Cars

Published on July 31st, 2015 | by Zachary Shahan

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11 Electric Cars With Most Range (List)

July 31st, 2015 by  


Originally published on EV Obsession.

People make a big deal of electric cars’ driving ranges, for good reason, so I thought it would be interesting to create a list of the electric cars with the most range (to supplement my list of the quickest electric cars to 60 mph, the most efficient electric cars, and my broader electric car list, which is organized by price).

Of course, as with almost everything, when the idea hit the real world, there was an issue. Rating systems for range in Europe, China, and elsewhere are far more lenient (read:unrealistic) than the US EPA’s rating system. So, this list is only including electric cars on the US market. As it turns out, there are only 11 fully electric cars on the market in the US, so below is a “top 11” list instead of a “top 10” list. So, have a look at this electric car range comparison:

11. Mitsubishi iMiEV = 62 Miles (100 Kilometers)

Masdar-City-Mitsubishi-i-electric-vehicles

If you want cheap, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV is cheap, at $22,995 (or $15,495 after the US federal tax credit and $12,995 after that plus the $2,500 California ZEV rebate). It’s the cheapest EV on the US market (if you don’t count the Renault Twizy, which pops up on eBay from time to time). But it doesn’t offer much other than that compared to its electric competitors. Aside from its market-low range, the i-MiEV takes 13.5 seconds to get to 60 MPH. It does seat four people and has a decent efficiency of 112 MPGe, beating the next car on this list.

10. Smart Electric Drive = 68 Miles (109 Kilometers)

electric smart car

The Smart Electric Drive (ED), with just ~6 miles more of range, is also just a tad more expensive — $25,000, or $19,990 + $80/month battery rental (after the US federal tax credit, $17,500, or $12,490 + $80/month). The Smart ED only seats two, of course. It has an efficiency of 107 MPGe, and gets to 60 MPH in 9.8 seconds.

9. Ford Focus Electric = 76 Miles (122 Kilometers)

Ford-Focus-Electric_03

Jumping 8 miles and about $4,000, the Ford Focus Electric costs $29,170 ($21,670 after the US federal tax credit and $19,170 after that plus the $2,500 California ZEV rebate). It seats five, the best on the list so far, has an efficiency of 105 MPGe, and takes 10.1 seconds to get to 60 MPH.

8. BMW i3 = 81 Miles (130 Kilometers)

BMW i3 and me at Arc de Triompf in Barcelona, Spain.(This image is available for republishing and even modification under a CC BY-SA license, with the key requirement being that credit be given to Zachary Shahan / EV Obsession / CleanTechnica, and that those links not be removed.)

Now we’re getting into some serious sellers. The BMW i3 (which I love) costs much more, $41,350 ($33,850 after the US federal tax credit and $31,350 after that plus the $2,500 California ZEV rebate), but it adds a lot of comfort and comes with a market-leading efficiency of 124 MPGe. It also gets to 60 MPH in 7.1 seconds, which doesn’t compare to the Tesla P85D, but is still a lot of fun. The downside, if you have a lot of fellow travelers, is that it only seats four, but this is on my list of potential vehicles to lease.

7. Chevy Spark EV = 82 Miles (132 Kilometers)

chevy-spark-ev-2

We’re in a game of inches for the next several spots. The Chevy Spark EV lands just one extra mile of range on the i3. It does come in at a much lower price — $27,495 ($19,995 after the US federal tax credit and $17,495 after that plus the $2,500 California ZEV rebate) — but also with less luxury. That said, it does compete with the BMW i3 on acceleration, getting to 60 MPH in 7.2 seconds. And it is right behind it in efficiency, with 119 MPGe (#2 on the US market).

6. VW e-Golf = 83 Miles (134 Kilometers)

volkswagen e-golf limited edition

The Volkswagen e-Golf inches ahead of the Chevy Spark EV, but is considered a better all-around drive. With an extra seat, more comfort, and more advanced tech, the e-Golf has an MSRP of $35,445 ($27,945 after the US federal tax credit and $25,445 after that plus the $2,500 California ZEV rebate). It isn’t nearly as snappy, taking a sluggish 10.4 seconds to get to 60 MPH. It does well in the efficiency category, though, landing 116 MPGe (#3 on the US market). The e-Golf has gotten good reviews, so you might want to give it  a shot if you are in this range of the market (no pun intended).

