Range is usually what worries those who consider changing their current vehicle for an electric car and, in reality, today it is not the most important factor. Now, those who are going to leap wonder how much range their next vehicle should have, above all, to be able to travel without worrying. And for this, there is no exact answer, but there is an indication to take into account. After having made many trips with electric cars, and as a car tester that I am, I am going to give you these instructions so that you know what to buy and what not to buy.
We are supposed to make a stop every two hours when we go on a trip, or approximately every 200 kilometers. Now, we also know that the range is less than advertised in almost all electric cars and, above all, that if we are going to carry the car loaded with suitcases, then the range will be even less. Then we must also take into account that air conditioning affects range in a very notable way, and that driving style can also reduce it. Knowing all this, no, obviously you cannot travel safely with an electric car that has 200 km of range according to the WLTP homologation cycle.
It must have a range of at least 300 km and a fast charging system
More than the range itself, we must take into account the relationship between approved range and maximum charging power supported by the electric car. My recommendation is that, if you want to travel with your next electric vehicle, look at models with at least 300 km WLTP and, above all, that offer good charging power. There will be those who will tell you otherwise, but I would consider buying an electric vehicle that has 300 km of range and 100 kW of charging power at least. With this, we will take breaks every 200 or 250 kilometers in a non-overwhelming way, and we will be able to recover up to 50 kWh of battery by stopping for half an hour, which is less than what is needed to eat.
Traveling distances of 200 or 250 kilometers is reasonable on any type of trip and stopping to rest for half an hour is also reasonable. Now, if I were going to buy an electric car right now, the minimum I would like to have is 350 km of approved range and, if possible, 150 kW of maximum charging power thereafter. The biggest problem with this is that there are not many electric chargers, on the road, that are going to give us those 150 kW. But, of course, when we find one we will see how the recovery of range is noticeably faster than with lower powers.
With features similar to this, there is the MG 4, which has a price that starts at 19,480 euros and, effectively, offers 350 km of range on the WLTP cycle with a maximum charging power of 125 km. It is already a good car to travel with. And the recently announced Citroën ë-C3 meets the minimum that I would ask for, in terms of range and charging power, for traveling. It announces 320 km of range with a charging system of 100 kW maximum power, so it is a little fairer but it will also allow us to leave the city and interurban roads without worrying too much.
Among electric cars that are relatively affordable in price, another good option is the BYD Dolphin, which advertises a WLTP range of 427 km and, yes, charges at a maximum power of 88 kW. It has a charging system that is somewhat slower than desirable, but it can indeed charge from 30% to 80% of its battery in just 29 minutes. So, again, we are looking at an interesting electric vehicle to be able to take trips. In this case, it has more range than other comparable options, but where it falls somewhat behind is in its maximum load capacity.