Longest-range electric cars

Electric cars are green, fast, and cheap to run; these are the electric cars with the longest range

Murray Scullion John Evans
May 8, 2019

If you're running low on fuel in a petrol or diesel car, it's rarely a big deal. You just need to go to a fuel station and fill up.

It's not always that simple with an electric car. For now, charging locations aren't as common as petrol stations; they aren't always working; and, if occupied, you could be in for a long wait - before you factor in the charging time.

On a long-distance journey, it's so common for electric car drivers to worry, as they continually check their remaining charge and the distances to nearby charging points, that the syndrome has a name: range anxiety. One cure is to get a car that doesn't need to stop very often; the best models can travel more than 300 miles on a single charge, although this depends on factors including driving style, outside temperature and use of air conditioning or the heater.

 

We've ranked the twelve longest-range electric cars below, based on official figures, as calculated by a standard laboratory test. It's not unusual for your range in real-world driving to to be significantly lower than these. All cars benefit from a government grant when brand new, which is included in the prices.

 

Electric cars with the longest range

1. Tesla Model S

Official range 375 miles Real-world 320 miles

If you’ve not heard of Tesla, reading this article must be the first ever thing you’ve read on the internet. Headed by famed tycoon Elon Musk, the company currently makes the longest-range electric cars sold in Britain. 

The Model S Long Range is able to travel furthest of all. Its large battery packs will theoretically get you from London to Leeds and back on a single charge, although in reality, you'd need to drive at a steady 55mph in order to conserve power.

Tesla was one of the last car makers to post figures for the new WLTP testing - but the updated numbers still put it top of the table. Real-world range is around 320 miles, which is plenty for most journeys. If not, then Tesla's Supercharger network will only take around 40 minutes to charge the battery 0 to 80 per cent capacity.

 

2. Tesla Model 3

Official range 348 miles Real-world TBC

The Model 3 is the newest car in Tesla’s arsenal, and is also the smallest. It’s compact dimensions and relative lightness (compared with other Teslas - it’s still heavier than internal combustion engined rivals) means that it can coax serious mileage from its batteries.

The Long Range is the one with the longest range...with an official rating of 348 miles. The real-world range remains to be seen in the long term, however, the initial tests are positive, indicating a range of at least 300 miles.

From one of Tesla’s super-fast Superchargers, a Model 3 can charge from 0-80% in around 30 minutes. This should get you around 280-miles at a cost of £14.

3. Tesla Model X

Official range up to 315 miles Real-world 233 miles

The Model X is a rare seven-seat electric car. It's classed as a sport utility vehicle (SUV) because of its extra height over the Tesla Model S. Arriving in one can be theatrical, thanks to the rear "falcon-wing" doors that swing upwards to let rear occupants out.

It’s expensive, though, especially now that the entry-level 75 version has been dropped from the line-up. Meanwhile, its claimed range is based on the discontinued official test. When driving it like any other car, the Model X should still manage around 233 miles on a single journey, though, so the average driver will rarely need to plug in en route.
Tesla Model X buying guide

 

4. Jaguar I-Pace

Official range 292 miles Real-world 253 miles

Jaguar's first mainstream electric car combines the Tesla-like convenience of long range, with space and sporty performance associated with big Jaguars. If you've got the ability to charge it at home, then it's a realistic alternative to a petrol or diesel family car - as long as you can justify the £64,995 price, which increases to more than £78,500 for high-end models.

Even so, that's cheaper than the Tesla Model S and Model X. The Jaguar has a lower official range than both of these cars, but in normal driving, it's a match for the Model X.
Jaguar I-Pace buying guide

 

5. Kia e-Niro

Official range 282 miles Real world 253 miles

A starting price of under £35,000 for an electric car with an almost Tesla-like range has created quite a bit of interest from electric car buyers - so much so that the first year's production of the eNiro is almost sold out.

The Kia e-Niro is very similar to sister car the Hyundai Kona Electric (below) but while it can claim a slightly more impressive range, it’s not quite as cheap - for now. At the moment Kia is only selling an initial version, called the First Edition, which is packed full of standard equipment that pushes the price up. Expect cheaper models to follow when the initial demand dies down.

It may be closely related to the Kona Electric but it looks more conventional and is actually more practical with a 451-litre boot compared with the Kona’s, 332-litre boot. Like its sister car, the e-Niro’s performance is strong but the driving experience in corners isn't quite as nimble as conventionally powered rivals such as the Skoda Kodiaq.

 

6. Mercedes EQ C

Official range 280 miles Real-world Unknown

Upmarket car makers are betting that car buyers will be tempted to go electric by tall and practical battery-powered SUVs with a range of more than 200 miles. That's why now have the option of buying the Tesla Model X, Jaguar I-Pace, Audi e-tron and this Mercedes EQ C. An alternative from BMW will arrive shortly.

