Data Science Electric cars Pandas Python

How have electric cars’ ranges changed over five years?

Electric vehicles are becoming more prevalent. They are without a doubt the future of the car industry. Car companies are using their resources for electric cars. Volvo recently announced it would be producing only fully electric or electric hybrid cars by 2019.

The biggest challenge for EVs is their range. The range is the distance a car can go from point A to point B with a single charge. A few years back the Nissan Leaf was making headlines as the world’s best-selling plug-in electric car (2013 and 2014, though it was originally introduced to the US market in 2010). Nissan estimated its range to be 84 miles from a full charge (2013 model). More recently Tesla’s long-range cars have been in the spotlight.

As a car enthusiast and data geek I wanted to pull together the real data from all other electric car companies and display it collectively.

The data I used for this project is from Canada. The Canadian Government website has fuel consumption ratings for fuel engine, plug-in hybrid and electric cars. The unit of the range is kilometers.


I used pandas to retrieve, clean and manipulate the data, and matplotlib for visualization. If you are interested in creating the same plot, I have shared the source code in my github.

Based on this data, the EV story started in 2012 with Mitsubishi and Nissan. Mitsubishi is still in the market with the same range car with no improvements. Even though Nissan has increased their range over the time, it isn’t enough to keep pace with its competitors. In 2013, Tesla launched its first car with an incredible range, over 400km. Meanwhile, Smart and Ford joined the competition. Later, Chevy, BMW and Kia put their electric cars into production. Range performance by Tesla and Chevy are separated from all other cars.

Today there are 10 car companies that have pure electric cars in production. This is a big increment in five years. We will see how this chart evolves over the next years.


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