The team, comprising BBC transport correspondent, Paul Clifton, alongside Fergal McGrath and Kevin Booker who each hold petrol and diesel economy records, managed to cover the 840 miles with just two stops and less than 45 minutes of charging in total. This has halved the previous best time set last September of one hour 31 minutes of charging to cover the distance.
They drove a rear-wheel drive Mustang Mach-E – Ford’s first purpose-built EV – with 88kWh of available battery capacity as efficiently as possible, setting some pretty strong efficiency figures along the way. The most crucial one was 6.5 miles per kWh, or less than 10kWh/100km, which is stunning in real-world driving conditions where anything above 4 miles per kWh is good going.
Theoretically, the Mustang Mach-E is capable of over 500 miles on a charge at that efficiency – some 120 miles over its official 379 mile WLTP range. The figure was also three times the mile per kWh set by Guinness to achieve the record.
Just two charges were needed to complete the distance with one taking place using a BP Pulse charger at Wigan and the final charge using an IONITY charger Cullompton in Devon. At both services ultra-rapid chargers delivering up to 150kW were used to minimise the time spent hooked up and other than those stops and breaks of 15 minutes every two hours, the team undertook the record in one journey.
According to the team, the Mustang was efficient in testing as well as on the official record attempt, stating that a full day’s testing had seen them cover 250 miles with 45 per cent charge remaining.
These tests are great publicity and the figures that this latest record-breaking team has achieved are nothing short of miraculous. Obviously, it’s extremely difficult to match something like 6.5 miles per kWh unless the conditions are right and you’re already an efficiency record-holder. However, what such feats do show is that EVs are already hugely capable, so long as you keep an eye on how you’re driving.
For a while now we’ve gently pushed the need for EV makers to improve the efficiency of their powertrains rather than adding kilowatts to their battery packs. We hope that the miles per kWh figure will gain equal footing with the WLTP range as a measure of an EV’s true capabilities.