speed at the expense of range?

Autonomy is an essential factor when talking about electric cars. It all depends on your ability to make it to the next public charging station, complete your daily commute, or get stuck on the side of the road.

The concept of electric vehicle range is under intense scrutiny because, on average, these vehicles can only cover half the distance of their gas-powered counterparts before needing to refuel, and the gas stations are much more common than fast chargers.

The autonomy recorded by the American Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the one that is most visible on the sticker affixed to US windshields. It is one of the most talked about factors when it comes to the autonomy of electric vehicles. The EPA currently has rated 61 electric vehicles for the 2022 model year. These ratings include multiple iterations of the same vehicle, so the combined range ranges from 100 miles for the Mazda MX-30 to 520 miles for the Lucid Air Dream. Edition Range.

There’s more than one EPA range figure

There are separate ratings for city and highway range for electric vehicles, just as there are different fuel economy ratings for gasoline vehicles by the EPA. With the exception of certain models, such as the Audi e-Tron or the Porsche Taycan, electric vehicles have better autonomy in the city than on the road.

This contrasts with gasoline-powered vehicles, whose on-road efficiency almost invariably exceeds city figures. The effectiveness of regenerative braking, which, by slowing the vehicle using the electric motor(s) rather than traditional brakes, recovers some range, is an important part of the attraction of the electric vehicle for use at low speed and at variable speed, such as urban cycle traffic.

In fact, and unlike gasoline or diesel vehicles, which regularly exceed their EPA rating, electric vehicles rarely reach or exceed their nominal autonomy during road tests, from an average of 75 km/h.

Thus, only three of the thirty-three electric vehicles tested were able to beat their EPA rating on the highway and combined cycle (combined autonomy). These are the Audi e-Tron Sportback and RS e-Tron GT, as well as the entry-level model Porsche Taycan.

The tests performed use the combined range figure as the primary point of comparison, as city and highway range estimates for EVs are considerably closer to each other than they are for gasoline-powered vehicles. essence. And the goal is not to create confusion by using a different number than what is most commonly used.

Parsche Taycan
Porsche Taycan

In the 75 mph (120 km/h) highway range test, the base model Taycan equipped with the optional 83.7 kWh Performance Battery Plus exceeded its rating by 55 miles (88 km) EPA given 225 miles (360 km), or almost 24% more, thus driving 280 miles (448 km) in total.

The Audi RS e-Tron GT clocked 240 miles (384 km), which is 8 miles (12 km) more than the EPA rating. But the Audi e-Tron Sportback has just reached 220 miles (352 km), only two miles (3 km) more than the advertised rating.

Maximum in the real world

These range figures can also be considered the maximum achievable, and much like the time to go from zero to sixty miles per hour (0 to 100 km/h), it will be impossible to achieve them consistently.

Indeed, this requires charging the battery to its maximum capacity, which is not the standard procedure for electric vehicles. When the battery is in the last 10-15% of its capacity, the charge rate slows significantly, which also causes the battery capacity to decrease more significantly over time.

As an example, Tesla suggests limiting charging to 90% for normal, regular vehicle use. Even on long-distance journeys, stops are determined more by the charging infrastructure, than by anything else.

The most time-efficient method is to recharge the battery just enough to reach the next charger; it can go as high as 80 or 90 percent, which keeps it in the faster part of the charging curve. It also increases battery longevity.

In short

Speed ‚Äč‚Äčtherefore has a greater impact on the range of electric vehicles, the latter decreasing as the former increases. This is of less consequence for urban journeys, but becomes a major element to take into account in inter-urban travel.

Thus, if the question of speed is posed in less obvious terms in France, where speed is, in fact, regulated, it takes on another dimension in certain countries, particularly in Europe, such as Germany for example, where large portions of Bundesautobahn are without official speed limit (NB: German road safety nevertheless advises to drive at a maximum of 130 km/h).

Will the limits imposed by technology be more effective than speed cameras for road safety?

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