EV Ranges In The Real World — How Far Will You Really Go?

Real-world electric vehicle range

Electric car manufacturers know exactly how much range drivers get on average from a full charge.  Despite this, they continue to give inflated figures based on unrealistic tests rather than a realistic real-world range.

This annoys me so much I’m almost peeved. 

I decided to look up the real-world ranges of EVs and compare them to manufacturers’ official figures to get to the truth. 

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find good information on real-world ranges.  Not for Australia.  We’re not exactly a hub of EV activity here.  At least, not compared to places like Norway or China

I found the ranges of EVs given by the European Electric Vehicle Database for when they are driven on a pleasant day without any heating or air conditioner use1.  This does not represent typical driving in Australia.  While we have more pleasant days than Europeans, right now, in the middle of summer, it’s hard to remember such things even exist. 

“I have felt temperatures Europeans wouldn’t believe…  Thermometers over 46 in Adelaide City…  I watched Dutch tourists suffer heatstroke sitting in the shade…  All those moments will be lost, in time, due to beers in my brain…”

The EV Database also has figures for real-world range that include heating and cooling, but because they may not reflect Australian conditions, I decided to give EV manufacturers a huge break and start with the figures that don’t take cabin comfort into account.  This decision made me feel like I was bending over backwards to make EV manufacturers look good, but I needn’t have worried because none of them actually managed to do that. 

The EV database does have “worst-case” figures for driving at -10 degrees that takes heating into account, but I’ll ignore them as they may only apply to the very small number of Australians who drive in the Snowy Mountains or are in the habit of chucking laps around ice rinks. 

Electric Car Selection

The Australian Electric Vehicle Council site gives 33 fully electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles available down under — although some are easier to get your hands on than others. 

I’m only going to look at full EVs under $100,000.  I see little point in considering vehicles out of reach of normal Australians. If you spend over $100,000 on a car, it’s not a form of transport, it’s a statement to the world you weren’t hugged enough as a child.

This means I’m leaving out the Tesla Model S, but you can read my review of the Tesla Model S here.  It’s a great car, as it should be because it cost my boss over one hundred…  Oh. 

Maybe I shouldn’t have brought this up. 

finn as a kid

A child who needs more hugs. Allegedly.

EV Manufacturer Website Ranges

Here are electric vehicle ranges taken from manufacturers’ Australian websites2:

Manufacturer claimed EV range graph

EV Model Claimed Range (km)
Mini Cooper SE 233
Nissan Leaf 270
Hyundai Kona Std Range 305
Hyundai Ioniq 311
Nissan Leaf e+ 385
Volvo C40 Recharge 420
Hyundai Ioniq 5 Long Range 441
Kia e-Niro 64 kWh 455
Hyundai Kona Extended Range 484
Tesla 3 Standard Range + 491
BMW i4 eDrive40 590
Tesla Model 3 Long Range 75kWh 614

In the graph above, the ranges don’t look too bad.  When I drive around town, I average under 45 km per hour, so it appears even the shortest range electric vehicle — the Mini Cooper SE — is good for over 5 hours of city driving.  Unfortunately, appearances are deceiving.

Some of the manufacturers indicate their EVs aren’t likely to have as much range as the figures they give:

  • The expression “up to” was used for the Hyundai Ioniq, Kona, and Kona Extended Range; as well as BMW i4 and Volvo XC40.
  • The more alarming phrase “maximum range possible” was used for the Electric Mini Hatch.
  • The Hyundai Ioniq 5 Long Range was given a range from 430 to 451 km.  I used 441 km because that’s in the middle.

While it’s a good thing they indicate their cars aren’t likely to do that well in real life, I’m still annoyed because they could have easily given the actual range people get, but instead chose to keep that information from their potential customers.  Keep this in mind if you ever consider trusting them.

EV Database Figures

When I add the figures the EV Database gives for real-world ranges — without the use of any heating or cooling — to the graph, all vehicles lose range, but the results are better than I expected:

Manufacturer vs. real world electric car range - no cabin/heating cooling graph

EV Model Claimed Range
(km)
Real Range
(no AC or heating)
 
Mini Cooper SE 233 215 92%
Nissan Leaf 270 260 96%
Hyundai Kona Std Range 305 290 95%
Hyundai Ioniq 311 290 93%
Nissan Leaf e+ 385 375 97%
Volvo C40 Recharge 420 380 90%
Hyundai Ioniq 5 Long Range 441 430 98%
Kia e-Niro 64 kWh 455 425 93%
Hyundai Kona Extended Range 484 460 95%
Tesla 3 Standard Range + 491 440 90%
BMW i4 eDrive40 590 550 93%
Tesla Model 3 Long Range 75kWh 614 565 92%

The most honest electric vehicle manufacturer was Nissan, with Hyundai close behind.  Both had real-world range figures that averaged 95% or more compared to those given on their websites.   

Volvo and Tesla were the least honest manufacturers with the lowest real-world ranges.  I’m not particularly surprised those two ended up at the bottom.  The car that fared the worst was the Tesla Standard Range Plus.  When I reviewed this vehicle I complained about how much its actual range differs from Tesla’s figure.

The MG ZS EV Is Missing

If you are looking for the MG ZS EV — possibly the cheapest new EV available in Australia — you won’t find it on the graphs above.  This is because the version sold here has a 44.5 kilowatt-hour battery pack that is 5.8 kilowatt-hours smaller than what the European MG ZS EV Standard Range has.  You’d think they’d try to sell the longer-range version in Australia, wouldn’t you?  In Europe, they think down the road to the chemist is a long way.  This kind of rubs in how Australia really is an EV backwater. 

