Autonomy has always been the sinews of war for electric car drivers. Manufacturers are well aware of this and do not hesitate to embellish the truth a little to attract as many customers as possible… without ever really lying either. After a small investigation, the UFC-Que Choisir has nevertheless determined that the gap between advertising and reality is sometimes very marked.
For several years, manufacturers have been waging a merciless battle to offer the best possible autonomy on their electric cars. Although many drivers are actually satisfied with a modest capacity, many also consider this aspect to be essential when buying a new vehicle. Also, some brands do not hesitate to promise mountains and wonders, at the risk of flirting with lies.
This is in any case what the UFC-Que Choisir discovered, which wished to verify the assertions of the manufacturers in terms of autonomy. The result is uplifting. For many models, the reality on the ground is quite different from what the manufacturers claim. For some models, the gap is even maddening. This is particularly the case of the Volkswagen ID.4, which theoretically promises 467 km of autonomy, but which ultimately only offers 311 km, i.e. a difference of 33.4%.
The real autonomy of electric cars is well below the promises of the manufacturers
The German SUV is not the only one in this scenario. On the French side, for example, the Renault Twingo E-Tech displays a gap of 18.9% between the announced and actual autonomy (190 km against 154 km), while this difference is 22.4% for the electric Peugeot e-2008 (340 km against 264 km). Tesla is not left out either, since the UFC-Que Choisir denounces a difference of 26.8% on its Model Y Long autonomy (507 km against 371 km).
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Why this substantial difference? According to the organization, the fault is to be rejected to the approval protocol (WLTP), which does not take into account the actual use of their car by drivers. In addition, one should also be wary of promises when it comes to charging times. UFC-Que Choisir recalls that the car is never recharged to full power during the whole process, in order to avoid damaging it too quickly. Here again, the figures announced by the manufacturers are therefore often far from reality.
Source: UFC-What to choose