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Long term report: Cupra Born EV demands 'compromise' to maximise range

AM's Cupra Born EV long term test car

Review

The topic of electric vehicles (EVs) and the adjustments motorists must make when driving them came up in conversation with manufacturer bosses and fellow trade journalists recently.

We all agreed that education of all dealership staff must be the priority, before high numbers of consumers take the plunge.

Buyers from now onwards are certainly not the early adopters who gained their EV experience while being quite forgiving of the limited infrastructure, multitude of charging network apps and questionable charging point reliability.

They need careful qualification by dealer staff with EV expertise, who must set their expectations with realism and honesty.

We can’t afford consumers scarred by shocking EV experiences when there’s those 2030/35 zero emissions deadlines ahead.

AM's latest long term test car, the Cupra Born EVHaving written last month that the Cupra Born EV I’m now driving seemed good for 230-240 miles with no fingernail biting, I’ve had closer to 210-220 miles range during the latest long-distance trips.

I admit to being slightly more carefree with the accelerator – less inclined to pootle at 60mph on a 70mph motorway – and, on one occasion, I had four passengers on board plus the air-con running and lights on.

But this is the sort of thing consumers need to understand so they can appreciate how, or whether, they can adjust their driving habits. Compromise is needed in a world where most have been used to doing A-to-B as quickly as legally possible.

The benefits of my latest journeys include the experience I’ve gained with ultra-rapid charging. Prior planning paid off on both occasions; I’d looked up suitable CCS chargers accepting contactless payment along my route, and was lucky to find one vacant on arrival each time.

Allowing 20 to 30 minutes to charge slightly tests one’s patience, but the experience was painless. As is the Cupra Born’s quiet, refined cruising ability – two of my passengers fell asleep.

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