Electric car: Official EV ranges should be taken ‘with a pinch of salt’, drivers warned

With petrol and diesel prices already approaching “grim” milestones of almost £2 a litre, some drivers are turning to electric cars not only to be more sustainable, but also to lower their average costs. One of the main drawbacks of the public perception of electric cars is “range anxiety”, which has often been cited as the main concern of many motorists.

For many who cannot charge their vehicle at home, range anxiety becomes a legitimate fear, and they rely on public chargers in supermarkets, shopping malls, and even at their workplace.

But new research has found that a car’s advertised fuel economy is far better than what drivers actually experience when behind the wheel, and this goes for electric vehicles too.

The claimed range from official WLTP (Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure) tests may look appealing on the showroom floor, with some models now claiming over 400 miles between charges.

Research of which? found that the actual range of an electric car is, on average, 18% less than the official figure.

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The current BMW iX xDrive50 shows that it can travel a record 382 miles before running out of battery power, two miles more than the official WLTP figure.

Volkswagen’s ID.4 GTX has a WLTP claimed range of 300 miles, but which one? tests found range to be 193 miles, a difference of 36 percent or 107 miles.

Midsize cars, which are typically hatchbacks, show the biggest difference in WLTP averages and Which? tests.

The average WLTP range is 205 miles, while alternative tests show the average range is just 151 miles, a difference of 26 percent.

On the other hand, the small size cars have a difference of just 14 percent, with WLTP averages tested at 153 miles, with official tests 24 miles higher at 177 miles.

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