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Only one electric car can beat ‘range anxiety’ and make it to the North–If you’ve got £100K!

April 10, 2022

By Paul Homewood

The Telegraph have apparently just woken up to the reality of EVs!

Screenshot 2022-04-10 175316

Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4MATIC

The Mercedes EQS is the best option for those wanting to travel long distances CREDIT: Mercedes-Benz AG/MediaPortal Daimler AG

Just one of the 20 most popular electric vehicles can make the journey from London to Edinburgh on a single charge, despite the Government’s attempts to persuade drivers to switch to greener vehicles.

More than 190,000 electric cars were sold in Britain last year and they accounted for about 11.6pc of total sales, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders. However, there are still significant drawbacks to electric cars.

Many potential users have “range anxiety”: they fear batteries will run flat before the destination is reached. This could mean stopping for hours mid-journey to recharge. Almost two thirds of the population have concerns over the distance an electric car can travel between charges, according to Cazoo, a car website.

New research found that only six of the 20 most popular electric vehicles can make the journey from London to Newcastle on a single charge.

High-profile models that cannot make the 283-mile journey without a stop to recharge include the Hyundai Kona, BMW iX xDrive40 and Nissan Leaf, according to research compiled by the car website Auto Trader for Telegraph Money. There are versions with more powerful batteries capable of longer ranges. The Kona EV 64kWh for instance, can travel up to 300 miles on a single charge.

Cars that are able to make the journey include the Mercedes EQS, the Kia EV6 and the Ford Mustang Mach-E, according to Auto Trader. But only the Mercedes can make the 404-mile journey from London to Edinburgh on a single charge. The car has an estimated range of 419 miles.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/one-electric-car-can-beat-range-anxiety-make-north/

In fact this is just another example of the shoddy journalism which we have become accustomed to from the Telegraph.

As a quick check would have revealed, these mileages are obtained from laboratory testing and do not reflect real world driving conditions.

We already know from mileage calculators, provided by Audi, Vauxhall and others for their electric cars, that range is cut by at least a fifth in real conditions. The range is probably much less still in poor weather conditions and with a full load on board.

It is also highly unlikely that a driver would start with a 100% charged battery. To prevent damage to batteries, once the charge reaches 80%, the recharging is slowed down significantly by the software. Literally it can take as long to charge from 80 to 100%, as it did from 0 to 80%. Whether charging at home or on a public one, it is unlikely a driver would wait long enough for a full charge.

Finally nobody will risk running the battery down to zero charge, any more than you would use the last teaspoon full of petrol.

In practice then real world range would not be much more than a half of the stated mileage.

If we factor that into the three examples given, we get:

  • Kia EV6 (OTR Price £41695) – 170 miles
  • Mercedes EQS (£102160) – 230 miles
  • Ford Mustang Mach E (£47530) – 190 miles

If you’ve got a 100 grand to spare, you might just get to Scotch Corner, otherwise you’ll have to stop at Leeds.

As for mere mortals who can only afford a Nissan Leaf (a snip at £29K), you’ll be lucky to get 100 miles.

The report below is from the carbuyers’ website, Honest John. It refers to the Leaf:

First up, a little bit of background. Our daily commute is about 70 miles a day, with the first 15-minutes being stop-start traffic dropping the kids off at school, then 20 minutes of motorway driving, before a final five (sometimes 10 minutes) on A-roads with a bit of overtaking lorries up hill.

Why is this important? Simply because the answer to the two questions at the start will depend entirely on how you’re driving and how you’re planning to charge.

While our daily commute is well within the Leaf’s official range of 168 miles, not all range miles are created equal.  For a start, that figure of 168 is more like 140 miles. So a 60-mile commute should see us return home with more than 50% battery, making it possible to go two days without charge.

But this isn’t possible, for two reasons. The first is that we often return home with less than 50% battery (more like 45%). That’s because, as a rule of thumb, if you’re going over 60mph you’re going to use more than one range mile for every actual mile you cover.

Our personal worst was a 60-mile round trip, three up with luggage and running a touch late. We left home with 85% charge and returned with just 3% with Eco mode kicking in for the last 20% of the battery’s charge.

