Variable, yet constantly good: the range performance of the ID.

Whether long or short distance – you can be assured of reaching your destination comfortably with an ID. model. What we want to tell you here, however, is why the standard range and actual range do not always correspond despite a fully charged battery.

MEB and different charging status

What does the range specification according to WLTP mean?

A globally harmonised test procedure for range values that is binding on all manufacturers has been introduced to provide better guidance when purchasing an electric vehicle. The WLTP procedure is used here to calculate the standard range of an electric vehicle. Certain factors that influence consumption, such as driving style, are discounted in this respect in order to ensure that the same conditions apply across the board. The WLTP range itself is determined based on defined driving cycles in the city, on main roads and on the motorway – and is therefore an average guide value that can vary under real conditions. 

Map showing long distances and different conditions

Factors that can influence the standard range

The battery capacity is one of the most important technical components in an electric vehicle. That’s because the larger the battery, the greater the range. Sounds simple, but it is somewhat more complex in everyday use. The reason for this is that different factors can cause the range to deviate from the average WLTP standard range under real conditions.

For example: driver x is in a hurry and drives to the destination at speed in cold weather with the heating turned up full and without preheating the vehicle, while driver y preheats the vehicle and drives at a relaxed pace allowing plenty of time. In this case, driver x can lose up to 50% of the WLTP standard range due to the high energy loss from driving fast and heating the vehicle, while driver y saves battery energy by preheating the vehicle and driving at a moderate pace and could therefore almost achieve the WLTP standard range. 

The reality check for the range

Unlike with the conventional combustion-engine powertrain, such auxiliary consumers influence the range performance of the traction battery. Factors such as speed, air conditioning and heating contribute significantly to the relatively low range of a fully charged battery. Added to this are factors such as load etc. It is therefore no surprise that it is difficult to specify the range in a standardised way, rather it is highly dependent on the specific usage behaviour of the driver. 

Volkswagen therefore specifies a practical range span” in addition to the standard range according to WLTP in order to come a bit closer to real range values. This is a range span that 80% of all ID. drivers are expected to achieve as a yearly average. In contrast to the standard range, the lower limit of the span also covers journeys, for example, at low outside temperatures or with moderate motorway speed of 120 km/h.

The standard range in everyday situations

To determine the harmonised standard range, the WLTP test procedure does not use factors that differentiate between the everyday use of an electric vehicle from driver to driver: auxiliary consumers, such as heating and air conditioning, are switched off, the outside temperature is always 23 degrees and the vehicle is driven at defined, moderate speeds. An average value is therefore calculated, which is only rarely achieved under real conditions. For example, a cold start in minus degrees suffices for a range to be displayed that is well below the WLTP standard range despite a fully charged battery.


Relaxed driving, also over medium or long distances

Even if you don’t just want to use your electric vehicle for short trips around town, you are on the right track with an ID. model. The ID.3 Pro (power consumption in kWh/100 km: combined 13.7; CO₂ emissions in g/km: combined: 0, efficiency class: A­+) can cover a distance of around 800 km at a moderate motorway speed without auxiliary consumers with just three short recharging stops of approx. 30 minutes each at a quick-charging station. The ID.4 Pro (power consumption in kWh/100 km: combined 16.3; CO₂ emissions in g/km: combined 0, efficiency class: A­+) can even manage around 1,000 km under the same conditions. But even without charging stops, long distances can be covered comfortably – for example in the ID.3 Pro with a range of up to 420 km (WLTP). 

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