New BEVs Less Efficient than Those Built 10 Years Ago, Study Claims

A study of modern BEVs, compared to their ancestors built more than a decade ago, suggests they are less efficient.

Research by the US website suggests that despite better battery management systems, the newest BEVs do not use their batteries as well as their forebears. It points to data collected after selecting the 10 oldest and 10 newest vehicles on the market. The older ones entered the market between 2009 and 2013, the newer ones between 2020 and 2021.

The average power among the oldest electric cars is 161hp while the newest have an average power of 193.8hp, an increase of 16.9%. On average, the first BEVs covered 149.8 miles without recharging and the average battery capacity was 33.1 kWh.

With the newest vehicles, range on a single charge increased by just 15.6% to 173 miles despite the battery capacity increasing by a whopping 39.6% to 46.2 kWh. The website concluded: “That is, newer electric vehicles are generally less efficient at using battery capacity for a long trip on a single charge. It appears to be the statistics for inefficiency of electric cars. Over their 12 years of production, manufacturers of electric cars have increased power and battery capacity. But it is clear that technology has not become more efficient. The batteries have more capacity but they are barely able to deliver the same driving range with a single charge as they were 12 years ago.”

Of course, the findings will add to the debate whether automaker’s are steering a course to higher power and bigger profit margins pitching BEVs at the premium market rather than for mass adoption. Bigger batteries also mean greater vehicle weight and higher pollution rates particularly in urban environments from tire scrub and brake dust emissions.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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