Update 15:25 17th Jan 2022: Mark Byrne has pointed out in the comments all 2020/21 model MG ZS EVs have a 44.5 kilowatt-hour battery, while the the 2022 model has the larger battery pack.  It’s available now in Europe, but we will have to wait until the 2nd half of the year for it to arrive.  So we will eventually get the longer range 2022 version here.

If you are interested in how well the 50.3 kilowatt-hour Euro version did, its official WLTP range is 320 km, while the EV Database real-world figure without heating or cooling is 300 km.  This is 94% and fairly typical for the EVs on the graph above.  

What About EV Air Conditioning And Range?

If you do turn on the heater or air conditioner while driving an EV, it will reduce the range.  How much depends on many factors, but running the air conditioner can cut the range by over 20%.  Cold temperatures are less of a problem in Australia, but in the unlikely event you find yourself driving in -10 degree weather, the EV Database says it typically reduces range by close to 30%.  

EV Database Ranges With Heat & Air-Con

So far, I’ve only looked at the EV Database figures for real-world range without heating or air conditioning.  This is not realistic, but it does show how much range an electric vehicle is likely to have on a day when neither are required. 

The EV Database also has figures for vehicle range when those inside it use heating or cooling for comfort like normal human beings3.  These figures involve a lot more heating and a lot less cooling than for Australian driving.  Hopefully, with our far more reasonable weather, ranges will be better here, but more EVs may need to arrive in this country before we can be certain. 

Manufacturer vs. real world EV range - cabin/heating cooling graph

EV Model Claimed Range
(km)
Real Range (with
heating & cooling)
 
Mini Cooper SE 233 185 79%
Nissan Leaf 270 225 83%
Hyundai Kona Std Range 305 250 82%
Hyundai Ioniq 311 250 80%
Nissan Leaf e+ 385 325 84%
Volvo C40 Recharge 420 340 81%
Hyundai Ioniq 5 Long Range 441 385 87%
Kia e-Niro 64 kWh 455 370 81%
Hyundai Kona Extended Range 484 395 82%
Tesla 3 Standard Range + 491 380 77%
BMW i4 eDrive40 590 475 81%
Tesla Model 3 Long Range 75kWh 614 485 79%

As the graph above shows, in Europe normal driving reduces the range given by electric vehicle manufacturers by around 20%.  These are average figures and likely to be worse on an especially cold or hot day.  

Once again — as a percentage — Nissan and Hyundai EVs lose the least range, while Volvo and Tesla are at the bottom again. 

A Simple Solution

There’s a simple solution to the problem of manufacturers giving unrealistic ranges for EVs.  Simply give the actual range people get on average with their vehicles.  Because manufacturers know this figure precisely, it’s not something that will be difficult.

When calculating the average range, we can eliminate outliers by leaving out the bottom 10% least efficient drivers and the top 10% most efficient drivers from the calculation.  This is reasonable because getting rid of the weirdos at the top and bottom can give a figure that slightly better represents the range a typical Australian is likely to get.

Ideally, it should be based on actual use in Australia, but for EVs that haven’t yet been sold here — or perhaps anywhere — manufacturers can provide an estimate.  The government can give an incentive to get it right in the form of a hefty fine if it’s just a little too high and a massive fine if it’s much too high.  If electric vehicle manufacturers want to play it safe, they can always lowball it and bump it up when real-world results come in.

If EV producers want to provide additional information on how much extra range fans of sweating and/or shivering can get from not using air conditioning or heating, that’s fine.  But the actual range Australians actually get on average should be front and centre because that’s what’s most useful to normal Australians.  

I’d be happy with this applying to internal combustion engine vehicles as well, as they can also be massively deceptive when it comes to range.  But it may be simpler to just phase them out entirely. 

Footnotes

  1. Yes, I know you can use reverse cycle air conditioners for heating — but that’s not important right now.
  2. Except for the Volvo C40 Recharge, which the XC40 Recharge replaced on the Volvo website.  As no real-world information is available for it yet, I used the older, C40, model.
  3. Yes, that’s right.  As hard as it may be to believe, Australians and Europeans are — technically — the same species.
About Ronald Brakels

Ronald was born more years ago than he can remember. He first became interested in environmental matters when he was four years old after the environment tried to kill him by smashing fist sized hailstones through the roof of his parents’ Toowoomba home. Swearing revenge, he began his lifelong quest to reduce the harm the environment could cause. By the time he was eight, he was already focused on using the power of the sun to stop fossil fuel emissions destabilizing the climate. But it took him about another ten years to focus on it in a way that wasn’t really stupid

Comments

  1. Hi Ron,

    The thing that gets me about range, is it always includes a lot of city driving, with the brake regeneration that goes with it. All well and good, but if you are just driving around town, you can recharge every night, so range anxiety shouldn’t exist.

    Range anxiety exists when you are out on the open road with little brake regeneration, and that is where the real life range becomes very important, both in knowing how far you can drive, and where you can recharge.

  2. Ronald Brakels says

    Finn was/is so cute!

  3. Vaughan Greenberg says

    Because I am a masochist and periodically enjoy a pile on against me for my opinions I would like to goad someone to hate me. I would love an EV, BUT: isn’t the production of them a first world problem and very unlikely to assist with climate issues? Imagine the production of several billion more of them for the developing world with the accompanying mining, destruction of forests for road building and then the landfill problems as batteries etc die.
    Ok I will now walk down the road naked whipping myself bloody in penance for my heresy.

