The benefits of electric vehicles (EV) are well documented, but they can be fickle and unpredictable when it comes to precisely how far you can go in them.

Various factors affect the number of miles possible in a fully-charged EV, such as temperature, road surface and driver behaviour, which isn’t any different to a petrol or diesel car. However, running out of juice in an EV is a much trickier situation due to the fact that the electric equivalent of a jerry can doesn’t really exist.

We recently did a rundown of the best and worst EVs for mile range, based on lab-like NEDC tests. But WhatCar? has taken it upon themselves to assess every pure-electric car on the market and find out exactly how far today’s EVs can go and the true cost of electric motoring.

1st Place: 64kWh Hyundai’s Kona Electric

Hyundai’s Kona Electric 1

Topping the ‘real range’ list is Hyundai’s Kona Electric 64kWh, with 259 miles.

2nd Place: Kia e-Niro & Jaguar I-Pace

The Kia e-Niro is in joint-second place with the Jaguar I-Pace with 253 miles.

All-new Kia e-Niro 4

Jaguar I-Pace

3rd Place: Tesla Model S 75D

After 2nd place, it was the Tesla Model S 75D with 204 miles.

tesla model s

4th Place: 39kWh Hyundai Kona

At fourth place is the 39kWh version of the Hyundai Kona with 158 miles.

Hyundai’s Kona Electric 1

5th Place: ForTwo EQ

Coming fifth is one of two electric Smart cars – the ForFour EQ with 59 miles.

Smart ForTwo 6

6th Place: ForFour EQ

And right at the bottom was the other electric Smart car – the ForTwo EQ with 57 miles.

Smart ForFour EQ 5

Running Costs


In terms of running costs, the Hyundai Ioniq Electric came out on top, costing £0.030 per mile, despite a real world range of 117 miles. Not far behind it was the Kona again, with both the 39kWh and 64kWh versions costing £0.033 per mile.

The most expensive EV to run was deemed to be the Tesla Model S 75D, at £0.049 per mile.

How mile range was tested

At the start of the test, the car’s battery was fully depleted and recharged via a smart charging cable with a built-in meter, so the testers know the size of the battery. The car was then soaked overnight in an air-conditioned garage.

Why EVs Aren't The Future 2

The actual driving was done at the WhatCar? test track to avoid the effect of traffic conditions on results. Each car followed a route that simulated a mix of town, A-road and motorway driving.

Test cars were driven with the lights on, climate control set to 22 degrees and when the temperature outside was between 10 and 15 degrees

Finally, the car was recharged using the smart cable so that the amount of energy expended could be measured and the Real Range extrapolated.

WhatCar? editor Steve Huntingford said: “One of the few remaining concerns for people considering an EV is range anxiety – the fear that their battery will run flat and leave them stranded. Our tests give them the information they need to choose the right car for their needs.”

Is range anxiety one of the concerns putting you off buying an EV? Let us know down in the comments.

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