Over the past couple of years, EVs have been under fire for – in some cases, at least – returning range results that vary greatly from EPA estimates. A study conducted last year found that many EVs on sale today provide results that are quite different in the real world, in fact, with ICE vehicles averaging a four percent improvement on EPA estimates, while EVs tested fell 12.5 percent short of those same figures, on average. Tesla, in particular, has been under fire for its large variances between stated range figures and real-world results, which recently prompted it to update/downgrade the Model Y’s stats – though it seems as if Ford won’t be following suit, according to Reuters.
A Ford spokesperson confirmed to the news source that the automaker would not be adjusting its range estimates as Tesla did, which could have been made in response to some updated testing requirements from the EPA. To date, many of these variances could be blamed on old testing standards, which tended to present a combined EPA fuel economy rating that’s weighted 55 percent toward city driving, which is where EVs generally perform better, though this also means that it’s more difficult to achieve those ratings in real-world mixed driving.
EPA testing also previously used a variable cycle, and increasing and decreasing speed give EVs an advantage thanks to regenerative braking, which adds energy back to the battery pack. Automakers could previously choose between a two-cycle test with a 0.7 adjustment factor or a five-cycle test that aims to achieve a smaller reduction factor, but now, things have changed somewhat.
In its recent revisions, the EPA requires automakers to test for range in the vehicle’s default driving mode – or the one that’s active when the vehicle is turned on. Alternatively, if a vehicle doesn’t have multiple driving modes, automakers must test them in best-case and worst-case modes for efficiency and state the average of those results. These changes were introduced back in 2022, but are now required starting with 2024 model year vehicles.