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Covered here, Vaughan:

      https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/top-10-electric-car-myths/

      While certainly not perfect, EVs are far better than conventional internal combustion engine vehicles. If we want to preserve the planet’s coastlines and ecological diversity we have to either:

      1. Replace all petrol and diesel vehicles with EVs or at minimum fuel efficient hybrids, or…
      2. Convince everyone to use bicycles, public transport, and walk instead.

      If you’ve ever met the Australian, you’ll know 1. is a going to be a lot easier to achieve.

      • Hybrids are the answer, hybrid bikes that is. There are 750-1000 watt bikes out there that are illegal, unregistered and becoming more widely used. A new category of street legal, registerable, licensed riders and bikes should be legislated for. There are of course lots of issues raised by this suggestion but I believe the benefits far outweigh the risks.

    • If you’re going to walk, or ride a push bike instead of driving a car, then your argument has some definite merit.
      If not, then you are sadly mistaken.

      EVs are cleaner than ICE period. No ifs and no buts.

      • There are definitely ifs and buts. For some who have lower than average annual mileage, they may never make up for the extra embedded CO2 in an EV battery over just using an ICEV.

        All the EV range process needs is for the same regulation as is applied to the official fuel consumption figures used for ICEVs.

        If Ronald is going to get annoyed with something to do with EV sales and marketing, then it should be the constant and highly misleading use of the term “Zero Emissions” by EV marketers. This lie needs to be stamped out.

        Several car makers and even govt agencies use the term. It’s a con.

        • Erik Christiansen says

          Alex, it is not even slightly misleading to describe a BEV as “Zero Emissions”.

          There are physically zero emissions from the vehicle as it zooms down the road.

          Broadening the analysis to energy provision, there is still “Zero Emissions” when powered by the owner’s rooftop generation or energy bought from solar farms, wind farms, hydro, geothermal, or wave energy.

          The problem of not all coal power plants having yet been shut down is a fleeting one in the scheme of things. Their pollution will soon cease, and when solar panels, wind turbines, and vehicles are manufactured with non-polluting energy sources, the whole supply chain will be able to claim “Zero Emissions” as legitimately as the vehicle currently does.

          Until then the problem lies squarely and exclusively with legacy toxic coal and gas power plants. The sooner they go broke, the better for us all.

          Note: 65% of new car sales in the Netherlands in December were EVs.
          The rate of uptake is snowballing in all but this backwater.

    • Doug Foskey says

      Vaughan, I will not bother to reply. Please find a scientifically verified report to dispute your argument (there are plenty)
      I drive a 2019 Kona Electric. It is incredibly expensive to run (very TIC!). It had 8000Km on when I bought it (ex-demo), & in 36K Kms (now total 45K Kms), I have overspent $10 on commercial charges (mostly I charge at home off the Solar PV, so it only costs the pitiful feed-in tariff of about 6c/Kw/h, which I conveniently ignore!)). Servicing is also expensive: it cost me about $250 ea for 2 services. The only other cost has been a set of tyres. I fitted Bridgestone Ecopia, which I reckon cost me about 1Kw/100 extra over the dreadful original (gripless) tyres. (Hyundai no longer fits those tyres thank goodness). So, the cost of running an EV is really economical.
      Now (due to the free charging nla), I need to charge in Brisbane at a cost of at least 20c/Kwh. My last trip last weekend cost me $3.20, because I left home at 90% charge. (this is for total about 450km round trip).
      So, at 90% charge, my rangometer says about 420Kms. At reasonable freeway speeds of 105Kms, I get about 350Km range. If I tow a trailer, that drops by about another 20%.
      Some other comments about trip charging: I usually only charge to 80% due to the extra time it takes to charge to 90% (about 30 Min extra). On long trips, one needs to balance the extra charge time against the extra stop time of an extra charge, balanced against the possibility of a charger being out of action (which happens). Not all chargers are near the main highway (eg NRMA charger nr Newcastle adds abt 30Kms to the trip)
      Some hints for new EV owners: NRMA members get a discount with Chargefox (which might be available for other motoring organisations). Get an EV charge cable (usually ccs2 both ends) that will allow full ac charge for your vehicle. (in my case 7200W, but newer cars are higher). The Electric Highway in Qld has both AC fast chargers (which need your ac cable), & DC chargers which normally have a long enough cable to reach the car socket. So, if the DC charger is occupied, (or faulty) one can still charge, albeit a bit slower.
      Some other handy info: My 10A Hyundai EVSE adds about 14Km/hr charging. The maximum for my model Kona is 7200W ac (about 48Kms/hr), or on the max 50Kw DC charge, adds about 200Km in 35 minutes, depending on the battery remainder amount. The nearer the charge to the 80/90% the longer the charge takes).
      So, in a nutshell, I love my Kona. Cheap to run. reasonably economical at abt 14Kw/100Km at 100kph. I also love the Predictive Cruise control that will match the speed of the leading car, including a complete stop! Ideal in these Covid queues…….. (In traffic, the economy is abt 11Kw/100kms at city speeds).
      So, get an EV! Remember, we have some of the dirtiest, unsafe ICE cars in the world due to our pitiful environmental automotive laws. Even the US has tighter regulations! Currently the automakers are dumping their non compliant overseas cars here. Time to change. We only have one world to live in: there is no second option. However we need to improve recycling of Batteries & PV panels for a really secure future.

