Longest range electric cars
It's the biggest single reason that most consumers give for not going electric, and the limited charging infrastructure in the UK at the moment is only making matters worse.
Fortunately, things are improving quickly with advances in technology continually pushing the boat out. Some electric cars are now capable of driving just as far as petrol and diesel models on a single tank of fuel, with the promise of much lower running costs making them a far more tempting prospect.
To show just how capable the best electric cars are today, we’ve drawn up a list of the top 10 longest range electric cars that on our roads right now.
All of the figures are 'official' numbers derived from the WLTP efficiency test, which was introduced last year and is designed to be more representative of what you'll achieve in the real world than the old NEDC procedure.
However, you should keep in mind that the official figures are still a little bit more generous than what you're likely to see in real-world conditions, in the same way that the fuel economy of a petrol car will almost always be better on paper than it is on the road.
Regardless, the numbers below will still give you a good idea of what to expect from an electric car, and should prove beyond doubt that going electric is something you could realistically do today...
10. Nissan Leaf e+ - 239 miles
Nissan’s offering was in danger of falling behind its rivals, but the introduction of a larger, 62kWh battery in the new top-spec e+ model has galvanized the Leaf. It now boasts 239 miles of range, and still looks like an affordable prospect for families. In March 2019 it became the first electric car ever to surpass 400,000 sales; the company expects to exceed half a million in 2020. Read our full review.
9. Renault ZOE - 245 miles
A new and improved version of the Renault ZOE brought with it a larger, 52kWh battery in 2019, affording it a WLTP range of 245 miles. Given that the ZOE costs from around £25,000 (or even less if you lease the battery), this makes it one of the cheapest routes into long-range electric motoring right now. On paper at least, ‘fuel’ costs should amount to around three pence per mile, provided you charge up at home on an average domestic electricity tariff. Read our full review.
8. Audi e-tron - 248 miles
Audi’s first fully electric car is the firm’s answer to the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X. With prices starting in the region of £70,000 it certainly isn’t cheap, although the 248-mile range from its 95kWh battery should help minimise any reliance on rapid chargers. It’s capable of charging speeds of up to 150kW too, so it’ll be ready when such infrastructure is rolled out in the UK. Read our full review.
7. Hyundai Kona Electric - 279 miles
The Kona Electric was one of the most exciting cars on sale when it came out, because it delivered the kind of range that had previously only been achieved by high-end, premium vehicles. There are two versions: one with a 39kWh battery and another with a 64kWh unit: the latter delivers 279 miles of range. It’s a shame that it’s sold out in the UK for the rest of 2019. Read our full review.
6. Kia Soul EV - 280 miles
The new Kia Soul EV is set to arrive in the UK at the end of 2019, replacing the second-generation model that’s no longer on sale. Using the same 64kWh battery found in the Kona Electric and Kia e-Niro, it will officially return 280 miles of range, while its 201bhp electric motor delivers a 0-62mph time of 7.6 seconds. Read our full review.
5. Kia e-Niro - 282 miles
The Kia e-Niro is our 2019 Car of the Year, and it’s easy to see why: it’s practical, affordable, and the 282-mile range is one of the best you can get from an electric car right now. However, like the Kona Electric (with which the e-Niro shares a drivetrain), this compact family SUV is sold out in the UK for the rest of 2019. A waiting list is already in operation for sales in 2020, such is the e-Niro’s popularity. Read our full review.
4. Jaguar I-Pace - 292 miles
The Jaguar I-Pace has swept up several accolades since its launch, earning our ‘Best large electric car’ prize at the 2019 DrivingElectric Awards, as well as the prestigious 2019 World Car of the Year gong. The I-Pace has it all: performance is rapid with a 0-62mph figure of 4.5 seconds, it handles brilliantly and 292 miles of range is squeezed from the 90kWh battery. It looks spectacular, too. A word of caution though: we've tested the I-Pace in the real world, and 220 miles is a more realistic target for the range. This is a bigger discrepancy than we've seen from most other electric cars... Read our full review.
3. Tesla Model X Long Range - 315 miles
The Tesla Model X has undergone several line-up changes lately, but in April 2019 Elon Musk’s company announced significant improvements to the drivetrain in order to boost performance and range. The Model X Long Range - as the name suggests - has the longest range of the current variants, with Tesla estimating a return of 315 miles from its 100kWh battery when WLTP testing is completed. Read our full review.
2. Tesla Model 3 Long Range - 348 miles
The arrival of the Model 3 marked a big change for Tesla: partly because it spearheaded the company’s push to make electric cars more affordable, but also because the firm started being less open regarding battery sizes in its cars. Tesla says this is to avoid confusing customers who better understand range over kilowatt-hours, so we’ll just have to take company sources at their word that the Model 3 Long Range contains a 70kWh battery. In any case, 348 miles of range from a single charge is more than 99% of us will ever drive in a day… Read our full review.
1. Tesla Model S Long Range - 375 miles
The gap to the competition has been narrowing lately, but the Tesla Model S remains the longest-range electric car on sale today. And updates announced in April 2019 have boosted the Model S’s range again, with the Long Range model predicted to return around 375 miles from Tesla’s 100kWh battery. Using a Tesla Supercharger, the Model S should achieve a 0-80% top-up in around 40 minutes. Read our full review.