One of the big concerns around electric car range anxiety has been mitigated thanks to a study by consumer publisher Which?, which carried out a traffic jam simulation test to measure the impact of in-car electrical systems on an EV battery.
Range anxiety remains one of the biggest barriers to EV uptake, leading many potential buyers to express concerns about how much battery is being used by features such as the car’s climate settings, stereo, windscreen wipers and lighting – and how many miles they take off the battery’s range.
The researchers sat in a stationary Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV to simulate being stuck in gridlock, streaming music through Android Auto with both front heated seats on maximum, the air conditioning on, the headlights on dipped beam, and a tablet playing a film via a USB socket.
During the test, the Volkswagen lost just two per cent of its battery charge in 75 minutes stationary, equating to around eight miles of range no more than you’d lose through an idling combustion engine. One important caveat, though, is that the experiment took place on a warm summer’s day. Batteries perform worse in cold conditions, and driving in winter generally sees a drop off in EV range. Which? has said it’ll repeat the study in the colder months to see if the impact is the same.