In other words, range anxiety is something that can be left in the past, as today’s electric vehicles – with their improved battery power – can certainly stand toe to toe with their combustion engine counterparts. Nonetheless, EV car range is still one of the most important aspects of the electric car, which is why we’re going to share with you everything you need to know on the subject. We’ll go through the following:

  • What do we mean by car range?
  • Factors that affect EV range
  • How to maximise miles in your EV
  • Which electric cars offer the longest range?
  • Car range frequently asked questions
  • The average range of electric vehicles

What do we mean by ‘car range’?

EV car range is how far you can travel on a fully charged battery before you have to stop and ‘refuel’. Or in the case of electric vehicles, recharge. It gives you an indication of what your EV can do in terms of distance, and an idea of how often you will have to recharge the batteries according to how many miles you drive.

Manufacturers measure EV car range using the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). The figures produced from this test give a very good indication of range, however, it doesn’t account for real-world driving conditions. That means you can typically expect your EVs actual car range to be less than the WLTP figure.

And that is why you’ll often see motor experts like ourselves also talk about real-world range. Real-world range is the figure produced by, you guessed it, taking the EV out on to British roads in proper British weather and measuring how well it actually stacks up. Sometimes though, this figure can also be derived as a highly educated estimate based on WLTP range and the various factors that can impact it. Either way is good for buyers, as both methods aim to provide you with a clearer picture of an EVs true range.

Factors that affect EV Range

There are lots of factors that impact the range of an electric car and how far it can travel on a single charge. Some of these factors you can control to get the most out of your EV. Others, however, are down to the environment and road conditions. Below, you’ll see all the things that can impact electric vehicle range.

  • The temperature: electric batteries function better in hot weather, giving you more miles on average. The opposite is true for really cold weather, where the battery will perform slower and have to work harder, resulting in less mileage.
  • The weather: strong head winds can also reduce the overall range of your EV, by making the electric motor work harder.
  • Speed and acceleration: the faster you go and the quicker you accelerate the more energy you’ll use, depleting the battery more quickly. Driving 70mph could decrease your range by 25% compared to a steady pace at 55mph!
  • Your journey: the topography of the road also influences range. Hilly journeys and inclines will all reduce how far your electric car can go. There’s not much you can do here, other than try to stick to flat routes.
  • Driving style: this factor you obviously have the most control over. Driving at slower speeds and accelerating slowly will increase your electric vehicle’s range, as will allowing the car to decelerate using regenerative braking. Of course, the opposite is true too! Accelerate hard, drive fast, and brake hard and you’ll use up more of the batteries juice and have less range because of it.
  • Traction: whilst poor tire traction might not make a huge dent on an EVs range, it can still have a negative effect. Under-inflated tires won’t perform as well, and will make the electric motor work harder.
  • Payload: the heavier your EV, the more the battery will have to work, the less range you’ll get – whether that’s from carrying more passengers or lots of luggage. Although it’s worth noting it does take a heavy payload to noticeably reduce range.
  • Battery age: over time and following lots of charge cycles, the amount of energy a battery can store will decrease. The current estimation is that a battery will last between 10-20 years before needing to be replaced – it’s why most manufacturers confidently offer a 5 to 8-year warranty on the battery.
  • Interior features: air-con, heating, and heated seats all draw upon the electric battery affecting range, which is another reason you often get less miles in the winter with EVs. Thankfully, lights, windscreen wipers, and the radio have little to no effect on range.

Photo by Yaroslav Shuraev from Pexels

How to maximise your electric vehicle range

So, how can you maximise your electric car mileage range? Simple, just follow these top tips and you’ll get the most out of your EV.

  • When it’s really cold: heat up your car’s cabin in advance whilst leaving it on charge to get the most out of the battery range. Also, consider wearing a jacket or jumper, instead of using the car heater.
  • Drive under 70mph on motorways: going 60mph will give you more miles than going 80mph. In fact, the slower and steadier the speed, the more you’ll get from your electric battery.
  • Accelerate slowly throughout your journey.
  • Use your EVs regenerative braking: this will help minimise your electric car’s energy consumption because regenerative braking actually recovers energy used in slowing down the EV, adding additional charge to the battery.
  • Battery care: use the DC Fast Charge only when you need to, as prolonged usage can strain the battery’s storage capacity. Similarly, try not to fully deplete or fully charge the battery, keep it between the two extremes for a longer lifespan.
  • Tires: make sure the tires are properly inflated and always replace weathered tires with new ones.
  • Plan your route ahead where you can to avoid hilly terrain.

Electric cars with the longest range

There are lots of EVs now with a long range, and the best can do upward of 300 miles under the right conditions and driving style. And the best of the best highest range electric cars could even drive the entire route from London to Edinburgh in one go on a fully-charged battery! Like we said, range anxiety can be left in the past.

So, what are the best range electric cars and which electric car has the longest range? Well, as of 2022, they are the following:

Make & Model & WLTP Range

  1. Mercedes EQS 450+ Up to 485 miles
  2. Tesla Model S Up to 405 miles
  3. BMW iX Up to 380 miles
  4. Ford Mustang Mach-E Up to 379 miles
  5. Tesla Model 3 Up to 374 miles
  6. BMW i4 Up to 367 miles
  7. Tesla Model X Up to 360 miles
  8. Volkswagen ID.3 Up to 340 miles
  9. Polestar 2 Up to 335 miles
  10. Cupra Born Up to 335 miles

Find out more about each of these EVs in our Top 10 Electric Cars with the Longest Range. Heads up, the list is the same, but we go into lots more detail, looking at the best features, pricing, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions about Electric Car Range

When it comes to EV range there are number of questions we regularly hear. So, we’ve compiled them together in this quick-fire EV FAQs section, providing direct answers and even another top 10, this time for the most efficient electric cars.

Average range of electric vehicles

Want to know the average range of EV vehicles in the UK? Then check out our handy electric car range comparison table below. It provides a quick and easy to use reference that’s packed full of info.

The table lists lots of popular EVs, providing their average range, alongside the sort of range you can expect from both optimal and poor road and weather conditions. The data is compiled from the Electric Vehicle Database and NimbleFins.

Electric Car Average Range in Miles Optimal Conditions Poor Conditions
Smart EQ ForFour 58 65 50
Smart EQ ForTwo 60 70 50
Fiat 500e 85 100 70
Honda e 105 120 85
Mazda MX-30 105 120 90
Mini Electric 115 130 95
Volkswagen e-Golf 118 135 100
Seat Mii Electric 123 140 105
Skoda Citigoe iV 123 140 105
Volkswagen e-Up! 125 140 105
Nissan Leaf 140 155 110
BMW i3 120 Ah 145 170 120
Hyundai Ioniq 158 185 130
Peugeot e-2008 165 190 140
DS 3 Crossback E-Tense 170 195 145
Volkswagen ID.4 175 200 150
Vauxhall Corsa-e 178 205 150
Peugeot e-208 180 210 150
Volvo XC40 Recharge EV 195 220 165
Renault Zoe 198 230 165
Nissan Leaf 133-203 155-235 110-170
Mercedes EQC 220 250 190
Jaguar i-Pace 228 260 195
Kia Soul EV 230 265 195
Kia e-Niro 233 270 195
Audi e-Tron 175-235 200-265 150-205
Hyundai Kona Electric 250 290 210
Skoda Enyaq iV 205-265 230-305 170-225
Porsche Taycan 228-265 260-305 195-225
Cupra Born 170-280 200-320 145-235
Polestar 2 215-280 250-320 180-220
Volkswagen ID.3 280 250 180
Tesla Model X 273-280 310-320 235-240
BMW i4 270-290 310-335 225-240
Tesla Model 3 193-283 225-330 160-235
Ford Mustang Mach-E 205-285 230-330 175-230
BMW iX 215-315 245-355 185-265
Tesla Model S 313-323 360-370 265-275
Mercedes EQS 350-395 400-460 295-330

*The range of mileages – such as the case for the Mercedes EQS and Tesla Model S – account for the different battery options and models within the line-up.

Today’s EVs have electric range to go the distance, with the best long-range electric cars managing 300 to 400+ miles on a single charge. And whilst there are lots of factors that affect range, it’s clear electric motoring is more than up to the task of shuttling us to and from our daily commute, and on long-distance motorway journeys. When you’re ready to buy an EV, you can always come back to this article to look at our comparison table, which lists various models and their average range.

Search Less. Live More

And go the distance using our electric range guide to maximise your miles. Not ready to make the switch to an EV? Then check out the 10 Best Plug-In Hybrids on Sale Today.