On June 10, a team of UK veterans, a military spouse, and a hypermiling expert set a new world record for EV efficiency. [credit:
Mission Motorsport ]
I’m a little out of step with the mainstream when it comes to electric vehicle efficiency. I believe that as long as your electricity is clean and your battery has enough range to get you where you’re going (with the occasional DC fast-charge for a longer trip), even the least efficient EV will beat anything with an internal combustion engine—particularly if that EV replaces something inefficient like a sports car or a big SUV. Most people think this idea isn’t enough, though, and whoever can go the farthest on the fewest kWh wins.
As of Thursday, there’s a new winner. A British veterans nonprofit called Mission Motorsport spent 24 hours driving a pair of Renault Zoes (with 52 kWh battery packs) around the Thruxton racetrack in England. The 2.4-mile (3.8-km) circuit is one of the UK’s fastest, but the record-setting Zoe averaged around 19 mph (30.5 km/h). That was good for 475.4 miles (765 km) on a single charge, which works out to be 9.14 miles/kWh (14.71 km/kWh).
The winning Zoe was entirely standard, except for a set of tires developed by a company called Enso. The second Zoe ran on its factory-fitted rubber and still managed 424.7 miles. That’s a lot better than the car’s WLTP range of 245 miles (394 km) and works out to an efficiency of 8.16 miles/kWh (13.13 km/kWh).