At Autocar India, we love to set records – and we’ve just notched up a new one! Having covered 563 kilometres in the MG ZS EV, we now hold the record for the maximum distance travelled in an EV on one charge in India.
Hypermiling is a popular practice among EV owners, but for the #OneChargeChallenge, we wanted to go a step further and see just how much range we could extract on a single charge. The ZS EV’s 44.5kWh lithium-ion battery pack has an official range of 340km, but we set out determined to smash that figure.
Autocar India’s Rahul Kakar was the man behind the wheel of the ZS EV on this drive, and highlighted the basics to be followed when creating this sort of a record. “Driving for a record run like this involves choosing a route with light traffic, disciplined driving, and a few adjustments to reduce power consumption – like switching off the AC and avoiding night driving – and also keeping the windows rolled up to maximise aerodynamic efficiency,” said Kakar.
The drive was flagged off from MG’s flagship outlet in Gurugram. Windows rolled up and AC switched off, we hit National Highway 8 and headed on the road that leads to Jaipur. “The aim was to maintain speed and momentum and avoid sudden acceleration to prevent wastage of charge,” says Kakar. While there was plenty of highway traffic to deal with, Kakar says the idea was to keep braking to a minimum, and even the battery regen mode was set to Level 1 to minimise friction and allow for better coasting ability. With some skilful driving, the ZS EV reached the outskirts of Ajmer before sunset, having covered 354km – 14km more than the official range – and still had 41 percent charge left.
The next morning, officials from FMSCI and the India Book of Records checked the charging port (sealed at the start of the drive), and once the inspection was over, we set off towards Udaipur. The milestones went by one-by-one, and we crossed the 400km mark, and the 500km mark a few hours later. The drive finally came to an end a little after noon, just 65km away from Udaipur, by which point the ZS EV had covered an impressive 563 kilometres on a single charge – more than double its range in normal, everyday driving conditions.
Real-world range is what we focus on when we road test an electric vehicle, but the aim of the #OneChargeChallenge was to prove that if driven in an extreme way to extract every volt from the battery, an EV can go a truly long way on a single charge, and with the right driving technique, range anxiety can be cured.