Fisker Ocean; Exterior Shot; 2023; Fisker Inc.

Fisker’s WLTP Range Rating Is Impressive, But Might Seem Unrealistic. Here’s How To Achieve It Yourself!

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CleanTechnica has been following the Fisker Ocean for a while. It’s an interesting design by an interesting company, so what else could you ask for as a writer? Well, one thing you might ask for is video, which is something we’ve done about the Ocean, too!

In our first impressions video from Fully Charged Live, we learned about the size of the vehicle, how its interior works (including a very innovative screen that can move), and a number of other things. We haven’t had one to drive yet, but things looked great in person.

Since then, details about the vehicle have continued to trickle out, and we keep being impressed. In another recent article, we learned about its partnership with ChargePoint, but more importantly that Fisker is building in a legitimate trip planner. Fisker enables its drivers to discover charging stations through the central touchscreen of their vehicles, as well as the ChargePoint mobile app. Drivers may access the app’s features that filter searches for DC fast charge locations, basic EV route planning, and calculation of the arrival times at charging stops, making finding suitable charging stations easier than ever. This level of support ensures Fisker Ocean owners can locate charging stations conveniently without running out of power on extended trips.

Most recently, we got details on European range ratings, which are impressive even after considering some of the problems with European testing (which we’ll get to in a few). But first, let’s take a look at the range news.

Fisker has recently announced that its all-electric SUV, the Fisker Ocean Extreme, boasts a combined WLTP range of up to 707 km/440 UK miles, the most extended range of any battery-electric SUV currently available in Europe. The vehicle’s impressive range surpasses the company’s initial estimates, offering Fisker Ocean owners added comfort, convenience, and range assurance.

“From the beginning, we planned the Fisker Ocean to deliver the highest level of design, sustainability, innovation, usability, and range. We created a fantastic 5-passenger vehicle, offering our buyers range confidence and convenience in every trip,” CEO Henrik Fisker said. “This achievement is a major milestone for everyone at Fisker, and we are delighted the range exceeds our initial calculations.”

Fisker aims to obtain European homologation by April 28, 2023, allowing for customer deliveries immediately afterward. The company plans to introduce its first Fisker Centers+ in Vienna and Copenhagen on April 11, 2023, with further Centers+ and Lounges scheduled to open in Europe and the United States throughout 2023. The opening of these Centers+ and Lounges will enable customers to have greater accessibility to Fisker’s innovative solutions and showcase the company’s commitment to delivering exceptional experiences to its customers.

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An Important Caveat

Before American and even many European readers look at this announcement and say, “Wow! 700 kilometers! Almost 450 miles!,” it’s important to keep in mind that WLTP ratings are pretty different compared to US EPA ratings.

In both cases, the ratings are based on tests that simulated the driving conditions customers may experience in their day-to-day lives, such as highway driving and city traffic. They also take into account factors such as air conditioning use, load size, overall speed, acceleration rate, outside temperature, and other features such as eco mode settings. By providing consumers with this information they can compare vehicles more effectively and make an informed choice that best suits their needs.

But, not all ratings systems are the same. They rely on putting the vehicles through standardized cycles of driving that differ. In the United States, higher speeds and more stop-go driving is assumed, so the same vehicle can get much lower ratings than under European testing.

On top of the differences between ratings systems, it’s important to note that most testing is not done by the EPA or WLTP. The manufacturers are expected to run the cars through virtual testing on a dynamometer in most cases, and it can differ based on who’s running through the test. In some cases, automakers use very skilled hypermiling drivers to do the testing and get a better rating, leading to accusations that their drivers are “too good” to deliver a realistic number.

So, the difference between real-world and official numbers can be pretty big.

It’s Possible To Get The Rated Figure, With Some Work

While the above can sound pretty depressing, it’s important to note that the biggest part that influences efficiency in a vehicle is the nut behind the wheel (in other words, the driver). If you follow a few simple tips, it’s possible to get a lot better range out of an EV, and you don’t need to drive like your grandma to do it.

Probably the biggest thing you can do is just let off on the accelerator earlier. When you’re approaching a stop, the sooner you go from using energy to coasting some of it away, the less energy that can be lost. While regenerative braking is better than normal braking, there are still conversion losses involved, so you’re better to just not use as much energy to begin with.

The second thing you can do is keep it chill. While EVs are a lot more efficient than gas cars, that doesn’t mean that accelerating more slowly (even if just a little) doesn’t help you save energy. There are several reasons for this, but it mostly comes down to heat losses being worse a higher loads.

Finally, highways speeds are a big one. WLTP ratings tend to be better for big numbers than EPA ratings because they assume slower vehicle speeds. Just lowering your speed a bit on the highway can make a difference in range, sometimes a drastic difference.

So, don’t get discouraged if your EV doesn’t get the rated range. With a few relatively minor adjustments to your driving, you could either get a lot closer to the rated range. With a little more work and care, you can even meet or exceed it.

But, for most local drives, the power and fun of an EV is too tempting and you don’t need every last scrap of range, so I wouldn’t fault you for “sending it” on most days!

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Jennifer Sensiba

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to get off the beaten path in her "Bolt EAV" and any other EVs she can get behind the wheel or handlebars of with her wife and kids. You can find her on Twitter here, Facebook here, and YouTube here.

Jennifer Sensiba has 1984 posts and counting. See all posts by Jennifer Sensiba