Browse Publications Technical Papers 2023-01-0349

Comparison of On-Road Highway Fuel Economy and All-Electric Range to Label Values: Are the Current Label Procedures Appropriate for Battery Electric Vehicles? 2023-01-0349

As consumers transition from internal combustion engine (ICE)-powered vehicles to battery electric vehicles (BEV), they will expect the same fuel economy label-to-on-road correlation. Current labeling procedures for BEVs allow a 0.7 or higher multiplier to be applied to the unadjusted fuel economy and range values. For ICE-powered vehicles, the adjustment factor decreases with increasing unadjusted fuel economy and can be lower than 0.7. To better inform consumers, starting in 2016, Car and Driver added an on-road highway fuel-economy test, conducted at 120 kph (75 mph), that augments the performance metrics that it's been measuring since the 1950s. For electric vehicles, testing includes an evaluation of the all-electric range.
The on-road test results were aligned with the certification information for each vehicle model including unadjusted and label fuel economy and range, road load force coefficients, and labeling options. Tractive energy and kinetic energy available for regenerative braking were computed from the certification information to evaluate the differences between the on-road testing and chassis-rolls testing conducted during the certification process.
Based on these results, the highway fuel economy label tends to be a very good predictor of the fuel economy observed during the on-road test at real highway speeds with vehicles powered by an ICE. However, most BEVs tested to date fall short of both their electric consumption and range label values. For BEVs, the difference between the label and on-road consumption and range is further exacerbated by other factors, such as extreme temperatures and suggestions by automakers to charge to less than 100 percent to extend battery life. Consequently, these results support the need to re-evaluate the labeling procedures for this emerging technology as it continues to become increasingly prominent in the marketplace.


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