      • Phil Packham says

        Good informative comment Doug.
        Have you looked at converting a motorcycle [with sidecar?] to electron-drive?
        Phil Packham 0432886425

    • So rule of thumb is
      90% of claim with no heating or cooling,
      80% with cooling,
      70% with heating

      • Mark Byrne says

        … And you can also deduct 10% or more for highway driving @ 110 kph

      • Doug Foskey says

        I can only speak for the Kona: Highway driving @ 105Kph, With A/c on (so virtually no regen braking, & A/c load) is about 15% down off Original indicated Kms. Really, that is about worst case, inc now running a less efficient tyre, but @ 39psi, running down the expressway from nr Lismore, to Port Macq interchange. Note that at 110Kph, the efficiency drops abt another 8%. I get abt 14.5Kw/100km at 105 cruise on ECO mode, with no roofracks, on my Bridgestone Ecopia tyres. A/C is always on in my car, but set at 24 deg usually. I also use Cruise control as much as possible (efficiency seems better).
        One thing I was surprised with is the Kona is almost as efficient as our Imiev (a much smaller, lighter EV, but older). I find the Kona is snappy even in ECO mode. I limit speed to 120Kph, & use all the ´best´ ECO settings.
        For a cost equivalent for an ICE car, the EV Kona would be equivalent to about 2L/100Km (about $3.50/100 at 30c Kwh approximately). Charging off Solar is about 90c/100Km @ 6c/kwh feed-in tariff equivalent.
        So, my car, for the approx 35000Km I have driven has cost me $10 commercial charges + $315 lost grid-feed income. Hang the expense!

        • How long will it take to make up the $25-30k extra the EV cost you over the ICE model?

          • John Mitchell says

            I agree with that sentiment. The extended range Kona top spec in Australia is massively overpriced at over $69,000 on the road – that’s $5,000 more than the similarly specced Model 3 SR+. I’ve driven both and I know which one I prefer. The Polestar 2 is a much better option.

          • Richard Courtenay says

            If you are driving low km per year it will take years to recoup the the extra cost of an electric car over the ice version. Unless you pay cash ( most of us cannot) you must factor in the interest on the additional 20 to 30 thousand dollars plus charging infrastructure at home. Also bear in mind that we are in the honeymoon phase of fast charging costs. BP have stated that they expect to make as much money from fast chargers as from petrol. when they deduct costs of production etc.

          • Geoff Miell says

            Alex,
            How long will it take to make up the $25-30k extra the EV cost you over the ICE model?

            I’d suggest that question will likely become irrelevant, perhaps as soon as in a few years. I’d suggest unaffordable/scarce fuel will likely result in ICEVs becoming valued only as scrap.

            In Nate Hagen’s The Great Simplification audio podcast Episode #03, duration 0:54:27, US petroleum geologist Art Berman explains oil from the ground-up. Questions answered include: How much oil is left and what are future prospects for oil production and the economy?

            Nate Hagen says from time interval 0:17:59:

            We do know that many, many countries in the world have some sort of a Gaussian normal curve, and are on the downslope unequivocally and will never regain, ah… new highs. Do you have any comment on that?

            Art Berman then says from time interval 0:18:18 (bold text my emphasis):

            Ah absolutely. In fact, today, the… really, the only countries in the world, that are still on the upswing, ah… potentially, are the United States and Canada. That… Everybody else, is either on some sort of a plateau, or is past peak.

            Later, on IEA and EIA oil production forecasts, Art Berman says from time interval 0:21:29 (bold text my emphasis):

            “Yeah, so… I don’t think that there’s a lot of geologists, or geophysicists, or even engineers that work for those agencies, and so they’re just dealing with numbers. And, and this is not, you know in any way meant to, to criticise them, but, ah… they just project numbers. And for those of us that actually look at the details, ah… we find out that there’s a certain amount of, of inequality in the distribution of this, this shale oil and tight oil as well. And so these, you know, these big numbers that sometimes are thrown around that say, oh, we’ve got, you know, we’re going to be producing as much tight oil in 2050 as we are today – well, those include way beyond proved reserves. I mean, that includes, ah… possible resources, probable resources – in other words, a resource is something that may be there, or may not, but we, we haven’t found it yet. And so those, those very big numbers are… they’re not, they’re not made up, but they’re not exactly real either. So my take is, that… I think we’ve got… probably about ten more years of shale oil, or tight oil, before it gets, you know, just as, as thin and expensive as conventional oil, and then we are going to be in big trouble. And, and I say ten years and, you know, that’s kind of a ball park. You know, we easily could be there in five, maybe… maybe we get lucky and, it doesn’t happen for fifteen, but in real life terms, it doesn’t matter – ah… we’re in trouble. At some time in, maybe in our lifetimes but, you know, certainly in my children’s and grandchildren’s lifetimes.
            https://www.thegreatsimplification.com/episode/03-arthurberman

            See also my earlier comments at: https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/real-world-ev-range/#comment-1359972

            IMO, it’s an inconvenient truth that many politicians, business leaders and media choose to continue to ignore.

    • ICE powered cars use so much material in common with all EVs but can’t substitute solar and wind for oil. The difference on mining etc will actually reduce as we reduce coal mining.

      Have you looked at the Hunter Valley on Google maps sattelite view recently. Coal is a disaster for all but the employees and even they often end up with lung problems!

      With decarbonisation of grid all EV’s will gradually move from coal and gas to mainly solar and wind

    • Geoff Miell says

      Vaughan Greenberg,
      I would love an EV, BUT: isn’t the production of them a first world problem and very unlikely to assist with climate issues?

