How far can you go?

Today’s electric cars with the longest range can travel over 250 miles on a single charge. Yet for many potential buyers, a perceived lack of range is still a major barrier to going electric.

To help overcome this misconception and give drivers the confidence to make the switch, the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) and Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) have together produced a ‘Know Your Electric Range’ guide for consumers.

This helps buyers to understand that the new official* electric range figures provided for new electric and plug-in hybrid cars are now much more accurate and reliable and give a better idea of what they may achieve.

This makes comparing and choosing the right car much easier and takes some of the uncertainty out of buying an electric vehicle.

NFDA, which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK, will distribute the guide to its dealer members across the UK to help showroom buyers understand that the improved electric range figures for the latest fully electric and plug-in hybrid cars are achievable in real driving conditions.

LowCVP’s Managing Director, Andy Eastlake, commented: “Accelerating the move to low and zero-emissions transport can only happen if consumers have confidence in the new technologies they are being offered – yet too many are still sceptical about the range capabilities of the latest electric cars and have little faith in the official figures, which have previously proved optimistic.

This guide aims to change this by making motorists (and dealers) aware of the greater reliability of today’s figures and just how capable the latest plug-in hybrid and fully electric cars now are. It also explains why your electric range can differ from journey to journey, just as the fuel economy of a petrol or diesel car does.

Sue Robinson, NFDA Director, said: “As consumer appetite for electric vehicles increases, it is important that motorists have a good understanding of all the benefits and implications of owning an electric car.

Battery range is often indicated by consumers as a barrier to EV ownership alongside access to charging and cost. However, a clear understanding of a car’s actual driving range can boost consumer confidence.

Franchised retailers have a vital role to play in informing their customers about the key aspects to consider when purchasing an EV. It is encouraging that our partnership with LowCVP continues to support them”.

 

You can view and download the ‘Know Your Electric Range’ guide at www.lowcvp.org.uk/ElectricRange

This is the moment the world’s first fully-electric touring car is driven round a racetrack – as manufacturers continue to adapt to the changing face of motoring.

Cupra, which is the performance arm of SEAT, is developing the striking e-Racer – a zero emission track car capable of 0-62mph in just 3.2 seconds.

To showcase the groundbreaking vehicle’s development, Swedish racing driver Mattias Ekström put the e-Racer through its paces at the Montmeló circuit in Barcelona.

Gone is the deafening sound of a roaring petrol engine – with the e-Racer letting off a strange, whistle-like sound instead.

Despite a giant battery making it 400kg heavier than its petrol-powered touring car sibling, the e-Racer’s four electric motors ensure it is no slouch.

With the equivalent of 500 kW (670bhp), the e-Racer accelerates from 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds and from 0-124mph in 8.2 seconds. Top speed is 167mph.

The Cupra e-Racer is a response to a growing interest in electric motorsport – the fifth season of Formula E recently concluded while the electric touring car championship set to start next year.

Mattias Ekström, who is a three-time Race of Champions winner, said: “After a career dedicated to the racing world where I had explored all combustion engine formats I wanted to transition to electric racing with Cupra, which has been a pathfinder in this segment since its creation.

I think the biggest challenge is getting used to driving with no gearbox and without the roar of the engine as a reference for knowing, for example, how fast to go when taking curves.
It felt really good, especially when reaching full power coming out of the slow curves on the circuit.
I really enjoyed the first lap. The second also went well, although I began to notice that I was forcing the rear tyres.
I still need some time to get used to the sound of the engine. It’s much quieter than any other I’ve driven before, and I’m a very emotional driver.

Ekström is working closely with the team of engineers and technicians to fine tune the e-Racer ahead of the launch of the new Electric Touring Car Series which starts next year.

Cupra is going green

SEAT’s sub-brand Cupra is gearing up for a greener future.

After unveiling the CUPRA Formentor Concept earlier this year, CUPRA is going one step further into its vision of electrified performance with the CUPRA Tavascan Concept, named after a village in the Pyrenees.

The CUPRA all-electric coupe SUV brings together the silhouette of a four-door crossover, with the presence of an SUV and the sleekness of a sporty coupe, and uses a 100% electric powertrain, with zero tailpipe emissions.

Two motors – one integrated on the front axle, the second at the rear – provide a combined 225kW (306PS) of power to all four wheels, delivering performance. The CUPRA Tavascan Electric Concept can reach 100km/h in less than 6.5 seconds.

But straight line speed is only part of the story. The Concept houses a 77kWh lithium-ion battery pack that can store enough energy to keep the vehicle moving for up to 450km.

A figure based on the stringent WLTP test cycle. The vehicle is based on the Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform and because the battery pack is housed in the floor of the Concept, its centre of gravity is low, making it a truly dynamic drive.