Understanding Electric car Range

What affects the Range of an Electric Vehicle?

  • Battery Capacity,
  • Battery Degradation
  • Charge level
  • Use of Accelerator
  • Use of Heater
  • Use of Regenerative braking

Capacity

  • Previously batteries were generally 24 and 30kWh.
  • New Electric cars with a 64kWh capacity battery can typically achieve 250 – 275 miles, or even 375 miles with a Tesla S.
  • 40kWh batteries can provide around 160 miles.

This is probably not the range that you’re used to but you’re probably thinking in ‘Petrol mode’. That is occasional trips to a petrol station and frustratingly often with the tank less than half full when you need a long journey.

Charging

For most people the average daily mileage will only be 20 – 40 miles. If you can charge at home then this count starts at zero each day, unlike petrol or diesel where you will minimise the number trips to the petrol station.

Whereas, if you charge your car overnight, at home it can be fully charged, if necessary, at the start of every journey.

Regen (Regeneration)

This is often confusingly call Regenerative Braking, implying the the use of physical brakes.

Taking advantage of Regen can actually increase the range and dramatically reduce brake pad wear.

Other factors

The expected range is reduced by various factors including the amount of acceleration used and external temperature where the heater is used.