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Published on December 24th, 2017 | by Zachary Shahan

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The 10 Electric Cars With Most Driving Range

December 24th, 2017 by  


Originally published on EV Obsession.

A lot has changed since I first compiled a list of the 11 electric cars with the most range. Most of those cars no longer make the list. Furthermore, there are a handful of affordable electric cars that have jumped into the high-range bracket. Have a look below (and compare to that 2015 list) for more details.

Notably, this list is for electric cars (including SUVs, of course) in the US and Europe. It doesn’t cover electric cars sold only in China or any other countries. When the model has more than one option regarding battery size (and thus range), the ranking is based on the highest possible electric range.

10. Kia Soul EV
111 miles (179 km)

The Kia Soul EV is one of the most interesting electric cars on the market. It doesn’t fit the typical mold of a sedan or hatchback. It’s SUV-like, but certainly isn’t an SUV. It has a hip look. (Or am I out of touch with what hip means?) The Soul EV has ample interior space but is still not a very large vehicle and comes at a rather affordable price.

I’d say 111 miles of range is all you’d need for practically all city driving (unless you’re a Lyft driver), but the vehicle could still be tough to take on a long road trip (for example, across a continent or up & down the US East or West Coast).

For more information, I highly recommend Kyle Field’s in-depth review and this write-up from EV sales guru Jose Pontes after buying a Kia Soul EV.

9. BMW i3
81 miles (130 km) or 114 miles (183 km)

The BMW i3 is still perhaps my favorite city car. (Though, yeah, the Tesla Model 3 may overtake it soon.) The handling, visibility, interior comfort, cool design (inside and out), and — of course — awesome acceleration all make it a wonderful car.

If you get the i3 with 114 miles of range, that should presumably cover all but road trips. Using the CCS standard for fast charging, road tripping with the i3 could be quite the challenge adventure in many regions. Don’t want to stretch it? Look further down the list or get the BMW i3 REx (which I initially thought was a half-effort but now think is brilliant).

For a deeper look into the i3, check out my webinar discussion with one owner and two other i3 enthusiasts, my first review, my second review, Kyle Field’s review, or a road trip review from Jose Pontes.

8. Hyundai IONIQ Electric
124 miles (200 km)

The Hyundai IONIQ Electric has been a surprise hit of 2017. It’s been well loved, well reviewed, and often pitted against the leaders in the industry due to its overall competitiveness. The mix of decent range (124 miles), record “fuel efficiency,” good but normal looks, a quality interior, and Hyundai’s increasingly positive reputation make it one of the best buys of 2017 and, soon, 2018.

 The 124 miles of range and record fuel efficiency come from superb aerodynamics that Hyundai somehow hid within a very normal looking design.

For much more info, check out news on the IONIQ ElectricKyle Field’s extensive review, this video comparison of the IONIQ Electric and IONIQ Hybrid, and Derek Markham’s IONIQ review.

7. Volkswagen e-Golf
125 miles (201 km)

The e-Golf is another normal-looking fan favorite that is, unfortunately, not nearly as available as many customers would like. Once upon a time, 125 miles would have been a stunning range for an affordable electric car, but it just puts this model at #7 today. Still, as noted above, it’s enough to do probably all of your city driving without losing a bead of sweat — probably 97% or so of all driving.

Is it a stunning and breakthrough vehicle? No, it’s a Golf.

Here’s an in-depth video review that is worth checking out if you are at all curious about the car.

6. Nissan LEAF
Up to 150 miles (240 km) … for now

The best selling electric car in history, Nissan has stepped up its offering a notch for its second generation. The new LEAF offers a notable (though, less than expected) 150 miles of range. Frankly, that’s all I’d need unless I was going on a long road trip. But the other big bottleneck for long road trips is charging speed. The LEAF’s CHAdeMO fast charging is okay, but it’s superfast charging that makes the difference.  Right now, you have to get option #1, #2, or #3 on this list if you want a car with that option.

The first Nissan LEAF is highly loved by its owners, so I imagine it will be the same for second-gen LEAF owners. It’s a great all-around car, with good space, modern comforts, attractive design, and (new-to-2018) PROPilot (which is Nissan’s version of Autopilot). PROPilot is one of the most advanced autonomous driving suites on the planet, and Nissan is also apparently offering the most advanced regenerative braking with the 2018 LEAF (as an option).

