UPDATED: Range estimates are exactly that - estimates. We show you what you can expect from an EV in the real-world
3 July 2019

Battery technology and charging infrastructure is constantly improving, quickly turning EVs from niche vehicles to a viable replacements to combustion-engined cars. But how far you can drive between top-ups is still a valid concern.

Manufacturer range estimates vary wildly, and aren’t always achievable in everyday driving conditions - so how far can you really go on a single charge? Our sister site What Car? puts every electric car through a range test, measuring exactly what kind of distance you can achieve in the real world.

The ten cars listed here have the longest range capability of all the electric cars we have tested to date.

1. Hyundai Kona Electric, 259 miles

Our current long-distance champion for electric range isn’t the car with the biggest battery, and nor is it the most expensive. That it comes from a mainstream brand rather than a luxury one and can be had for under £35,000 speaks volumes for EV adoption.

When we road tested the Kona Electric last year, we said it offered “the most compelling blend of usability and affordability yet seen in an EV,” and with a real-world range of over 250 miles from a 64kWh battery, it bests premium names like Tesla, Jaguar and Audi.

In fact, its combination of price, performance and popular compact crossover bodystyle have proved so in demand that Hyundai is struggling to meet demand.

Read the full Hyundai Kona Electric review here

Our Verdict

Hyundai Kona Electric 2018 road test review - hero front

Hyundai’s affordable electric crossover has the numbers to shake this market segment to the core

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=2. Jaguar I-Pace, 253 miles

As the first European carmaker to release a premium model to challenge the likes of Tesla, Jaguar beat its closest rivals to the punch, while also setting a high bar for them to follow. It is a true driver’s car that happens to be powered by electricity, with impressive amounts of acceleration and the kind of handling you expect from the brand.

With a 90kWh battery powering its twin electric motors, the I-Pace achieves a real-world range of 253 miles. That narrowly puts it into second place behind the Kona Electric, but with support for faster DC rapid charging, it may spend less time plugged into a compatible charging point to regain any lost range.

Read the full Jaguar I-Pace review here

=2. Kia e-Niro, 253 miles

Sharing the second row of the podium with the I-Pace, the Kia e-Niro also manages 253 miles of range - despite having a significantly smaller battery than the Jaguar. It shares its powertrain with the Hyundai Kona Electric, but has a slight weight penalty on account of its larger body.

When we road tested the e-Niro, we decided the slight reduction in total range was worth the gains in usability, refinement and ride quality, earning it a higher overall score.

Read the full Kia e-Niro review here

4. Tesla Model 3, 239 miles

The long-awaited mainstream Tesla model only recently arrived in the UK, after a year of massive sales success in the USA. The Model 3 is available in Standard Range Plus specification, or with BMW M3-baiting power and acceleration in Performance guise, managing the 0-60mph sprint in 32 seconds and a 162mph top speed thanks to an electric motor on each axle. It was this version we tested, with the optional performance pack adding larger 20in wheels over the standard, aero-optimised 18in alloys.

In our tests, the Model 3 Performance achieved 239 miles of real-world driving. That puts it beyond the longest range Model X, which costs significantly more, and comfortably ahead of the Audi E-tron electric SUV.

Read the full Tesla Model 3 review here

5. Tesla Model X, 233 miles

The second Tesla car to make it to the UK in volume numbers, the Model X combines seven seat practicality with attention-stealing gullwing doors and near-supercar levels of acceleration once the optional Ludicrous Performance mode has been added. It also demands a near £100,000 asking price, making it one of the most expensive EVs on Britain’s roads.

When we tested the X in P100D guise, before the company shook up its model naming conventions, it managed a competitive 233 miles of range. While this puts it below the very best, Tesla’s supercharger network promises some of the fastest destination charging times currently available in the UK.

Read the full Tesla Model X review here

6. Tesla Model S 75kWh, 204 miles

The original electric luxury saloon, the Model S proved that Tesla could turn its hand to volume production and set new standards for the distance an EV could travel on a single charge when it first made its debut back in 2012.

It is now available in a choice of different battery capacities, with the current entry-level 75kWh model managing 204 miles of real-world range. That no longer puts it at the top of the list, but with access to a plentiful network of Superchargers, owners may find themselves spending less time recharging than they might in a rival EV.

Read the full Tesla Model S review here

7. Audi e-tron, 196 miles

Audi had experimented with electric versions of its existing models before, but the e-tron is the first of a new generation, and potentially one of the brand’s most important cars for years.

It’s a luxury SUV first and an electric one second, but with styling that doesn’t set it far apart from combustion-powered models. It is heavy, however, and even though it has a large 95kWh battery pack, drivers can expect a real-world range of around 196 miles. On the plus side, support for 150kW charging (when it arrives in greater numbers) should speed up any downtime.

Read the full Audi e-tron review here

8. BMW i3 120Ah, 165 miles

The i3 was one of the first modern electric cars, and a demonstration from BMW that they didn’t need to follow the same formula as the combustion vehicles they are expected to replace. An unusual design, minimal interior and the kind of handling expected of the brand helped earn the i3 a five star road test verdict when it first arrived back in 2013.

A mid-life facelift and a higher density battery pack have helped keep the i3 relevant today as a premium compact EV, but a real-world range of 165 miles may rule it out of intercity journeys without also factoring in a charging stop along the way.

