers’ purchasing decisions, while the availability of charging stations and the efficiency of the batteries become increasingly important.

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