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More than half of EVs in Consumer Reports’ highway range tests fall short of EPA claims

The advertised ranges of many electric vehicles can vary a lot from the number of miles they can actually cover on a highway road trip, new testing by Consumer Reports (CR) shows. When driven at a constant highway speed of 70 mph, some vehicles tested fell up to 50 miles short of their advertised ranges, while others exceeded their advertised ranges—one by more than 70 miles.

Unlike the mileage estimates for conventional cars and hybrids, which indicate separate city and highway ranges, EV range estimates combine simulated city and highway driving, based on standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). CR testing shows that this estimate may not accurately reflect the range you can expect on the highway, where every mile counts. Further complicating matters, unlike gasoline-powered cars, is that EVs tend to be less efficient on highways than in cities.

Real-world comparative tests are critical to understand if an EV is right for you. That’s why we purchase our vehicles like a consumer would and drive them at highway speeds like a consumer would on a road trip.

—Jake Fisher, senior director of CR’s auto test center

To find out how much range EV models actually get in highway driving conditions, CR put 22 of the most popular new EVs through a new highway-speed range test, driving fully-charged vehicles at a steady speed of 70 mph until they ran out of charge.

Even if the car indicated zero miles of range, we didn’t stop driving until the car came to a stop. Then we brought the car to a charger on a flatbed.

—Alex Knizek, manager of auto testing and insights at CR

While most models stopped shortly after indicating zero range, a few—such as the BMW iX—traveled up to 30 additional miles.


Of the 22 EVs tested so far, nearly half fell short of their EPA-estimated ranges when driven at highway speeds. CR found the biggest difference in range with the Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck: Its battery ran out after just 270 miles—a 50-mile difference from the EPA estimate.

A few luxury sedans also fell short. The Lucid Air missed its advertised 384-mile range by 40 miles. The Tesla Model S has an EPA range of 405 miles, but CR found it was only good for 366 miles of highway driving.

CR reached out to these automakers for comment on the findings but none had responded by publication time.

On the other hand, some vehicles from BMW and Mercedes-Benz beat their EPA-estimated ranges by more than 40 miles. The Rivian R1T and Ford Mustang Mach-E also exceeded EPA estimates at highway speeds.

The EVs tested from Audi, Genesis, Hyundai, Kia, Lexus, Nissan, Subaru, and Volkswagen were all within 20 miles of their advertised ranges.

The new test results will be factored into new EV scores that CR launched this year. Going forward, CR will continue to evaluate highway range for every EV it tests. CR is also asking the EPA to add a highway-speed range test and make the data available to consumers. Other organizations, including Car and Driver and SAE International, are doing the same.

EPA’s testing procedures date back to the early days of EVs, and what’s included on the window sticker is partially controlled by laws written decades ago for gas cars. CR has asked EPA to start the process of modernizing these regulations to help provide more useful consumer information about today’s EVs, including highway range.

—Chris Harto, senior energy policy analyst at CR



The problem is obvious: CR is testing one scenario (constant 70MPH), and the EPA is testing a different scenario (cold start from a standstill, a route that includes a variety of speeds). Higher speeds explain why the Ford pickup fell short, since it has lousy air resistance. The two others (Lucid and Tesla) are harder to explain. Maybe they have some software processes that help them score well on the EPA test, although they should know that's not a great idea.

What I don't understand is how CR counts that "more than half" of EVs fell short, when 10 of 22 fell short (and most by a tiny amount).


