Real-World Range of the Tata Punch EV: How Far Can You Go?

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The Tata Punch EV, a compact and stylish electric SUV, has taken the Indian market by storm. Launched in January 2024, it offers a compelling combination of city-friendly size, eco-friendly performance, and a price tag that makes electric mobility more accessible. One of the most crucial factors for potential EV buyers is real-world driving range – how far can you truly travel on a single charge? We put the Tata Punch EV Long Range (LR) variant to the test to answer this very question.

Tata Punch EV
Tata Punch EV

Understanding the Punch EV LR: Specs and Claimed Range

Before diving into the real-world results, let’s establish the baseline specifications of the Tata Punch EV LR:

  • Battery Pack: 35 kWh lithium-ion battery
  • Power: 122 PS electric motor
  • Torque: 190 Nm
  • Claimed Range (ARAI): 421 km

The claimed range of 421 km, as per the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) testing methodology, provides a benchmark for the Punch EV’s potential under controlled conditions. However, real-world driving scenarios often differ, and factors like driving style, traffic conditions, weather, and even AC usage can significantly impact the actual range achieved.

The Drive To Death Test: Evaluating Real-World Performance

To assess the true capabilities of the Punch EV LR, we conducted our rigorous “Drive To Death” test. This test involves driving the vehicle on a mix of real-world roads, encompassing city commutes, highway stretches, and even ghat sections with inclines and declines. Here’s a breakdown of our testing process:

  • Starting Charge: We began the test with the Punch EV LR fully charged to 100%.
  • Regenerative Braking: The regenerative braking level was set to 3 to maximize energy recuperation during deceleration.
  • Air Conditioning: Due to the prevailing hot weather conditions, the AC remained on throughout the test.
  • Initial Distance Reading: The multi-information display (MID) displayed an estimated range of 233 km with a full charge, which was already lower than the claimed 421 km.
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The Results: How Far Did the Punch EV Go?

Under these conditions, the Tata Punch EV LR delivered a real-world driving range of 258.6 km. We reached this point with just 1% charge remaining in the battery. This translates to a difference of approximately 162 km from the claimed ARAI range. However, it’s important to consider that real-world driving conditions are rarely ideal, and the factors mentioned earlier can contribute to a decrease in range.

Positive Surprises:

  • MID Overestimation: Interestingly, the MID displayed a higher range (233 km) than the claimed ARAI figure (421 km) when the battery was fully charged. This might be due to the car’s initial assessment of driving efficiency based on past driving patterns.
  • Downhill Advantage: Some parts of our test route involved downhill sections. Regenerative braking likely played a role in extending the range by capturing kinetic energy during descents.

Understanding the Drop in Range:

  • AC Usage: Running the AC consistently throughout the test undoubtedly impacted the battery’s efficiency. This highlights the trade-off between comfort and range in electric vehicles.
  • City Driving: City commutes with frequent stops and starts tend to consume more energy compared to highway cruising.

Beyond the Finish Line: Performance at Low Charge

Our test continued to observe the Punch EV’s behavior as the battery charge depleted:

  • Limited Performance Mode: When the battery dropped below 10%, the car automatically switched to a limited performance mode, restricting the top speed to 55 mph and reducing acceleration significantly. This is a safety measure to conserve the remaining battery for essential functions.
  • Limited Information Display: The MID stopped displaying the remaining driving range once the battery charge dipped below 10%.
  • AC Deactivation: At a 5% charge, the AC system shuts down to prioritize essential functions and maximize the remaining range.
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Despite these limitations, we were able to successfully reach a charging station with just 1% charge remaining, showcasing the car’s ability to manage low-battery situations effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How does the real-world range of the Punch EV LR compare to the claimed ARAI range?

A: Our real-world test yielded a driving range of 258.6 km on a single charge, which is approximately 162 km less than the claimed ARAI range of 421 km. This difference is understandable due to factors like AC usage, city driving conditions, and variations in driving styles.

Q: Does the Punch EV LR offer fast charging capabilities?

A: Yes, the Punch EV LR supports fast charging using a DC fast charger. The exact charging time depends on the capacity of the charger, but it can significantly reduce charging time compared to a regular AC charger.

Q: What are the benefits of regenerative braking in the Punch EV LR?

A: Regenerative braking helps recapture kinetic energy during deceleration and braking, converting it back into electricity and topping up the battery. This can improve the overall driving range of the vehicle.

Q: How does the Punch EV LR handle low-battery situations?

A: When the battery level drops below 10%, the car enters a limited performance mode to conserve remaining energy. This restricts top speed and acceleration. Additionally, the MID stops displaying the remaining range, and the AC system deactivates at very low charge levels to prioritize essential functions.

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