ELECTRIC cars are great. Not how you expected this article to start I’d wager, but it is largely the truth.
EVs are more relaxing to drive in town, they’re quick off the mark, you don’t need to go to fuel stations and they improve air quality.
As day-to-day transport, for a lot of people, I think they make a huge amount of sense, but they certainly aren’t perfect.
As I found out on a trip from Dorset to London last weekend.
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I recently told you all about the Peugeot e-Rifter I’ve been living with, which has excelled as family transport in and around London.
Even the odd trip to Surrey or Kent and back has been no bother for this brilliant family van.
But its biggest challenge was to come; Clapham to London via the M3 with five people and all of our stuff weighing it down.
Official range? 172 miles. Honest real-world range? Around 150 miles. Distance to destination? 118 miles. Lovely.
Until that is, the temperature dropped to a bone-chilling -3 degrees celsius.
It’s no secret that electric car batteries suffer in the cold, but the drop-off in the e-Rifter’s range was quite dramatic.
We left with 100% battery after an overnight charge, but I was tapping out by Winchester Services.
Key facts: Peugeot e-Rifter
Price from: £32,300
Charging: 0-100% in 73mins @100kW, 7.5hrs @7.4kW
Range: 172 miles
0-60mph: 11.7 secs
Top speed: 84mph
On sale: Now
Calculating my energy usage and the battery left, the e-Rifter was going to manage 91 miles in total, even dropping to 65mph from my strict 70mph limit (honest).
That’s 172 miles to 91 miles on a cold motorway journey. With three kids under five in tow who don’t get why you have to stop, that isn’t ideal.
A few caveats; the Peugeot’s battery and motor tech are quite old now, the journey was largely motorway, it was unusually cold and the e-Rifter isn’t exactly aerodynamic.
Even so, it turned what should have been a 2.5-hour journey into one that lasted more than three hours.
Peugeot’s parent company Stellantis has already revealed the next generation of this battery tech in its new electric Astra, with a far better range.
But it begs the question: what happens to this very e-Rifter in five years when nobody will put up with its motorway range?
Does it go in the bin?
I hope a battery swap is possible because it’s easily one of the best family cars I’ve ever lived with.
Only its battery is holding it back.