How far can you drive in an electric car? That's one of the biggest questions that consumers ask when it comes to electric cars. And no wonder, given that electric car charging takes anywhere from 30 minutes at the fastest 50kWh DC charging points found along motorways up to 8 hours or more on a home charger.
If you're driving over 400 miles from London to Scotland, for instance, you may be wondering how many times you'll have to stop along the way to charge your electric car. Use the information in this article to help understand what to expect from electric car ranges. You can find advice on maximizing range in our article, Top Ten Tips for Maximizing Electric Car Range.
Real-Life Electric Car Ranges
We've analysed the market and found real-life ranges for the various models on offer. Where possible, we sourced our data directly from car websites. In other cases we surveyed car dealers for real-life summer, winter and average ranges. Tesla models have the longest ranges by a mile due to large batteries, but at prices north of £60k a Tesla is out of most household budgets. Excluding Tesla, the average real-life range is 133 miles on a full charge. Including the four Tesla S models, the average electric car range jumps up to 180 miles.
How Far Can an Electric Car Really Go?
|Real-Life EV Ranges||Summer Range||Winter Range||Average Range|
|Renault Zoe 22kW R90||106||71||89|
|BMW i3 90Ah||132||111||125|
|Renault Zoe Z.E. 40 Q90 Quick Charge||174||112||143|
|Renault Zoe Z.E. 40 R90||186||124||155|
|Nissan Leaf 40 kWh||150||180||170|
|Tesla S 75||214||206||210|
|Tesla S 75D||235||225||230|
|Tesla S 100D||347||333||340|
|Tesla S P100D||306||294||300|
|Avg. UK Electric Car Range (excl. Tesla)||165||131||149|
|Avg. UK Electric Car Range (incl. Tesla)||209||182||196|
Real-Life vs NEDC Ranges
Most car manufacturer websites advertise NEDC ranges—and they are highly misleading. NEDC ranges can overstate real-life ranges by up to 40% or more. NEDC testing conditions do not mimic real life: low accelerations, constant cruising speeds, no AC or heat, etc. Be sure to understand the real-life ranges on any car you are considering before you buy. The chart below shows the significant difference between NEDC ranges and real-life ranges for UK electric cars.