Gone are the days when an electric car would struggle to get 100 miles of range from a charge. Instead, as battery technology has improved – and the cost of manufacturing batteries has fallen – car makers have been able to squeeze more and more range from the rows and rows of lithium-ion cells that push your EV down the road.
Increasingly, manufacturers are talking about cars with a single-charge range well in excess of 300 miles. And some are beginning to make noises about vehicles that will come to market over the next couple of years with a range of beyond 600 miles for every charge.
But as exciting as it might be to know that a Mercedes-Benz EQS can do more than 450 miles on a solitary charge, what if you're just looking for a cost-efficient small urban runaround?
So while ultimate range can become a thing for EV enthusiasts, we want to make choosing the right electric car as simple as possible, with the best possible information to hand. So we've pitted the most popular electric cars on the market against each other to find out which offers the best range within each class or category, and the overall leaders in EV range.
Electric Car Range Comparison Contents
- How is EV range tested & what is WLTP?
- Which Electric Car Has The Longest Range?
- What Are The Longest Range Electric SUVs?
- What Are The Longest Range Electric Sports Cars And Sports Saloons?
- What Are The Longest Range Electric Hatchbacks?
- What Are The Longest Range Electric Superminis?
- Will I Get The Same Ranges As This List?
How Is EV Range Tested And What Is WLTP?
WLTP is the test set out by European regulators to work out the fuel efficiency of a car that manufacturers selling here have to abide by. It stands for 'Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure'.
The WLTP test was introduced in 2017 with a simple ambition: to make car fuel efficiency and electric vehicle range estimates more accurate and more representative of real-world driving.
The test forces manufacturers to carry out several more intensive and realistic processes, which means they can provide you with estimates of range and battery use closer to the performance you might find on the roads of Britain.
Compared to the old NEDC test that had been around since the 1990s, the WLTP tests cars:
1. At a higher maximum speed to mimic motorway and dual carriageway driving.
2. Over longer test routes to give more data.
3. With a better balance between urban and non-urban driving.
4. At temperatures closer to European averages, which gives more realistic battery performance.
5. With more dynamic acceleration and braking, which can both affect your battery consumption.
But even with a more accurate estimate of range via WLTP, it is essential to note that it is just an estimate. While WLTP tests are closer to what you will experience as an electric car driver, there is still a gap between quoted WLTP figures and the range people can get during what you might consider normal day-to-day use.
Which Electric Car Has The Longest Range?
- Mercedes-Benz EQS – 453 miles.
- Tesla Model S Long Range – 405 miles.
- BMW iX xDrive50 – 380 miles.
- Ford Mustang Mach E Extended Range – 379 miles.
- Tesla Model 3 Long Range – 374 miles.
- BMW i4 eDrive40 – 365 miles.
- Tesla Model X Long Range – 348 miles.
- Polestar 2 – 336 miles.
- Skoda Enyaq/Tesla Model Y Long Range – 331 miles.
- Kia EV6 – 328 miles.
What Are The Longest Range Electric SUVs?
BMW iX xDrive50 – 380 Miles
Pipping the Ford Mustang Mach-E by a solitary mile, the striking BMW iX is the SUV with the most electric range to a single charge. You don’t need the lowliest model, either, to get the most range; the base version xDrive40, whilst lovely, has the smaller 77kWh battery pack and a 257-mile theoretical maximum, but the potent 523hp xDrive50 gets the biggest battery pack fitted to any EV on sale at the time of writing – a goliath 111.5kWh unit, which gives it the 380-mile headline figure. A mighty 619hp M60 tops the line-up off, a car that will go 357 miles on a single charge.
Ford Mustang Mach-E Extended Range RWD – 379 Miles
Ford has invested heavily in the Mustang Mach-E SUV, an iconic name on a futuristic vehicle, a newcomer to the EV fight. The Mach-E comes with 2 battery sizes and various drivetrains, but by opting for the single-motor Extended Range model, which drives only the rear wheels, you can aim for an impressive 379 miles on a charge of its 99kWh battery.
Tesla Model X Long Range – 348 Miles
Still perhaps the quirkiest model from the Tesla stable, the Model X – with its vast interior and crazy 'Falcon Wing’ rear doors – is like no other SUV on the market.
The Tesla Model X Long Range is estimated to give you a return of 348 miles from its huge 100kWh battery pack.
Skoda Enyaq iV 80/Tesla Model Y Long Range – 331 Miles
Sharing the honours here are both the very first electric offering from the Czech brand, Skoda, and the latest addition to the Tesla stable of EVs. Dealing with the Skoda first, the Enyaq shares a lot of its underskin tech with Volkswagen's EVs, such as the ID.4, so you know it will be well made and built to last. The 80-spec single-motor Enyaq comes with an 82kWh battery, 204hp and an impressive 331-mile range. This is matched by the Tesla Model Y Long Range, which looks a lot like the Tesla Model 3 saloon, only with a slightly more bulbous roofline. It lacks any sort of Falcon Wing-doored fun and games like the larger Model X SUV, though.
Hyundai Kona Electric – 300 Miles
Hyundai's compact family SUV comes with a really impressive range in 64kWh battery form. It's also impressively well equipped across all model ranges. Like all electric cars, the Hyundai Kona accelerates with real gusto and it's comfy with excellent visibility to boot.
What Are The Longest Range Electric Sports Cars And Sports Saloons?
Mercedes-Benz EQS 450+ – 453 Miles
A simply massive range – enough to crown it the EV with the longest single-shot driving range on sale now – is the preserve of the all-electric alternative to Mercedes’ long-serving luxury flagship, the S-Class. The EQS, as the zero-emission model is known, comes with a gigantic 108kWh battery pack, which is why it can go more than 450 miles on 1 charge. That said, you need to keep the EQS 450+ on its smallest wheels and with the fewest toys to get that range; start adding fripperies and big alloys, and the overall figure drops to 407 miles… which is still more than any other EV on sale right now.
