Owning an electric car is a bit different from the owning experience of an internal combustion engine vehicle, in the sense that you need to be more mindful of where and for how long you need to charge along the way to your destination. And it’s not a negative point – petrol and diesel cars need to stop for refuelling, too – it’s just a bit different.
But all of this attention to detail goes to the trash when you have a heavy-footed driver next to you. Enter Alex Kersten of CarThrottle fame and Rory Reid, an ex-presenter on TopGear.
In a video published on AutoTrader’s YouTube channel, the two wanted to find out if driving fast will kill an electric car’s battery.
Adding to that, the experiment was done when the temperature was a freezing 26.6 degrees (-3 degrees Celsius), so I think we all know the answer to that question, but what’s more interesting in the video is how quickly the old, first-generation Nissan Leaf conks out.
In a previous video shot by Rory Reid, where he drove sensibly, he managed to get 66 miles out of the Leaf’s battery, but now, with a heavy foot on the accelerator pedal and a less-than-ideal temperature for the battery, it’s anybody’s guess.
The two, along with the people behind the cameras, place some bets, and nobody seems to think that the car will make it more than 33 miles.
In the beginning, the car’s range metre reads 42 miles in eco mode, with the battery full. Bear in mind that the car was made in 2012 and its odometer read 73,671 miles when this video was shot. When the car was new, its 24 kWh battery offered an WLTP-estimated range of 90 miles (combined) – this means the car lost 45 percent of its battery capacity.
The old Leaf manages to accelerate to 99 miles per hour pretty quickly, but its range takes a huge hit: after just 3 miles on the road, the range dropped to 24 miles on the battery meter. 16 miles later, the range meter left the room, and when they hit the 20-mile mark, the car started to slow down and eventually lost power completely, with the odometer reading 21.6 miles.