It is really amazing to me that the media, green car congress included insists on evaluating BEV vehicles outside of their typical use.
BEVs are not going to be good at long distance driving and are unlikely to be driven at 70mph for n extended period of time
Your impression of the real world is wide open places, with distance between stops, that is not the BEV world.
I live in LA metro, Orange County, it would be a miracle or Sunday 2am to be able to drive 70mph for any length of time
Yet my BEV starts full everyday 270 to 300 miles of range, it takes me everywhere I want to go and I never even worry about range, it has never visited a public charger or has it ever been close to needing to charge in the wild. Those without home charging should avoid a BEV today, those driving greater than 125 miles one way regularly should avoid a BEV
The majority of the use cases for everyday driving is less than 125 miles one way far less … so for some huge percentage of trips, the range gauge, guess o meter, ever hopeful as it is, is really of no concern to most BEV drivers, my wife charges hers daily, mine I charge Sat mornings, my Daughter in Law charges her Audi every 10 to 14 days on the home chargers.

Roger Pham

Why pay more for a full BEV and have range anxiety? Why not get a PHEV and never worry about range at all, while paying less for it?


Roger, PHEVs are not necessarily cheaper to buy anymore, and certainly not cheaper to own. They might still make sense in very unique circumstances, like a daily 50 mile commute, mixed with long weekend trips through Death Valley past "next gas 150 mile" signs (with obligatory desiccated cattle skeletons ).

The key takeaway from CR's chart is that most EVs let you drive 4 hours at 70MPH before you need a 30 minute rest stop. You can then drive 3 more hours before the next stop (if you charge to 80%). Frankly, that's the pacing of every family road trip from my childhood. The only difference is that electrons are cheaper than unleaded.

Sblythca re: "those driving greater than 125 miles one way regularly should avoid a BEV ". I disagree. Those driver can save several thousand dollars a year with an EV. It's the "little old lady who only drove to church on Sundays" that won't benefit.


“Of the 22 EVs tested so far, nearly half fell short of their EPA-estimated ranges when driven at highway speeds.”
Actually CR and GCC have posted the headline wrong:
It should say that more than half did very well on the 70 mile highway speed test, even the Ford F-150 which still did 270 miles which is beyond the range one needs to travel across the USA.
Concerning PHEVs.
The current PHEV that are made “think” they solve the Range Anxiety problem, however for the most part they fail. A 30 mile range PHEV does not solve anything and adds the complexity of a $5,000 Lithium NMC battery (requiring 25% reserve capacity,i.e. a 17 kWh battery has less than 13 kWh usable capacity).
Stellantis, in their RAMCHARGER truck has it correct with a Range Extended EV truck with 145 mile EV range (though still using a Lithium NMC battery - the 92 kWh battery has 70.8 kWh usable capacity).

There are a small percent of drivers that because of their work require driving long distances, pulling a trailer, and/or carrying a heavy load. Plus this work involves traveling in areas where fast DC chargers are not available.
This application would require a Range Extended EV truck and every auto manufacturer that has developed a PHEV can build one. To make this really work use a 75 kWh Sodium Ion battery which will keep the cost below $5000 and requires no limited resource metals.


Also the tires worn faster and cost more because of the added weight and lot of torque on acceleration from 0 mph.

Roger Pham

@Bernard and Gryf,
A PHEV can overcome the deficiencies of both BEV and ICEV, to justify costing a little extra, although a PHEV doesn't have to cost more than neither BEV nor ICEV if designed from a clean-sheet approach to minimize cost.

A PHEV is essentially a HEV with a larger traction battery pack. That is all. So, a clean-sheet design PHEV would have a bigger battery pack and a smaller engine than than those of the HEV, and the smaller engine would compensate in term of weight and cost for the larger battery pack
A PHEV can be made to cost comparable to an equivalent ICEV if the engine is made 1/2 the size of the engine of the ICEV, while the e-motors replaces the gear-shift transmission of the ICEV, while the much-smaller engine would compensate for the weight and cost of the battery pack when the prices of e-motors, inverters, and batteries coming down due to large volume of EVs being made. The lower power of the down-sized engine will be be compensated for by the extra power of the e-motors.

The e-motors are far more reliable than the gear-shift transmission unit, while the cost of replacement of the traction battery pack will be compensated for by the saving in fueling cost, so we are obtaining environmental benefits free of charge with the use of PHEVs. I just don't understand the resistance to PHEVs.

