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NeilBlanchard 02-02-2013 08:35 AM

Edmunds Tests 9 EV's in the Real World
Testing Electric Vehicles in the Real World

They did a decent job, though they are still are stuck on some platitudes. It would be interesting to see the data on charging that they got - and it would be interesting to see how much it cost to drive each of these EV's per mile.

They could drive all cars that they review on the same loop, and report on the cost, and the pollution (gm/distance), as well. And it would be really important to compare the EV ranges to what people actually drive each day; and how much money they would pay for an EV vs their current car. They do post the kWh/100km (for all the cars except the Tesla Model S, curiously), and since the test loop is ~30MPH average, all the cars do significantly better than their EPA rating.

I applaud Edmunds for starting this project. I hope they publish even more data: they measured as precisely a they could, and if they published this it would be very helpful. We could see how close each car's range remaining gauges are, we can know how much it cost to charge each car and compare this to the other EV's and ICE's as well.

I predict that it costs as much (or more) for regular maintenance at a dealer on an ICE car, than it does to drive an EV. Remember, there is almost no regular maintenance on an EV; rotating the tires is about it. The Leaf needs to have the oil in the reduction gear at 150K miles. That means that you save about $17,000/per 100K miles driving an EV compared to a typical 23MPG car. Even a Prius costs about $7,000 more to drive 100K miles than driving an EV like the Leaf. All of the money you pay for electricity stays in your local economy. Much of the money you pay for gas goes to a foreign country. We don't need a military to defend our electricity, either.

I would be very interested to know what "gear" they drove the cars in - I'm assuming it was Drive? I would love to have the drive completed a second time in the Eco mode on each car that has one.

The Tesla has a toggle for the level of regenerative braking, and it would be very interesting indeed to know more about how this affects the range. I think that most EV's have way too much regenerative braking dialed in on the accelerator pedal - and they do not allow easy and consistent free-wheel coasting. Only the Honda Fit EV has free-wheel coasting in the Eco mode when you lift your right foot; and then has all the regen on the brake pedal. Edmunds could help improve all EV's by demonstrating whether easy and consistent free wheel coasting, or lots of regen on the accelerator yield more range.

NeilBlanchard 02-03-2013 12:01 AM

I was happy to see the 2014 VW E-Golf included in the test - I didn't know they were building this so soon. Also it has a "Sail" mode with free-wheel coasting, and two other modes with some regenerative braking on the accelerator. That makes two EV's - the Honda Fit EV being the other one - that include "easy" coasting modes.

Once we know what mode they tested the 9 cars, we 'll know why the Fit EV is the most efficient - maybe because of the coasting?

Frank Lee 02-03-2013 12:53 AM

Uh oh, coasting is illegal in some states!

NeilBlanchard 02-03-2013 07:58 AM

Coasting in neutral is may be illegal, but this is not coasting in neutral. If you put your foot on the accelerator, the car will accelerate.

mechman600 02-03-2013 11:11 AM

I don't think the question of whether an EV coasts or regens with your foot off the throttle matters a whole lot, as long as you know what is happening when you are attempting to coast. For example, the leaf has the light bar circles with regen on one side and output (or whatever) on the other side. If you want to coast, you simply have to depress the throttle just enough so the circles in the "neutral zone" light up.

NeilBlanchard 02-03-2013 09:41 PM

But doing that requires you to learn that special zone, and you have to keep looking at the gauge, and you cannot rest your foot. If there is no regen on the accelerator pedal and all of the regen is on the brake pedal, it makes consistent ecodriving really easy and predictable.

The odd thing is that most EV's increase the regen on the accelerator pedal in the Eco mode vs the Drive mode. Which is totally counter to what I have learned about ecodriving. Coasting is the most efficient way to to utilize the kinetic energy stored in the moving car - and more importantly when you can coast easily, you accelerate *less* in the first place.

If we can hear from Edmunds about what "gear" they drove each of the of these EV's, then we can learn more about how regen actually works vs easy free wheel coasting.

MetroMPG 02-05-2013 01:55 PM


When we got a demo of the Leaf a few weekends back, I asked the person who had it if he could "coast" the car by modulating the accelerator. He really had no idea - he appeared to be a very "typical" driver who didn't give a lot of thought to how his technique affected range/efficiency.

Do you know if you could also just pop it into "neutral" to coast? I'm sure the gear selector is just an electric switch - the transmission/motor are likely always engaged.

NeilBlanchard 02-05-2013 02:15 PM

Yes, you can put the Leaf into neutral by holding the "shifter" knob in the N position for about 2 seconds (just like the Prius). On the i MiEV, you can do this too, by just "shifting" to the N position.

sendler 02-07-2015 11:01 PM


Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard (Post 354397)
It would be interesting to see the data on charging that they got

They posted a chart showing the wall to wheels round trip recharge consumption and the mileage covered. Something seems odd with the numbers though, coming in all over the chart especially the Honda EV which showed an ultra low 196.6 wHr / mile, breaking the magic 5 m/ kWh with a very unreasonable 173.1 MPGe. I would have thought all of the smaller cars would have been much closer in consumption if their charging station meter was running accurate. Something is wrong.

P-hack 02-07-2015 11:04 PM


Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard (Post 354942)
Yes, you can put the Leaf into neutral by holding the "shifter" knob in the N position for about 2 seconds (just like the Prius). On the i MiEV, you can do this too, by just "shifting" to the N position.

You can get it into "neutral" immediately by putting it in reverse (if you are going more than 7mph), turns out that works in the prius too. But you have to remember to put it back in "gear" to get regen back.

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