Electric cars: larger batteries on long-range models

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Years go by and battery capacity grows, sometimes even on the same model. That’s right: among the almost “classics” of electric mobility, the increase in kWh accumulators has so far represented the most important update, even more than any restyling of the bodywork and improvements to the powertrain.

Longing for autonomy. It is not a mystery, moreover, that it is precisely the anxiety of the column that makes the autonomy of the vehicle one of the main factors of choice in the purchase of an Ev, even more so for those who do not disdain traveling outside the city, where public infrastructures are less capillary. This is why the green motorist often chooses formulas that provide for the return of the electric car – that is, leasing, long-term rentals and buyback financing – perhaps to be replaced with a model with more capacious batteries. Model that could be the same as the car delivered, if it guaranteed longer distances, as happened over the years to the vehicles we take as an example.

The Bavarian. The BMW i3 it is one of the cars that have seen the capacity of its accumulators increase the most. Arrived on the market in 2013, and with quite a bit of career still in front of him, was initially sold with 22 kWh batteries, then flanked by those of the 94 Ah version, with a capacity of 33 kWh. Compared to the original model, with the restyling, therefore, 42.2 kWh accumulators (37.9 kWh net) arrived, for a declared autonomy of 310 km in the Wltp cycle, which drop to 285 on the more performing i3s.

The French. Another “classic” among the Evs is the Renault Zoe, landed in 2013 and now in its second generation. Established as the best-selling electric car in Italy and Europe in 2020, it has seen the capacity of its batteries grow several times. Available initially with 22 kWh accumulators, then flanked by those of 41 kWh for declared ranges of up to 300 km in real use, the Zoe is now offered with 52 kWh batteries, capable of guaranteeing declared distances up to 395 km. .

The Japanese. For a long time the best-selling electric car in the world, so much so that in September 2020 it passed the milestone of half a million units produced, the Nissan Leaf made its debut on our market in 2011: its 24 kWh battery was able to make it travel, according to the company, a maximum of 175 km, then climbed to 199 km following an update. In 2016, the 30 kWh variant arrived, with 250 km of declared autonomy. With the current generation, the second, the minimum cut of the accumulators has risen to 40 kWh (for a declared distance of 270 km), while the larger battery reaches 64 kWh (for a range of 385 km).

The American. We could not close this brief review of “long-lived” electric without mentioning the Tesla Model S, the car that made the Californian company famous worldwide. In Italy it debuted in 2013 with 60 and 85 kWh batteries, when overseas it was even available with the smallest 40 kWh rate. Quattroruote tested the Performance version with 85 kWh accumulators, noting a real range of about 350 km, a remarkable figure for the time. In the following years, the sedan-coupé saw versions with 70, 75 and 90 kWh batteries arrive in the range, up to the 100 kWh of today’s Model S restyling with declared mileage of up to 628 km. We are therefore talking about very capacious accumulators, although there are those who also adopt some larger.

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