(tie) 4. Mercedes B-Class Electric = 84 Miles (135 Kilometers)

Mercedes B-Class Electric

#4 is a tie! Not that the 3 miles that separate #4 from #8 make a big difference. The Mercedes B-Class Electric generally competes with the i3. For this side of the story, it beats the i3 by 3 miles. In terms of acceleration, it is a little behind, needing 7.9 seconds (rather than 7.1 seconds) to get to 60 MPH. And it is much less efficient at 84 MPGe. However, it seats five whereas the i3 only seats four. Almost identical to the i3, though, it’s MSRP is $41,450 ($33,950 after the US federal tax credit and $31,450 after that plus the $2,500 California ZEV rebate).

(tie) 4. Nissan LEAF = 84 Miles (135 Kilometers)

Nissan Leafs Barcelona

The much more affordable (and much more popular) Nissan LEAF ties the B-Class Electric in terms of driving range on a full battery, but the similarities basically stop there. The LEAF comes in at a super affordable price of $29,010 ($21,510 after the US federal tax credit and $19,010 after that plus the $2,500 California ZEV rebate). It is #5 in terms of efficiency, with an EPA rating of 114 MPGe. Though, it isn’t Usain Bolt in a sprint, taking 10.2 seconds to get to 60 MPH.

3. Fiat 500e = 87 Miles (140 Kilometers)

fiat 500e

Fiat executives hate on electric vehicles like it’s their job to slow the revolution, but they actually produced a nifty little electric car that a lot of us would love. Aside from coming in at #3 on this list, the Fiat 500e comes in at #4 on the efficiency list (115 MPGe) and #16 on the list of fastest-accelerating EVs (8.7 seconds). Not a bad buy at $32,300 ($24,800 after the US federal tax credit and $22,300 after that plus the $2,500 California ZEV rebate).

2. Kia Soul EV = 93 Miles (150 Kilometers)

2015 Kia Soul EV Price

The relatively new (and young) Kia Soul EV takes #2 by a good margin. It has an efficiency of 105 MPGe, seats five, takes forever 11.8 seconds to get to 60 MPH, and costs a reasonable $33,700 ($26,200 after the US federal tax credit and $22,300 after that plus the $2,500 California ZEV rebate).

1. Tesla Model S = 240 to 286 Miles (386 to 460 Kilometers)

Tesla Model S Green

Technically, there are various Tesla Model S options with different driving ranges. You’ve got the 70D with 240 miles of range, the P85D with 253 miles of range, the P90D with 268 miles of range, the 85D with 270 miles of range, and the 90D with 286 miles of range.

The Model S is of course the best car in the world, and there are various matters to consider when choosing which option to go with. I’ll leave that decision-making to you.






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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.



  • I’m driving a Renault ZOE for almost 1,5 year and I manage to get a weekly range of 140 km, my top range was 187 km in 2:15 hours.

  • Steve

    My UK spec Kia Soul EV does a real world 120 miles on a 100% charge. Does the US version have a different power battery? Mine has a 25kWh charge and in the UK that’s GBP3.75 or USD5.86. A gallon of diesel is at the moment GBP5.18 that’s USD8.08.

  • Jenny Sommer

    Are there company’s in the US that convert cars to electric?
    A small German company can do that with a lot if cars. Here is a Mecedes Vito – 300km/130kmh/full charge 2h, for the price of a ModS.
    http://www.kreiselelectric.com/blog/electric-mercedes-sprinter-mit-300-km-reichweite/

    If they can do that the big manufacturers could also do that on short notice.

  • JeffJL

    Can we get a similar list with the electrical energy efficiency? i.e. kWh/100km.

    • DecksUpMySleeve

      I did a few miles/kWh
      Volt 2.222 miles/kWh
      Tesla Model S 3.117
      Nissan Leaf 3.5
      MiEV 3.875
      Tesla Roadster 70kWh 4.6-4.8
      As a gauge the Tesla Model S hangs around 89mpge and the 2008 Roadster was 119mpge, the 70kWh Roadster probly betters the 124mpge of the BMW but it will probly be the only all electric to do so for a bit (since most are too heavy).
      Zachary should post graphs of such as it’s the true ecologic impact, but this site seems a bit soft on critiquing the Volt.

      • JeffJL

        Thanks DUMS (not the best acronym LOL). Not sure where you got them from but I would query them.

        The Roadster with four times the battery capacity of the iMEV (i.e. a lot heavier) being more efficient (greater miles/kWh)?
        My personal experience with the LEAF gives me 5.2 miles/kWh (yes I do drive it conservatively and I expect the world mileage would be less), and I know from a friend that the iMEV has a much better efficiency than the LEAF.
        Can you tell me where the figures are from please.

