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The Top Gear car review:Jaguar I-Pace
Running costs and reliability
This is the real crux of the matter, isn’t it. In a world obsessed with food Deliverooed to your doorstep, cheap taxis at your fingertips and the world’s music library in your earbuds, the electric car is a chewy one. The direct environmental benefits are obvious, you can see them not spewing out of the tailpipe… but, on the other hand, owning, charging and planning your life around one is a chore we could all do without. One step forward, two steps back. Hence the hullabaloo.
It’s true the charging infrastructure isn’t really ready for you to use a car like this regularly on long-range journeys. There are too many 7Kw chargers out there, not enough 50Kw or 100Kw DC ones, and collecting the various apps and cards required to navigate the myriad public charging companies is frankly a nightmare. But be honest – how often do you drive over 200 miles in a single hit?
Hypermiling is possible of course, and necessary if you want to get close to that claimed 298-mile range. Here’s the maths: the I-Pace’s spec shows a 90kWh battery, but the car never allows itself all that, for the sake of the cells’ health. So for 298 miles your average consumption has to be less than that total available –84.7kWh divided by that target distance, equals 0.284kWh per mile or (28.4kWh per 100 miles in trip-computer units).
This is not impossible, but requires some fairly extreme measures such as crawling along at no more than 45mph and denying yourself heating, aircon, stereo, head-up display, lane-assist, wipers and headlights. Real-driving range is probably below 200 miles. This gap is not the fault of the I-Pace. It’s the fault of a new WLTP test, which may be more realistic than the old, but still isn’t realistic enough.