Our man looks at the most recent American EV hypermiling record
How much time would you spend charging your electric car if you were to drive across the United States in an electric vehicle?
It’s 2384.5 miles, by the way, and the car is a basic rear-wheel-drive Porsche Taycan with the optional big 84kWh battery, which achieves a maximum range of 301 miles on the European WLTP test and 225 miles on the more pessimistic/realistic American EPA one.
How long would you be plugged in? The battery would be full and you would leave Los Angeles to finish in New York. You might even stop for an hour if you drove carefully, and only used big, juicy chargers.
Wayne Gerdes, Guinness World Record holder and expert in EV endurance testing, doesn’t think that this is enough. He set a new record for driving a Taycan coast-to-coast in just six days, spending only two hours, 26 mins and 48 seconds charging it.
This record was broken by nearly five hours. It was a respectable seven hours and ten minutes and one second in a Kia EV6.
Gerdes is an expert on hypermiling. He talks about it at cleanmpg.com. Hypermiling is, if you don’t know what it is, the art of getting as much mileage out of a vehicle’s engine as possible. The more the Taycan can be extended by Gerdes, the less it will need to charge.
He was not only successful because of that, but also because of charging. He said that the Taycan can walk over anything with a standard low charge and a good battery temperature.
He charged the Taycan with Electrify America’s 350kW chargers. This requires a warm and nearly empty battery.
The Taycan can handle 260kW in that state and has done so many times. The rate drops dramatically if you go above 50%. He would then fill up just enough to get to the next stop in a ready condition.
He made 22 charging stops in total, each one being very short. He made only two charging stops, the shortest lasting just two minutes 17 seconds.
Gerdes has lots of data to support the story. He put 522kWh of energy in the Taycan, and travelled 4.7 mi for each kWh – more that twice its EPA rating.
It’s a bit disappointing that he didn’t mention how slow he drove.
Gerdes claims he doesn’t know his average speed because paperwork took four to six hours per day while the car was stationary. However, when the car is switched on (turning the engine off), Gerdes can tell the difference.
However, hypermiling an EV is not always a good idea. Mission Motorsport managed to get 475 miles from a Renault Zoe last year by driving at an average speed of 19 mph.
However, Gerdes would have driven an average of 40 mph if he had driven for 10 hours per day. At 15 hours, it was 26 mph. Although it may sound small, extremes can have a significant effect on averages so a highway speed would be significantly faster. (I asked Gerdes what but he has not yet replied).
You wouldn’t do this. Cross-country, it would be possible to charge even if you were sleeping or eating cheese. Two hours to cover 2000 miles. It’s pretty good.