The second reason we have to charge every night is that it simply isn’t possible to refill the battery from almost empty ‘overnight’. Plug-in a near-empty Leaf to a domestic 3kw three-pin socket and realistically you’re looking at a charge time of more than 16 hours.

https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/our-cars/nissan-leaf/what-is-the-real-world-range-of-the-nissan-leaf/

That comment about the 60 mile trip running the battery down from 85 to 3% is really a shocker. It presumably is a reflection of the fact that the car had three on board with luggage.

I can foresee really hideous problems coming our way in future, with drivers, who have naively believed all of the propaganda fed to them by EV proponents, finding themselves stuck on motorways with no charge left.

Heaven help them if they are on smart motorways.

The shocking reality, that most people have not yet woken up to, is that, unless you’ve got 50 grand to spare, electric cars will mark the end of driving out to the seaside or into the countryside for the day, or a long trip to see friends or family.

And if you want to use it to go on holiday, be prepared for long queues at the services!

FOOTNOTE

I wish they would drop this ridiculous term “Range Anxiety”, which makes it sound as if drivers are worrying unnecessarily.

It is not drivers who are the problem, it is the wretched cars.

It is time that journalists did their homework and reported EV range as a serious drawback for the cars.

71 Comments
  1. April 10, 2022 7:16 pm

    i suspect that a lot of EVs are second or third cars, used only for short local trips, how does that “save the planet”, considering the energy expended in building them, and the amusing FACT that when an EV is recharged a power station has to increase its output, and what type of power station can do that?

    • Gamecock permalink
      April 10, 2022 10:34 pm

      Correct. They are for local use only.

      The idea that they can be good for distance travel is transparent propaganda. No owner will try it.

      Range anxiety is petrifying. Owners manage it by local use only. To wit, they are FINE with that. They know what they have, and that’s the way they use it.

      EVs are not suitable for distance travel, for which petrol and diesel cars are just fine. No matter what The Tele tells you.

  2. Broadlands permalink
    April 10, 2022 7:17 pm

    The cars themselves require fossil fuels for manufacture and distribution, but so do the recharge stations. They don’t just pop up like mushrooms. The people and the materials they use require transportation for their construction. Another minor detail for those eager to reach net-zero by 2050…if ever.

  3. April 10, 2022 7:21 pm

    The more powerful the battery, the greater the chance of spontaneous combustion. Don’t park or charge near your home.

  4. April 10, 2022 7:29 pm

    Who wants to drive to London – Edinburgh without stoping? Yes another silly Telegraph EV article.

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      April 10, 2022 8:37 pm

      No you are the silly person. Last time I made that journey I drove halfway, stopped for a piss and quick coffee (10 minutes) and then my wife drove the rest of the journey. No waiting around for a charger to be free and then half an hour to “refuel” for very little extra mileage. Who pays YOU to post such silly stuff.

      • Chaswarnertoo permalink
        April 11, 2022 7:32 am

        Did Taunton to Dundee, with a trailer on. One pee stop, easy, in a Jeep. Where’s the electric ( coal fired) car that can do that?

    • ThinkingScientist permalink
      April 11, 2022 7:41 am

      In my Discovery 4 in 2013 we took 7.30 am Chunnel and after crossing to France drove virtually non-stop to our hotel in Switzerland. We only stopped for a baguette and a leak. We arrive at 4pm.

      Try that in your EV.

      • ThinkingScientist permalink
        April 11, 2022 7:47 am

        I should add we took the German Autobahn route on the last part, so happily cruising (legally) at 90 – 100 mph.

        And that’s in a 4×4 also capable of towing 3.5 tons.

        Try that in your EV and see how far you get.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      April 11, 2022 8:52 am

      I regularly drive London to Bergerac and back. 600 miles, my BMW diesel 3 series does it on one full tank. We stop for lunch yes, but that’s an hour at most, nowhere near enough to charge an EV properly.

    • John189 permalink
      April 11, 2022 11:39 am

      Never mind who wants to, there are many who need to either for work/business or family reasons.

    • teaef permalink
      April 11, 2022 8:08 pm

      Lots!

