How Far Can An Electric Car Go On One Charge

car on charge

With fuel prices continuing to skyrocket, more and more people are turning to purchase electric cars.

However, people do have concerns as they are fairly new and people are weary, we’re here to help answer one of those important questions.

How far can electric cars go on one charge?

People want to make sure they are able to travel a good distance without having to constantly stop.

So let’s break it down and show you what the average distance is for an EV and what cars travel the furthest and shortest distances in one charge.

How Far Can Electric Cars Go On A Single Charge?

Unfortunately, there is no one answer to this question as there are a variety of factors that affect how far an EV can travel in a single charge.

But in this article, we take a look at those different factors and what sort of distance you can on the electric vehicle you have or one your considering purchasing.

Average Electric Vehicle Range On One Charge

We got our data from the Electric Vehicle Database and at the time of writing, these figures were accurate but will change over time.

Average – 206 miles (332 km)

Shortest – 59 miles (95km)

Longest – 431 miles (695km)

As you can see, there is quite a gap in the difference of how far you can travel using an electric car. So let’s find out what causes these differences and what you should look at when browsing an electric car range. Some people are conscience of driving range anxiety, so it’s important to know how your driving style can affect the electric vehicle batteries.

Distance For Electric Cars Increasing

As we spoke about earlier, EV’s are rapidly improving as an industry, with better infrastructure, increased mileage and fewer emissions being released in the process of production. Like anything that is new, it needs time to grow and evolve and that’s exactly what the electric industry is doing.

When EV’s first broke on the scene, some had a distance of just over 110 miles on a single charge. We fast forwards that to today and some can go between 300-400 miles on a charge, which shows the steps that are being made in research and development.

The reason a lot of electric cars have developed in how far they can travel is due to electric car batteries. The price of an EV battery has plummeted in the last decade, and they have become more powerful, you put these two components together and you have your answer.

Batteries are the most expensive part of making an electric car, so when battery costs continue to decrease for this component, more electric vehicles are able to be manufactured. Combining this with the fact that an electric vehicle produces no emissions, it’s easy to see why the government want electric cars to count for nearly 70% of new EV sales by 2040 in the UK alone.

What Distance Can Electric Vehicles Travel?

With charging infrastructure constantly being developed in the UK, many potential electric car owners are concerned about where they can charge up, especially when travelling long distances. You don’t want to travel somewhere have 60 miles left but the next charging point is 80 miles away, this is why the driving range of a car is one of the key factors before buying for electric vehicle owners.

However, there is no answer to how far an electric car can travel on a charge as it all depends on the make and model of the car, as well as environmental conditions. We go into this in more depth in our factors section and you can see why there is no definitive answer to the question.

Which Car Has The Longest Range?

Usually, the larger the electric car, the bigger and more battery power which means a single charge can get you somewhere further than a smaller EV, not always but generally.

Currently, the vehicle with the longest driving range is the Mercedes EQS as of writing with a whopping 485 miles maximum range. This is due to a massive 107.8kWh battery and is, therefore, slower to pull away but this makes it more efficient at speed. It has a longer range than any Tesla model but isn’t as quick from 0-60mph as the Tesla Model S which is their longest range EV.

Each car manufacturer will be looking to improve on this long range and will push the limit on how far electric cars can travel per charge. At the minute Mercedes lead the way for electric car’s range, but don’t be surprised to see a new leader in the coming years as an electric car battery becomes cheaper and the EV range continues to increase.

Shortest

If you’re going electric and want a small EV with a limited range, then at the time of writing we found the Smart EQ fortwo cabrio to have the shortest range with just 59 miles. Whether your single or a couple, this small car is perfect as it has a tiny battery, is ideal for town or city driving and will charge a lot quicker than a big battery.

Electric car’s such as this one would charge fully in under 45 minutes with a 22kW charge because of the size of the battery, whereas it would easily take a few hours to charge one double the size.

It’s all pros and cons and depends on whether your electric cars are doing short trips regularly or doing long drives up and down the UK motorway. If you spend a lot of time in the car, we would advise bigger electric vehicles as you will get a much better range and won’t have to keep stopping at commercial charging stations.

Factors That Affect Electric Car Range

Battery size is one of the main factors that affect the average range your electric car can travel, but it’s not the only one, below are some more that people often don’t know or simply forget that can also effect the range of an electric car.

Environment 

When you drive in the heat, your car is able to travel further on a single charge in comparison to driving in the cold. This is due to the temperature and how quickly the cold drains the battery compared to the warmth.

Speed 

The same as a conventional car, the faster you drive the more it drains your fuel. This is the same for an electric vehicle, if your drive style is to go fast in your electric car or accelerate, the faster the battery will drain.

Electrical Features 

If you are going to use the heating or AC in the electric car, then be prepared for your battery to drain quicker.

As you can see from above, it’s hard to give a definitive answer for an electric vehicle range because there are so many variables that affect how far an electric car goes. It all depends on what vehicle you buy in the first place, secondly how you drive it and lastly, what the weather and temperature are like when travelling.

Driving To Empty Explained? (DTE)

Driving to Empty is an average estimate of how far you can drive with the remaining charge on your car’s electric battery. It is only an average range and will take into account factors such as how long you’ve already been driving, the weather conditions and the current state of charge.

It will then translate this into a figure showing you how far you have left roughly, but always be cautious with this and your better off charging your vehicle as soon as it drops to about 20% just to be on the safe side.

If it does get to zero then there are no fumes to run off like a conventional car, you would have to get your electric cars towed to the nearest garage which is costly and it’s not very good for your battery’s health either.

Due to this, many electric cars have built-in features that make it difficult to run out of charge. For example, the Nissan Leaf will go into a crawling mode for just over a kilometre at 30mph, allowing you enough time to get your electric vehicle off the road where somewhere can come and help. Most electric cars have some sort of feature like this built in.

Does An Electric Car Battery Slow Over Time

Yes, the battery will start to slow over time, but it’s estimated that batteries will last between 10-20 years so it’s not something you have to immediately worry about. This will obviously affect the range your electric car goes but it does only decrease over time, it’s not usually anything sudden.

The battery technology will start to lose battery capacity over the years which can decrease your mileage by a small percentage, but we are talking minuscule in the grand scheme of things when you’ve driven your car for thousands of miles over a number of years.

Also, most manufacturers will give a warranty for the battery for between 5-10 years or around 60,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Last Word

We know it wasn’t conclusive but unfortunately that’s the way electric vehicles are. All electric cars are different, just like petrol and diesel cars and they are all powered differently with variables such as the way you drive and temperature also affect the mileage you can go.

We hope this article gave you a small insight into what to expect and how larger and smaller electric cars play a big part in the distance you cover in a single charge. As well as what to look for in terms of mileage before purchasing a car. Living with an electric vehicle is certainly different so don’t be shy to ask questions and view our other guides.

Nick
Nick

Nick is the proud owner of a MG ZS EV and is an EV fanatic. He has been featured in notable publications like USA Today and The Times for his expertise in the field.