Tesla Model 3 easily the best for charging speed and range, says EV expert
By Sourced Externally
December 19, 2021
The Tesla Model 3 is hands down the best pick if you are looking for an electric vehicle based on how far it can drive on one charge, and how fast it can recharge once the battery is depleted, according to one analysis.
And it’s an interesting analysis, not only of what is out there on the global market, but also in terms of how an electric vehicle expert approaches buying an EV – and this expert’s experience with car dealers, and unreliable charging infrastructure.
The analysis is by Pete Mock, who is the European managing director for the ICCT – otherwise known as the International Council of Clean Transportation.
In his analysis, Mock says he wanted to work out what was the best EV for him. And, although he works in the industry every day, it was an eye-opening experience because it made him drill down into what factors would make an EV suitable on a day to day basis based on his personal criteria.
“… while I have been working on electric vehicle technologies and electric vehicle policies for the past several years, it is an entirely different experience to go through the process of finding, registering, and operating an electric vehicle in practice,” he said.
“Generally, consumer studies indicate that aside from purchase price, electric driving range as well as charging opportunities and charging times are among the key concerns of potential electric vehicle owners,” he continues.
Mock says he wants an EV that can make it from his hometown of Berlin to the Baltic sea. For those of us in the Antipodes, this might be like a weekend drive from Sydney to Forster, or Melbourne to Port Fairy.
There are many more electric vehicle options available in Europe than in Australia, and Mock started by filtering down the available options by price and driving range.
Looking at EVs priced under EUR50,000 ($A79,000) for the base model and with at least 300km real-world driving range, Mock was left with around 20 models (straight up, we’re not sure how the Porsche Taycan made it on the list, as it starts at around EUR85,000, or around $A134,000. Maybe Mock just really wanted to consider it as an option).
As he points out, charging speed can make a big difference to your journey, particularly on a road trip.
“Assuming that a suitable fast charger is available, (a 150kW or faster charging speed) can easily translate into a waiting time of 15 minutes instead of an hour or longer to complete a decent charge-up of your vehicle while on the road,” he says.
Translating speed and charge rate into the graph below, it is easy to see why the Tesla Model 3, which gets about 576km in real-world conditions in its EUR51,990 Long Range format, continues to outsell its competitors even as auto sales slumped 32% in November according to Automotive News Europe.
Not far behind it is the Tesla Model Y, and the Hyundai Ioniq 5, which get about 508km and 488km range respectively in their longest-range configurations.
It’s important to note that the models coloured in red are in fact for variants that are priced above Mock’s EUR50,000 limit. The base Model 3 would in fact be placed somewhere around the EUR67,300 BMW iX3 – but it only costs EUR42,990 before on-roads.
Note – if your key criteria is how quickly a car can charge, you’re better of getting a EUR70,100 Audi e-tron or a Porsche Taycan. But, given the difference in price, that’s big bikkies out the door to gain just a few precious minutes of your time.
Dealer disinterest and delays
Sadly, Mock notes his decision to size up EVs against one another was in part due to his experience with car dealers.
He lambasts them as being not only “disinterested and information poor”, but also seemed to actively hinder him purchasing an EV. How much more difficult must it be for those searching for an EV but aren’t EV experts, he asks:
“But the process also vividly brought home how one of the barriers consumers experience operates in real life, because dealers were no help to me at all. Worse, they were a hindrance, in some cases providing information that was clearly wrong or trying to talk me into purchasing a plug-in hybrid instead of a battery-electric vehicle.
“If I had this kind of trouble, what about somebody who does not do this kind of thing for a living?” he says.
Mock hasn’t divulged which EV he ended up buying; suffice to say, it seems EVs available to buy immediately is also a problem in Europe due to the global semiconductor crisis, as well as maritime delays. (This hints he may have bought the Model 3 or Model Y, although the fact he actively searched for a vehicle at a dealership suggests not.)
Unfortunately, now that he is driving an EV, he is also exposed to another factor holding people back from buying – reliable infrastructure.
“When I started the trip back home to Berlin, the range shown on the dashboard was exactly 400 km,” he says.
“Enough to get back to the city but still, I decided to recharge on the way, partially to feel safer and partially to just try it out. What a disappointment when the first recharging attempt did not work out.
“The charging spot, located in a small town on the way, turned out to be broken. Of course, at first I did not know whether something was wrong with the charging spot or my new car. Only after twenty minutes on hold with a call center I was given the information that they were suffering from technical issues with their charging spot(s).
“And this remains my general experience after the first months of BEV ownership: Yes, there are a lot of things to consider and be aware of when you think about models (e.g., how far do you really have to drive?) and dealers are not particularly helpful, plus the delivery waits are long. But the key thing really, really is the infrastructure,” he says.
Also citing “ICE-ing” (when a combustion engine vehicles parks in an EV charging spot), it seems Germany – where one in 10 cars sold is pluggable – is also experiencing teething issues in the ramping up of EVs.
Nevertheless, he says he does not regret it, but is glad he now has real life experience of the issues that EV adoption faces.
“We and others do a lot of research on how to goose the EV market, and I know the key points. But buying this car, and now driving it, gave me a fresh insight into the whole situation, and drove home the importance of comprehensive and transparent consumer information as well as recharging infrastructure,” he says.