  5. Peter Yarnall permalink
    April 10, 2022 7:29 pm

    My own average driving experience in the last 12 months include; 5 trips to Devon, 300 miles each way. Trips to referee Rugby League student matches including York, Loughborough, Birmingham and Newcastle Universities, all well over 120 mile round trips in my Mazda 2 with negligible emissions. All easily achieved with not even a full tank of petrol from my home near the M62 on the Lancs/Yorks border.
    Of what use is an EV to me? It would seriously curtail my lifestyle.
    As Keith Moody says at the end of his report. “driving around town in traffic is where the EV is at home.”
    Is that not the point of public transport?

    • Stuart Brown permalink
      April 10, 2022 9:04 pm

      “Is that not the point of public transport?”

      Hmm. Not if you don’t live in the centre of town! I live less than 10 miles from the middle of Leicester, but get just a dozen one hour long ‘opportunities’ to travel in per weekday and only until 6pm. Then again, in the centre of London – why would you want a car at all?

      Would an EV do for me? I’m retired, my average round trip journey is less than 20 miles maybe a couple of times a week. So a Leaf would work fine except that I couldn’t get a double bed in it and I get ‘Daaaad, could you move me from one flat to another……’ calls often enough. And one offspring lives 150 miles away with no off-road parking. So I think I’m agreeing with you, Peter. I’d have to hire something too often, and though the economics might make sense to go EV, my 12 year old diesel is a comfortable old shoe which fits for just about all requirements. I bought it almost new for £10K.

      So, though that Merc looks really nice, (and to nod to Tangoev, a quick Googling looks like a 30 minute charge and adjustment of bodily liquids half way up the M1 would remove any worries for most EVs,) I don’t think I want one.

      And if I can’t be tempted, I can’t understand why anybody is apart from boasting rights.

  6. Harry Passfield permalink
    April 10, 2022 7:43 pm

    this is just another example of the shoddy journalism which we have become accustomed to from the Telegraph.

    Unless you watched CountryFile (AKA Green Peter) on BBC1 tonight.
    Just about every other sentence in the programme had the words ‘climate change’ in it. The BBC are going full on with their CC Propaganda – and it should not be allowed! With old fools like me, it’s not working, but with kids like my grandson, it is setting them up for an uncertain future – and not one caused by CC/AGW.

    • teaef permalink
      April 11, 2022 8:11 pm

      That’s all Countryfile talks about these days

  7. Jack Broughton permalink
    April 10, 2022 7:47 pm

    Didn’t rich Boris say to rich Richy: “this is an important step in our Malleus prolebus policy”. It is another way of enriching London, where these foul devices are not required, at the expense of the North. Levelling-up really means levelling the people oop-north, where power rationing will stop them charging their E/Vs anyway!

    • mikewaite permalink
      April 10, 2022 10:57 pm

      “And it was found waste” – AD 1086

  8. Frank permalink
    April 10, 2022 8:07 pm

    LV Insurance were saying in their TV Advert tonight, that if you break down with no charge in your EV, they will tow you to the nearest Charge Point. I wonder how long that will last (sorry about the unintended pun)

    • Gamecock permalink
      April 11, 2022 11:36 am

      “nearest available and working Charge Point” would be an upgrade.

  9. R A N permalink
    April 10, 2022 8:15 pm

    EVs are very bad at motorway speeds; You could get to Leeds-but only at 30mph

  10. JimW permalink
    April 10, 2022 8:15 pm

    Delivering milk, is where the EV is at home!

    • ThinkingScientist permalink
      April 11, 2022 7:43 am

      +1! 😀

    • Gerry, England permalink
      April 11, 2022 10:54 am

      I thought Milk&More were going to battery vehicles but a diesel transit stills drops off my milk and groceries.

      • ThinkingScientist permalink
        April 12, 2022 3:32 pm

        Ours too. At 1am!

  11. jchr12 permalink
    April 10, 2022 8:20 pm

    There is the new pure electric BMW iXd50m with a massive 105 kWh battery that takes 3 days to charge using a normal domestic supply & 9 hours on a 3 phase. Only £114k too!!

    A few decades ago the government refused to allow 50 tonne LGVs, but now are set to permit 30m cars with an extra tonne of non-recyclable plastics & poisons.

