How Much Range You Really Need In An Electric Car
Stop trying to re-create your gas engine car from electricity and the answer will become clear.
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Brian Cooley is CNET’s Editor at large, following the big trends in car tech, smart home , healthcare, the future of food, digital entertainment and more. He’s known for his affable and informed take on technologies that fly or flop. Born and raised in Silicon Valley, he remembers when Apple’s headquarters was mostly apricots.
If you’re considering an electric vehicle, don’t make the mistake of buying one with too much range. Unlike combustion engine cars with virtually unlimited range, electric cars make the most sense when they have the right amount of range, not a surfeit of it.
There are several reasons to temper your instinct to get the most range possible.
In This Longest Range Electric Car Article
Maximum range : 652km Price: from AU$147,990
The longest-range electric car in Australia is the Tesla Model S. All of Teslas models have impressive range figures but the American brands flagship sedan which in Plaid form is also the fastest car on the planet with its 2.1 second 0-100km/h time is the best of the bunch.
Currently, Tesla only offers two specs for the car: the aforementioned, tri-motor Plaid spec which sacrifices range for performance, and a standard dual-motor variant, which is cheaper and has a whopping 652km of range. Thats enough to drive from Sydney to Canberra and back, with range to spare.
The standard spec 2022 Tesla Model S is no slouch, either, with a 0-100 time of 3.2 seconds. Its not cheap though with pricing starting from AU$147,990.
Maximum range : 630km Price: from AU$149,900
German performance marque BMW has one of the biggest and best electrified ranges out of any of the mainstream automakers, and their futuristic, electric-only iX crossover SUV boasts the second-longest range out of any EV in Australia.
While the iX is more expensive than, say, a Tesla Model X, it offers a far more conventional, luxurious driving experience plus the benefit of an established dealer network. Plus the fit and finish is a lot better
Like most of the cars on this list, the top-flight performance variant of the iX, the M60, has an inferior range figure compared to the mid-spec xDrive50 Sport.
Maximum range : 602km Price: from AU$65,550
Tesla Model X 348 Miles
Teslas largest car is also no slouch when it comes to range, though the Model X SUV cant compete with the sleek aerodynamics of its Sedan-shaped siblings. Still, with 348 miles on the standard model, and 333 miles on the Plaid, youll be going a heck of a long way on a single charge. The Supercharger network will always be there as well, letting the Model X recoup 175 miles in 15 minutes. On top of that you have Autopilot and optional full self-driving, 5,000 pounds of towing capacity, falcon-wing doors, and 91 cubic feet of storage space. And despite its bulk, the Model X can also handle 0-60 in 3.8 seconds, meaning it’s not disappointing in the performance department.
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Porsche Taycan 4s: 278 Miles
- Real-world Highway Range: 277.9 miles
- EPA-estimated Range: 203 miles
- Difference: +36.9%
The Porsche Taycan 4S is the entry-level model in the Taycan family. It comes standard with a 79.2 kWh battery, which is smaller than the 93.4 kWh battery in the Taycan Turbo and Taycan Turbo S. However, buyers can order the larger battery called “Performance Battery Plus” for an additional $5,570.00. The car we tested had the larger battery option, so we were hoping for a good result.
In our range test, the Taycan crushed its EPA range rating of 203 miles per charge Kyle was able to squeeze out 277.9 miles before the vehicle shut down. That’s an amazing 37 percent increase over its EPA-rated range. We’re still a little puzzled at how the Taycan continues to consistently beat its EPA range rating whenever an InsideEVs staff member gets behind the wheel of one.
It’s important to note that only two cars in our 70 mph range tests have ever matched their EPA range rating before this, those being the BMW i3 REx and the Hyundai Ioniq. But those cars just matched their ratings while the Taycan drove 75 miles further than its rating.
= Tesla Model 3 348 Mi
You can pick up a Model 3 for just £42,990 although to get the longest-range variant youll need to fork out £50,000. Still, compared with some of the other options here, the Model X looks like great value and with a rather lovely, minimalist interior, loads of space and welter of high-tech gadgetry, its an extremely strong EV and its already stealing sales from smaller executive rivals like the BMW 3-Series.
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= Tesla Model 3 374 Mi
Its fair to say Model 3 prices have gone up a bit lately. Even the most basic version will cost £48,490 but to get the longest-range variant, youll need to fork out £57,490 instead. No longer does the Model 3 offer the attractive value it used to, then although with its rather lovely, minimalist interior, vast interior space and welter of high-tech gadgetry, its still an extremely strong electric car, and its already stealing sales from junior executive rivals like the BMW 3 Series.