Those with a need for 60-mi a day commute can charge a 30-mi e-range PHEV TWICE a day, at home and at work. Those who drive taxi or Uber can opt for a PHEV with 60-100-mi e-range to be capable of 120-200-mi all-electric driving daily when charged at home at night and during lunch breaks, yet still feel secure without range anxiety during occasional long trips. I just don't see any need for a pure BEV nor a pure ICEV. PHEVs can do it all.

HEVs right now can serve as the preliminary step until car makers can source enough batteries to make them all PHEVs. Car makers can design HEVs with available space for an upgrade to a PHEV via swapping of a small battery for a larger battery pack, so HEV owners will feel secure that should gasoline be scarce in the future, they will have the option to upgrade from a HEV to a PHEV with just a battery upgrade.


@ Roger: HI Roger - I agree 100% but many here are very enviro-political and consider PHEV as a sell-out to fossil fuels - I couldn't care less. I would be completely happy with a 100 mile electric/ 350 mile ICE (gas or future H2) PHEV combo in a mid-size+ SUV as being the best of all worlds. Since the majority of people no longer live in 'owned' single-family housing and that is likely to decline, EV is becoming more an 'unacceptable' compromise until we get 400 mile range and 5 minute 80% charging in a mid-size SUV for less than $60k with repair reliability that costs less than 25% of the vehicle over 15 years/ 200k miles. My chief concern is reliability of all the PHEV components and repair costs for such complexity, if any. My second concern is performance - speed, comfort, acceleration, towing. It will be interesting to see how the industry develops, how it chooses models to release, and what non-ICE regulations stick post-2030 (a lot closer than one thinks).


I can understand all of those stated reservations but none of them are carved into granite. There are several promising chemistry candidates that are bent to upheave the present scenery. One of the latest is the Aluminum- Sulfur solution proposed from Don Sadoway at MIT. This chemistry, based on abundant elements, is cheap and promises high energy and power density and also high cycle-ability; not to forget Quantumscape lurking in the shadow.
I'm not pessimistic about several possible acceptable solutions in the near future. The final "coup de grace" for fossils is not far off and unavoidable.



Roger, I understand your logic, but it doesn't play-out in practice.
Plug-ins are the least reliable class of cars, according to a recent article published here. That's because they combine unreliable components from EVs and ICE cars.
Smaller ICEs are not much cheaper to build. Most of the cost is in R&D, tooling, and manufacturing, not in an extra 50KG of metal. This is a common misconception in the UK, where corporate leasing schemes try very hard to convince you that you should pay significantly more for a 1.3 l than a 1.1 l.
Hybrids present a packaging problem (as anyone who's tried to fit a couple of suitcases in a Prius knows all too well), but plug-ins are an order of magnitude worse because they need much larger batteries and electronics.
A half-way solution doesn't make practical sense for consumers. If you have the ability to charge a plug-in, you also have the ability to charge a full EV. The only things a plug-in provides is higher cost (up-front and ongoing), worse reliability, and less space. That and the ability to drive 6 hours without a pee break, rather than 4 hours.


PHEV as noted are a current solution for “extreme transport applications” only.
And it is not 50 kg of metal more like 200 kg of extra weight for the ICE even if it is a 3 or 4 cylinder engine (diesels are much higher).
Even Toyota envisions that by the end of the decade Solid State batteries with 1000 km range will be available, so no ICE needed.
Another two promising battery chemistries (both originally from John Goodenough) are Sodium Ion and Potassium Ion. Low cost, use widely available materials, and are manufactured similar to Lithium Ion. Sodium Ion is already in commercial production and used in small EV in China. Sodium Ion uses Soda Ash (Sodium Carbonate) and the world’s largest deposit is in Wyoming.
Potassium Ion will be developed later. Group 1 ( a spinoff of University of Texas research where John Goodenough was the head is developing a Solid State Potassium Ion battery which will be competitive with Lithium Ion energy densities.
Xue et al., Cathode Dependence of Liquid-Alloy Na–K Anodes. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 9, 3292–3298. February 11, 2018.
Potassion Ion batteries are made from Potash, also widely available and the world's largest potash mine is located in Saskatchewan, Canada once production is ramped up.


