These days you hear a lot about electric cars falling short of the claimed range by the manufacturers. It is pretty much the same story as the MPG ratings which never live up to the expectations. So we have a recommendation. The regulatory bodies should replace their traditional method of rating cars with a simple, real world test: Los Angeles to Las Vegas on one charge!
If you think about it, this is the best test of an electric car’s real world’s performance, comfort, range and pretty much everything else. Not that too many people are inclined these days to go Vegas, what with the at your fingertips anytime you want. But still, a good number of drivers make this journey every week, if not for gambling then for bachelor parties, or to partake in the city’s vibrant prostitution scene. In any case, the point is, L.A. to Vegas on one charge is an excellent measure of evaluating an EV’s capabilities.
Frankly, if an EV cannot make the 270 miles distance between L.A. and Vegas on one charge, it is not really a good one – simple as that. This is the absolute minimum inter-city range an electric car worthy of the name should be capable of. Think of it like the NCAP or IIHS rating. Sure, you can spend a little less and get the car with the lower rating. But it could very well end up costing you dearly later on.
That is why we reckon the L.A.-Vegas one-charge trip could be established as an industry-standard benchmark test. We could call it the Vegas rating. And the rating system could be little Martini glasses in place of stars, with cars that make it through with a decent amount of charge still left in the batteries getting a full 5 Martini glasses, those that just about make it one charge getting four glasses, and so on.
Mind you, Tesla has sort of ruined this test already by putting up a great network of Supercharger stations along that route. But that should only affect biased testers and cheats. Independent referee should have no problem resisting the temptation to juice up a little half way to the desert. For Europeans, a similar route could be devised from, say, Milan to Monte Carlo. I don’t know why all my routes have to do with gambling, but here we are. That probably has something to do with the fact that running an electric car as a daily driver is, at the end of the day, a gamble.