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Are Kia and Mercedes lying about the range of their electric cars ?

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The manufacturer autonomy of electric cars remains, in 2024, a subject that is not easily readable for customers – who, for their part, almost always see figures lower than those presented to them by the manufacturer. It must be said that to the slight optimism of the figures resulting from the WLTP measurement (obligatory in Europe) is added the height difference and the driving style.

For example, we can read on the Green Mobility blog of the electricity supplier Engie: “current electric models have a range of between 135 and 730 km in the WLTP cycle, i.e. a distance of 100 to 600 kilometers in real conditions. However, an element can also affect autonomy in real conditions observed by motorists: the measures they must take to preserve the life of the battery.

Why is the British advertising authority banging its fist on the table

Very concretely, it is not recommended to leave the responsibility of battery falling below 10-20% and charging the car above 80% too often. And this is precisely what earned Kia and Mercedes a reprimand from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). In their latest advertisements, the manufacturers in question have in fact sold a range for a battery recharged to 100%, while recommending via an asterisk to only charge the car to 80%.

The ASA finds that this method of communication lacks clarity and does not allow potential customers to realize the real autonomy that they can hope to achieve with the vehicle. These criticisms are particularly aimed at the latest advertising materials for the Kia Niro EV and Mercedes EQC in the UK. According to the authority, any autonomy statement based on a 100% recharged battery is not representative.

In the case of the Mercedes EQC in particular, the ASA explains that consumers are likely to believe that the 408 km (254 miles) of the WLTP cycle can be easily reached and that this autonomy is truly representative of this vehicle. Even though the manufacturer recommends at the same time never charging the battery to more than 80%.

Should we more actively regulate communication on the ;#8217;autonomy of electric cars ?

According to the ASA, it is clear that a change in the way of presenting this information is necessary, because at the same time these autonomy figures do not have the same clarity than those given for thermal vehicles. And above all because the authority says it receives a large volume of complaints. It remains to be seen what impact this observation will have outside the borders of the United Kingdom. Mercedes has in any case indicated its intention to comply with the recommendations of the ASA.

Kia, for its part, issued the following statement to our British colleagues at AutoExpress: “the figure most often put forward in the autonomy measure, is the WLTP ‘combined’ autonomy, since this demonstrates the autonomy capabilities of each vehicle taking into account the different styles driving and environments”.

And the brand continues: “This most clearly reflects the majority of driving habits of electric vehicles, and is immediately comparable with all other combined WLTP range figures available on the market. Kia is therefore convinced of informing its customers about the comparative advantages of its electric vehicles.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116