Which electric car has the longest range?
Determining the longest range electric car is not as straightforward as it may seem. Range can be dictated by lots of things: the size of the battery, the efficiency of the motor, the weather, and your driving habits. That’s why the ‘real world’ electric car range, as determined by EV Database, is what we’ll be looking at as we compare the electric cars with the longest range, available as of 2023.
We’ll also tell you how fast they charge because (especially if you’ll be relying on public chargers) this is also an important factor when choosing your first/next electric car. It’ll help you decide which EV best suits your lifestyle.
What does real-world range mean?
The ‘real-world range’ of an electric car is how far it will go under ‘real world’ conditions, not those estimated in a factory.
Manufacturers will advertise how far their new cars go on their websites, but these figures are sometimes unrealistic. How and where you drive will affect the real-world range of an electric car. If you regularly do city journeys, where speeds are slower, you’re likely to go further on a single charge than if you spend all day at motorway speeds. Range also largely depends on your driving style and the conditions outside the vehicle.
For example, a new Kia Niro EV has a real-world range of 235 miles on an average full battery. During colder weather, this could drop to 200 miles, and in milder temperatures it could increase to around 270 miles.
In winter, electric cars are less efficient (and won’t go as far on a single charge), especially if you’re using the heater or air conditioning. That’s because the chemical processes happening inside the battery cells will occur slower when temperatures are colder, which reduces battery performance. In summer, you’ll go further on one charge because the battery is more likely to be within its ideal operating temperatures.
Not sure what some of the terms we’re using mean? The elmo Electric Car Jargon Buster will help you to understand unfamiliar EV terms and phrases.
What are the top electric cars with the longest range?
Now you know more about what range means, it’s time to consider which electric car has the longest range. However, it’s important to remember that this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the best. Here are the current top five EVs available that can go the furthest in between charges:
- Mercedes EQS – 453 miles
- Tesla Model S – 405 miles
- Mercedes EQE – 394 miles
- BMW i7 – 388 miles
- Hyundai Ioniq 6 – 382 miles
Why charging speed is important
We’ve never really had to think about how fast petrol gets from the pump to the tank
Having the best electric range car may well be a deciding factor when choosing an electric car, but how fast it’ll charge shouldn’t be overlooked.
Put simply, the max charging speed of a car is how fast electricity can get into the battery; the higher the number, the faster a car will charge. If you rely on public chargers to live with your EV, this is just as important as choosing the car with the longest range. It may end up slowing your usual routine down if you have to wait longer for your car to charge. You may end up saving yourself more time in the long run by picking a car that will charge quicker, even if it doesn’t go as far on a single charge. But, this completely depends on your lifestyle and driving habits. You can use our electric car suitability tool to get an idea of which electric car might be right for you.
In internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, we’ve never really had to think about how fast petrol gets from the pump to the tank. However, with electric cars, you may need to be prepared to adjust your driving mindset slightly to make it work for you.
Should you worry if an EV doesn’t have a long range?
An electric car range comparison isn’t necessarily the best way to gauge the overall quality of an EV. While a long range can alleviate range anxiety, it comes at a cost. That means, if your number one consideration is range then you may find that, unfortunately, your ideal EV doesn’t fit within your budget.
There are currently over 42,000 charge points available across the UK, so you’re never too far away from one. This includes thousands of rapid charge points, which can charge your EV battery up to 80% in as little as 20 minutes. That’s about the time it takes to grab a takeaway coffee, so you’ll likely find that charging your EV isn’t too much of a hassle.
It’s also important to highlight that even the most affordable EVs still have impressive range. Unless you’re driving hundreds of miles every day, you should still expect to get from A to B and then back to A again without having to worry about finding an available charge point.
Great long range EVs you should consider
If range is your absolute priority, here’s our pick of the bunch as of 2023 (real-world range reported by EV Database):
Electric cars for the city
1. Peugeot e-208
Peugeot went to town on the e-208, giving it one of the best interiors in the small car class. It also drives well too, with a sportier setup than its rivals. It does mean it’s a little bumpier at slower speeds, but if you’ll be taking to the motorway semi-regularly in your new city car, the e-208 is where you should look.
Peugeot recently said the e-208 will be getting a battery and electric motor upgrade in 2023, meaning 210 miles will be possible in one go. Existing e-208s, though, will do 175 miles in the real world.
2. Renault ZOE
The ZOE has been around in the UK since 2013 and regularly sits at the top of lists like this. It’s extremely efficient at lower speeds and Renault has worked hard to make sure this only ever improves.
It’s not particularly quick compared to others in its class, but it’s surprisingly fun to drive regardless. It’s comfortable, handles easily around town and is more than refined enough. If ultimate range-for-your-money is your game, this is the small car to get.
3. FIAT 500e
Okay so, yes, we know this won’t go anywhere near as far as the ZOE and e-208 in one charge. But those are much bigger cars! If you want a truly small EV, the 500e is the one for you. FIATs one-pedal-driving and ‘SHERPA’ eco modes are particularly good here, making the 500e a great car for the city.
