There are a lot of things to consider when trying to buy the best electric car for you, but chief among them is their range. Range anxiety is a real thing for prospective EV owners, so knowing how far a car can theoretically go before it needs to be plugged in is an essential bit of information, and can impact your driving habits.
While there are relatively few EVs on the market in comparison to traditional gas-guzzlers, there’s a wide gamut between the EVs with the longest and the shortest range.
At the very top of the spectrum there’s the Lucid Air Dream, which has enough power to travel 520 miles before dying. Meanwhile, the lower end of the range table includes the electric Mini SE, which can travel just 114 miles on a single charge.
It’s easy to be put off by figures like that, particularly if you do a lot of long-distance traveling. But which electric cars actually have the most range? Read on to find out.
Why do EV ranges differ across the world?
If you’ve ever looked at the ranges of EVs in different parts of the world, you may have noticed that the figures don’t match up. For instance, in the United States, the Long Range Tesla Model 3 offers up to 358 miles of range, but that figure increases to 374 miles in the U.K.
That’s because there’s no unified global range-testing standard for cars, and different regions calculate range and mileage in different ways. The idea here is that because driving habits are different across the world, the testing should reflect the situations drivers will find themselves in.
In the U.S. that testing is set up by the EPA, while in Europe and some other parts of the world, it’s done according to the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test procedure. Which is a mouthful, so it usually gets shortened to WLTP.
WLTP testing has been accused of overestimating range by around 10%, which would explain why European range estimates are higher than what you’ll see advertised in North America. However, regardless of the specifics, the EPA testing cycle is widely considered the most accurate for real world driving on American roads. Those are the figures we’re looking at below.
Bear in mind that there are a number of factors that will impact driving distance, from the weather to traffic to how much you’re hauling. However, we have 9 tips to get the most range out of your EV.
Lucid Air Dream Edition (Range) — up to 520 miles
The car with the highest possible range is the Lucid Air Dream Edition (Range), which clocks in at 520 miles. Unfortunately this particular model has been sold out for months, meaning anyone with enough cash to spare would have to opt for the Lucid Air Grand Touring — which offers 516 mile range. Four miles difference isn’t the end of the world, though it’s a shame prices start at an eye-watering $139,000.
But range isn’t all the Lucid Air has to offer. The Dream Edition Range has up to 1,111 horsepower and a 0-60 time of 2.5-2.7 seconds. Meanwhile the Grand Touring has 819 horsepower in its long range configuration and a 3 second 0-60 time. Both cars have the same 168 mph top speed, 300 kW charging, and a LiDAR-based driver assistance feature that can be updated over the air.
It's specs like this that make us wonder what the upcoming performance-centric Lucid Air Sapphire will be able to do. Here's hoping the range doesn't take too much of a hit.
Tesla Model S — up to 405 miles
The Tesla Model S Plaid may be the current flagship, but the standard Model S still has it beat on range. With up to 405 miles per charge — provided you get the smaller 19-inch wheels — the Tesla Model S is one of the best electric cars for long-distance driving, especially when you consider there are thousands of 250 kW Superchargers across the U.S.
The Model S also comes with Autopilot as standard, with the option to spend $12,000 for the Full Self Driving add-on, and some really solid performance. A top speed of 155 miles per hour, a 0-60 time of 3.1 seconds are on the cards. The pricier Model S Plaid does beat it there, with a 1.99-second 0-60 time and a 200 mph top speed, but it only has 396 miles of range. Not a huge difference, but every mile does count.
Mercedes EQS — 350 miles
Until the Mercedes EQE arrives, with 410 miles of range, the current range champion in Stuttgart is the Mercedes EQS. Unfortunately the U.S. model comes off a little worse for wear, since it only has 350 miles compared to the 453 miles advertised in Europe. That’s with the same size battery, and shows how much of an impact the different range testing standards can have.
Still 350 miles is a lot, and it’s all thanks to the EQS’s 107.8 kWh battery. Also in the longest range model is a 0-60 time of 5.5 seconds, 329 horsepower, 200kW rapid charging and a top speed of up to 130mph. The EQS also comes with the option to have Mercedes’ MBUX Hyperscreen, complete with three displays under a single piece of 56-inch glass, and various driver assistance packages that include Active Lane Keeping.
Tesla Model 3 Long Range — 358 miles
The cheapest Tesla model on the market also comes with some of the automaker’s longest range. The Model 3 Long Range offers up to 358 miles of driving on a single charge, while access to Superchargers can restore up to 175 miles of range after just 15 minutes.
The Tesla Model 3 Long Range also has a top speed of 145 mph, a 0-60 time of 4.2 seconds, and comes with Autopilot as standard. Full Self Driving is also a $12,000 optional extra, and like all other Tesla cars on the market can be purchased through a $200 a month subscription.
Tesla Model X — 348 miles
Tesla’s largest car is also no slouch when it comes to range, though the Model X SUV can’t compete with the sleek aerodynamics of its Sedan-shaped siblings. Still, with 348 miles on the standard model, and 333 miles on the Plaid, you’ll 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.
Model Y Long Range — 330 miles
The black sheep of the Tesla family, the Model Y’s standard model was canceled due to its comparatively short range. Still the Long Range Model Y is one of the best out there, pushing out 330 miles on a single charge.
It’s got all the usual Tesla goodies including Autopilot, the optional Full Self Driving module,and Supercharger access. That means you can regain up to 162 miles in 15 minutes at peak charging speed. 0-60 happens in a Model X-beating 3.5 seconds, and you have 76 cubic feet of storage space to work with. All in all, not bad going.
GMC Hummer EV1 — 329 miles
The GMC Hummer EV’s gargantuan size does not do much for energy efficiency, with a rating of 47 miles per gallon equivalent. The Tesla Model X is 97-86MPGe, for comparison. But its size means the Hummer has space for a gigantic 212.7 kWH battery — almost double the size of the likes of the Mercedes EQS. That means the truck can offer a maximum range of 329 miles.
Of course that’s only if you somehow managed to get the Hummer EV Edition1, which has been sold out for the better part of a year. Fortunately the next models, the EV3x and EV2x promise to have over 300 miles in the pickup and SUV variants.
Hummer still offers premium features with the electric Hummer, including General Motors’ Super Cruise autonomous driving system — the only one on the market that lets you take your hands off the wheel. It also has a 0-60 time of 3.0 seconds, which is impressive for a vehicle weighing over 4.5 tons, and up to 350kW charging speeds.
BMW iX xDrive 50 — 324 miles
The BMW iX has an awful lot going for it, including the fact it’s capable of traveling up to 324 miles on a single charge. That’s all thanks to the 111.5 kWh battery, which can recharge at up to 200 kW speeds and recoup 90 miles of range in just 10 minutes. Or go from 10-80% in 40 minutes, if you’re willing to hang around for a bit.
The iX M60 may have the xDrive 50 beaten on performance, with a 0-60 time of 3.6 seconds vs 4.4 seconds, it has a reduced 280 miles of range. Which would you prefer, speed or the ability to drive an extra 44 miles without taking a break? You can get a lot done in 44 miles, after all.
Ford F-150 Lightning — 320 miles
Ford's F-Series truck continues the best-selling vehicle in American history, so there's been a lot of pressure for the electric F-150 Lightning to do well. Fortunately its range does not disappoint, with the Long Range models offering the chance to travel 320 miles on a single charge.
But while the cheapest F-150 Lightning is $46,974, this model only offers 230 miles of range. The cheapest model with 320 miles of range is the XLT model with the 131 kWh extended range battery option — which will set you back at least $81,417.
But that larger battery also has slightly faster charging. A 150kW charger can add 54 miles in 10 minutes, and recharges from 15 to 80% in 41 minutes. The standard battery takes 44 minutes. Ford is also said to be testing a portable range extender, which could add extra miles to your range mid-drive. However we currently don't have any details on when this might be available, how much extra power it offers or how much it will cost.
Ford Mustang Mach-E — 314 miles
Ford’s first proper electric car was incredibly well received, and it’s not difficult to see why. Not only is it speedy, but the Ford Mustang Mach-E can travel up to 314 miles on a fully charged battery. Or rather, the California Route1 model can, and that’ll cost you at least $52,450. The cheapest model, the $43,895 Mach-E select, unfortunately only offers 247 miles of maximum range.
This particular model has a 4.8-second 0-60 time, a panoramic glass roof, a 15.5-inch portrait touchscreen (and control dial, which we like) and all the perks of an SUV build. It may not be a proper Mustang, but it still has everything else that counts.
Rivian R1T — 314 miles
The Rivian R1T was one of the first electric trucks to hit the streets, and has so far proven to be incredibly popular. Looking at the car’s specs, it’s easy to see why. Despite being a pretty hefty-sized truck, the R1T can still offer up to 314 miles of range on a single charge — provided you pay up for the “Large Pack” battery.
But range isn’t everything. The R1T can tow up to 11,000 pounds of cargo, include trailer assistance and Level 2 autonomous driving, and offers a whopping four motors on its most expensive model. That means all four wheels can move independently of each other, which will be useful for any off-roading or extreme situations you find yourself in.
If trucks aren’t your thing, then the Rivian R1S SUV actually has its older sibling beat — but only just. The R1S has up to 316 miles of range, and many of the same features and specs as the R1T.
Kia EV6 — 310 miles
One of the newest electric cars to hit the streets, the Kia EV6 manages to offer up to 310 miles of range for less than you’d expect compared to other automakers. However the $40,900 starting price tag will only get you 232 miles; you’ll have to pay at least $47,000 for the full 310.
Still for that money you’ll also get an AR heads-up display, Kia’s radar-based “Highway Driving Assist 2” autonomous driver assistance system, and a car that can handle up to 350 KW recharging sessions. According to Kia, that will take you from 10-80% in just 18 minutes, provided you can find one that fast.
Honorary mentions: Tesla Roadster and Tesla Cybertruck
Two electric cars we haven’t mentioned here come from none other than Tesla, which has already proven itself to offer some of the most consistently high range among electric carmakers. From what we’ve heard so far the second generation Tesla Roadster and the tri-motor Cybertruck are set to continue that trend.
Back before the original Cybertruck delays, Tesla claimed that the tri-motor Cybertruck variant would offer over 500 miles of range on a single charge. An impressive achievement for any car, let alone a bulky truck that doesn’t look particularly aerodynamic. The Roadster is set to have it beat, however, with Tesla still advertising that the car will have 620 miles of range per charge — which would put even the Lucid Air to shame.
Unfortunately, the status of both cars isn’t exactly clear. CEO Elon Musk has announced both cars will go into production next year, but that could change. After all, the two have already been delayed multiple times, and there’s no guarantee it won’t happen again.
Likewise Musk has been very vocal about his opposition to extreme range estimates, claiming anything over 400 miles is pointless — especially since you’d need to stop and charge long before then anyway. After the cancellation of the Model S Plaid Plus, which promised to have 520 miles of range, because the regular Plaid is “more than good enough”, there’s no telling what could happen to these lofty range estimates between now and launch.
Next: These are the 8 cheapest electric cars you can buy right now.