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How is the range of electric car calculated?

What is WLTP and how is it related to the range of your electric car?
Updated on
April 5, 2023

Range or Fuel Efficiency?

The average gasoline car today has an efficiency of around 25 mpg (miles per gallon). The average electric car has an efficiency of around 100 mpg (equivalent). That’s an incredible increase of 300%. However, fuel efficiencies of vehicles can be tricky to measure. A multitude of factors including weather and driving style can affect efficiency significantly.

So how is fuel efficiency measured?

Experts have come up with various methods to do this. Today, the most accepted procedure is the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure, or WLTP for short.

Developed by the European Union, the WLTP is a test split into 4 parts – each with a different average speed. The test lasts for 30 minutes, and the car is driven at an average speed of 46 km/h. The driving is done to simulate real-world driving conditions. The test is done with a device connected to the exhaust of the vehicle. This measures C02 emissions of the vehicle. Since emissions are closely related to fuel efficiency, the WLTP can estimate efficiency.

However, electric cars don’t emit CO2. Hence, the test is carried out as follows:

  • The electric car is fully charged.
  • The car is then driven a certain distance.
  • The car is plugged in again, with a charging meter being used. This helps estimate the charge depleted from the battery to travel the test distance.

The WLTP has been in use since 2017 as the official approval test across Europe. Most other countries have followed suit too, by accepting the WLTP.

Why should you care about the WLTP?

Well, you should care because it tells you how efficient a car is. It provides you with better information on which to base your decisions when buying a new car. However, keep in mind that the WLTP simulates only a driving profile and is not completely representative of real-world drives.

Efficiency of electric cars is critical as it affects the range of the car – the distance the car can travel on a single charge. Electric car efficiency is usually measured in Kilowatt-Hours (kWh) used to travel 100 miles. On average, for the modern electric car this value is about 20 kWh. The lower the number, the more energy-efficient the car is.

Even though electric car range can be highly variable, you can rest assured that electric cars are significantly more efficient than conventional cars, without exception. EVs convert up to 95% of the electrical energy to power the wheels, whereas conventional vehicles convert only about 20% of the fuel energy to drive wheels. And this efficiency metric of EVs is constantly improving.

By virtue of their eco-friendliness, instant acceleration, and all-round smooth driving experience, electric vehicles have grown in popularity tremendously recently. If you are considering buying an electric car, check out the list of our favourite new electric car models.

Even though electric cars are very efficient, ease of access to a chargepoint could be an issue. To help fix this, we at VoltShare have developed the HH1 fast charger. It is an EV charger that you can set up anywhere and then rent out for the community to use: a potential source of income for yourself.

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VoltShare are an EV charging technology provider for the hospitality industry that simplifies management, payments collection, and technology integration. We empower small to large-sized venues to futureproof themselves, while ensuring they remain resource-efficient and profitable.

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