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EV Highway Range Claims Under Scrutiny as Consumer Reports Tests Reveal Big Discrepancies

Published: 12.10.2023

A recent study by Consumer Reports throws a spotlight on the disparity between advertised and real-world highway ranges for electric vehicles (EVs). The organization tested 22 EV models at a consistent 70 mph, simulating highway cruising conditions, and found significant deviations from manufacturer claims.

The disparity highlights the limitations of current EPA testing methods, which combine simulated city and highway driving to calculate a single range estimate. This approach fails to accurately reflect the impact of sustained highway speeds on battery efficiency, leading to potential consumer confusion and frustration.

The results were mixed, with some vehicles achieving impressive long-distance capabilities while others fell short of expectations. Notably, nearly half of the EVs tested delivered less range than their EPA-estimated figures. The biggest offender was the Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck, which ran out of charge after just 270 miles, a 50-mile deficit compared to its EPA rating. Several luxury sedans, including the Lucid Air and Tesla Model S, also exhibited significant range disparities.

However, the findings weren't all negative. Several vehicles exceeded their advertised ranges, with one model exceeding its EPA estimate by a remarkable 70 miles. This highlights the potential for EV technology to deliver an impressive range under ideal conditions.

Highlighting the importance of range, Alex Knizek, auto testing and insights manager at Consumer Reports, emphasizes its crucial role when drivers are far from home and lack reliable charging options. Running out of charge on the highway can be a major inconvenience and expense, potentially requiring towing services.

The Consumer Reports findings raise concerns about the accuracy of EPA range estimates and the potential for misleading marketing claims which leads to the need for standardized testing procedures that better reflect real-world driving scenarios.

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