Longest-range electric cars

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

Simon Ostler
Nov 14, 2019

Electric cars are slowly becoming more popular among the masses. They are the priority of many mainstream manufacturers these days, and the electrified revolution if moving faster than ever. 

But one of the biggest factors for car buyers making the switch from conventional fuel to electric power is the question of range (how far an electric car can travel on a full charge). 

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. But it's not always that simple with an electric car, 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 ten longest-range electric cars below, based on official WLTP figures, but 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 quoted price.

Electric cars with the longest range

  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model 3
  • Tesla Model X
  • Jaguar I-Pace
  • Kia e-Niro
  • Hyundai Kona Electric
  • Mercedes EQC
  • Audi e-tron
  • Nissan Leaf
  • BMW i3

1. Tesla Model S

Our pick Tesla Model S Long Range
List price £81,745
WLTP range 375 miles

Tesla have been around for a while now and its somewhat hard to believe the Model S initially launched way back in 2012. A perennial class leader in terms of electric range, luggage capacity and speed, it's easy to see why this car has sold as well as it has in spite of that rather hefty price tag.

In the seven years since the Model S first appeared nothing else has got anywhere close to matching its range, and that doesn't look like changing any time soon either, with the Jaguar I-Pace the closest non-Tesla on this list some 83 miles adrift. The Model S Performance spec, which is tailored specifically to go as fast as possible, would place second on this list - that's how good it is.

But it's the Long Range that performs best when it comes to out and out mileage, and the extra 12-miles you get could prove the most useful if you're desperate for a re-charge. It's also £15,000 cheaper than the Performance, and 0-62mph still only takes 4.1 seconds - not bad in the grand scheme.

2. Tesla Model 3

Our pick Tesla Model 3 Long Range
List price £51.545
WLTP range 348 miles

The next Tesla in this list, the Model 3 is the newest and smallest  car in the Tesla range. It’s compact dimensions and relative lightness (compared with the Model S or Model X - it’s still heavier than internal combustion engined rivals) means that it can coax serious mileage from its batteries.

The Model 3 Long Range is again the way to go if boosting your mileage is a priority, while charging at one of Tesla’s Supercharger points get you from 0-80% (around 280 miles) charge in around 30 minutes at a cost of £14.

It's still not cheap, but this is another car from Tesla that really has no rivals currently.

3. Tesla Model X

Our pick Tesla Model X Long Range
List price £86,745
WLTP range 315 miles

This is the final Tesla entry here, we promise. This time it's the larger Model X that brings over 300 miles of range while also offering seven seats. Along with battery capacity, interior space is something of a theme within the Tesla range, and the Model X makes the most of it.

It's the largest option Tesla offers, but it's also the most theatrical thanks to the rear "falcon-wing" rear doors that swing upwards, but if you thought the Model S and Model 3 were expensive, the Model X takes it a step further.

If you have the money to spend, the Model X is the best electric SUV you can buy, but there is relatively close competition from the Jaguar I-Pace, which is some £15,000 less expensive.

Tesla Model X buyers' guide

4. Jaguar I-Pace

Our pick Jaguar I-Pace SE
List price £69,995
WLTP Range 292 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 price tag.

While it is more expensive than many traditionally powered alternatives like the BMW X3 or Audi Q5, the I-Pace is cheaper than the Tesla Model S and Model X with which it's trying to compete, so there is reason to consider one if you're after the longest range available.

We like the SE trim especially, as it comes with better suited 20-inch alloy wheels, a powered tailgate and the 'Drive Pack' consisting of adaptive cruise control among other safety additions.

Jaguar I-Pace buyers' guide

5. Kia e-Niro

Our pick Kia e-Niro
List price £32,995
WLTP range 282 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 for Kia e-Nio - so much so that initial stocks have sold out, meaning you won't actually be able to get hold of a new one until 2020.

The Kia e-Niro is very similar to sister car the Hyundai Kona Electric in terms of range and price, but it's got a more conventional design and is actually more practical with a 451-litre boot compared with the Kona’s 332-litre boot. 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. Hyundai Kona Electric

Our pick Hyundai Kona Electric Premium SE
List price £37,450
WLTP range 279 miles

The Kona Electric has two of the big obstacles to electric car ownership cracked: price and range. With prices starting at under £40,000, it's still not cheap when you compare it to a petrol-powered Kia Sportage, but it does outperform many more expensive alternatives like the Mercedes EQC or Audi e-Tron.

We like the Kona Electric in Premium SE trim with its array of comfort inducing additions including heated and adjustable seats, a heated steering wheel and a head-up display.

Hyundai Kona Electric buyers' guide

7. Mercedes EQC

Our pick Mercedes-Benz EQC AMG Line Premium
List price £72,360
WLTP range 259 miles

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 EQC, an alternative from BMW called the iX3 is due to hit the roads in 2020 as well.

The EQ brand will be stamped onto all brand-new electric models released by Mercedes, yet the all-new EQC is surprising only in its conventionality. It's spacious, with a 500-litre boot and relatively quick but, in terms of electric range, it's currently sitting among much cheaper competition.

8. Audi e-tron

Our pick Audi e-tron edition 1 55 quattro
List price £89,520
WLTP range 239 miles

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.

The fact it's more expensive than a Jaguar I-Pace is unsurprising, Audi models tend to be at the high end of the pricing spectrum and you do get a great deal for your money. But if additional range is the order of the day, the e-tron has work to do to catch its rivals.

Audi e-tron buyers' guide

9. Nissan Leaf

Our pick Nissan Leaf e+ Tekna
List price £35,895
WLTP range 239 miles

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 longer-range e+ Tekna version went on sale at the beginning of 2019, equipped with a larger battery and boosting the range of the standard Leaf by 71 miles. 

This additional range does make this the most expensive Leaf, but it's the only way to get hold of that additional range.

Nissan Leaf buyers' guide

10. BMW i3

Our pick BMW i3 Automatic 120Ah
List price £31,850
WLTP range 188 miles

The BMW i3 brings a new perspective on car design, both inside and out. It was intended to look futuristic and, whether BMW succeeded or not, its wavy window line, rear-opening doors and airy, spacious interior certainly make it stand out.

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 which substantially increased the official range from a mediocre 118 miles to the current 188 miles.

 

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