Nissan Leaf dash display – Click above for high-res image gallery
Here's a discussion we've had many times before. Let's say that you assess your driving habits and are convinced that an electric car with a range of 100 miles is perfectly suited to you. So you head on down to a dealership, buy that electric car and go about your business. A month or two of time passes and you begin to realize that the hundred miles of claimed range is more like 70 miles. Well, it turns out that 70 miles doesn't quite cut it for you. Disgusted, you demand a refund for your purchase and vow to never buy an electric car again.
This is obviously not how automakers want things to play out, but when they become boastful about the range of an EV, this is exactly what could happen. Case in point, BMW initially listed the range of the Mini E at 156 miles. The company later amended this number to 100 miles. Most Mini E drivers have rarely achieved the 100 number and instead see typical averages of around 80 miles with a full charge.
As Chelsea Sexton wrote on PluginCars.com:
Though automakers like to claim range in ideal circumstances, a better estimate may be to recognize that, today, range equates to around three or four miles per kWh of battery. Applying this formula to the Nissan Leaf with a claimed range of 100 miles and a battery with a 24 kWh rating would give an actual range between 72 and 96 miles. Clearly, standards must be put in place to accurately determine the range of EVs because relying upon automakers is questionable at best and potentially devastating to the industry at its worst.It only takes a few days for consumers to get over it, but if backlash over unmet range promises keeps them from trying an EV in the first place, range anxiety becomes permanent and it won't matter how good the EV is otherwise.
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