Longest range electric cars
Electric cars are fantastic things, but there’s no getting away from some of their shortcomings. Range is often cited by many as the biggest barrier to going electric, and this is exacerbated by a charging infrastructure that’s still in its infancy in the UK.
That’s why you’ll hear a lot about ‘range anxiety’ – the fear of running out of juice before you’ve got to wherever it is you’re going, unable to quickly top up the batteries.
Fortunately, advances in technology are continually pushing the boat out, and the amount of range that manufacturers are able to squeeze out of their latest models is increasing steadily.
Some electric cars are now capable of the kind of distances achieved by petrol and diesel models on a single tank, making them a tantalizing prospect for a growing number of drivers.
To demonstrate just how capable the best electric cars are becoming, we’ve put together a top 10 list of the longest range electric cars on sale right now. The figures we’re using were mostly achieved under the outgoing 'NEDC' testing procedure, so they tend to be a little higher than what you can expect in the real world. They're still a useful means of comparing two or more cars' range capability, though.
10. Kia Soul EV – 155 miles (NEDC)
The well equipped Kia Soul certainly stands out from the crossover crowd, and the electric version is very relaxing to drive. It houses a 27kWh battery, but a total weight of over one and a half tonnes hinders the Soul EV; lighter rivals will go further. Read our full review.
9. Hyundai Ioniq Electric – 174 miles (NEDC)
The Hyundai Ioniq Electric uses a 28kWh battery, which powers a 119bhp electric motor and provides drive to the front wheels. Charging takes around four-and-a-half hours from a 7kW wallbox charger, rising to 12 hours if you’ve only got a domestic socket at your disposal. Read our full review.
8. Volkswagen e-Golf – 186 miles (NEDC)
The Volkswagen e-Golf looks like any other Golf from the outside (save for the subtle blue detailing), but inside there's a 35.8kWh battery and a 134bhp electric motor to drive the front wheels. Charging via a 7.2kW wallbox takes less than six hours, but you’ll need a mighty 17 hours if using a standard household socket. Read our full review.
7. BMW i3 – 214 miles (NEDC)
It’s not a looker, but the BMW i3 still somehow manages to be a trendy little car. An updated version with a 42kWh battery is due on sale in November, and will be good for 214 miles under the NEDC test procedure. A full charge takes just over three hours with a BMW i Wallbox charger. Read our full review.
6. Nissan Leaf – 235 miles (NEDC)
The Nissan Leaf is about as mainstream as electric cars get right now, and its 40kWh battery powers an electric motor capable of 109bhp. This translates into a 0-62mph time of 11 seconds, and top speed of 90mph. Charging via a 6.6kW wallbox takes around five hours, although a 50kW rapid charger will take the Leaf from 0-80% full in around 40 minutes. Read our full review.
5. Renault ZOE – 250 miles (NEDC)
Considering that the Renault ZOE is cheaper than both the Volkswagen e-Golf and Nissan Leaf (excluding the cost of leasing the battery, admittedly), your money will literally go a long way here. Like the Leaf, it uses a 40kWh battery, although there are two electric motors to choose from: the Q90 and the R110. The Q90 allows faster rapid charging times, but oddly the R110 will charge faster from a domestic socket or a home wallbox. Read our full review.
4. Jaguar I-Pace – 336 miles (NEDC)
The I-Pace is Jaguar’s answer to the Tesla Model X and it packs some serious punch with a 90kWh battery. It’s powerful, too: 0-62mph takes 4.8 seconds thanks to a pair of electric motors that produce a combined 396bhp. Be prepared for long charging times, though: even with a 7kW wallbox installed at home, 0-80% takes some 10 hours. Read our full review.
3. Hyundai Kona Electric – 339 miles (NEDC)
The Kona Electric is an exciting car because it delivers the kind of range that, until now, only premium electric cars could boast. There are two versions: one with a 39kWh battery and another with a 64kWh unit. The latter will give you the most range, and it’s not too sluggish either, with a 0-62mph figure of 7.6 seconds. Read our full review.
2. Tesla Model X 100D – 351 miles (NEDC)
Tesla has been ahead of the game in so many areas for so many years, and to this day it leads the pack in terms of electric range. The Model X uses a 100kWh battery, and a pair of electric motors propel it from 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds. A Performance version – the P100D – reduces this to a staggering 2.9 seconds, but this requires a weightier motor that has the effect of reducing range. Read our full review.
1. Tesla Model S 100D – 393 miles (NEDC)
The Tesla Model S uses the same 100kWh battery as the Model X, but its sleeker design makes it more efficient on the road. Recharging via a Tesla wallbox charger – capable of 16.5kW – will add around 51 miles of range per hour, making overnight charging perfectly feasible. A price tag in excess of £92,000 makes the Model S 100D a very expensive proposition, however. Read our full review.