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South Africa’s electric cars tested – Here are the real ranges

AutoTrader has announced the results of its first open-road electric vehicle (EV) range test in South Africa, which took place at the Gerotek High Speed Oval in November 2021.

The test involved measuring the real-world driving range of EVs at a steady 120km/h.

The EVs on review in AutoTrader’s open-road range test were the:

The advertised driving ranges for these vehicles are based on the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) which incorporates stop-start and mixed-condition driving, as well as brake energy regeneration.

However, AutoTrader’s test removes most of these parameters to provide “an indication of just how far consumers would be able to go on a single charge if they were driving non-stop at the national speed limit on a characteristically hot day in South Africa,” said the company.

All three vehicles were driven on their respective eco modes from a fully-charged state, with their air-conditioning systems set at 21°C. The outside temperature at the Gerotek track measured 28°C on the day.

“[The test] lays down a historical reference point to look back on and allows consumers to evaluate battery performance advancements as more EVs are added to the local market each year,” said AutoTrader.

The results

The Jaguar I-Pace was equipped with the largest battery out of the vehicles on review – a 90kWh pack with an 84.7kWh usable portion- resulting in this model achieving the longest real-world driving range of 277km at a “true average speed” of 119.9km/h.

“This sort of range could be equated to driving from Johannesburg to Pretoria and back twice, with plenty of mileage to spare,” said AutoTrader.

“According to PlugShare, there are as many as 71 charging points within a 3.2 km radius between these two points, illustrating the fact that South Africa’s larger metropolitan areas are better stocked with charging options than many might believe.”

In second place, the BMW i3s eDrive REx – with the range-extender fuel tank empty – achieved a pure-electric driving range of 168km with its 37.9kWh battery.

The Mini Cooper SE then placed third with a driving range of 147km thanks to its 28.9kWh pack.

“These two new-energy hatchbacks are designed to excel at city driving rather than out on the open road, so their final results are by no means underwhelming,” said AutoTrader.

Detailed below are the results for AutoTrader’s inaugural open-road EV range test in South Africa.

BMW i3s eDrive REx

Variable BMW i3s eDrive REx
Net battery capacity 37.9kWh
Range on test 168km
Claimed range (WLTP) 285km
True average speed on test 120.02km/h

Jaguar I-Pace

Variable Jaguar I-Pace
Net battery capacity 84.7kWh
Range on test 277km
Claimed range (WLTP) 470km
True average speed on test 119.9km/h

Mini Cooper SE

Variable Mini Cooper SE
Net battery capacity 28.9kWh
Range on test 147km
Claimed range (WLTP) 215km
True average speed on test 119km/h

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