While we don’t yet have a review of the 2018 LEAF to share, we have been conducting a long-term review of a 2015 Nissan LEAF.

5. Renault ZOE (Only Europe)
185 miles (300 km) … maybe

We don’t have a US EPA rating for Renault ZOE range, but the real-world range is reportedly 185 miles for the car. Like the three cars immediately above, the ZOE is widely seen as a solid, high-value-for-dollar (er, euro), attractive, comfortable car that offers an all-around competitive package for the price. It’s a bit smaller than the LEAF, but also more affordable. These features have made it the top-selling electric car in Europe.

Check out my old review of the Renault ZOE for more.

4. Chevy Bolt (Only USA Right Now)
238 miles (383 km)

The Chevy Bolt was the first “affordable” long-range electric car to hit the US market, offering a higher-than-expected 238 miles of range — and that’s the base trim. Well, there are no higher-range trims, but 238 miles should be enough for most applications … even though 238 miles and a lack of superfast charging do still make long road trips more of a pioneering activity than a convenient way to go.

The Bolt has received wide acclaim — everything from the 2017 Motor Trend Car of the Year to the 2017 CleanTechnica Car of the Year. We love the car. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 Kyle Field’s review of the Bolt for more info. And we’re not surprised to see the Bolt at the top of the US electric car sales chart. Over 200 miles of range seems to be a huge booster for an electric car’s sales.

3. Tesla Model X
237 miles (381 km), 289 miles (465), or 295 miles (475 km)

Best passenger vehicle on the planet (other than a high-speed train)? That would be the Model X in my book. It’s not as much of a “driver’s car” as the Model S, but it’s a much better passenger car and the supersplendulous windshield certainly tips it over the edge for me, not to mention the super convenient and cool falcon-wing doors. And, yeah, the X is the quickest SUV on the planet and smokes most cars known for their acceleration.

Check out my review of the Model X here and Kyle’s review of the Model X here.

2. Tesla Model 3 (Only USA Right Now)
220 miles (354 km) or 310 miles (499 km)

With approximately 500,000 reservations, the Tesla Model 3 is not just the most anticipated car in history — it may well be the most anticipated product in history. It’s a core reason a lot of large automakers now have huge electric car plans and programs. Its combination of long range, Supercharging, advanced tech (like Autopilot), insane acceleration, wicked driving quality, beautiful design, and a somewhat affordable price tag are just the super combo that you need to pull in ~$500,000,000 of zero-interest reservation cash.

Yes, I have two reservations.

1. Tesla Model S
259 miles (417 km), 315 miles (507 km), or 335 miles (539 km)

I think #1 comes as no surprise. The first electric car to bring long range to the “mass market,” the Tesla Model S still holds the record for available range on a single charge among production cars. Yes, the long-range Tesla Semi will have more range, but it’s not really for this list and won’t be available till 2019 (or later) anyway.

We have a Model S 85D in the stable (due to a Tesla city-to-city transport startup I co-founded) and I’ve driven the car from Poland to Paris and back quite conveniently. The trip was a bit longer than it would have been in a gasoline or diesel car, but I’d honestly say it was more comfortable, less stressful, and far more enjoyable in the Tesla. As far as navigation and charging, it was easy as Sunday morning — I put the Paris hotel address in the navigation and Tesla routed us there, telling us when, where, and for how long to charge.

Check out our long-term review of the Tesla Model S for a much deeper dive into this car.

Check out other electric cars and sort by range here.

Want to see the list above in shorter and easier to scan format? Here you go, the electric cars with the most electric range (in the US and Europe):

  1. Tesla Model S — 259 miles (417 km), 315 miles (507 km), or 335 miles (539 km)
  2. Tesla Model X — 237 miles (381 km), 289 miles (465), or 295 miles (475 km)
  3. Tesla Model 3 — 220 miles (354 km) or 310 miles (499 km)
  4. Chevy Bolt — 238 miles (383 km)
  5. Renault ZOE (Only Europe) — 185 miles (300 km) … maybe
  6. Nissan LEAF — 150 miles (240 km) … for now
  7. Volkswagen e-Golf — 125 miles (201 km)
  8. Hyundai IONIQ Electric — 124 miles (200 km)
  9. BMW i3 — 81 miles (130 km) or 114 miles (183 km)
  10. Kia Soul EV — 111 miles (179 km)

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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species). He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, 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.



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