Porschetaycan 4s Cross Turismo
- $93,700 – $187,600
- Edmunds Tested RangeEdmunds’ real-world range test measures the distance an electric vehicle can travel on a full charge.More info
- 250 mi
- Edmunds Rating
- 8.3 out of 10
The Cross Turismo is the wagon-like version of Taycan. It provides more cargo room and passenger space with no perceptible trade-off in the driving experience. With the Cross Turismo, you can get incredible comfort and effortless driving one moment and then, with the twist of a knob, world-beating performance the next.
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The Biden Administration Continues To Expand Ev Adoption
President Biden first vowed to make the nations entire federal fleet all electric. The White House has introduced two bills to expand EV adoption, one of which was signed by the President and includes funding for heavily expanded EV charging infrastructure.
Previously, there were rumors that the federal tax credit would be increased to $10,000. In President Bidens previous $174 billion investment plan for electrification, the tax credit was quickly mentioned as a reform. However, the summary remained vague about the reform only confirming that it will not only take the form of tax rebates but also point of sale rebates and it will now be for American-made EVs.
The second and larger bill sat within Bidens Build Back Better Act and subsequent increases to the federal tax credit, but it couldnt get past the Senate in late 2021. At that point, the revamped tax credit we all have sought was in limbo, possibly DOA. Until this past summer
How Long Is Your Car Typically Parked
Well return to the Nissan Leaf for this example, in this case the 2022 Nissan Leaf S. The Leaf is one of the most affordable EVs currently on the market, at $28,895. .
The Leaf S has a relatively modest range of 149 miles with a relatively modest 40 kWh battery pack. Plugged in to a 240-volt outlet, a Leaf S will receive a full charge in about eight hours, and replenish a 60% use in even less. In other words, its easily refreshed while you sleep. A Tesla will similarly take about 8-10 hours. Park the car at night, pop it on the charger, enjoy your evening, and in the morning youre topped off and good to go. What could be easier?
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How Far Do Electric Cars Go On Average
The median range of electric vehicles has been steadily increasing over the past decade. In 2011, there were just three different models of all-electric vehicles on the market and their ranges on a full charge spanned from 100km to 150 km . Today, that number is much higher and sits around 326 km per charge.
Public Charging Infrastructure Is Growing
There are over 5,000 public charging stations in Canada, 250 of which are Level 3 DC-Quick chargers that will charge an EV battery from empty to 80% in 30 – 45 minutes. Most EVs have on-board GPS systems that can navigate to nearby charging stations. Many businesses and workplaces are installing charging stations for customer and/or employee use.
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Tesla Model S : 405 Miles
Tesla’s longest-running offering has represented the pinnacle of EV technology since its introduction in 2012. And even today, the $105,000 luxury sedan provides significantly more driving range than all rivals except for one.
Not only that, the $136,000 Model S Plaid is one of the more outrageous cars you can buy today, promising to hit 60 mph in 2 seconds on its way to a top speed of 200 mph.
The Range Of Hybrid Cars
Hybrid technology partly uses electricity, but its synergy with a combustion engine is a game-changer when it comes to calculating range. Firstly, there are several types of very different hybrids. The two main kinds are rechargeable hybrids and the non-rechargeable hybrid The classic hybrid, like the Clio E-TECH Hybrid, relies solely on regenerative braking to recharge. However, this model can cover up to 80% of time spent driving around town using only electricity. In the case of a plug-in hybrid , it is possible to recharge the vehicle at a charging station in other words on the electricity grid, also used by all-electric cars. The plug-in hybrid also benefits from regenerative braking. Renaults plug-in hybrids offer an electric range of up to 50 kilometers WLTP*. Moreover, they behave similarly to a non-rechargeable hybrid in urban areas or when the battery is empty. Obviously these two scenarios induce different range calculations.
The electric range of a hybrid car is therefore much greater than that of a vehicle equipped with a classic, non-rechargeable hybrid system. Discover the entire range of Renaults hybrid vehicles here.
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Longer Range Options Plug
A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, or PHEV, features a larger battery pack than a conventional hybrid. The battery allows for short-distance drives of about 25 miles using only the battery. A commuter with a 20-mile one-way drive and a place to charge at work could use no gasoline. The plug-in hybrids gas engine will cycle on occasionally to ensure that the fuel in the tank doesnt go bad.
As long as theres gas in the tank, a PHEV acts as a traditional hybrid using a combination of the gas engine and the electric motor. Hybrids with plugs can add a little charge in particular driving, such as heavy braking or long-distance downhill coasting.
Plug-in hybrids dont take too long to charge because their batteries are smaller than those of an all-electric car. You can use public charging stations along the way to long-distance destinations in your PHEV. Many newer plug-in hybrids allow the driver to bank electric charge to use it when they see fit. For example, using the battery at lower speeds where they may get more miles out of the battery than at highway speeds where the stored energy depletes faster.