      Putting aside “climate issues”, accumulating indicators I see suggest it would be foolish to assume petroleum fuel supplies in Australia will remain plentiful and affordable for the longer-term – see my comments at:
      1. https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/next-car-electric-mb2225/#comment-1294072
      2. https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/sa-electric-car-subsidies-mb2266/#comment-1331035
      3. https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/top-10-electric-car-myths/#comment-1341357
      4. https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/sa-electric-car-subsidies-mb2266/#comment-1331338
      5. https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/sa-electric-car-subsidies-mb2266/#comment-1333058

  4. Michael Paine says

    I have been driving a Volvo XC60 Recharge (PHEV) for a few months under a wide range of driving conditions. As I type this it has almost completed recharging its ~10kWh battery from home solar (smug mode engaged). That gives me a pure electric range of about 35km or so around Sydney I rarely use the petrol motor. These are typical (petrol) fuel consumptions for various scenarios:
    City local trips: zero
    Cross-city trips (~50% electric): 3L/100km
    Sydney to Canberra (~10% electric): 7L/100km – very little regeneration
    Sydney to Canberra towing a 1.5t caravan (full height) 15L/100km !

    I guess these figurers can be used as a rough guide to the effects on range for a pure electric vehicle. For example driving on a mostly flat motorway at 110km/h easily halves the range usually quoted by manufacturers (3L c.f. 7L). The range towing a caravan with an EV doesn’t bear thinking about! Hence my choice of a PHEV.

  5. As a rule of thumb, I use a range of 5km/kWh of energy in the battery.

    This varies very widely, depending on gross vehicle mass, vehicle drag coefficient, and driving style (mostly how hard you accelerate).

    I have converted the vehicle with the second-highest Cd of any vehicle on the road, but its GVM is less than a tonne, which suggests limiting distance driving, or anything over about 60km/h. This feels like the speed at which consumption (fuel previously, and now battery) starts to increase exponentially.

    It’s a little bit of a shame, because it goes a lot faster than it ever used to. That was new to me – when I decided to modernise it, one of my first decisions was to choose a maximum speed.

  6. Mark Byrne says

    Ronald, I think you will find you are mistaken about the MG ZS EV.
    The 2020/21 year model sold everywhere has a useful battery capacity of 44.5kWh.
    The 2022 model, already available in Europe but not here until the second half of the year has two variants: standard range with a useful battery capacity of 48kWh, and long range with a useful battery capacity of 68.3kWh.
    The superseded model has been removed from the EV Database website, which is probably what led to the confusion.
    We own one, and have found the former EV database estimates for Highway-Mild Weather to be fairly reliable, perhaps even slightly conservative in this mild Australian summer.

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Ah, that would explain it! Thanks for the information. I will update the article.

    • George Kaplan says

      Mild Australian summer?!?!? Er not to be rude but which part of Oz are you in, Tasmania?

      On a whim I chucked a thermometer outside as the deck was burning my feet and it hit 39. Now I’m not claiming it’s particularly accurate – it was claiming 23 when the AC was set to 26, and surface temperature may differ to air temperature, but regardless of the accuracy, it’s not what I’d consider mild, and I’m not even north Australia!

      Roughly 1:5 Australians lives in Sydney, another 1:5 live in Melbourne, 1:10 live in Brisbane, and 1:12 in Perth. Note this isn’t including Newcastle, the Gold Coast or Geelong which each hold another 1%-3% of the Australian population, but could be counted as part of Sydney\Brisbane\Melbourne for climate purposes. Which parts of Australia have ‘mild summers’? If it’s only
      a narrow band not relevant to most of the population … 🙂

  7. George Kaplan says

    One thing not mentioned in this piece is that range deteriorates over time, that you’re only guaranteed 70% of initial range by year 8. Thus you need to consider if 70% of 80% (assumes AC use) of whatever range is claimed for a vehicle is sufficient for your needs. And if you do mostly highway driving then add another 80% so 70% of 80% of 80% of 100% is … 44.8% of promised range. Does that seem right?

    Any of the vehicle listed in the article – bar the Mini Cooper SE or Nissan Leaf would manage the Sydney to Canberra trip, on paper. Assuming it’s mostly highway driving with AC however and you need the Kia e-Niro 64 kWh or better. Assuming you plan on driving the route periodically over 8-10 years i.e. expect 30% battery deterioration, and even the Tesla Model 3 Long Range 75kWh won’t get you there.

    Now if you fork out $130,000 or so for a Tesla Model S – preferably the long range version rather than the performance version, then you’re probably safe. Everyone else? Well you’ll probably need to spend the night in Sutton Forest and hope you have enough charge to finish the journey tomorrow. : )

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Deterioration in battery capacity is something people should definitely be aware of when buying an EV. Fortunately, it should only be very gradual for typical drivers. If an EV no longer has enough range to make a long distance trip, then a 10 minute rapid charge can add over 100 km of range to a Tesla Model 3 Standard Range +. The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is claiming 5 minutes for that much additional range. So no need for an overnight stay.

    • Anecdotally, battery degredation is nowhere near reducing to 70% over 8 years. There are heaps of stories of older cars with minimal degredation. For example, there is a Tesla in Ballina, NSW with 400,000km on the clock and the battery still gives 93%. I watched a video of an Ioniq in the UK with 95,000 miles on the click and the battery still gives 100%.

      Manfufacturers are conservative with the numbers for obvious reasons but modern EVs with proper battery management – and which have been at least moderately looked after by the owner – will last a lot, lot longer than the warranty period.

      Additionally, one of the biggest battery makers CATL has been talking about the million mile battery for a couple of years and the LFP batteries in new Teslas are not expected to degrade at anywhere near that rate. I think we will see a different conversation in very near future (this year) about battery degredation being another one of those EV concerns which can be ticked off.

