Published on February 5th, 2020 | by Steve Hanley
February 5th, 2020 by Steve Hanley
Was it only yesterday we did the Porsche vs Tesla laps around Leipzig story? That article got plenty of comments from discerning CleanTechnica readers. The EPA has saddled the Taycan with a dismal range rating of 201 miles and an equally dismal efficiency rating of 49 kWh for every 100 miles driven. Those numbers make the Taycan out to be one of the worst electric cars you can buy. But that’s not the end of the story.
Just a day later, Autoblog correspondent Dan Edmunds weighs in with some personal observations of his own after driving a Taycan Turbo for several days. We won’t keep you in suspense — he found the car traveled many more miles on a single charge than the EPA rating would suggest, even when doing a bit of hoonage on a twisty mountain road.
One Lap Of Orange County
Edmunds lives in Orange County, California, and has a lot of experience testing electric cars. He has devised his own personal test loop that starts at his house, then winds through a diverse set of neighborhoods and different road conditions before arriving back where he started.
“It’s made up of suburban residential and arterial streets, along with a stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway,” he writes. “Speed limits range between 25 and 60 mph, with much of it in the 35-to-45-mph range. There are no outright freeways, but there are more than 100 potential stoplights and a couple dozen stop signs. One lap of the circuit is 104.5 miles, which means that two laps would exceed the Taycan Turbo’s rated range by 8 miles. I’m hoping for two laps.” The official EPA range for the Taycan Turbo is 201 miles, so there is a good possibility Edmunds may not wind up back in his own driveway without stopping somewhere along the way to recharge the car, at least briefly.
“I start out in Range mode instead of the default Normal mode because, well, this is a range test,” he writes. “This configures the Taycan to prioritize its front motor, and it also drops the air suspension to low mode regardless of speed. What it doesn’t do is make the throttle pedal react like a dead fish. I usually won’t use the Eco settings in other EVs and hybrids for this very reason, but I’ve got no complaints here. The idea is to play it right down the middle, being neither too fast nor too slow, too aggressive nor too meek. Traffic is free flowing, but clustered packs of cars usually define the pace anyway. When it’s more open and I can set my own pace, I’ll limit myself to about 5 mph over, which slots me between the leadfoots and the slowpokes.”
When he arrived home after the first lap, the trip odometer indicated 104.6 miles driven and 179 remaining. Can those numbers be accurate? They are far better than the EPA estimates would lead anyone to expect. So it’s back on the road for Lap Two, which ends with an indicated 209.2 miles covered and 78 miles of range remaining. The Taycan has exceeded the EPA rating by 43%!
“For perspective, I have seen several other EVs — but certainly not all — best their rated range on this course by 20 percent or so. This result is significant because this is the first time I’ve seen a car crush it by over 40 percent. The mind boggles further when you consider that this particular Taycan Turbo rolls on massive Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer tires instead of the workaday all-season rubber you normally see on EVs and hybrids.”
Just A Normal Road Trip
Part two of the experiment involved a road trip to the inland town of Borrego Springs. For this trip, the car was left in the default Normal mode and the climate control was set to 72 degrees. Along the way, traffic induced an unintended detour up and back down a nearby mountain.
“The way up is a sinuous hairpin-laden beast that would be in the Tour de France if this were France, but it settles for the Tour de California. There’s no one in front of me, so I do what you would do. The Taycan’s fat Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer tires produce immense grip as the electric Porsche leaps from hairpin to hairpin, utterly unfazed by the gradient. Tiny pebbles ting off the flat underbelly of the car as the dual motors noiselessly get down to business. The steering is even more precise and well-weighted than I remember it from an earlier drive in Europe, and there seems to be no end to what the brakes can do.
“The more flowing road that leads back down reinforces a lament I’ve noticed before. I wish Porsche saw fit to enable a real lift-throttle regeneration driving mode that does more than merely simulate engine braking. I get it, it’s a drivers’ car. But one-pedal driving can be massive fun, too. Give us a choice.” Adding the miles driven to the miles remaining at the end of the trip resulted in a total range of 253 miles on a journey that involved challenging driving and a significantly heavier foot than a driver would normally use to squeeze maximum range out of a car.
The bottom line, Edmunds says, is: “It’s now abundantly clear to me that the Taycan Turbo’s real world range is easily better that the number the EPA gave it. My result of 287 miles of projected range in around-town driving shows that there’s ample cushion if you drive normally. It took 72.9 kWh to replenish the battery afterwards, and the math works out to a consumption rate of 34.8 kWh/100. That’s fully 29% better than the EPA rating of 49 kWh/100.”
There’s much more good writing and useful takeaways in the Autoblog story, so we recommend clicking over for a full read.
To end, here’s the important part: Edmunds writes, “So let’s agree to stop wringing our collective hands about the 2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo’s range. It’s more than fine.”
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