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Gas-powered engines are on the way out. Most automakers are vowing to increase their EV offerings with plans to have more than 50% of their production totals include EVs by the production year 2030. Thanks to legislation passed by the Biden administration, EVs will have a larger market share in years to come.

Volkswagen has gone a step further, saying that it will completely phase out its gas-powered vehicles by the year 2035 in Europe and the U.S. not long after. However, one of the issues keeping consumers from embracing the trend is its charging issues. The lack of charging infrastructure and the lack of driving range for the more affordable models have kept North American markets from adopting electric vehicles as quickly as other locales. 

Adding to consumer anxiety, some manufacturers are venturing into the EV market, offering cars with an abysmal range. Some electric car models only provide a 60-mile range, potentially leaving motorists stranded. Let’s look at some EV models that have a lot to learn about consumer confidence.

What goes into calculating an EV’s range?

A non-electric version of the Smart ForTwo mini car parked in London, England
The Smart ForTwo parked in London, England | Robert Alexander/Getty Images

EV range testing is far from an exact science. Things such as road conditions, traffic, wind, and weather can affect the calculated driving range for an electric vehicle. Inside EV testing starts with inflating the tires to the manufacturer’s specified pressures, double-checking the speedometer with a GPS for accuracy, charging to 100%, and getting on the highway either right away or within a few miles and traveling at a steady speed of 70 mph in long circles to go back to where they started.

The test is then repeated with a team member on a different course. The results are compared, and the average is taken. Additionally, the website also reported the temperature in the area and whether or not the car’s internal climate control system is used. 

Smart brand EVs have terrible driving ranges

The Smart car is one of the most affordable offerings on the market but leaves a little to be desired in its range. Averaging only 57 to 58 miles per charge, the Smart EQ ForTwo has the worst electric driving range of any offerings on the market presently. MotorTrend reports that Daimler is considering killing the Smart brand in the future.

However, it is one of the most sensible choices for urban living due to its compact size. This tiny car can fit into any parking space and easily maneuver city streets. However, this little EV doesn’t stand up to the competition to replace the more reliable gas-powered autos.

EVs with the longest electric driving ranges

There are some impressive standout performances in the EV world. One of the main drawbacks of electric vehicles is that you can only travel so far without needing to recharge. The availability of charging stations is increasing rapidly, but gas stations are still far more common than charging stations. 

One model is offering the most extended driving range ever in an EV to mitigate this problem. The 2022 Lucid Air Dream Edition has a range of 520 miles on a single charge, by far the longest range of any electric vehicle on the market. This puts it well ahead of the runner-up, the 2021 Tesla Model 3 AWD, which has an EPA-estimated range of 353 miles.

EVs have gained popularity due to several factors, including the ever-increasing gas prices. If the industry can fortify the charging network, perhaps that will go a long way in calming the fear many consumers have about becoming stranded due to a lack of charging stations. Increasing the mileage per charge is a step in the right direction, but it must go hand-in-hand with a robust charging network.


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