A major concern for many prospective electric car owners is how far a vehicle will be able to travel on one charge. No one wants to get caught out in the middle of nowhere because the battery runs out of power after a few dozen miles, which is the origin of many people’s ‘range anxiety’.
In recent years, however, electric cars have been subject to many innovations to improve the longevity of the battery charge, as well as improvements to the speed and comfort of the vehicle.
Some of the modifications made to modern electric cars include regenerative braking, which means that electricity is directed back to the battery every time the car brakes. As a result of changes such as this, electric cars can travel further for longer on a single charge.
There are plenty of things to weigh up when choosing your next car, so we’ve compiled a guide to help you review the electric cars with the best mileage range.
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Which electric car has the longest range?
With a full range of up to 453 miles, the Mercedes-Benz EQS has the longest range out of the electric cars currently on offer in the UK market. The EQS has a maximum output of 245 kW (333 hp) and can be charged in approximately 31 minutes (at a rapid charging station). This model is Mercedes-Benz’s first all-electric luxury saloon and is produced using sustainable methods, such as carpets that are made from recycled yarn.
Tesla has also produced a number of long-range electric cars, such as the Model S and Model 3. The Tesla Model S is the UK’s second longest-range electric car and can be driven 405 miles on a full charge. Coming in fifth place is the Tesla Model 3, which has a somewhat lower but equally impressive 360-mile range.
Continue reading to find out how often you should charge your car depending on its range, as well as the most affordable electric cars and how much it costs to charge them.
What are the top five long-range electric cars in the UK?
Whilst Chinese electric car manufacturers are leading the way for long-range vehicles (such as the NIO ET7, which has a reported range of 621 miles), the UK market is also full of impressive long-range electric cars.
1. Mercedes Benz EQS
Mercedes Benz released the EQS – a member of the new S-class range – in 2021. It features an EQS charging system and a high-voltage battery, which gives the vehicle a full range of approximately 453 miles. Prices start from £99,995.00, which places this model at the more expensive end of the market. The car comes with the Mercedes me Charge, which allows access to various public charging points through the use of the Mercedes me Charge or the Plug & Charge feature, which is at the moment completely exclusive with the EQS.
The EQS has the typical Mercedes-EQ characteristic of a black panel radiator grille, as well as the brand new MBUX Hyperscreen, which combines a series of display panels that blend together to create a curved screen band.
2. Tesla Model S
Tesla is often associated with high-class electric car performance, such as the Model 3, which was named UK Car Of The Year in 2020. The brand’s flagship vehicle, the Tesla Model S, has an estimated range of 405 miles, whilst the Model S Plaid can travel approximately 396 miles on a single charge. You can reach a top speed of 200mph in the Model S and hit zero to 60mph in an estimated 1.99 seconds. The electric motor also has a peak power of 1,020hp.
3. Ford Mustang Mach-E
Following the Model S on the UK’s longest-range electric car list is the Ford Mustang Mach-E. With a range of 379 miles, Ford’s first all-electric SUV has a claimed range of 73 miles on a single 10-minute charge. This model can reach zero to 62mph in 3.7 seconds in smooth, silent acceleration. The innovative design includes E-Latch and FordPass connectivity features, as well as One Pedal Drive, which transfers energy back into the battery to extend its charge.
4. BMW i4
BMW’s much anticipated i4 Gran Coupe which goes on sale in the UK in November 2021 makes it to number four on our list. The i4 eDrive40 Sport has an estimated range of 347 to 365 miles between charges. The vehicle has 340 bhp and an acceleration rate of zero to 60mph in just 5.7 seconds. The comfort i4 eDrive40 Sport comes with BMW Laser Light and Parking Assistant as standard. This newcomer is available to purchase from £55,345.
5. Tesla Model 3
The Tesla Model 3 Long Range has the fifth-highest range of these vehicles at 360 miles per single charge. This modern and sporty model features expansive storage and Autopilot as standard. Prices for this model start from £48,490 making the Model 3 the most affordable vehicle in the Tesla range, and unlike its siblings the Model S and the Model X, you won’t have to wait too long to get behind the wheel of this popular car.
How can I extend the lifespan of my electric car’s battery?
Many electric car manufacturers recommend that you don’t fully charge your car to 100% every time. Car batteries can get damaged if you continuously plug in the vehicle to keep it fully charged. This will then affect the longevity of the battery’s range and could have an impact on the mileage your car could otherwise reach.
Instead of fully charging your vehicle, you should let the battery run down to around 10% to 20% and then charge the car up to around 80% of its capacity.
Rapid charges should also be kept to a minimum as they aren’t as good for the battery as slow charges. Although it can seem more appealing to charge your car in a shorter space of time, try to choose longer charges where possible.
Getting a charging point on your driveway will enable you to charge your vehicle over a couple of hours, which is especially important when it’s cold outside. This is because the cooler temperatures will affect the charging time and may prolong an otherwise ‘fast’ charge.
