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Our motoring editor answers your questions on ‘El Prix’, Norway’s range test of electric vehicles and how long the batteries last in real-world conditions

The ‘El Prix’ is the world’s largest EV range test and is organised by the Norwegian Automobile Federation

The Norwegian EV (Electric Vehicle) Range Test, also known as ‘El Prix’, is the world’s largest EV range test and is organised by the Norwegian Automobile Federation (NAF). Its test takes place twice a year, once in winter and again in summer.

What is ‘El Prix’?

In January EVs were tested on Norway’s roads, with temperatures ranging between -2C to -10C. All the cars departed fully charged and followed an identical route. The aim is to measure the distance each car can travel before its battery is depleted and then to compare this figure to the official WLTP range.

The WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure) is the standard test for determining the battery range of electric cars.​

What did the tests reveal?

During the winter test, the best-performing car only lost about 6pc of its range, while the worst saw a 32pc drop. In the summer test, some EVs exceeded the WLTP range while many lost less than 10km. These tests highlight how important it is to give consumers better information about how much range they can expect to lose particularly in cold winter conditions.​

What recommendations does the NAF have for car makers based on the findings of the ‘El Prix’ winter test?

The Norwegian Automobile Federation urges the car industry to adopt the following practices in order for consumers to have more accurate information about the range of EVs:

1) Always use WLTP-range for combined driving, not city-driving. If the car industry used the WLTP range for combined driving in their advertising then consumers would get a more accurate idea of what to expect in real-world conditions;

2) In the absence of a “winter WLTP” test car manufacturers should estimate a realistic winter range for all EVs;

3) Show the difference in WLTP-range based on trims as a car’s equipment level significantly affects its range;

4) Disclose the net battery capacity as this allows consumers to know what they can actually expect from their car; and

5) Advertise charge time from 10pc-80pc state of charge (SOC).

Top tip: Of the tested cars that are sold in Ireland, the BMW i5 was the best performing in winter followed by the Kia EV9 and the Mercedes-Benz EQE. In summer the Tesla Model S, Nissan Ariya and MG5 exceed the WLTP range.

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