      • John Mitchell says

        Yes I saw that same Ioniq video (Go Green Auto) but as others have pointed out that is impossible without breaking the laws of physics. All batteries degrade to some extent and particularly the Ioniq’s because it’s such a small battery it does many more cycles Whether Hyundai is disguising that be replacing lost range with a buffer or with software I don’t know.

    • We have a Hyundai Ioniq 28kWh that we got delivered in Feb 2019.

      Since then we have travelled 128,000km and still get the same range as the day we brought it. Yes I suspect Hyundai has an upper buffer that we don’t see but to an average user I don’t see then losing much range in this car over 8 years.

    • Doug Foskey says

      I drive to Sydney occasionally: about 725Km. First charge Port Macq interchange after abt 350Km charge to 80% in about 50 min. Then top off in Nabiac to get to Olympic park charger. Total abt 2hrs charge, but end with 80% charge in Sydney. My Kona is limited to 50Kw DC charge.
      New models now charge much faster. I only ever charge to 90% at home, & 80% on a trip due to the extra time to go higher.
      We take chairs & a book for charge time. When you consider a meal time or toilet break, the difference is not that much overall.

  8. I hate these comments about “real world” range. I have a Hyundai Ioniq and the WLTP range is 311km but I regularly get 320-330km range with the aircon running, with the audio running, with charging my phone, etc, etc, etc. Even highway driving at 100-115km speeds I would still expect 280km In the winter I get more like 250-260km.

    So the point is somebody’s “real world” is another person’s complete and utter bollocks.

    While the WLTP standard is far from perfect, the intention of it is to allow consumers to compare vehicles. There are some manufacturers who still muck about with these numbers and they should be brought in line but generally as a standard measure to compare vehicles, the standard somewhat works.

    • David Thrum says

      Not sure how the numbers on the energy consumption label are determined. I have a Tesla Model 3 LR. Label said range 657, energy consumption 131 wh/km, implying a battery size of 86 kWh which is rubbish – more like 75 kwh when new. My battery degraded 7-8% over the first 9 months/15,000 kilometres and has now levelled off (about 7-8% capacity loss).

      The Tesla reports two consumption figures – one that doesn’t vary with actual driving history – mine currently shows 409 km range at 78% battery capacity, or 524 km range at 100% battery – as well as a trip meter which reports the is the actual consumption over the last 10, 25 or 50 kms. Actual range (pro-rated) is mostly more than 524 km for my normal use local driving (60-80 kmh speed limits) – less than 130 wh/km. No doubt braking regen helps here. On the highway, consumption is generally higher, however with a bit of tail wind and/or slipstreaming behind another vehicle doing 100-110 km/ per hour it’s possible to get close to 130 wh/km. Adaptive cruise control helps here!

      Anyway there’s little doubt that ICE vehicle official ADR consumption/range estimates are not exactly real-world either.

  9. Brent Emerson says

    I have a September 2019 Tesla Model 3 SR+ and so far I have averaged 151Wh/km. I live in North West NSW. A mix of country driving, dirt roads and in and out of town. Head wind and running AC when really hot noticeably hits range. Dropping speed by 5-15km/hr actually makes trips faster as I get more range (thus less slow charging needed). I charge at home off 31.08kW pv system (actually 4 systems on 4 separate submains to get Essential Energy approval). Most charging on trips away has to be on standard power points (such as powered tent sites at caravan parks) or a motels with AC chargers. There is a fast charging desert around Inverell where I live.

  10. Slight correction the Hyundai Ioniq you have mention has a 38.3kWh battery where our original has a 28kWh. So I’d mention the battery capacity.

  11. Lexus UX300e is also available this year and was left out in this review.

    • Ronald Brakels says

      The Lexus UX300e costs around $76,000 so qualifies for the list. The reason it was left out was because it wasn’t on the Electric Vehicle Council’s list of EVs available in Australia.

  12. Hyundai Ioniq 5 range isn’t 430 to 451, it’s 430 OR 451 depending on the configuration (AWD or RWD). From EV Database you’ve taken the AWD number for the no aircon range and the RWD number for the with aircon range.

    My experience with our AWD Ioniq 5 has been pretty good – on highway driving at 110 we were getting a “no aircon” range of around 400 km, and with aircon about 360.

    Everyone’s “real” range is going to be different and dependent on how they drive. The point of giving a quoted range is that every manufacturer uses the same test cycle so the numbers provide a means of comparison against the same baseline. What I’d like to see is for manufacturers to provide a highway consumption or range since that’s when range is probably more important, and also most reduced by higher speed driving.

    • I’m amazed that the aircon uses so much. In my 2020 Ioniq not only do I easily meet and beat the WLTP range with the aircon running, having the aircon running on a warm day only uses 6% of the battery. Heating in winter – even a QLD winter does drop about 20% off the range though.

      • That “with aircon” is a really rough conservative estimate based on seeing 2 kW drawn from the battery as we cooled it down from having sat in the sun. It’s probably not that bad once it has cooled down but I’ll start with that until I know the car better

  13. Joseph Roach says

    Real world is what matters – when theory does not match reality it is the theory that needs to change (ack. Richard Feynman). Our household has a 2007 2.4L diesel Alfa 159 station wagon, a 2012 1.8L diesel BMW 118d, and a 1984 3.0L petrol Ferrari. One of the diesel’s will be replaced by an electric car in due course. But I wanted to make two points, partly in support of Vaughan, which green advocates often ignore. Of our three cars, the one with the lowest carbon footprint is the Ferrari. It has twice the fuel consumption of the BMW but covers only 20% of the distance. It is also the oldest car, and purchasing it did not increase the consumption of inputs required for any new car. Buying a new electric vehicle will (and so too will buying a new diesel, for that matter). But the issue is the life cycle impact of that future choice, and a new electric vehicle will have less of an environmental impact than a new diesel. But here is my second issue, and where I think Vaughan has half a point. We like to compare ‘like with like’ – the choice of an electric vehicle with, say, a petrol or diesel equivalent. But that is not the real-world alternative. The real-world alternative has to take account of the income (= consumption) involved in each choice. So buying a more expensive electric vehicle actually removes some income from another otherwise potential choice – perhaps an overseas holiday, or meat over tofu, or that home extension or new kitchen. And buying the less expensive ICE vehicle puts those other areas of consumption back in the real world calculation. In other words, the real world comparison is between the carbon impacts of using all available income, not between limited specific choices. Which is why a carbon price is the fairest and most efficient way of driving real behavioural change.

