In a bid to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and cut carbon emissions from the transportation sector, several countries plan to steadily replace conventional petrol and diesel-powered vehicles with electric vehicles (“EVs”). Rather than an internal combustion engine, these cars are powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack. But for plenty of drivers, range anxiety, which is the fear of running out of power on long trips without a charging station in sight, is a major deterrent against switching to EVs.
So just how far can an electric vehicle go on a single charge? And, on top of that, what are the factors that determine how long a single charge will last? All-electric vehicle models on the market come with a theoretical range. In the United States, this range is estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) while in Europe, it is determined by the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (“WLTP”). The EPA arrives at the theoretical range by fully charging an EV overnight and using a dynamometer, which is basically a treadmill, to simulate highway and city driving conditions until the battery is depleted. The final estimate is then multiplied by 0.7 to simulate real-world driving conditions.
In Europe, the WLTP tests EVs in different driving conditions using four different speeds. These tests are usually carried out in city driving conditions, which are the most optimal for range efficiency. This is because, unlike American drivers, Europeans often spend more time on city streets than highways, so WLTP tests tend to be higher than the American EPA estimates. At the end of the day, these estimates aren’t etched in stone and will often vary depending on the weather, driving habits, cabin temperature and other factors.
Extreme weather conditions can decrease the range by up to 25%. Extreme heat will make the cooling system in the battery work overtime to keep it from overheating, drawing more energy from the battery. On the other hand, freezing cold makes the battery hold charge less easily, thus reducing its range. Additionally, up to one-third of the battery’s capacity can be consumed to run air conditioning and heating functions in the cabin.
While EVs tend to have faster acceleration, using this instant torque constantly will drain power from the battery. Going at high speeds will also require a lot of energy as the electric motor will have to work much harder to overcome the drag caused by wind resistance. Sudden braking, which engages the brake discs, also has a negative effect on range. Fortunately, most EVs use regenerative braking to recapture some energy and feed it back into the battery.
The estimated range gives you a ball-park number for how long your EV battery will last on a single charge, but it will vary based on these and other factors. Watching your driving patterns and habits, storing your vehicle correctly during cold weather, and taking advantage of inbuilt capabilities that reduce battery drain, such as regenerative braking, will improve your vehicle’s range.
As electric vehicle makers such as ev Transportation Services Inc. keep refining the technology of the batteries powering the models they make, the range that a single charge can cover is likely to keep increasing to the point that range anxiety will no longer be a concern.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to ev Transportation Services Inc. are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/EVTS
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