    Stark raving madness that won’t be tolerated.

  12. Frank Everest permalink
    April 10, 2022 8:28 pm

    It is a truly ludicrous article on several levels. As someone else points out, no-one could drive from London to Edinburgh without stopping. And the idea that one might arrive in Edinburgh with 0% battery is also ridiculous.
    If the journalists had used the ABRP app or Tesla app, they’d have seen that it would take 8h13m including a 15min. charge at Mansfield and a 20min. charge at Washington. Just about enough time for a coffee and a pee at each place!
    It’s typical of the shoddy journalism we get these days.

    • Mack permalink
      April 10, 2022 10:41 pm

      ‘No one could drive from London to Edinburgh without stopping’. Well, not in an EV without having ‘range anxiety’ induced hypertension. I have made many similar range journeys between England and God’s own country in an ice vehicle without stopping but never suffered from range anxiety. My bladder may have been a tad anxious but nothing that would require plugging it into a ‘functioning’ charger, if I could find one, for lengthy periods as you would expect in winter or crap traffic conditions. Ye take the high road in your EV pal and I’ll take the low road in my 600 mile range ice motor and I’ll definitely be in Scotland before ye!

    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      April 11, 2022 7:34 am

      No one? You appear to have a weak bladder.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      April 11, 2022 8:57 am

      Done that sort of journey many times without stopping. And you assume long range cars with fast charging, no queues and no additional load on the battery. And a brand new battery.

      Which is frankly ludicrous.

  13. BLACK PEARL permalink
    April 10, 2022 9:20 pm

    PAUL: “It is time that journalists did their homework and reported EV range as a serious drawback for the cars”
    I would suspect they could be getting paid to do these reviews.
    Everything is corrupt these days.
    I would be more interested in the 2nd value of a £114K BMW iXd50m mentioned above after 8 years when the battery is toast !
    Who’s going to buy a 2nd hand EV ????

    • jchr12 permalink
      April 10, 2022 9:44 pm

      Ask the unfortunate Swedish farmer who bought a 3 years’ old Tesla & the battery failed a year later. He was quoted $20,000 for repairs (more than it’s value), so blew it up as a warning to others.

      • Crowcatcher permalink
        April 11, 2022 6:35 am

        I would hope that he did it outside Greta’s House!!!!

      • April 11, 2022 11:15 am

        :0) sadly though, many seem to be bowing to her shadow.

  14. April 10, 2022 10:07 pm

    Real world driving seems to reduce the range. There are numerous stories of journalists who were caught short when driving an EV on a road trip.

    Also do not ever turn on the heating or air conditioning.

    Furthermore the battery loses a fair bit of capacity in the first year: the capacity graph is shaped a bit like a hockey stick, sharp drop in year 1 then slower rate of degradation thereafter. So any test on a new EVs is overstating the actual performance.

    • Thomas Carr permalink
      April 10, 2022 10:42 pm

      Also, Bruce, no electric window operation or the use of wipers, de-mister, headlights, cabin lights, heated seats ICE , phone charger……………..etc etc.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      April 11, 2022 9:01 am

      Exactly right. The true range should be on a 1-2 year old battery using between 20-80% charge (as below or above quickly degrades battery life), two passengers with luggage and with things like A/C or heating, GPS and music on.

      I’m guessing that gives less than 50% of the brochure range.

      • John Brown permalink
        April 13, 2022 6:35 pm

        And in winter as the battery capacity is much reduced when it’s cold I believe.

  15. Beagle permalink
    April 10, 2022 10:39 pm

    Carwow did a test with several EV’s all travelling together at same speed. When the battery was getting low they diverted to a charge point and then drove nearby until the battery would go no further. One of the cars (I can’t remember which one) just locked solid and couldn’t be pushed to the charger which was only a few meters away. Instead they had to get a truck to lift the car to the charge point. This is just another note of caution.

  16. Coeur de Lion permalink
    April 10, 2022 11:05 pm

    When we had that fuel panic I suffered acute range anxiety. My diesel Citroen was down to 31 miles! Then West Meon gas station had some and I was punting 500miles in five minutes.

