November 29, 2022

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Short range electric car - that's why the range meter shows "error"

Short range electric car – that’s why the range meter shows “error”

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(Elbil24): At regular intervals the same question appears in Elbil24 discussion group on Facebook:

Why does my car’s range meter appear so short compared to what the seller said when I bought the car?

At the top, for example, we’ve attached a photo from our recent test of the Skoda Enyaq Coupe RS iV. After the battery was charged to 100 percent, 474 km was designated as the range. That’s 36 kilometers shorter than the manufacturer stated, and 35 kilometers shorter than what we just measured in our range test.

Why is this?

The explanation is simple, and applies mostly to all electric vehicles: the given range is not based on official range numbers, but is an estimate based on the consumption of previous drives.

And since we live in Norway, where most months have temperatures well below 23 degrees, the estimated range is usually well below the WLTP number from the manufacturer.

The advantage of this is obvious: the estimate is often “instant” with reality, making it easier for you to plan your trip, necessary freight layovers, etc. Therefore, the estimated range is usually much lower in winter than in summer.

However, there may also be cases where the range estimate is completely on the go, for example if you are driving slower or faster than usual, or on skewed roads. Therefore, you will also test that the estimated remaining range will be adjusted during the flight.

But remember: it’s always just an estimate, not a consequence.

Continue after the video

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Or alternatively: Show percentage

However, in most cars, you will also get the capacity remaining in the battery as a percentage, which can be better compared to the classic fuel gauge in diesel and petrol cars.

In the same way that many cars equipped with a combustion engine give a warning when there is little fuel left in the tank, electric cars will, too—typically when there is 10-20 percent of capacity left in the battery.

Then you know it’s time to look for a charging station, to avoid boring stops along the way, which can actually result in a fine.

You can read more about it in the case below: