For anyone who owns or is considering buying an EV, one of the most pressing questions often asked is:
“How far can my electric car go on a single charge?”
The driving range of an electric vehicle can vary depending on many different factors and maintenance considerations. Plus, different brands and models of electric vehicles can be designed to have greater or lesser driving ranges as well.
In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about how far an electric vehicle can go on one charge. Keep reading to learn about short, average, and long-range EVs!
How Far Can an Electric Car Go?
When considering a purchase of an electric vehicle (EV for short), one of your main concerns is likely how far an EV can go on a single charge.
An EV can generally travel between 200 to 500 miles on one charge. However, the actual single-charge range of specific cars can vary pretty drastically.
The driving range of an EV can vary depending on several factors, including the brand and model of the vehicle. Older first-generation EVs tend to have a shorter range than the newest EVs in the market — and with the EV market only continuing to grow in size, more advanced EVs have started to hit the sales lot.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
“The number of miles an EV will travel before the battery needs to be recharged is often less than the distance your gasoline car can travel before being refuelled, but typically is still enough to accomplish the average person’s daily driving needs.”
As we go over the shortest, average, and longest range EVs, keep in mind that this is assuming the battery is in good working condition and the EV has been fully charged. Partially charged EVs or EVs with dysfunctioning batteries will have a short range, comparatively.
Shortest Range Electric Car
Typically, shorter-range EVs can travel between 50 to 200 miles in total range on a single charge. A good example of a short-range EV is the 2022 Nissan Leaf, which has an EPA-estimated range of 149 to 212 miles.
Certain EVs are designed to travel shorter distances, such as the 2019 Smart EQ Fortwo, which has a driving range is around 58 miles total. These short-range EVs are great for people who mainly use their vehicles for work commutes and local errands rather than long-distance travel.
There are also several older electric cars — some of the first to ever be sold — that are still available in today’s resale markets. These cars tend to have a much shorter range than more modern EVs and can generally only travel between 30 to 80 miles in total range.
Average Range Of Electric Cars
Most average range EVs can generally travel between 200 to 300 miles in total range on a single charge.
However, the median range does tend to shift. According to Green Car Reports, the median range of EVs in the U.S. was 259 miles in 2020 but dropped to 234 in 2021.
This likely has to do with general economic inflation affecting the cost of vehicles and making more people opt for lower-range EVs that are available at a lower price point as well.
On the upper end of the average category is where you will begin to see pricier EVs, such as the 2022 Tesla Model 3which with an estimated range of 272 to 358 miles per full charge.
Longest Range Electric Car
As the EV industry becomes more and more competitive, more car companies are beginning to release long-range EVs that can easily surpass 300 miles. With this in mind, we will define long-range EVs as those that can travel 300 miles or more on a single charge.
The current EV with the longest estimated (as of July 2022) is the 2022 Lucid Air Dream Edition R AWD, which has an astounding estimated maximum range of 520 miles.
The other vehicles that make up this category include many different Teslas, including the Tesla Model S Dual-Motor AWD (estimated 405 miles of max range) and the Tesla Model X Dual-Motor AWD (estimated 351 miles of max range).
What Can Affect An Electric Cars Range?
As we mentioned earlier, two key factors that can affect an EV’s driving range are:
- Whether or not the vehicle has a full charge
- Whether or not the vehicle’s battery/batteries are in good working condition
However, these are not the only factors that can affect the driving range of an EV. Knowing how your EV can be affected by things such as temperature, your driving speed, and the use of electric-powered features is essential.
Let’s explore each of these 3 additional factors in greater detail:
For anyone living in colder climates, it is critically important to know how cold weather can impact the performance of your EV.
According to a 2021 Consumer Report, cold temperatures (generally around 20 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler) can cause your EV’s driving range to drop up to 20 percent. In addition to a shorter driving range, cold weather conditions can also cause your EV to charge slower as well.
On the other hand, extremely hot temperatures can have a negative impact on the quality of your battery. High temperatures can speed up the degradation process of your battery, causing the battery to have a shorter lifespan and poorer overall performance.
The best way to protect your vehicle from hot temperatures is to store your car either in a garage or with a sun protection slip over the top of it when not in use.
When you drive an EV, everything is electrically-powered — including your accelerator. As such, higher speeds that require greater acceleration can diminish the driving range of your EV.
In Car and Driver’s 2022 range rating test of EVs, researchers found that almost all EVs tested (including major names like Tesla, Porsche, and Audi) can rarely match or exceed their reported range rating if the vehicle is travelling 75 mph or faster.
The 75 mph or faster range is used to assess a vehicle’s highway driving range compared to its city or rural range. Since highways often have the highest speed limits (as well as minimum speed limits to keep you from driving too slow), highway driving is often where you will encounter the biggest changes to your EV’s total driving range.
As we covered, driving at faster speeds can drain your EV’s battery quicker due to the electronically-powered nature of the accelerator.
It is important to note that this goes for other electrically-powered features in your EV as well. One of the biggest culprits behind your diminished driving range is your air conditioning and heating systems — these systems rely heavily on electricity to work their magic, especially in extreme temperatures.
This goes hand-in-hand with why extreme temperatures can also negatively affect your EV’s driving range. Not only is the vehicle’s battery affected but the use of your heating and cooling system also contributes to the driving range drop.
How To Increase Electric Car Range
If you are interested in owning an EV and want to know how to increase or maximize your vehicle’s driving range, then you are not alone.
Here are 3 tips for getting the most out of your EV’s range:
- Stick to Speed Limits: While it can certainly be fun to zip around at fast speeds in an EV (hello, fast acceleration rates!), if your goal is to preserve as much driving range as possible, then you should stick to driving between the minimum and maximum speed on highways. Between 65 mph to 75 mph is where we begin to see a diminished range, with this effect increasing in speeds above 75.
- Limit Your Use of AC/Heat: When using the central AC and heat system in your car, you are likely to expend your EV’s energy much quicker. Opting to turn off the central heat in favour of heated seats and steering wheels in the winter is a good way to minimize heat use while running the fan without the AC on and keeping windows can help you reduce AC usage.
- Keep Up with Tire Maintenance: As with traditional gas-powered vehicles, the range of an EV can be significantly affected by the condition of your tires. Keeping up with proper tire maintenance and replacing tires when necessary will help you get more out of your EV driving range.
Whether you are a current or soon-to-be EV owner, knowing how to get the most out of your car’s driving range is crucially important.
From paying attention to differences in brands and models to practicing good maintenance and driving habits, there are many ways for you to optimize your EV’s efficiency.
If you are the owner of an EV and have concerns about the ability to charge your vehicle because you don’t have a home charging station, Wheel Power is here to help! Based in Austin TX, we install both residential and commercial charging stations. From purchase, to instalment, to maintenance, we make the process as easy as possible.