Consumers’ expectations for e-cars are still unrealistic…can’t hold a candle to conventional combustion engine vehicles.
When it comes to performance parameters like fuel consumption, car manufacturers’ brochures often boast figures that in reality are only possible under really ideal conditions. But rarely are such conditions the case in real life. The result: disappointed consumers.
The VW Up. Image cropped from VW.
Electric cars are notorious for their limited range and need of constant recharging – factors that are often overestimated by buyers. Recently German auto reporter Lisa Brack put her brand new electric car through a long distance, wintertime test. The result was hardly thrilling.
“The result is sobering – she saves time by consistently freezing,” reported the German kreiszeitung.de here, on Ms. Brack’s test.
13 hours of driving and charging
Ms. Brack and EFAHRER.com conducted the long-distance test on her new VW e-Up by driving it from VW in Wolfsburg, where she had picked it up, to her home in Munich.
The 650 km trip would normally be done easily in less than 7 hours with a conventional diesel engine car (assuming no traffic jams) and without the need to stop to refuel. But for Brack in her new VW e-Up vehicle, the trip needed almost 13 hours – a time the kreiszeitung.de describes as “appalling”. Numerous hassles were encountered.
After being handed her new car from VW in Wolfsburg, she departed for Munich at 2:45 p.m. The subfreezing weather was a major drawback for the VW e-car. According to the kreiszeitung.de, “the heating stayed off for almost the entire journey in freezing temperature” in order not to draw down the battery so quickly. This meant that to survive the trip, Brack had to take along a generous supply of “hats, scarves, gloves and generally warm clothing” and hope to find enough CCS charging stations along the way. Without these charging stations, getting the batteries charged up would take much longer.
In total she needed three charging stops.
Reached destination at 3:30 – in the morning!
It was 3:30 in the morning by the time Brack reached her destination in Munich, half frozen to death.
According to the kreiszeitung.de, she made the crucial mistake of charging up too seldom and wasted much time charging the batteries to 100% instead of 80% (the last 20% take the longest). “Charge faster, accept a little less range and charge again earlier – but again faster.”
“One more charge alone would have saved 1.5 hours,” she commented.
“As it was, however, the trip turned into a long winter excursion that she will not soon forget,” reported the kreiszeitung.de.
Expectations too high
The experience shows electric vehicles, though practical for short trips, still have a long way to go before they can keep up with today’s modern diesel and gasoline engines. Studies also show that e-cars offer very little, if any, lifetime CO2 savings.