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How far can an electric car go on a single charge?

If you’re considering buying an electric car for the first time, this will help.

Sun and leaf driving an EV car.

What's the range of an electric vehicle (EV)?

It’s a common question, especially when you’re concerned about being stranded in your electric car with no charge. This “range anxiety” can stop drivers from switching from petrol to EV, even though many of us don’t ask the same questions about petrol and diesel cars. You can normally get around 100-300 miles from a fully charged electric car, depending on the model.

But how does that compare? RAC conducted a survey and found that drivers would want a car to offer a range of approximately 375 miles - that’s roughly Torquay to Durham, slightly longer than the usual commute! Whilst some electric vehicles can’t do that range yet, improvements in battery technology mean they’re getting closer every day.

We’re going to take a look at the range of some popular electric vehicles on the market to show you how far you could get on a single charge.

What's the longest range of an electric car?

Currently, one of the longest range electric vehicles that you can get is the Mercedes EQS, which can do approximately 453 miles on a single charge. Tesla cars are also known for their long rage, with the Tesla Model S Long Range Plus boasting a range of 405 miles. On the other end, you’ve got cars such as the Smart EQ forfour that can do about 59 miles on a single charge.

With 95% of car journeys in the UK being less than 25 miles, these are both more than enough for daily commuting, however it’s important to consider how often you do longer journeys.

What factors affect an electric vehicle’s range?

Like petrol cars, there are a number of different factors that can affect how far you can drive your vehicle before you need to fill up. For electric cars there are 4 main factors that affect the range:

  • The size of the battery in the car.

  • How old the battery is.

  • Driving style.

  • Efficiency of the car.

There are also external factors such as the topography, weather conditions and whether you turn the heater on in the car.

To give you an example of this. If you drive a Renault Zoe at 31mph on 15-inch wheels when it’s 15oC you’ll get about 278 miles out of it. However if you speed up to 56mph you’ll only get 190 miles.

Electric vehicle ranges are increasing.

As car batteries become more powerful and cheaper, car’s are able to travel further and further on a single charge. Recent stats from Bloomberg have shown that battery costs have dropped from £875 per kWh in 2010 to just over £105.

The price could dip below £75 in 2023, which is the point at which electric cars will reach price parity with petrol and diesel cars.

What are the EVs with the longest range?

If you travel long distances, or just want a bigger gap between charges, then we’ve put together a list of the top 10 current EVs by range.

  1. Mercedes-Benz EQS.

  2. Tesla Model S.

  3. BMW iX.

  4. Ford Mustang Mach-E.

  5. BMW i4.

  6. Tesla Model 3.

  7. Tesla Model X.

  8. Volkswagen ID.3.

  9. Skoda Enyaq.

  10. Polestar 2.

How can you beat range anxiety?

Range anxiety happens when you feel worried that your EV might run out of power and you can’t get to a charger. However, with increases in battery performance as well as the large numbers of public chargers able to recharge your EV, range anxiety is hopefully becoming a thing of the past.

One of the best ways to beat range anxiety is to get an EV charger installed at your home so you always know when you can plug in and recharge. You can also check out where public chargers are near you so you know where to charge when you’re out and about.

The good thing is that the number of public chargers is increasing rapidly. For example, Zapmap shows that there are 32,000 chargers in the UK in May 2022, a 32% increase on the previous year.