The journey goes from Taunus to Lake Constance, almost exactly 400 kilometers, and the Citroën E-C4 X is tried out.
It runs purely electrically and has been available for some time with a slightly more powerful 54 kWh battery for a basic price of 37,000 euros.
When the ignition is switched on and the battery is fully charged, the on-board computer shows a range of 420 kilometers.
Editor in the “Technology and Engine” department.
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Surprisingly, this is exactly the manufacturer's specification according to the WLTP standard and would correspond to a spectacularly low consumption of just 12.8 kWh for 100 kilometers.
In the first four kilometers through the city, eight kilometers of range disappear, even though we drive in Eco mode, and later on the motorway it is extremely energy efficient with speeds of around 110 km/h.
Travel time almost doubles compared to a combustion engine
To shorten the story: We determined an average consumption of 23 kWh for 100 kilometers over two 400 kilometers in winter temperatures, i.e. twice as much as the standard figure and thus a maximum range of 230 kilometers.
As I said: with the utmost caution when driving.
The manufacturer specifies the charging power with direct current at the fast charging station as up to 100 kW.
On a return trip with eight charging stops, we usually achieved around 35 to 40 kW.
The outlier at the bottom is 16 kW, at the top it's a little more than 50. We never filled the battery to more than 80 percent, because charging takes even longer for the last 20 percent.
So our trip looked like this: we drove a little more than 100 kilometers and then charged for around 35 minutes with a battery level of around 40 percent.
We didn't dare drain the battery any further.
Because two of the charging stations along the highway were broken.
If the battery level was even lower, the Citroën might have charged a little faster.
We would have completed our 400 kilometers in under four hours if we drove comfortably with a combustion engine.
With the E-C4 X it was a little less than seven hours each.
How does the on-board system support the driver in charging planning?
The travel report shows: When a small battery and low charging power come together, long journeys become an experience.
In the E-C4X, “My Citroën Drive Plus Navigation” with navigation, digital radio, Apple Carplay and Android Auto as well as premium traffic information is part of the standard equipment.
The on-board monitor comes with a diagonal of 10 inches and huge black borders.
The operation is easy, the equipment is mid-range and offers healthy home cooking in terms of telephony and media playback.
The navigation comes from Tomtom.
Unfortunately, the system is of little help in charging planning.
Because the on-board computer does not provide any realistic consumption values and does not take into account the historical data that it knows based on the distances traveled, any charging planning remains meaningless.
The navigation system recognizes that charging needs to be done in between and suggests charging points along the route.
But then they are out of reach.
The manual search for charging stations works, but you can't see whether they are free or occupied.
In short: none of this is suitable for long distances.
We let Apple Carplay navigate us and occasionally looked for the next charging station using the Energie Baden-Württemberg app, which can be accessed in Carplay.