It’s also nippy and has a great infotainment system, though don’t go expecting your 6ft something mates to have a fantastic time if they’re sat in the back. This is a city car that’s better suited for front passengers or young kids in the back.
Small electric SUVs
1. Hyundai KONA Electric
Pretty much every mainstream manufacturer has succumbed to the SUV bug and started creating SUV-style small EVs; Hyundai is no exception. The difference is, the KONA has a much bigger battery than most rivals currently on offer, meaning range is much improved.
It’s a touch bumpier than its rivals and has less engaging steering, but it’s also more planted and stable when cornering at speed. So, it depends on your priorities; if out-and-out range is key, and you’re not hugely bothered by the firmer suspension, this is currently the small SUV to consider.
2. Kia Niro EV
This car’s predecessor, the e-Niro, was a fantastic electric SUV that really hit the ground running for Kia. With such great range it’s no wonder that taxi firms up and down the country bought them in droves – and this newer model only builds on that success.
Not everyone will be sold on the updated looks, but there’s little faulting the practicality of this car, both inside and technologically.
3. MG ZS EV Long Range
MG has rocked the electric boat since its return to the UK, showing consumers that good quality cars with decent ranges aren’t just for those with £40k+ in their bank account. In that respect, the ZS EV is a trendsetter and has paved the way for other manufacturers.
The current face-lifted version of the ZS EV is good for 225 miles in the real world and will charge quickly too; 160 miles of range can be added in just 35 minutes at a 90kW+ rapid charger. Don’t be disheartened by the badge; this is a serious contender in the small SUV market and is great for young families.
Family electric hatchbacks
1. Cupra Born e-Boost
Yep, you’re reading that right, this is a family hatchback that will genuinely do 280 miles in one go. And, if you’re running late, it’ll hit 60mph in seven seconds (they’ll sell you an even quicker one, but it’s got a smaller battery and won’t go as far). A proper hot hatch, then?
Yes and no. Its rear-wheel drive and the suspension are well set up, yes, but if out-and-out speed is important to you, you’d be better off with the more expensive Polestar 2. But, of course, this is a ‘longest range’ list, and nothing comes close to the Born in that respect. It’s plush inside and looks pretty damn cool; no doubt you’d love living with one of these.
2. MG4 EV Long Range
“Another MG on your list, really?” Well, it’s not our fault MG’s cars go the furthest. And, as it happens, the MG4 is a very, very good car indeed. It’s got nearly full marks in every motoring journalist review going at the moment (see for yourself) and in Long Range guise it may well genuinely relieve you of that dreaded range anxiety.
The best bit? It’s one of the cheapest electric cars on sale right now. Some people may still turn their noses up at an MG, but that’s on them. The smart money’s right here.
3. Nissan Leaf e+
The Nissan Leaf was a real pioneer in the mass electric car market. The current version, though, is a far cry from the original when it comes to hardware. You can get the Leaf with a small battery pack, making it very affordable, but if long range is your priority, it’s the e+ model you’ll want.
It’s still a top-performing EV, with good equipment levels and a powerful motor. That said, the interior is not as high quality as some of its rivals, and it does take a fair bit longer to charge. But, if you want tried and tested tech for the everyday, you could go a lot worse than the Leaf.
1. BMW iX XDrive 50
BMW is not messing about when it comes to its electric cars. The iX is available with a couple of battery/motor setups, but the XDrive 50 is the one with the best range. Finally, an electric car that can genuinely drive 300 miles in one go.
What’s also seriously impressive is how fast it’ll charge, taking just 30 minutes to gain over 200 miles of range. It’s full of BMW’s usual useful tech, too – but it all comes at a price, with a price tag of over £100k. Plus, it’s not as handsome as other premium SUVs. However, if you’ll be barnstorming up and down the country all the time, it should be on your shortlist.
2. Tesla Model X Dual Motor
It would be wrong to do this list without at least one Tesla. This one, the Model X, is their flagship SUV – the doors open upwards, don’t you know?
You can get a Model X right away, but this one, the updated Dual Motor with the larger battery, won’t be available until mid-2023. That said, the existing Model X will still do 260+ miles in one go, which really isn’t too shabby. Not everyone will be a fan of the minimalist interior, where most interior functions are actioned through the touchscreen. Tesla’s supercharger network and its ability to get 200 miles of range in just a 30-minute charge make it stand out.
3. Ford Mustang Mach-e ER
Er… what does ‘ER’ mean? Extended Range, dear reader. If you’ve always dreamt of owning a muscle car, this is your only EV choice in the UK currently. The Ford Mustang Mach-e shocked the world when it was released, “you can’t make the Mustang an SUV!!” they all said. Well, they did, and it’s pretty good.
The battery packs and options can get a touch confusing, though. All you need to know range wise is this: if you need as much range as possible, make sure to get the Extended Range with rear wheel drive – getting the all-wheel-drive model will knock a substantial 30-40 miles off that 280 real world figure.
