What’s the real range of our electric campervan?

The WLTP range of Eve’s base vehicle, the Citroen e-Dispatch, is 196 miles. But we’re often immediately asked “but what’s the real range?”.

The answer can range between 100 miles and 200 miles between on a variety of factors.

Citroen’s range estimator

Throughout the course of this article we’ll be using Citroen’s online range estimator to simulate different driving conditions and how that impacts the vehicle’s range.

“At 80 miles per hour, the driving range of Citroën ë-Dispatch Electric is halved compared to the WLTP approved range.”

So what’s WLTP?

WLTP stands for the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure. It’s used for all vehicles, not just electric, to determine their fuel consumption and emissions.

It came into force in 2018, replacing the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) and is more realistic.

Speed is the number one factor

“I have the need, the need for speed!”

Speed is the number one impact on range. The most important thing you can do is to restrain your inner Maverick.

Let’s simulate different driving speeds using the estimator. Let’s say it’s a mild day, with three passengers (total weight: 2800kg), aircon off.

  • At a speed of 30MPH, the range is 197 miles

  • At a speed of 50MPH, the range is 176 miles

  • At a speed of 70MPH, the range is 137 miles

  • At a speed of 80MPH, the range is 115 miles

As you can see, driving at higher speeds on a motorway for long distance trips is a false economy as you’ll have to stop more often to charge. I stick to 60MPH on motorways to maximise efficiency.

Driving style

One other factor that impacts range is driving style. More erratic driving with fast acceleration is not fuel efficient, just like with any vehicle.

I often find myself driving behind another vehicle with an urge to overtake. I’m already going my target speed of 60MPH, so I accelerate up to 70MPH, overtake, and then drop back down to 60MPH. What have I really gained? A few metres? Fight that urge to overtake and you’ll maximise your range.

You can also:

  • Turn on “Eco” mode when you start up the van. I don’t miss the extra power most of the time and if I need to pull away fast I can quickly switch modes.

  • Use cruise control. It’s a great way to maintain a consistent speed. It also gives your foot a rest.

Temperature

It’s widely known that cold temperatures affect the efficiency of batteries on electric vehicles. This is true, you can expect a 10% range reduction in cold weather. But the use of heating increases that even more.

Let’s check the range estimator, set to a cold day, with one passenger, driving at 50MPH.

  • On a cold day, no heating, the range is 154 miles

  • On a cold day, with heating, the range is 140 miles

Batteries are also slightly affected by very warm weather, not as much as the cold.

  • On a warm day, no AC, the range is 180 miles

  • On a warm day, with AC, the range is 162 miles

I’d recommend to try not to use the heating or AC if you’re concerned about range. When it’s hot I use the windows whenever possible. In the winter, the van does have a gas air blow heater you can use when stationary.

Weight

We are commonly asked how much the weight of the van conversion affects the range. The answer is not as much as we expected, roughly 5%. Let’s look at the range estimator, set to a mild day, 50MPH, with one passenger, and aircon off.

  • With a weight of 2200kg (pre-conversion), the range is 188 miles.

  • With a weight of 2600kg (one passenger), the range is 179 miles

  • With a weight of 2800kg (three passengers), the range is 176 miles

  • With a weight of 3000kg (maximum load), the range is 173 miles

…That’s the long answer

Unless you’re driving identical journeys, it’s impossible to give a single answer, but our experience so far indicates a minimum of 150 miles on a single charge is reasonable for a long distance journey.

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