Tesla Model S Long Range – 405 Miles
The car that changed the electric world forever, the Model S is not only Tesla's longest-serving model, it remains its most potent. Incredible technology and performance make it one of the most high-performance cars ever made. That it's also capable of up to 405 miles on a single charge in Long Range spec also makes it one of the most convenient.
Tesla Model 3 Long Range – 374 Miles
The Model 3 was Tesla's boldest attempt to make a globally appealing, mass-market electric car. The cheapest Tesla in the range – by some distance until the Model Y joined it in the line-up – the Model 3 is arguably the best, offering that famous Tesla performance and tech package in a car that is perfectly suited to electric life. The Model 3’s battery can stretch to up to 374 miles of driving in Long Range format.
BMW i4 eDrive40 – 365 Miles
https://www.vanarama.com/car-leasing/bmw/i4The sleek BMW i4 is basically an all-electric version of the 4 Series Gran Coupe, only with subtly different exterior design touches. There are 2 models, at the time of writing: the monster 544hp M50 flagship is decent enough, with a 316-mile range and 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds, but if you want to go the furthest you can from a single charge then you need the rear-wheel-drive eDrive40 model. This strips out the front e-motor and reduces power to 326hp, which is still healthy, and the result is that the 84kWh battery pack will take you up to 365 miles on a single charge.
Porsche Taycan PBP (93kWh) – 301 Miles
A car designed to show Tesla it didn’t have a monopoly on EV performance, the Porsche Taycan is the first all-electric sports car to be as rewarding to drive as its petrol-engined predecessors. A 4-door sports saloon, in the Taycan’s most basic single-motor, rear-wheel-drive form and fitted with the optional 93kWh Performance Battery Pack (it gets a 79kWh power unit as standard), you’ll go slightly more than 300 miles to a single charge, according to WLTP testing.
What Are The Longest Range Electric Hatchbacks?
Polestar 2 – 336 Miles
Polestar – an all-electric spin-off of the Volvo brand – offers EVs for the premium market with a strong focus on design and build quality. The Polestar 2 comes in three different specifications, with a smaller battery and single motor, a larger battery and single motor, or the larger battery and dual motors. And if you’re after maximum 1-shot range, the variant you want is that middle car: with a 231hp electric unit driving the front wheels and the bigger 78kWh battery pack, the stylish, beautifully built Polestar 2 will go up to 336 miles on a single charge.
Kia EV6 – 328 Miles
Kia’s rejuvenation into one of the most desirable automotive marques of all is pinned on vehicles like this superb EV6. As its name suggests, this all-electric hatchback has won several prestigious motoring critics’ awards, thanks to its blend of swoopy, futuristic styling, a top-notch and vast cabin, and of course its practicality as an EV. All EV6s come with a 77kWh battery pack, but you want the single-motor Rear-Wheel Drive version for the 328-mile range; ask for the All-Wheel Drive dual motor and while power leaps from 228- to 325hp, the driving distance decreases to a theoretical maximum of 314 miles. Mind you, in late 2022 a 585hp version of the EV6 will arrive, with a 3.5-second 0-62mph time.
Hyundai Ioniq 5 – 300 Miles
If you don’t like the soap-bar styling of the Kia EV6, then its distantly related nemesis is on hand to offer an alternative. The magnificent Hyundai Ioniq 5 is a big, angular, retro-futuristic masterpiece, complete with a vast and high-tech cabin. A slightly smaller 73kWh battery than the Kia’s unit means the Hyundai will achieve 300 miles to a charge on the Rear-Wheel Drive version, but the company is aiming to fit the 77.4kWh unit from the EV6 to the Ioniq 5 in the near future, so it will undoubtedly match its Korean cousin for driving distance when that tech upgrade happens.
What Are The Longest Range Electric Superminis?
Renault Zoe ZE50 R110 – 245 Miles
Currently boasting the longest range in its class, the Zoe has learned a lot over the near-10 years it's been on the market. Now upgraded to a maximum 50kWh battery, Renault quotes a theoretical 245-mile maximum, but admits that in the real world you are likely to see somewhere closer to 200 miles on a full charge – still pretty useful for a supermini.
Peugeot E-208 – 225 Miles
Quicker and a bit more sporty than its French counterpart, the Renault Zoe, Peugeot's E-208, has an official WLTP range of 225 miles. Real-world use will probably bring that down to closer to 170, but that still puts it ahead of rivals like the Fiat 500e or Honda E.
Vauxhall Corsa-e – 211 Miles
Vauxhall's first foray into the electric world, the Corsa-E boasts a 50kWh battery with a 211-mile WLTP range. Based on a brand-new platform, it is basically the same car as the Peugeot E-208 underneath and thus the Corsa-E is expected to be one of the best-selling 5-door electric superminis in Britain.
Will I Get The Same Ranges As This List?
It's important to remember that electric car ranges will vary depending on how you drive them and even how cold it is outside. The ranges quoted here are manufacturer figures based on the official WLTP testing process. Real-world usage – harder driving, different kinds of journeys – can result in you achieving lower overall range, just as you would expect fewer miles per gallon from a petrol or diesel car in similar circumstances.
But what is also true – whether you look at WLTP projections or 'real-world' range – is that the new breed of EVs have moved the game on significantly from the early versions that paved the way. From city cars with a range of 150 miles to long-distance cruisers that can go twice that distance on a single charge, there is now an electric car to suit every taste.