        • DecksUpMySleeve

          I used the rated distance and battery size, simple division, did it awhile ago, was pointing out that the Volt get considerably less miles/kWh than the MiEV with the same battery size due to weight. Had to math it out for people to see what should be the efficiency standard. Also was stating at the time as demand winds up and down from demand fossils account for EV demand, coal at .8lb per kWh, etc etc. The answers are easy to find with a little digging, and things are easy enough to weigh cut and dry but more often than not people prefer opinions than math, especially those only in the EV market for luxury and presentation(looking ecological) aka douchebags.
          In the future, Decks or Brent will suffice.

          • JeffJL

            Thanks

  • Bumblebee Hive

    Renault Zoe = 210 km ( 130 miles).

    • It’s not on the US market, and that’s from the European rating system (which is absurd).

      • JeffJL

        Is that a cut and paste answer now Zac? LOL.

  • No way

    Doesn’t China use the european testing cycle to determine EV range? Then it would have been smarter to do it from a european/chinese view since all EV’s are there (minus a couple of extremely limited compliance models not really meant for sale).

    • The main issue I have with that is it’s super unrealistic. (Also, most of our readers, ~60-70%, are in the US.)

      • No way

        Well, it wouldn’t be hard to put EPA numbers when available in brackets. Or just write that real world/EPA is generally xx% lower. I find it much more important that the article is missing out on a number of BEVs.

        And I don’t buy the “most of our readers are in the US”-argument. Then you could stop reporting on other events outside the US too. The readers are international, including the US majority. And if they are not I find it your obligation to help educate them.
        Limiting the information does not help one bit for the US reader to get some awareness on what’s our there.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Perhaps you could get Zach to write an article about EVs that are sold outside the US.

          I find this article highly useful because it tells me the US options. I can’t buy an Indian or Chinese EV.

      • dogphlap dogphlap

        Tesla publishes the European numbers in Australia but I ignore them and only think in terms of EPA since they are more realistic. EPA has a suggested range of 240 miles for the 70D but I convert that to kilometers as that is how road distances are measured here i.e. 384km range for Model S 70D EPA.

    • windbourne

      Not that many EVs sell in china. Right now, it is Europe and America for the sales.

      • Bob_Wallace

        China be boomin’….

        • windbourne

          How odd for you bob.
          The graph came from wiki.
          However, Just below is another pix which shows an electric bus, with this caption:

          “All-electric buses account for a significant share of the Chinese stock of new energy vehicles. Shown a BYD K9 bus in Shenzhen.”

          China’s electric car/trucks sales are NOT booming.
          Just the CHinese gov. subsidizing their EVs to be able to dump on western markets.

          You obviously saw that the graph was a fake by the Chinese gov, and yet, choose to post it.
          I am saddened by that.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I “obviously saw” nothing. You can take that charge and shove it.

            In 2013 China had in-country sales of 14,600 pure electrics and 3,038 plug-in hybrids. Total 17,638.

            http://evobsession.com/china-electric-car-sales-leaders-2013/

            The “phony” graph says 17,642.

            Early data for 2014 sales puts the combined EV/PHEV number at 58,866. That’s 3.3x 2013 sales.

            http://evobsession.com/china-electric-car-sales-estimates-2014/

            29% of the 2014 bar in the graph is electric buses but that does not negate –

            China be boomin’….

          • Bob_Wallace

            Here, I made you a graph showing only EV and PHEV in-country sales in China over the last four years.

            Annual increases:

            2011 to 2012 = 130.6%
            2012 to 2013 = 37.9%
            2013 to 2014 = 233.7%

            Boomin’ ….

      • No way

        Not that many models, no. But a lot of the top selling models are in China. 6 of the top 20 selling EV models are only available in China. And that will be 7 in a month or two when the BYD Tang is getting its numbers up.

        And it’s the country selling the most EVs too, so it’s pretty hard to neglect it.

        • windbourne

          Actually, China is the 3rd largest with sales, and it is a LONG WAYS down. Basically, it is easy to ignore when other nations are much closer to the sales that China offers.

          As to the BYD, they, like pretty much all CHinese made, is junk.
          Have you looked at it or seen the gripes with it?
          Just more junk.
          Heck, even the BYD set-up in America for producing Electric buses is showing that those are junk. The American workers are fighting against CHinese mngmt that wants to cut corners all over.

          • No way

            Nope. It’s number one with about 55k sales for the first half of the year compared to the number two USA with about 54k sales during the same period.
            It’s a long way down to number three that is Norway with ~17k sales.

            So you were saying?

            And your opinion on the quality is irrelevant, it doesn’t change the number of sales. I’m sure you have owned or at least driven a BYD Qin and/or a BYD Tang to make up your very well based opinion. 😉

          • Bob_Wallace

            Can you point me to some studies which show “the BYD” is junk?

  • Rush

    You did not include.. Mahindra Reva and Rimac

    • They aren’t on the US market, and Rimac isn’t really on the market at all.

