Consumer Reports: Many EVs Fall Short of Range Estimates

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

EV battery technology has progressed to the point that range anxiety is becoming a thing of the past – at least on paper. A new study from Consumer Reports found that real-world driving ranges often fall way short of automakers’ advertised range estimates, but some exceed their on-paper numbers.

The publication tested 22 cars at highway speeds of 70 mph until they ran completely out of charge, after which they were towed to a charger. While many stopped when the range reached zero, some continued on. The BMW iX covered an additional 30 miles after “running out” of charge.

Of the 22 models tested, almost half fell short, with the Ford F-150 Lightning being one of the worst offenders, shaving 50 miles off its range estimate. The Lucid Air missed by 40 miles, and the Tesla Model S fell short by 39. Some BMW and Mercedes-Benz models exceeded their estimates by 40 miles or more.

The EPA’s range estimates simulate city and highway driving for a combined rating. Consumer Reports noted that this isn’t always accurate, as EVs tend to be less efficient at higher speeds on highways than commuting around town. It’s also important to note that where you live and how you drive can have an outsized impact on range, as people with lead feet or those living in colder climates may find a significant drop in range. 

[Image: Ford]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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6 of 89 comments
  • Art_Vandelay Art_Vandelay on Dec 07, 2023

    I've not seen this in 3 EV's I've owned. The Tesla is generally spot on, the FIAT typically exceeds it and the Leaf was right there before its battery did what Leaf batteries do. However if I spent a lot of time on the interstate in the FIAT or Leaf I'm sure they would fall short.

  • Cprescott Cprescott on Dec 07, 2023

    The actual battery usage is supposed to be in the 20-80% charge range on the battery. You can immediately cut your advertised range by 40% to get a real world usable range.

    • See 1 previous
    • Art_Vandelay Art_Vandelay on Dec 08, 2023

      Yep. Same with fast charging. It's hard on the battery but typically it's not something you do often enough to matter.

  • El scotto El scotto on Dec 07, 2023

    You fools! It's happening right in front of your eyes. Vehicle manufacturers are slowly and inevitably removing low-price sedans from their inventories. This cabal is secretly headed by Carlos Ghosn as he lives in exile in Lebanon. The Japanese let him go, the hiding in musical cases was just a ruse! -sarcasm off-

    It's not the government using some hidden and very diabolic plan to drive us all to EVs. Vehicle manufacturers are making more expensive SUVs and trucks. The market is adjusting with SUVs being wildly popular. Brougham = Aging Boomer in many eyes.

    There are no government mandates to buy an EV. Never will be, it'd be political death. What has not been said is that many EV owners don't qualify for the $7500 tax deduction. Yeah, the Venn diagram for owns an EV, has an accountant would be quite revealing.

  • Art_Vandelay Art_Vandelay on Dec 08, 2023

    It's not like everyone is topping their ICE vehicles off and coasting into the gas station having used every last drop of fuel either though. Most people start looking to fill up at around a 1/4 of a tank. If you constantly run the thing out of gas your fuel pump would probably be unhappy. If you running your EV to zero daily you probably bought the wrong vehicle