What this shows is that electric vehicles have arrived! That's 200 - 380 miles at 70 mph, no gas, no oil, no gas stations. Why do any vehicles do better at 70 than EPA? They should all "fall short."


Nocreditreports, exactly! EV objections are becoming more and more inconsequential. 10 years ago it was "can I make it two work and back?", now it's "what if I want to cross a continent at high speed, only stopping every 8 hours, for no more than 7 minutes?"

One objection that I find particularly absurd is "range is lower in the winter." I live in Canada, and gasoline range drops just as much, and usually more, in the winter. You need a lot of gasoline to heat a 200KG engine block from ice-cold to boiling every morning!

The main valid objection is price. All cars are expensive, and we know that a minority of cars on the road were purchased new (which is derived from the stat that cars have 4 owners in their lifetime on average). It will unfortunately take a long time before most buyers have a competitive EV option.

Roger Pham

Recent advancements in battery tech are very encouraging and will further ensure success of Plug-in EVs. Whatever battery techs that will be good for BEVs will also be good for PHEVs. More energy-dense, lower cost, and safer batteries will further make PHEVs more appealing in comparison to an ICEV.

However, BEVs aren't not selling well recently, and hybrids are selling better. BEVs are piling up in inventories while there are long waiting times to get a Toyota's PHEVs. So, PHEV remains the best way to persuade the consumers to migrate toward electrification, renewable energy and away from fossil fuel.

Each PHEV has a built-in thermal power generation plant to supply to the grid in case of shortage in Renewable Energy without having to resort to building expensive thermal power plants to back an all RE grid, so will make the transition toward an all RE future much more economical. A PHEV will draw power from the all RE grid whenever RE is available, and will provide power back to the grid whenever there will be a shortage of electricity.

With "self-charging" capability, a PHEV is thus grid independent and this is a very valuable feature that no one should do without. The long range of nearly 600-mi range of a PHEV with 3-minute fill-up time is also another desirable feature during evacuation from hurricanes, forest fires and other natural disasters. Why do we want to deprive the consumers of such important features in their cars?


This article has provoced a great debate.
IMO the Cybertruck REX strategy is almost superior, but a better REX option is needed. The RAM PHEV will have a significant markey for hardcore weekend warrioirs and businesses that tow or have heavy duty use.
The lower cost 2WD and 4WD Cybertrucks comming later will likely price undercut the RAM PHEV truck and eventually outsell it.
The Tesla $16K REX will be mediocre for towing. The REX interface could be hacked to allow a diesel or gas REX with a lot more range, lighter, cheaper. Of course Tesla can't do it to protect reputation but it makes sense for the 1% who do extreme towing to remote locations. And the GHG emissions from some people doing this is much less than the reduced emissions from mass EV truck adoption. And it will allow the low range Cybertruck options to sell more, thus saving batteries and speeding EV adoption. Most truck miles are urban short commutes which EV's can do 4-5X more efficiently which will reduce oil demand massively. REX enabled trucks will be very important and making it an option is the smartest strategy.
500-1000 miles easy with 50 gallons of diesel fuel for much less weight than the battery REX. If it helps EV truck adoption it will be better overall.