  17. Tjomas Carr permalink
    April 10, 2022 11:08 pm

    All this agonising about battery performance and EV operating constraints misses the point. An EV makes some fairly harsh demands on personal circumstances and aquisition is itself an invidious means test. It involves paying :
    A. A 45/50% percent cost premium above the price of a petrol or diesel car. It requires
    B. A house where the EV can be parked overnight within the private curtilege for charging.
    C. Or a flat or maisonette grand enough to have sole use parking spaces within the
    premises for assured and safe charging.

    So an EV is generally beyond the reach of the less well off and in that sense socially divisive.

    • Stuart Brown permalink
      April 11, 2022 10:57 am

      And, if these things are to be usable as a large percentage of the cars on the road…
      D) A massive increase in electrical network infrastructure and generators all paid for from energy bills or general taxation. So partly by those who can’t afford to buy one!

    • Gamecock permalink
      April 12, 2022 10:55 am

      “A 45/50% percent cost premium above the price of a petrol or diesel car.”

      Interesting. The gap used to be more like 30%. Which means the gap is GROWING, not shrinking, as the electrophiles told us it would.

    • ThinkingScientist permalink
      April 12, 2022 3:34 pm

      And we could also add that an LCE provides all these advantages even though the fuel is taxed at around 55%

      • ThinkingScientist permalink
        April 12, 2022 3:35 pm

        ICE! Aargh….bloody corrective text!

  18. April 10, 2022 11:08 pm

    By 2050 the roads will be full of 30+ year old ICE cars with six figure mileages on the clock.

    • ThinkingScientist permalink
      April 11, 2022 7:37 am

      Cuba UK!

    • Sean permalink
      April 11, 2022 1:34 pm

      With the range limits imposed by the constraints of home charging, wouldn’t most of the available EVs have trouble breaking out of five-figure mileage in that time?

  19. April 10, 2022 11:09 pm

    I would like to hear from an EV owner what effect owning an EV has on their electricity bill

  20. It doesn't add up... permalink
    April 11, 2022 12:34 am

    Here’s what What Car? found a year or so ago on “real world” testing

    https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/e1ofS/1/

    None of the cars came close to claimed mileage.

  21. Adam Gallon permalink
    April 11, 2022 6:29 am

    Motoring churnalists don’t tend to comment negatively on the cars they “review”, as Clarkson found out, they don’t get any more sent to them.

  22. ThinkingScientist permalink
    April 11, 2022 7:37 am

    And those of us who tow caravans?

    Do we have to give that up, sell at a huge loss? No EV can or is likely to ever be able to tow our 2.6 ton Airstream trailer.

    So do we become pariahs, forced to have an “unclean” diesel, unable to park, unable to enter cities, snubbed as economy class citizens?

    And would I give a shit? Probably not, just quietly smirk at all the sheeples with their useless, overpriced EVs meekly bowing down and doing what they’re told.

  23. Richard Jarman permalink
    April 11, 2022 8:30 am

    The point of this technology is to prevent you from going anywhere

  24. Phoenix44 permalink
    April 11, 2022 9:07 am

    I have nothing against EVs as such, any more than I have anything against Kodak film or coal fires in my home. I don’t use those any more as digital photography and gas central heating are much cheaper and much better. So when EVs are better and/or cheaper I will buy one. That’s all it requires.

  25. Gerry, England permalink
    April 11, 2022 10:59 am

    In a normal car, your ‘range anxiety’ can be relieved by a container with a gallon of fuel in the boot.

    • ThinkingScientist permalink
      April 12, 2022 3:42 pm

      Or a 20 litre metal jerry can which I take on long haul caravan duty now.

      Once got below 20 miles range left in France after passing 5 successive closed fuel stations on Autoroute before swinging off and filling up much more cheaply at a supermarket.

      But towing, 20 litres in the boot gives me about another 80 miles in reserve. Not sure how many AA batteries you would to carry to give you that many extra miles in a Tesla……

  26. Mad Mike permalink
    April 11, 2022 11:00 am

    Off topic but this how our local county council has just reduced their CO2 emissions reduction target by 30% and it probably cost them nothing

    https://www.kentonline.co.uk/kent/news/kcc-buys-14m-solar-farm-in-somerset-265327/

    Buy in to a solar farm 200 miles away from you and you can go on as many long distance flights as you like, guilt free. Now that’s what I call creative accounting. With one bound we can all be free of all the restrictions of net zero. Wonderful.