    • The opportunity cost of the more expensive EV you refer to could have been used instead on home energy efficiency measures like more efficient and lower carbon appliances (e.g. heat pump hot water or getting off gas hot water, cooking and heating), and/or improving the thermal performance of your home (e.g. insulation improvements, draft proofing, window treatments/glazing), and/or installing/expanding a solar PV system.

      The Kona EV mentioned above is ~$30k more than the ICEV equivalent. You can do an awful lot more about carbon emissions reduction with $30k than spending it on an EV, especially if your annual mileage is not that high.

  14. Joseph Roach says

    And another real-world electric vehicle problem – does anyone have any information on this? A lot of Australians ‘go bush’, and a lot of our more interesting roads are still dirt or worse. A lot of mufflers have been left behind on rural roads, and more than a few sumps cracked. Losing an exhaust would not stop you getting home. But what does this mean for our future electric vehicle fleet? The batteries are in the floor of most EVs. The enemies of batteries are heat and deformation. Have a look under any car that ‘goes bush’ – there are scrapes and deformations aplenty. How well protected are the battery packs from deformation? How well protected can they be? Hitting a sharp bluestone or dolerite rock on a fire trail at even 20kph could mean the end of a tyre, but if one is in an EV, is it potentially the end of the EV? I tend to think so, which means adequate ground clearance is a far more important consideration than most people realise.

  15. Not sure why the MGZSEV was not included on this list. 2021 model has about the same range as the Mini. The 2022 models include a long range version with claimed 440 km range

  16. I think Vaughan makes a fair point, just take a look at India, or Thailand etc, they haven’t even progressed from 2 strokes (possibly the worst polluters of all) and taking Joseph’s ^ comment about bad roads, just travel around Asia, my bush bashing stood me in good stead for what I experienced there.
    BUT! the elephant in the room??? $100,000.00 really Ronald, maybe in Sydney or Melbourne that’s not too outrageous, but down here (far South coast NSW) that’s silly money. I recently spent a day at our 2 local car dealers, I wasn’t looking for high end but even so, with a budget of $50,000 I could purchase just about every car on display, there were a couple (Mustangs, but don’t get me started on V8 guzzlers) and second hand BMW’s, but the rest were 50k ish or a lot less (new RAV4 25k) perhaps to be more relevant to the discussion a limit of $50k should be employed, or better yet whatever the median price is for cars sold in the last year, leave out the top and bottom 10%, and see exactly where we are at for affordability, and no, adding subtracting fuel costs yada, yada, isn’t part of the discussion, because many folk don’t have the luxury of spending an extra 10 or 15 grand “to be recuperated” at a later date. Let’s see some real world figures applicable to real world Joe average, not just the privileged few or the EV zealots. Flame suit,”check”

  17. Lots of passion in all these responses. Lots of bollocks also. Personally, I’m happy to keep it a secret just how much you will save from switching to an EV. It’s ludicrous.

    We have a 2015 Tesla Model S60 (yes, 60kWhr battery!). Still get 300km range. Less than 5% battery degradation in 7 years. Been Melb-Brisbane roundtrip. Zero range anxiety. Only used Tesla Superchargers on the trip (free). The trip took no longer than the Jeep Grand Cherokee used to (everyone has to stop for coffee, meals, etc). Also roundtrips Melb-Griffith no problem. Zero range anxiety.

    Mostly we charge at home from rooftop solar.

    Given OTA upgrades, the Model S is still 3 years + ahead of any competition technology-wise.

    Six months ago we replaced the Jeep Grand Cherokee with a Hyundai Kona Electric Highlander. We consistently get 490km range, higher than Hyundai’s claimed range. Aircon/heater always on (22deg.) Variety of city/trip driving. Always set on max. regen. Wife is a leadfoot. Costs almost nothing to run except the opportunity cost of our rooftop solar power.
    Sure don’t miss those regular service station stops and $120 tank fills for the Jeep.

    Not sure where you got your real world range data from Ronald. I guess there is no “average real world scenario”.
    We would never regress to the oblivious ICE world. If only they knew.

  18. a better route planner, https://abetterrouteplanner.com/ is an amazing resource for planning and figuring out how your electric journeys would look with an electric car, you can specify what percentage of the speed limit you want to travel, and nominate arrival (and departure) state of charge as well as nominate or plan for future battery degradation.

    It also takes into account the grade (incline and decline) then it will calculate (using the vehicle you select) the actual charge times on each of the available chargers, (it knows where they are and what ones work with your car). it has most every EV in its database.

    all in all its an amazing resource to play with.

    • Philip Pik says

      Hi Ronald. I came across this tongue-in cheek post in support of your arguments for EVs, courtesy Paul Stares, Senior Business Analyst at E. ON, UK.

