Consumer Reports: Nearly half of tested EVs fall short of their advertised range

Time and again, American consumers say that one of the biggest barriers to entry to the EV marketplace is range. Compounding the potential for range anxiety in an EV purchase is the fact that estimates are just that, and many have found that their electric cars frequently offer less real-world range than advertised. To help keep them honest, Consumer Reports decided to evaluate the highway range of its EV test fleet and see just how far each of its cars would go until they just couldn’t go anymore. The team tested EVs from the U.S., Korea, Japan and Germany and the best (and worst) performers just might surprise you.

While CR breaks down its results very matter-of-factly, we’re going to (somewhat arbitrarily) arrange them into three categories: those that convincingly beat their estimates (20 miles better than advertised or more), those that didn’t (20 miles or worse than expected), and those that managed to fall almost exactly where CR expected (within 19 miles of their EPA figure). With that out of the way, let’s dive in. 

The good

Score one (or six?) for the Germans. Always eager to sandbag, BMW and Mercedes had excellent showings here, and while we’re at it, let’s give Ford and Rivian some credit for hanging with the luxury brands from overseas. While the R1T is hardly a mainstream pickup, the Mach-E is a bit more bread-and-butter. Just goes to show, you don’t have to spend premium money to get a good EV these days. 

  • BMW i4 M50
  • BMW iX xDrive50
  • Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium AWD Extended Range
  • Mercedes-Benz EQE 350 4Matic
  • Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV 350 4Matic
  • Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 4Matic
  • Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV 450 4Matic
  • Rivian R1T

The bad

This list is surprisingly short, but it’s populated by some big names. Ford certainly won’t be happy to see the F-150 Lightning hanging out down here, especially when you consider that Consumer Reports wasn’t even doing truck stuff when they tested it; things undoubtedly get worse with a payload or trailer to contend with. As for Lucid and Tesla, well…

The shockingly accurate

Mona Lisa Vito had a better term for it, but it’s one we won’t print here. Many of the cars CR tested managed to come so close to their estimates that they might as well have been right on the money. Both the Genesis GV60 Advanced and the Kia EV6 Wind beat their estimates by just three miles; others, like the Ioniq 6 SEL AWD, fell short by just a few. All of these were within 20 miles of their prescribed range, however, which is pretty darned good for a real-world result. And while we’re certain Audi and Volkswagen would have preferred to stand alongside their brethren in the “Good” category, this will have to do. 

As always, check out CR’s results for the full figures.

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