  27. Tim Spence permalink
    April 11, 2022 3:45 pm

    A driverless car was stopped by police in San Fransico. The officer walked over to the car and was surprised to see no driver, tried to open the door but the car then drove off and parked safely down the road. The car maker said the vehicle yielded to police and parked in the nearest safe place as it should have !
    TV station invites talking head ‘expert’ to opine and he says Police should have acess to a disable button !

    • Mad Mike permalink
      April 11, 2022 5:15 pm

      Will some bright spark hack the car so that it can drive at 100mph? Who would get the ticket?

  28. Rowland P permalink
    April 11, 2022 5:47 pm

    Now it seems that the government is going to “invest” £1.6 billion OF OUR MONEY for charge points all over the entry. Why should we have to pay for this?

    • Gamecock permalink
      April 12, 2022 10:48 am

      The value is in the announcement . . . getting people to believe that remote charging is feasible.

      Best move for them now is to do nothing. Wait 6 months, and make same announcement. Bragging about saving £1.6 billion should wait.

  29. Micky R permalink
    April 11, 2022 6:52 pm

    A few years ago, it was possible to buy a “pre-owned”, comfortable Volvo diesel saloon for around £1500 that would occasionally indicate a “range to empty” of 1000+ miles

  30. Peter permalink
    April 12, 2022 1:20 am

    Solution: towable range extender. 🙂
    https://www.drive.com.au/news/french-startup-releases-a-towable-range-extender-for-your-ev/

    • Gamecock permalink
      April 12, 2022 8:45 pm

      Might have trouble integrating with OE battery.

      One could haul a generator on a trailer. You can’t charge while driving (Tesla), but you’d be guaranteed a charging station where ever you stopped.

  31. 2hmp permalink
    April 12, 2022 8:43 am

    The market doesn’t want EVs as they are currently priced and operated. Government diktat is forcing a false demand on producers. Who would have thought that a Conservative Government would perform such a trick – because a trick is what it is.

  32. John Brown permalink
    April 13, 2022 6:46 pm

    According to Ofgem the Government are wanting 10-14m evs by 2030. If my calculations are correct, then 10m evs connected in the evening to a standard 7KW charger would require 70GW.

    Although it will be natural and battery efficient behaviour for an owner to connect their ev to a charger each evening, the connections will fortunately not be all at the same time and the average charging time is unlikely to be all night long.

    Even so, bearing in mind that the installed offshore wind power is planned to be only 50GW by 2030, which BTW is the absolute maximum power, not the average power, then there is going to be needed some very fancy ways developed for all these evs to have a fully charged battery by the following morning, never mind dealing with grid balancing issues.

    Except note that ev batteries are also intended to be used for grid balancing and storage so an ev owner connecting his ev overnight may find he has instead a flat battery in the morning if the wind has dropped and the power was needed for more important users.

    Note that each charge/discharge cycle degrades the battery.

    • Mikehig permalink
      April 14, 2022 9:27 am

      Why would every EV owner charge their car every evening?
      If everyone tried to top up their ICE fuel tank every evening there would be pandemonium.
      EV owners are recommended to keep their battery between 20 and 80% charged unless they have a long journey planned. They can programme their cars/chargers accordingly, as well as setting charging times for cheap off-peak rates (when demand is low).
      A better way to estimate the demand for EV charging is to use average daily mileages (about 20 miles per day) and average power consumption (say 3 miles per kWh). That gives an averaged demand of approx 7 kWh per car per day. Assuming the worst case that everyone charges overnight, that’s less than a kW of extra demand per car over 8+ hours (using smart charging) => call it 10 GW in total for 10 million cars.
      The difference between peak and off-peak demand is typically around 15 GW so, for EVs alone there is enough capacity today.
      Things will look very different if/when we are forced to switch to electricity for heating and hot water.

  33. BLACK PEARL permalink
    April 13, 2022 11:17 pm

    If so
    What is the Govt intending to do with 14m batteries after 8 years and for ever after.

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