  • Jenny Sommer

    e-NV200
    170km/106miles range.

  • Joe Viocoe

    Zachary… could you please add, at the end of every entry, the market availability please?

    The Rav4EV isn’t listed anymore because it was a discontinued compliance car. Knowing which of these EVs are limited market compliance cars, is a great indicator of whether we can expect them to be removed from this list next time.
    Thanks.

  • Alexis

    Renault Zoe – 100 miles combined speeds up to 60 mph. Record holder range 143 miles.

    • It’s not on the US market.

      • Martin Tomsik

        The “US market” bit could be ideally mentioned in the title of the article.

  • tibi stibi

    would be nice to add km to the list, for now i multiplied by 1,5 to estimate 😉

    • mike_dyke

      And yet we always seem to talk of 0-60mph and mpge 🙂
      There’s a place for both.

      • tibi stibi

        yes km in brackets behind de miles would be fine 🙂

        • Keanwood

          You crazies in the rest of the world should switch to miles cause America + Freedom!

          Lol
          I always kind of wished we would switch to metric. I like everything being in multiples of 10. So easy and simple.

          • mike_dyke

            It’s actually “cause UK + Freedom!” – America was colonised from the UK which still uses Miles etc and so imposed it’s own system on the new colony (before you got independence). The metric system came from France – our bitter enemy at that time.

            Today, both systems are used – depends on what you’re used to.

            P.S. It’s also the reason the internet is mostly English – we were top dog once – The sun never set on our empire.

          • Ronald Brakels

            As we say in the Antipodes, the sun never sets on the British Empire because god doesn’t trust ’em in the dark.

          • mike_dyke

            Well he must trust us now – We’ve given away USA, Australia and India since that time to local people.

          • Keanwood

            “Given away”

            I have a 239 year old paper that says otherwise.

          • mike_dyke

            It must be worth a pretty penny nowadays – especially if it’s authentic!

            OK, “Given Away” was the wrong term to use. How about “We’ve agreed that the people living in the USA, Australia and India can be independent of the British Empire” ? In some cases we took quite a bit of persuasion before agreeing, but we did finally agree.

          • Keanwood

            “Persuasion”?
            Lol I can agree with that. And just think we turned out to be great friends, it only took us two wars to figure out we like each other more than we like the rest of the world.

          • mike_dyke

            And the technological advances that allow us to keep being friends by allowing ordinary people to talk to each other.

            “There are no strangers here; only friends you haven’t yet met” – Yeats (probably)

    • Sorry, will do. It is our policy to do that.

    • dogphlap dogphlap

      Multiply by 1.6, gives a very close approximation.

      • tibi stibi

        my brain is not that smart, 1.5 is doable 😉

  • Martin

    Cool list, now if only sales would be able to jump by 25 – 100 % per year and then in 5 years or so EV sales may be the same as ICE.
    Would battery production be able to keep up to such increases?

    • Keanwood

      At 25% growth per year it will still take 25 years to get to 100% of sales. And 22 years to get to 50%.

      So they have plenty of time to bring battery factories online.

      • TD1

        If the 84 mile range class develops to reach some range level (150, 200, 250 miles ?) sales can tip in favour of the EV. This tipping point is not expected to take 22 or 25 years. I would be surprised if it does not happen within 10 years, and it may happen sooner than that.

        According to a report from the Nissan CEO the next gen. Leaf (starting 2017 ?) is expected to reach a 249m range.

        The transport and storage markets are very large indeed, and not surprisingly the level of research and development at EV car companies, battery companies, and elsewhere appears to be enormous.

        A very reasonably priced used car market for the Nissan Leaf is also starting. A rapid development of range for the latest model will encourage used car sales. The continued build out of support infrastructure and increased acceptance of EVs will encourage purchasers.

        • Keanwood

          I agree it will be faster. I’m predicting 2017/18 for the first ‘affordable’ long range EV (mod 3/bolt/next gen leaf). And I expect us to hit 50% or more of new sales by 2025 or 2030 at the latest.

        • dogphlap dogphlap

          I’ll be interested to see how range is affected by battery improvements in the future. I suspect that for some town car class vehicles the range will not increase much while the weight and price will fall quite a lot. Tesla may not go much over 400 miles of range, also preferring to just reduce cost and weight while those manufacturers who never developed an equivalent to the SuperCharger network (Mercedes Benz, Jaguar etc) may go for 500-600 mile range batteries. Pure speculation of course.

    • windbourne

      They are increasing at 100% every 1-1.5 years. Iow, it is much faster growth than what you want.
      As it is, they will do around 50k cars this year, and 100k cars for 2016.

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