High-end electric cars (that aren’t SUVs!)
1. Mercedes EQS 450+
Thought you wouldn’t find an EV to drive halfway through the UK in one go? Think again. Brighton to Newcastle (plus a little bit more!) could be possible on one charge in the Mercedes EQS, and we bet you’d arrive more relaxed than you were when you left.
It looks great, is extremely well built and engineered, and is full to the brim with the latest technology. Like your touchscreens big? The EQS has three that span the entire width of the dashboard. Our favourite bit is the fact that the sensors scan the road for bumps, then adjust the suspension accordingly. Not only that, it’ll use the onboard GPS to remember where the bumps were, so the next time you go over that road it’ll be prepared. Now that’s clever.
2. Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor Long Range
You’ll likely be familiar with Tesla at this point – minimalist design, maximum range. The Model 3 is no exception and has proven to be extremely popular since its release in 2017. This Dual Motor variant is also pretty potent, with the equivalent of 491 horsepower.
Not everyone is excited by the way they look, but Tesla’s awesome supercharger network, teamed with that larger battery, means this is an electric car you could comfortably live with all year round. That’s one of the reasons why it was by far the best-selling electric car in the UK in 2021 (just under 35,000 sold)..
3. BMW i4 xDrive 40
This is BMWs answer to the Model 3: a 335hp, four-door coupe with extremely impressive driving dynamics and levels of comfort. It’s a great all-rounder then? Basically, yeah. This is the car that will help BMW convince prospective owners that electric is the way forward. Don’t knock it until you try it!
And, for those of you who want that little bit of extra power, there’s an M50 variant with 536hp too – BMWs first all-electric car to herald their famous ‘M’ badge.
Drive your own long range EV
Range anxiety will soon be a thing of the past. More cars being released throughout 2023 (and beyond) are expected to have 400+ miles of real-world range. Granted, they’re quite expensive at the moment, but it won’t be long before that advanced battery technology gets passed down to the more affordable EVs.
If you’re looking for the best range, electric cars don’t have to cost the earth. Tempted by an electric car but still aren’t sure? You can see how an electric car could suit your lifestyle with an all-inclusive electric car subscription from elmo. Our subscriptions are a smarter alternative to leasing, with insurance, breakdown cover, maintenance & servicing, and tyres all included as part of your monthly payment. Want to know more? Check out our how it works page.
And don’t forget to try our suitability tool to see which EV would be best for you:
What is the cheapest electric car with the best range?
At the moment, that would be the MG4 Long Range. MG offers a standard range version from around £25,000, but if you need those extra miles, the Long Range starts from £28,000, making it cheaper than a Renault ZOE – which is smaller and won’t go as far in one go.
How can I extend the range of an electric car?
Generally speaking, you should be conscious of the energy you’re using when driving. Air conditioning, for example, uses more power in an electric car than the heated seats, so if you can avoid driving with the air-con on for long periods of time, that’ll help improve your EV range. You should also utilise the onboard systems, for example, if your EV has a one-pedal-driving mode, using that could boost your range by another 5-15 miles. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s wasted energy otherwise.
And don’t forget the usual stuff! Checking your tyres are inflated correctly, only carrying items in the car you need to take with you and being calm on the accelerator will all help keep your car as efficient as possible.
Why is the range of an electric car important?
Range means how far your electric car will go with a fully charged battery. Range is important because it’ll help you determine whether an electric car is the right one for you. However, just like you wouldn’t let your petrol car run out of fuel, you learn to make sure your EV has charge. It does completely depend on your lifestyle and driving habits, though.
If you regularly drive short distances in a city and can charge at home, there’s little point spending tens of thousands on a 300-mile electric car when you don’t need it. Similarly, if you’ll be driving on motorways a lot with little access to charging at home, you’d likely be better off getting a bigger battery and faster charging EV.
But that’s also a crucial point – range is important but not the full story. How fast an electric car can take on electricity and how accessible charging is in your area will help you to decide whether an EV is right for you. Take our suitability tool to see.
How do I adjust to understanding electric car range vs ICE car range?
ICE cars (petrol & diesel) have a ‘range’ just like electric cars do. The range of an ICE car is how far it’ll travel on one tank of fuel. The range of an electric car is how far it’ll travel on one fully charged battery.
To calculate the range of an ICE car, you could take the combined MPG figure and multiply that by the amount of fuel in the tank. For example, a FIAT 500 Hybrid averages around 53 miles per gallon of fuel. It has a 7.7-gallon fuel tank, so that would mean a range of roughly 408 miles for a full tank. But, like any car, the way you drive it and the conditions will affect this figure. The all-electric FIAT 500e averages (according to Electrifying) 4.74 MPkWh (miles per kilowatt-hour) and has a 42 kWh battery. That means a range of 199 miles for a full battery. In the real world, though, that drops.
Transitioning to an EV means a slight change in mindset – if you can work charging into your daily/weekly routine, the range of the car won’t end up being an issue. If you remember this as a basic rule of thumb, you’ll adapt to your new electric car in no time.