Obrist has developed a couple of different range extenders offering between 134 and 268 hp, but the one fitted to the Tesla consists of a two-cylinder, 1.0-liter gasoline engine and a small electric motor, plus a much smaller battery than originally fitted to the Model Y. It’s claimed to deliver fuel consumption of just 2.0 lt/100km (118 US mpg/141 mpg Imperial).
Zero vibration coin demonstration
20:1 compression ratio methanol fueled
Search for
"ZVG (50kWe) The Vibration Free, Emission Minimized & Sustainable Solution for an Electrified Future"


@ Bernard:
"The main valid objection is price. All cars are expensive, ...". Yes and No!
I made a mistake and bought a VW ID3. After glancing at the interior of the car for several days my disgust rose constantly towards the ceiling. VW is performing an excellent screw-job for its potential customers. You cannot order sensible extras as a single item; it is possible only - when ordering a complete set of extras just to obtain that single desirable item. In my case those were the heat-pump and the rear-view camera.
I asked the salesman, in case of failure of the a. m. items, is it possible to order them singly as a spare replacement? He confirmed my question. Furthermore, I asked him if his branch office would be prepared to order those mentioned items and install them after delivery from the factory? My question was again confirmed.
I saved several thousands of dollars proceeding in this manner. I never order extras as a package or set. I couldn't believe what a rip-off VW was practicing. Nevertheless it was to my advantage.
Are cars - EVs - really expensive to manufacture? I don't think so. They are, however, dearly priced to keep the competition for ICEs at a low level.


@Roger, hybrid and EV batteries are actually quite different. Hybrids need small-capacity batteries that can be charged and discharged at very high rates (relative to their size). You may remember the obsession with "super capacitors" from a few years back, this was thought to be a solution to hybrid battery issues. They aren't required for EVs.

Also, I'm not sure how you manage to refuel in 3 minutes. It takes me longer than that to find a gas station! I know I wrote 7 minutes, but a fuel stop can easily add 20 minutes to your day's errands. Compare that to the few extra seconds it takes to plug-in at home.
Your disaster scenario is more fear than fact. We've all seen news images of huge lineups at fuel stations when people are escaping hurricanes in Florida (or Brexit trade disruptions in the UK). Imagine if those people had started their journey with a full power reserve (as you would if foul weather was in the forecast), they would have been out of harm's way long before re-fueling became a concern.


@yoatmon, selling cars options in packages is not a new thing. The Japanese brands perfected this in the 1970s, because it was logistically impossible to build every variant in the right numbers and ship them across the ocean. It became a selling point for them: US brands could theoretically be ordered with nothing (and an appealing base price), but real customers all wanted radios and window defoggers, etc.
That was, of course, decades before mainstream EVs.

Roger Pham

@Bernard, I do see that full BEVs do work for many people including yourself, however, why you still do not see that many more people prefer PHEVs over BEVs for many obvious reasons? Just at the saturating market for BEVs, with BEV inventory piling up at dealers, while many people ordering PHEVs from Toyota are still waiting for months, if not over a year?

Why not give consumers variety for diverse needs of the complex market? Why Tesla still can't make PHEVs, even though PHEVs are necessary for Tesla continual growth when the market for full BEVs is saturating? Why is GM only now "looking into" PHEVs even though GM pioneered the highly acclaimed and well-loved PHEV Volt?

Instead of wasting your effort convincing people about the viability of BEVs, which is already proven after millions of BEVs already sold, why not you leading a campaign convincing Tesla (and GM) to make PHEVs in order to boost the US economy by having US manufacturers actually making products that the people around the world really want, instead of the governments around the world shoving full BEVs down the people's throat by 2035 in spite of their protests and disgust?


@ Roger Pham:
With CATL producing advanced Na-Batteries in the last quarter of this year and other battery chemistries to appear next year and the following year, there is no necessity for lugging excess weight (ICE) around to lower expected range. The cost and superfluous weight is better invested in additional batteries. Ranges of 600 miles and above are sufficient for almost any situation. May the ICE RIP.


Stellantis has another “Range Extender Solution” that would also fill the small niche for the occasions when you need more than 270 highway miles on your half-ton pickup - the Ample Battery Swapping Solution.
The Cyber truck and possibly Ford could use a truck bed swappable battery if you are pulling a large trailer, long distances.

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