Another factor that can affect your electric vehicle’s battery is when the weather gets particularly hot. Electric car batteries have an inbuilt cooling system if they get too hot due to outside temperatures or after a long journey. However, the cooling system uses electricity which can drain the battery. Some experts recommend keeping cars in the shade or using a sunshade to keep the car cool and prevent it from overheating.
Looking after your car’s battery will help extend its range and long-term health. First-generation mass-produced electric vehicles, such as the Nissan Leaf, are said to still have 80% of their battery capacity over ten years later. Replacing batteries can be expensive, but their degradation will be slowed if they are properly maintained.
Electric car batteries are made from materials such as cobalt, lithium and nickel. They are designed to last for around 10 to 20 years, so it is normal to see some deterioration in the range of the vehicle as the car reaches this age.
What are the cheapest long-range electric cars?
Out of the top five longest range electric cars, the most affordable model is the Ford Mustang Mach-E, which is priced from £41,330. However, the Tesla Model 3 is also one of the cheaper models at around £48,490. Mercedes-Benz, at the other end of the scale, prices its electric cars at a significantly more expensive cost of around £99,995.00 for the EQS standard model. Tesla Model X is even more expensive at £102,000, although this is reflective of the innovative design and technology of the vehicle.
Prices of electric cars look set to lower in the coming years as production and buyer demand increase, the majority of the vehicles can prove quite costly at present.
Despite the high price tag that comes with many electric cars, it is possible to find a discounted option if you look around, such as second-hand vehicles, through subscription services or leasing. Brands such as Volkswagen, which produces the Volkswagen ID range and Fiat, which includes the 500 LA Prima and 500 Icon, tend to be amongst the cheapest on the market. For example, the VW ID.3 Life sells for around £30,935.00.
The EQS model by Mercedes-Benz has the longest range of 453 miles on a single charge. This places the model above competitors such as the Tesla Model S, which has a range of approximately 405 miles, and the Ford Mustang Mach-E, which can reach around 379 miles on a single charge.
Whilst these electric motors do have a high maximum range capacity, there are factors that can impact the performance of electric cars. Temperature, for instance, can affect a car’s range due to the extra strain on the battery in abnormally hot or cold weather.
To ensure the best performance from your car, make sure to charge the battery to 80% or less and slow charge, rather than rapid charge, regularly.
Although the cars mentioned in this guide provide the best long ranges, there are plenty of used electric cars on the market that will give good performances for a fraction of the price. You can use our car check to view the history of the second-hand vehicles you are looking at, including previous MOTs, number of owners and other important information that can help influence your decision on whether to purchase the car.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Mercedes Benz EQS
- Tesla Model S
- Ford Mustang Match-E
- BMW i4
- Tesla Model 3
Find out more here.
There are charging points for electric vehicles up and down the country. Many owners have had charging points built on their property so that they are able to slow charge their vehicles at will.
You can choose from a variety of apps to download onto your smartphone that will notify you of nearby charging points. This reduces the need to charge your car past 80% and ensures that you’re never far from a charging point, wherever you may be travelling.
It can cost around £500 to install a charging point at your home. Your place of work may also have a charging station, due to the Government’s Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS). This is a scheme that encourages companies to install charging points through the use of financial contributions to the initial cost and installation fee.
Motorway service stations are some of the most populated public charging points due to the high demand in these areas. There are approximately 42,000 charging points at over 11,000 locations across the UK.
Networks have different processes to charge electric vehicles. For example, you need an app or membership card before you can charge your car at a Polar charging station. This is the UK’s largest network for public charging and offers both a subscription service and pay-as-you-go.
Tesla vehicles are able to use Supercharger stations, which can be located using the Tesla app. Cars can be charged in around 30 minutes using these charging points and you will receive a notification to the same app to let you know when your vehicle is fully charged. Find out more here.
Charging times for electric cars vary depending on factors such as the car’s battery, range and size. The output of a charger can also impact the time that it takes to charge, as can the percentage the car began with and how much you want the battery to be topped up.
There are three types of charging for electric vehicles: slow, fast and rapid. A slow charge typically uses 3kW and will take an average of ten hours to fully charge a Nissan Leaf with its 30kW battery. In comparison, the Mercedes Benz EQS would take 35 hours to charge its 108kW battery. Most people choose to use this charger overnight or when they are in a location for a long period of time, such as work.
A fast charge takes fewer hours to charge an electric vehicle – it usually takes around five hours to fully charge a Tesla Model S (on a fast 22kW charge). Public places, such as supermarkets and car parks tend to have this type of charging station installed.
The quickest way to charge an electric car is through rapid charging. This type of charging should be used infrequently as it can end up damaging the battery in the long run. Rapid charging can take as little as 30 minutes to one hour to power the car, although only certain models have the capacity for rapid charging.
Temperature can affect how quickly your car uses energy and therefore can change how often you need to charge it. Both air conditioning and heating use the battery, but the latter uses more energy than cooling the car. As such, you are likely to have a reduced range in colder months because some of the battery’s energy will be going to the heating, rather than just prolonging the mileage. Find out more here.