Ultralong Range Electric Cars: Understanding the Real Mileage and Efficiency

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Given by the publication The Wall Street Journal Data from the US environmental agency EPA suggests that between 2012 and 2022, the maximum range of electric vehicles sold in the US has doubled, and the average has increased by about three times. By the way, the passport indicators of the Lucid Air sedan are taken as the upper limit, which offers mileage without recharging for a distance of up to 832 km according to the EPA cycle.

Image Source: Lucid Motors

Representatives of this publication have seen from personal experience that the real power reserve can differ significantly from the declared one, since manufacturers usually focus on generally accepted industry cycles, which imply driving conditions that are not always achievable in reality. In the case of the Lucid Air Grand Touring sedan, which went to The Wall Street Journal for extended testing, trips in and out of the city, according to the on-board computer, threatened to deplete the traction battery over 629 km, which is significantly lower than stated in the passport characteristics.

It should also be taken into account that uniform movement at high speeds rather quickly depletes the charge of the traction battery. For example, about 12.5% ​​must be subtracted from the EPA rating in order to determine the range when driving on the highway at a speed of 120 km / h. With impressive accelerating dynamics, EVs generally dislike prolonged high-speed driving, and this is important to keep in mind when planning long trips. In the case of the Lucid Air sedan, third-party tests have shown that when driving on the highway at a speed of 120 km / h, the car will be able to cover about 656 km on a single charge. In any case, for many drivers, such a daily mileage is quite enough for comfortable movement along the highway.

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The efficiency of an electric vehicle is also significantly affected by tires with wheels. For example, going from standard 19″ wheels with matching tires to 21″ reduces range by about 10%. The efficiency of the electric motor and other components of the power plant also determines how efficiently the battery charge will be spent. Switching to a higher on-board voltage generally improves range and allows it to be replenished more quickly when using express charging stations. In the case of the Lucid Air, the voltage used by the power plant reaches 924 V. At the same time, the machine is able to replenish up to 480 km of range in 20 minutes when connected to an express charging station. Another thing is that the latter are still not very common even in North America, and from a “slow” station, the traction battery is fully charged in 12 or even 18 hours, depending on the conditions.

Mass characteristics and aerodynamics also affect the ability of electric vehicles to cover the maximum distance on a single battery charge, so manufacturers are seriously optimizing the corresponding characteristics. True, in some cases this occurs to the detriment of the acoustic comfort of the inhabitants of the cabin, since it is necessary to save on sound insulation, the importance of which, in the absence of ICE noise, acquires a special status. Many automakers are betting on a breakthrough in the chemical composition of traction batteries, which will make them more capacious and at the same time lighter, but visible progress in this area should not be expected until the second half of this decade. In the meantime, efficiency improvements in electric vehicles are being achieved by other measures, as illustrated by the doubling of range in the previous ten years.

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2023-06-04 06:35:00
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