Consumer Reports Drove 22 EVs Until They Died. Nearly Half Fell Short Of Their EPA Ranges

EV range. It’s the bread and butter of surveys, studies, and opinion pieces. And for good reason–nobody wants to be left stranded on the side of the road because the advertised range is out of touch with reality.

The problem is that the EPA-estimated range is based on a rather outdated laboratory testing procedure initially intended for combustion cars but subsequently adapted for battery-powered cars.

In city driving conditions, EVs usually make good on their range-related promises, but it’s on the highway where things can sometimes get more complicated. That’s why Consumer Reports put 22 zero-emissions cars to the test by driving them with a full battery at a constant speed of 70 miles per hour until they shut down.

Our own Tom Moloughney does a similar thing on his range test videos, as it’s a good indicator of what an EV is capable of delivering at a relatively high speed, where it’s less efficient. If it can deliver the promised range at 70 mph, driving at lower speeds will almost certainly produce higher range numbers.

“Range is much more important when you’re far from home and away from reliable charging,” says Alex Knizek, manager of auto testing and insights at CR. “If you run out of charge on the highway, you may need to be towed, which could be both inconvenient and costly.”

The biggest outlier was the Ford F-150 Lightning with the Extended Range battery, which ran out of battery after 270 miles, 50 miles less than the EPA estimate, followed by the Lucid Air Touring and Tesla Model S Long Range. In the case of the Air, it missed its 384-mile estimate by 40 miles, while the Model S fell 39 miles short of its 405-mile advertised range.

Ford F-150 Lightning Flash

2023 Lucid Air Touring
2023 Tesla Model S (Ultra Red color)

However, some cars did the opposite, driving for longer distances than they boast on their window stickers. The EV that drove for an impressive 72 extra miles compared to its 260-mile EPA estimate was the Mercedes-Benz EQE 350. The BMW iX M50 also exceeded its 271-mile EPA range by 47 miles, while the Rivian R1T with the quad-motor powertrain and large pack battery went 20 miles over its 314-mile estimate.

EVs made by Audi, Genesis, Hyundai, Kia, Lexus, Nissan, Subaru, and Volkswagen were within 20 miles of their advertised ranges, according to Consumer Reports.

Mercedes-Benz EQE
2022 BMW iX xDrive50: Motor1.com Star Awards
2022 Rivian R1T

“Those extra miles can be a benefit for those who need to drive in cold weather or utilize some of the blistering fast acceleration that EVs provide, both of which can cut range considerably,” said Jake Fisher, senior director of CR’s auto test center.

All the cars tested by CR were purchased anonymously from local dealerships and vehicle manufacturers. The outside temperature was between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the tire pressure was set to factory specifications, the vehicles were preconditioned inside a garage, and the climate control was set to 72 degrees.

Here’s the complete list of EVs that were range-tested by CR:

Model EPA Rating CR Tested Range
Audi Q4 50 E-Tron Premium Plus 241 Miles 226 Miles
BMW i4 M50 271 Miles 318 Miles
BMW iX xDrive50 324 Miles 370 Miles
Ford F-150 Lightning Lariat ER 320 Miles 270 Miles
Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium AWD ER 270 Miles 299 Miles
Genesis Electrified GV70 Advanced 236 Miles 220 Miles
Genesis GV60 Advanced 248 Miles 251 Miles
Hyundai Ioniq 5 SEL AWD 256 Miles 267 Miles
Hyundai Ioniq 6 SEL AWD 270 Miles 265 Miles
Kia EV6 Wind AWD 274 Miles 277 Miles
Kia Niro EV Wind 253 Miles 239 Miles
Lexus RZ 450e Premium 220 Miles 202 Miles
Lucid Air Touring 384 Miles 344 Miles
Mercedes-Benz EQE 350 4Matic 260 Miles 332 Miles
Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV 350 4Matic 253 Miles 284 Miles
Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 4Matic 340 Miles 380 Miles
Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV 450 4Matic 285 Miles 314 Miles
Nissan Ariya Platinum+ AWD 257 Miles 253 Miles
Rivian R1T 314 Miles 344 Miles
Subaru Solterra Limited 222 Miles 210 Miles
Tesla Model S Long Range 405 Miles 366 Miles
Volkswagen ID.4 Pro S AWD 240 Miles 253 Miles