EQ C is the new name for Mercedes' electric range, and this car is surprising only in its conventionality. It's spacious, with a 500-litre boot, relatively quick and has a useful electric range to match its rivals.

 

7. Hyundai Kona Electric

Official range up to 279 miles Real-world 259 miles (64kWh)

The Kona Electric has two of the big obstacles to EV ownership cracked: price and range. At under £33,000 from new, with the government grant included, it undercuts many other electric vehicles, including those with a less range than the 279 miles offered by the Hyundai and its 64kWh battery.

If both of those numbers look too large for you, then there's also the option of a Kona Electric with a smaller (39kWh) battery. The range drops to an official figure of 180 miles but so does the cost, bringing the Hyundai down to below £28,000.
Hyundai Kona Electric buying guide

 

8. Audi e-tron

Official range 249 miles Real world range TBC

The e-tron is Audi’s first electric car, but it still has all of the Audi virtues you’d expect. Chief among them being lots of technology, striking looks, great build quality and a sophisticated driving experience.

It’s a great first effort in terms of range too. Naturally, it’s expensive and is a rival to the Jaguar I-Pace, albeit with a slightly nicer interior, and a slightly worse range.
Audi e-tron buying guide

 

9. Nissan Leaf e+

Official range 239 miles Real world range TBC

A new Nissan Leaf joined us in 2018, bringing with it an innovative e-Pedal, which slows the car down and charges the battery without the need to press the brake.

This limited edition longer-range version went on sale at the beginning of 2019. The car's larger battery is claimed to increase the range of the Leaf by 71 miles, and is likely to mean a real-world range that just creeps over the important 200 mile mark.

The £36,795 price of the car, including the government's plug-in grant, makes this the most expensive Nissan Leaf - versions with the standard battery start at £10,000 less - but this does include a high specification.
Nissan Leaf buying guide

10. BMW i3

Official range 193 miles Real world range 160 miles

The i3 certainly looks the part. It was designed to look futuristic, and despite the fact that it’s been around for nearly five years, that's still the case today, with its wavy window line, rear-opening "suicide doors" and airy, spacious interior.

It was designed to be an electric car from the beginning too, so the effects of installing a heavy battery pack have been reduced by installing them low down in the car, and by building the car's frame using lightweight carbon fibre. This makes the i3 more agile than you might expect, and reasonably quick too: it will accelerate from 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds. An update in 2016 introduced a larger battery (a 94Ah model), which substantially increased the official range from a mediocre 118 miles to the current 188 miles.

 

11. Renault Zoe

Official range 186 miles Real world range 124 miles

The little Zoe is one of the cheapest electric cars available, and an upgraded battery pack means that it also has one of the longest ranges. The latest Renault Zoe Z.E. 40 is the latest model, with an impressively high 250 miles range, which represents around 180 miles in real-world driving. It's a big step up from Zoes built before 2017, which had a smaller (22kWh) battery with a real-world range of around 100 miles. 

It’s very quiet, and has zippy and immediate acceleration. Apart from that, it’s much like any other small car, albeit even easier to drive thanks to a lack of gearbox. A word of warning though, most Zoes are sold without their batteries (only cars badged ‘i’ have them included). You’ll need to lease the batteries separately, which will cost from £49 a month.
Renault Zoe buying guide

 

12. Hyundai Ioniq

Official range up to 174 miles Real world range 130 miles

This Ioniq comes in three different types - hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric. The fully electric version is the most expensive Ioniq, and it's also a bit more than a Leaf, but it uses higher-quality plastics on the inside, which makes it feel more expensive. It's also larger inside as well, making it more comfortable for tall passengers.

Tests have found that its on-road performance is closer to official figures than other electric cars (notably the Nissan Leaf), so you can expect between 120 and 130 miles on a single charge in normal driving conditions.
Hyundai Ioniq electric buying guide

 

13. Volkswagen e-Golf

Official Range 144 miles Real world range 120 miles

There's subtle - and then there's virtually invisible. For an electric car that barely whispers its environmental credentials, you can't beat the Volkswagen e-Golf. Only the most dedicated of car fans will spot the small differences between the e-Golf and the standard petrol- or diesel-powered models. All share the same understated and well-known looks.

This also means that the other bits that buyers love about the Golf - its spacious interior, straightforward dashboard design and solid feel - remain the same. The extra weight of the batteries does make the e-Golf a little less comfortable over bumps than the standard car but, in general, there's not a great deal of compromise required when choosing electric over petrol or diesel.
Volkswagen e-Golf buying guide

        

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