      Hi, I am considering swapping my Electric Vehicle for an ICE vehicle, but have a few questions before I make the leap, based on what I have heard rumoured…
      · Is it true that it is unlikely that I will find a company that will visit and fill the tank up with fuel overnight?
      · Will I really have to make special trips every time to specific licenced premises (called fuel stations?) where the flammable liquids are sold?
      · I have heard that these liquids need to be dealt with carefully as they are quite smelly and you should avoid getting them on your skin, is this also true?
      · Can it be possible that fuelling up my new shiny new ICE car will cost me around 4 times as much as charging the old EV?
      · Is there anyone who can tell me more about these things called “cambelts”, “air- filters”, “engine oil”, “water pumps”, etc, that apparently will need some fiddling with now and then on the new ICE car?
      · I have heard that the only thing used to slow you down in the ICE car is the brake pad material, does none of that energy go back into the fuel tank?
      · Is there no way that I can use the solar panels on my roof to make free diesel or petroleum?
      · I have heard that the fuel for the ICE vehicles comes from Oil that needs to be extracted from the earth, transported, refined using huge amounts of energy and then transported to the fuel stations, is this more still more efficient than just using the energy in my old EV?
      · Is it true that the oil used for the ICE cars fuel is a limitless resource, unlikely to cause any conflicts over its availability?
      · Is there a scheme where I can buy the fuel for the ICE car when it is cheap and plentiful and then sell it back to the retailer when they have peak demand, making a little money for me on the side?
      · When my ICE car is at the end of its usable life say after 150K miles, can I whip out the engine and bolt it to the wall in my garage, to supply the house with electricity at peak times?

      I have more questions (but they were about less important stuff to do with polluting the environment, health benefits, yadayada,) but wanted to check these before I jumped in. I do love the sound of those ICE engines 😉 #petroleum #energy #electricity #oil #solar #environment #electricvehicle #cars #renewables #v2g #indra #twizy #energytransition

  19. John Mitchell says

    Love the Bladerunner reference Ronald. Outstanding.

  20. Mark Norman says

    Good article but the EV Database you mention appears to use a calculation (or guess) to arrive at their range estimates so the figures can be taken with a pinch of salt. If you want some real world “real world” figures take a look at spritmonitor.de/en/

    The data is mostly supplied by German drivers and shows actual energy (or fuel) use per 100kms. If you sort the data by “Quantity” you can get some really meaningful information from high mileage users which shows there’s really no such thing as “Real World Range”. Every user is different and, if anything, it looks like EV energy consumption variation between users is greater than that of ICE vehicles. If you really dive into the data you can see just how much climate or speed impacts on energy use.

    Personally, I find kWh/100km (or kWh/mile) data far more useful than total range. If I average 4kWh/mile and have 50kWh usable capacity then I can easily calculate I have 200ish miles (sorry, I’m a Brit so don’t use the new fangled kms). Most of my trips are between 40 and 100 miles so I’ve never tested the full range capability of my car anyway.

    • Using kWh/100km or kWh/mile is much more useful I find. Or the other one I use when people ask about charging is km / hour.

      ICE drivers often don’t get EV charging habits and assume you have to charge from 0-100% after every drive. This comes from the manufacturers who usually list 0-100% charge times for level 1, level 2, level 3 chargers on their web site – which really isn’t helpful because it doesn’t reflect “real world”.

      Telling people you can add 20km per hour from a 3-pin plug or 100km in 10 minutes from a rapid charger is easier to digest.

  21. EV uptake in Norway is heavily subsidised by their oil industry. Not a great comparison.

  22. Petroleum fuel prices continue to rise. For example, PULP-95 prices per litre today (Feb 27) range in:

    * Sydney from $1.767 to $2.149 (up from $1.567 to $2.059 on Jan 13);
    * Brisbane from $1.747 to $2.069 (up from $1.525 to $2.079 on Jan 13);
    * Perth from $1.793 to $2.129 (up from $1.598 to $2.049 on Jan 13).
    See: https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/top-10-electric-car-myths/#comment-1355546

    Per The Conversation Feb 24 op-ed titled What Russia’s war means for Australian petrol prices: $2.10 a litre, concludes with:

    This week Goldman Sachs analysts tipped that “outright conflict” coupled with “punitive sanctions” will increase oil prices by 13%.

    The five-city average Australian petrol price was near A$1.70 per litre when the benchmark oil price was US$90 per barrel. This suggests an increase to US$125 a barrel would lift average Australian city prices to as much as $2.10 per litre.

    https://theconversation.com/what-russias-war-means-for-australian-petrol-prices-2-10-a-litre-177719

    A Goehring & Rozencwajg blog post on Jan 6, headlined The Energy Crisis is Here – What’s Coming Next?, includes:

    Investors need to recognize how interlocked energy markets have become. A crisis in one market is all but certain to spill over into another. European utilities are desperately switching from burning expensive natural gas to much less expensive crude oil, increasing demand by over 500,000 b/d. This additional source of demand has introduced even more tightness into an oil market that is already undersupplied. The oil crisis we had originally expected to emerge in 4Q22 will now likely come even sooner. As the natural gas shortage did, the coming oil crisis will seemingly come out of nowhere, taking much of the investment community by surprise.

    https://blog.gorozen.com/blog/the-energy-crisis-is-here-what-is-coming-next

    I’d suggest a war instigated by a country that in 2020 produced 12.1% of the world’s crude oil + condensates and is also the world’s second largest producer of gas (16.6%), is only going to make the energy supply crisis (and petroleum & fossil gas prices) worse.

    Unfortunately, IMO many people can’t imagine that happening until they personally experience it.

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