Read the full BMW i3 review here

9. Hyundai Kona electric 39kWh, 158 miles

The second Kona to make this list is more affordable, because it opts for a much smaller capacity battery. At 39kWh, it’s a third smaller than the car that currently tops our list, and as such you can expect a significantly lower real-world range. In our tests, we saw an average of 158 miles.

Read the full Hyundai Kona Electric review here

10. Renault Zoe R110, 146 miles

It’s perhaps unsurprising that the affordable Zoe is Europe’s best-selling electric car, but it’s not just price that is on its side. Renault’s city-friendly EV is well-equipped and available with a battery lease programme for anyone looking to offset some of the costs of ownership.

The R110 includes uprated motors which make it more adept at motorway speeds, and while the battery hasn’t grown in size either, it does still manage to outpace the older Q90 version with a real-range figure of 146 miles.

Read the full Renault Zoe R110 review here

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Comments
23

11 June 2019

  Great, Range is increasing, more choice of cars,and the prices are slowly coming down, now. We only need the infrastructure to improve too.

Peter Cavellini.

11 June 2019

Awful news for Audi, Jaguars giving them a spanking!

11 June 2019

Hyundai Kona is not even close to these numbers :

1) Tesla Model S Long Range - 370 miles

2) Tesla Model X Long Range - 325 miles

3) Tesla Model 3 Performance* - 310 miles

* Long Range not offered in the UK though available elsewhere across Europe

11 June 2019
rmez01 wrote:

Hyundai Kona is not even close to these numbers :

1) Tesla Model S Long Range - 370 miles

2) Tesla Model X Long Range - 325 miles

3) Tesla Model 3 Performance* - 310 miles

* Long Range not offered in the UK though available elsewhere across Europe

So why would Autocar, a UK publication, write about cars unavailable in the UK?

11 June 2019

All 3 models above are available in the UK. Tesla M3 Long Range would have range 325miles hence I listed the 310 miles Peformance version, not much difference. You are free to check at https://www.tesla.com/en_GB?redirect=no

11 June 2019
rmez01 wrote:

Hyundai Kona is not even close to these numbers :

1) Tesla Model S Long Range - 370 miles

2) Tesla Model X Long Range - 325 miles

3) Tesla Model 3 Performance* - 310 miles

* Long Range not offered in the UK though available elsewhere across Europe

Actually it's not that close for another more important reason, the Kona has been removed from sale in the UK till at least 2020.  

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

11 June 2019
rmez01 wrote:

Hyundai Kona is not even close to these numbers :

1) Tesla Model S Long Range - 370 miles

2) Tesla Model X Long Range - 325 miles

3) Tesla Model 3 Performance* - 310 miles

* Long Range not offered in the UK though available elsewhere across Europe

The What Car test is specific cycle that What Car have come up with I suspect that it is very heavily biased towards city driving where the greater regen braking that the Kona offers is an advantage.

On a motorway test the Teslas do much better.

https://nextmove.de/autobahn-test-audi-e-tron-against-the-rest-of-the-ev-world/

Also the Model S/X will get a battery upgrade later in the year to allow ranges of 400 miles plus and full 250kw charging. At this point range anxiety will be limited to the people who make unplanned 600 mile drives in remote polar regions and also live in a flat who seem to be very common on discussion boards.

11 June 2019

Real world range? – so I put on my heated windscreen and rear heated window, turn up heater or air-con to demist, turn on my heated seats, turn highlights on and set off. Does testing include running all these power draining accessories?

And was it not that long ago that Autocar carried out a long distance drive to Devon and back and found many of the charging stations were broken.

And if they are working I’ve only seen a couple each at most service stations, so will I have to get a ticket to wait in the queue? Whereas your average motorway service garage has about 12 pumps, which can dispense either petrol or diesel fuels.

Many of us carry round a power bank to recharge our smartphones, so maybe we should carry a spare battery in case we run out – you remember just like carrying a spare fuel can in the boot!

jellybeeetle

11 June 2019

If you click through to the article on what car they explain the testing proceedure, the cars have aircon and lights on.

As to charging stations that is game set match for Tesla for the forseeable future.

The only issue with the test is that they don't actually drive the car until it runs out of electricity, they drive it a fraction of that distance and measure how much charge is depleted.

I suspect that the efficiency with which the power train operates or the battery charges is not totally linear.

11 June 2019

Due to concerns over range, i took an ipace on an extended test. Starting fully charged, i set off ona 145 mile journey, mainly motorway. At the start of the journey, it showed a range of 280 miles. On reaching the destination, the car only had 20 miles left. Had to go south rather than north to the nearest fast charger for the return journey, which added 45 miles range for the 45 minute charge, and then went offline, preventing more charges. Went to the services on the other side of the motorway, where we got another 45 minute charge, and then one part charge (cut off part way through the second charge). Had to stop once more for another 45 minute charge to complete the journey, despite setting the cruise control to 65 to try to extend the range. Overall, the return journey took 5.5 hours, compared to my usual 2 hours 10 minutes in my M2. Real life motorway range is 160-180 miles. No doubt better around town where you benefit more from regen braking. Neither car nor infrastructure are ready for driving more than 200 miles in a day. Sad, because it would be a great car to cover distances in. 

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