ArenaEV labs: introducing the Real world range tool

ArenaEV team, 25 March 2022

If you are reading this, you may be considering changing your fossil fuel burning car with a clean EV. And you’ve probably read the same scary stories as everyone else in your position – “EVs have terrible range”. Does that mean no more road trips?

Part of the reason we started ArenaEV is to demystify the electric car market. One of the biggest concerns that people have is exactly about the range, there is even a term for it – range anxiety.

Every manufacturer will tell you how far their car is expected to go on a single charge, but those are optimal numbers under ideal conditions. Some of you live in warm climes, others in cold, some road trips are mostly high-speed highway driving, others go slower on secondary roads. The numbers listed by the manufacturer are not very helpful in deciding whether your particular trip is possible with a certain car or not.

We are introducing the Real world range tool to solve that problem, you will see it on the specs pages for select drivetrains on select models - here is the full list. The tool allows you to select different driving conditions and see how far a particular car will take you.

Here is an example of the tool in action:

Currently, you can control three variables, starting with speed. This has the biggest impact – an EV can go a lot further at city speeds than at highway speeds. Note that the estimated range assumes you start with a fully charged battery and drive until you run out of juice. Also, use the Settings menu above (hit the cogwheel icon) to go from metric to imperial units or vice versa.

The second key variable is ambient temperature, our tool assumes that you will keep the cabin at a comfortable temperature. The car may also need to heat up the battery, which affects range in cold climates.

There's also a toggle for Heat pump. This is a more efficient way to heat the cabin, but only some cars have it. Some models offer it as an extra, others have it as standard, some not at all. The efficiency of the heat pump makes a noticeable difference when driving in cold climates - you can see how much of an impact it makes.

The calculations make a few assumptions. The first is that the car is in good condition – this means a fresh battery and equipped with the optimal tires offered by the manufacturers (typically, smaller tires result in higher range than larger ones).

The next assumption is about how and where you drive. The estimates are at a steady pace – you don’t have to drive at a constant speed, but you should stick close to the average. The altitude should also remain relatively constant. Some hills will not affect the estimated range much, but steep inclines definitely will. Also, we assume that the road is clean and dry, i.e. it isn’t raining and the asphalt isn’t covered in snow.

And, finally, the calculation assumes that it’s just you in the car and you don’t have much luggage. Loading up the car with more weight will slightly reduce the range.

Note that the tool is available only for some models. Our calculations are based on WLTP/EPA range ratings and real world tests. We use that data and proprietary physics model to calculate the range for the given driving conditions.

By the way, this is the reason the tool isn’t available for all models, we need reliable source data to base our calculations on. We are working on enabling the tool for more and more models and will add more in the future.

We have been testing the range tool internally and we think it provides reliable, accurate data. We would appreciate your feedback to help verify our results - if you drive one of the cars that are supported, we would love to hear your thoughts on how accurate the tool is based on your experience. Leave us a comment below, thank you!


Reader comments

Use the Settings cog icon. This changes this widget and all specs to imperial. Strange, it should have been automatic based on your IP.

  • Anonymous

Need to have a toggle to change it to miles rather than km for UK readers. Same goes with all your news articles stating range and speed etc.

  • InCali

That's about what I get with my Model Y in warm weather. No idea what happens below freezing.



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