Longest range electric cars 2020
The popularity of electric cars is growing all the time, but range anxiety – the fear of running out of power before you’ve reached your destination – continues to be a concern for new buyers. It's the biggest single reason that most consumers give for not going electric, with a less-than-ideal charging infrastructure in the UK further adding to their worries.
In reality, you needn’t worry. Technology is constantly advancing and now many electric cars are capable of driving just as far as an equivalent petrol and diesel model would on a single tank of fuel. With range anxiety quickly becoming a thing of the past, it's the promise of much lower running costs that you should focus on when choosing an electric car.
We’ve drawn up a list of the top 10 longest range electric cars on sale now – perfect if you’re still a little concerned about being caught short.All of the figures are officially quoted numbers derived from the WLTP efficiency test, which was designed to be more representative of what you'll achieve in the real world than the old NEDC procedure.
However, these figures still don’t fully represent real-world conditions, much in the same way that fuel economy will almost always be better on paper than it is on the road. With this in mind, the numbers below will still give you a good idea of what to expect from an electric car – and offer some reassurance when making the switch.
10. Hyundai Kona Electric 64kWh – 279 miles
The Kona Electric was one of the most exciting cars on sale when it came out, delivering the kind of range that had previously only been achieved by high-end, premium vehicles. There are two versions: one with a 39kWh battery and another with a 64kWh unit: the latter delivers 279 miles of range. That's pretty good 'bang per buck' compared to many other electric-car models from affordable mainstream brands – and better even than the Volkswagen ID.3, whose official range currently tops out at 261 miles.
9. Kia Soul EV – 280 miles
The second-generation Kia Soul EV arrived in the UK at the end of 2019, replacing the first-generation model. Using the same 64kWh battery as the Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia e-Niro, it'll officially return 280 miles of range, while its 201bhp electric motor is good for a 0-62mph time of 7.6 seconds. Although that's very slightly less than its sister model (below), many buyers will probably prefer the Soul's funkier, more youthful styling.
8. Kia e-Niro 64kWh – 282 miles
The Kia e-Niro was our 2019 Car of the Year, and it’s easy to see why: it’s practical, affordable, and the 282-mile range is one of the best you can get from a mainstream electric car right now. The e-Niro is also well equipped and good to drive, while a mid-2020 facelift made it more affordable if you don't need quite so much range: the addition of a 39kWh battery option, good for around 180 miles on a charge, took the starting price after the government grant has been deduced down to less than £30,000.
7. Porsche Taycan 4S 93kWh – 287 miles
Porsche hit the ground running with its first fully electric car: a four-door sports coupe designed to steal sales away from the hitherto-dominant Tesla Model S. It can't quite match its American rival in the range stakes, but the mid-range 4S model fitted with the larger 93kWh battery still manages a pretty respectable 287 miles on a single charge, according to WLTP testing. And you're guaranteed to have fun while covering that distance; the Taycan is as rewarding to drive as any of Porsche's petrol sports cars.
6. Polestar 2 – 292 miles
Polestar is a new brand from the Volvo stable; after debuting with the plug-in hybrid Polestar 1 coupe, it'll focus on pure-electric cars only going forward. First to arrive is the Polestar 2 – a coupe-SUV designed to take on Tesla in the premium electric-car market. Range is impressive from the off, with an anticipated figure of nearly 300 miles calculated from WLTP testing.
5. Jaguar I-Pace – 292 miles
The Jaguar I-Pace has swept up several accolades since its launch, earning our ‘Best large electric car’ prize at the 2019 DrivingElectric Awards, as well as the prestigious 2019 World Car of the Year gong. The I-Pace has it all: performance is rapid with a 0-62mph figure of 4.5 seconds, it handles brilliantly and 292 miles of range is squeezed from the 90kWh battery. It looks spectacular, too. A word of caution though: we've tested the I-Pace in the real world, and 220 miles is a more realistic target for the range. This is a bigger discrepancy than we've seen from most other electric cars.
4. Tesla Model X Long Range – 315 miles
The Tesla Model X has undergone several line-up changes lately, but in April 2019 Elon Musk’s company announced significant improvements to the drivetrain in order to boost performance and range. The Model X Long Range – as the name suggests – has the longest range of the current variants, with Tesla estimating a return of 315 miles from its 100kWh battery when WLTP testing is completed.
3. Tesla Model 3 Long Range – 348 miles
The arrival of the Model 3 marked a big change for Tesla: partly because it spearheaded the company’s push to make electric cars more affordable, but also because the firm started being less open regarding battery sizes in its cars. Tesla says this is to avoid confusing customers who better understand range over kilowatt-hours, so we’ll just have to take company sources at their word that the Model 3 Long Range contains a 70kWh battery. In any case, 348 miles of range from a single charge is more than 99% of us will ever drive in a day.
2. Ford Mustang MACH-E Extended Range RWD – 373 miles
Originally set to debut in the UK late in 2020, but now delayed slightly until early 2021 by the coronavirus outbreak, the Mustang MACH-E puts Ford's hallowed sports-car badge on an all-new electric SUV. Ford is promising the end product will live up the brand's storied heritage, and a range of battery sizes and drivetrain options will allow buyers to prioritise performance or range as needed. The 'Extended Range' rear-wheel-drive version is anticipated to get close to the Tesla Model S' maximum range figure.
1. Tesla Model S Long Range – 375 miles
The gap to the competition has been narrowing lately, but the Tesla Model S remains the longest-range electric car on sale today. And updates announced in April 2019 boosted the Model S’s range again, with the Long Range predicted to return around 375 miles from Tesla’s 100kWh battery. Using a Tesla Supercharger, the Model S should achieve a 0-80% top-up in around 40 minutes.
Tesla is set to continue its reign at the top of the range table with its forthcoming Model S Plaid, which is set to arrive in 2021 with a claimed 520-mile range – but the final figure will depend on WLTP testing as opposed to the less stringent US equivalent. Pre-orders are now being taken, with prices starting at just over £130,000.