A hybrid that plugs in is a good option for some drivers because it combines a gas engine with the desire for some emissions-free driving without being anxious over a short electric car range.
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Factors That Might Affect Battery Levels
Cabin features & cargo weight
The batterys discharge rate also depends on the overall weight of your electric vehicle, including the number of passengers and amount of cargo youre transporting. As well as the number of auxiliary systems you are using as you drive, such as for your headlights or cabin heating.
Weather conditions & temperature
Be aware that in very cold or very hot weather, your electric car will need to use heating or cooling systems to keep its battery at an optimum temperature. It will also use extra energy on things like keeping passengers comfortable either with heating or air conditioning.
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What Is The Range Of An Electric Car
Keen to know more about the everyday practicality of driving an electric car? And how often youd need to charge up the battery? Find out how far you can drive an electric vehicle on a single charge, as well as how factors like battery size and driving styles can impact on overall range.
What is the rangeof an electric car?
The range of electric vehicles varies greatly depending on key factors like the weight and size of the car, battery size and electric motor specification. But also things like the driving style, terrain and local climate of a particular journey. With the right insights into what affects EV range you will also be able to conserve power and extend the distance you can travel even further.
Short To Long Electric Car Range
Most drivers are familiar with EPA fuel economy estimates for gasoline-powered vehicles. Electric cars have EPA ratings to explain how far the EV might travel before the battery loses its charge. While gas-powered cars can regularly exceed their EPA mileage estimates, electric vehicles typically fall short of their EPA combined range estimate.
Thanks to regenerative braking, long-range and short-range EVs can perform well in start-and-stop driving during rush hour. This technology allows the battery to extend the electric car range by recapturing energy when decelerating using its electric motor instead of the brakes. However, EVs consume significantly more battery energy at steady speeds on highways during more extended drives. But that shouldnt let a lower electric car range prevent you from making long getaways.
The 2022 Nissan Leaf S can get about 150 miles from a single charge, a range that makes it a candidate for shorter commutes and in-town errands. For comparison, the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt can go about 259 miles. The longest-range EVs, such as the 2022 Tesla Model S, can go about 400 miles or more on a single charge.
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How Far Can An Ev Go On Full Charge Real
Also, you should consider our range figures the absolute maximum possible and, as with our zero-to-60-mph times, it will be difficult to achieve them with any regularity. That’s because it involves charging the battery all the way to 100 percent, which is not the EV norm. Topping off the last 10â15 percent is when the rate of charging slows considerably, and it also leads to increased degradation in battery capacity over time. For example, Tesla recommends limiting charging to 90 percent for daily use. Even on long-distance trips, the stops are determined more by the charging infrastructure than anything else, and the most expeditious method is to top up the battery just far enoughâto maybe 80 or 90 percent, keeping it in the speedy part of the charge-rate curveâto get to the next charger.
Range is critical range is complicated. And if you want to drive an EV long distances and you live in a place where it gets cold, plan on a large buffer between the EPA combined rating and what you actually will be able to use.
Whats The Future For The Range Of Electric Vehicles
With a range of 395 km on a WLTP* cycle, ZOE already allows drivers to use their cars for standard everyday travel with charging only necessary once a week. As well as increasing battery capacity, Renault is working on improving the energy efficiency of its vehicles and developing ways to simplify access to everyday charging, such as through car charging mobile apps. In addition, there are different charging modes that directly affect the charging time and available range.The most recent Renault ZOE generation, for example, introduced rapid DC charging at capacities of up to 50 kW, allowing the car to recover up to 150 km of range on a mixed cycle in just 30 minutes. In addition to the numerous AC charging options offering up to 22 kW, this rapid charging feature makes ZOE the most versatile in terms of charging on European infrastructures.
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What Is A Good Range For An Electric Car
Simply put, a good range meets the needs of the driver. Range is a key EV metric when choosing an EV and is one that many potential EV drivers consider carefully before investing. Practically speaking, however, range isnt the holy grail that many consider it to be.
The vast majority of people dont get close to driving their vehicle flat in a single day regardless of whether its an EV or a gasoline car. For instance, in the US, the average American drives 23,000 km per year or roughly 62 km a day. In Europe, this average differs per country but is, on average, less than half of what they drive in the US individuals in Germany drive an average of approximately 19 km per day and in Greece, this number can be as low as 5.6 km per day.
The bottom line is that most of our daily commutes wont even come close to reaching an EV’s maximum range.
Whats more, since topping up an EV works differently than putting gas in an ICE vehicleas charging can be done while you sleep or while youre at workthe fear of running out of juice isnt as prominent as you may think at first. Vehicle manufacturers have also put a lot of effort into quelling drivers’ fears of range anxiety with several innovative features including the Driving to Empty metric which is visible on a vehicles dashboard.