Range anxiety – the fear of not making it to your destination without recharging – is a big concern for those buying an electric vehicle (EV). We’ve done the research and ranked all battery EVs currently on sale in order of range when fully charged.
It’s important to note that we are listing purely battery-powered vehicles here, so plug-in hybrids are not included. The range estimates are from New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) testing. These are the same tests used to produce mpg and CO2 emission figures for combustion-engined cars, and there is debate about their real-world accuracy. However, NEDC figures do serve as a level playing field for comparing the range of EVs. Prices quoted include government EV grants where relevant.
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Renault Twizy – NEDC range: 62 miles
Is it a car? Well, no, technically the Renault Twizy is classed as a quadricycle, meaning it has to conform to limits on weight and power. Fitted with a 13kW (17hp) motor driving the rear wheels, the Twizy is capable of just 50mph. But being designed for city use suits it just fine, as does an NEDC range of 62 miles. Prices are also low, starting at £6,995, plus compulsory battery rental.
Mahindra e2o – NEDC range: 79 miles
Remember the G-Wiz? At one point it was the best-selling electric car in the UK, and this is its successor. Built in India by the Mahindra Group, the e2o is aimed squarely at urban use. A lithium-ion battery takes nine hours to charge from a domestic socket, but just 90 minutes from rapid charger. Prices start at £12,995, and there’s even a ‘boost mode’ for extra performance from the 31kW motor.
Citroen C-Zero – NEDC range: 93 miles
Essentially a rebadged version of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV – a car no longer sold in the UK – the C-Zero ups the power stakes to 49kW (67hp). The rear-mounted motor drives the back wheels, and is claimed to be capable of pushing the C-Zero to an 80mph top speed. Driving like that won’t help the 93-mile range, though. It does also neatly undercut the e2o, with an asking price of £12,495.
Peugeot iOn – NEDC range: 93 miles
Identical to the C-Zero in looks and powertrain, the Peugeot iOn also matches its 93-mile NEDC range. Similarly, it takes nine hours to charge from a domestic plug socket, but can be topped up to 50% capacity in just 15 minutes when connected to a rapid charger. Despite its likeness to the C-Zero, the iOn costs more, at £15,995 – big money for a car that has made only a small impact on the UK electric car market.
Volkswagen e-Up – NEDC range: 99 miles
Although Volkswagen is now fully embracing EV models, until very recently it chose to base electric cars on existing models. Out goes the regular petrol engine from the Up, and in comes a 60kW (82hp) electric motor powering the front wheels. Rapid charging will fill the 18.7kWh battery in just 30 minutes, and the e-Up enjoys a range of standard kit including parking sensors, cruise control and DAB radio. But, with a price of £20,780, this is a very expensive city car.
Nissan e-NV200 Combi – NEDC range: 106 miles
Ignore the fact it looks like a van, and that it even comes in van form. Nissan wants you to think of the e-NV200 Combi as an electric-powered people carrier. An ‘EVMPV’, if you will. With sliding rear doors, and seats for up to seven, it’s certainly one of the more practical ways to experience battery propulsion. The 0-62mph dash takes 14 seconds and top speed is just 76mph, but we doubt this is high on the list of priorities for any buyer – unlike the £24,407 list price.
Volkswagen e-Golf – NEDC range: 118 miles
It might look like a Golf but, as with the e-Up, this is anything but normal VW underneath. There’s an 85kW (115hp) electric motor driving the front wheels, which makes the e-Golf capable of 0-62mph in mildly-to-warm 10.4 seconds. The 199lb ft of torque also helps acceleration feel brisk, even if top speed is only 87mph. An NEDC range of 118 miles is hardly impressive, and nor is a price which starts at £27,180. But remember, this is just the start for VW and electric cars.
Nissan Leaf 24kWh – NEDC range: 124 miles
The Leaf is built in Britain at Nissan’s factory in Sunderland, and also happens to be one of the most popular electric cars in the UK. It’s offered with a choice of two lithium-ion battery packs, both powering an 80kW electric motor. The cheaper, smaller capacity 24kWH version has a theoretical range of 124 miles and is priced from £21,680 for basic Visia specification.
Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive – NEDC range: 124 miles
Like Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz sees the future as electric, and this B-Class is the brand’s first major foray into the EV market. At £28,735, it isn’t cheap, but does feature a 139kW motor (179hp) that offers a rapid 7.9-second 0-62mph dash. Yet it still retains a NEDC range of 124 miles, courtesy of a 24kWh battery. It’s also the car given to the Leicester City players who took the club to Premiership victory in 2016. There’s no word on whether they’ve now had to return them after their performance this season…
Kia Soul EV – NEDC range: 132 miles
The Soul is a fairly unique looking vehicle to begin with, so Kia making it electric probably shouldn’t seem surprising. More startling is the price tag of £24,995. That represents a jump of more than £2,000 from the most expensive petrol-engined Soul, and makes this a direct competitor to premium rivals like the B-Class and e-Golf. Notably, the EV still comes with a seven-year/100,000-mile warranty like any other Kia model, which is a big deal in the EV world.
Ford Focus Electric – NEDC range: 139 miles
Recently updated to match the specification of the battery-powered Focus sold in the USA, the European version now has extended range and rapid-charger compatibility. A NEDC total of 139 miles comes courtesy of a 33.5kWh battery, while the 107kW motor can notch up 0-62mph in 11.4 seconds. With only a smoothed front bumper giving the game away, the electric Focus also manages to look virtually identical to its fossil-fuelled brethren. Where it does differ is on price. At £27,180, it’s more expensive than a Focus ST.
Renault Zoe 22kWh – NEDC range: 149 miles
Like the Nissan Leaf, Renault offers the popular Zoe with a choice of lithium-ion battery packs. The entry-level 22kWh battery option, combined with the R90 69kW engine, offers a maximum NEDC range of 149 miles. It’s notably cheaper than the rest of the Zoe range, and priced from £13,995 should you be happy to pay a monthly rental fee for the battery. Alternatively, it can be bought outright from £18,995.
Morgan EV3 – NEDC range: 150 miles
We might still be waiting on a finalised production version of this battery-powered Morgan 3 Wheeler, but it’s too cool not to include on this list. Morgan claims the EV3 will have a range of 150 miles, along with the ability to hit 62mph in nine seconds and a top speed of 90mph. With an planned weight of less than 500kg, and packing a 20kWh battery, those figures seem fully believable.
Nissan Leaf 30kWh – NEDC range: 155 miles
Add an extra 6kWh of battery capacity to the Nissan Leaf and you gain an additional 21 miles in NEDC range capability. Equivalent to an average UK daily commute to work and back, that extra distance comes at a cost of £25,790 for the Acenta specification Leaf. That represents a £1,600 premium over the equivalent 24kWh battery version, which could be good value if you’ll routinely make longer journeys. The 30kWh version is also available in Black Edition trim as pictured, should you want to make your EV look slightly sinister.
Hyundai Ioniq Electric – NEDC range: 174 miles
The Ioniq isn’t just one model. No, Hyundai has taken the path of building three versions of the same car: hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery EV. With an 88kW (120hp) motor, the Ioniq is one of the more powerful EVs on this list, and one of the few with a top speed exceeding 100mph – admittedly by just 3mph. It also features a Sport Mode, which drops the 0-62mph time to 9.9 seconds when engaged. Keenly priced at £24,495, the Ioniq shows the benefits of designing an EV from the start, rather than converting a conventionally-powered model.
BMW i3 94Ah – NEDC range: 195 miles
If you want a motorsport-style carbon-fibre chassis, rear-wheel-drive and 19-inch alloy wheels, an electric car might not be your first choice. But those features are exactly what the BMW i3 offers, along with an NEDC range of 195 miles with the recently revised 94Ah (33kWh) battery pack. You’ll also get 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds, funky ‘suicide’ rear doors, and the benefit of a premium badge. Such accoutrements cost money, though. List prices start from £27,880.
Renault Zoe Q90 ZE 40 – NEDC range: 230 miles
As we reach the final few cars on our list, many of the EVs here are variations of a specific model. Take this Zoe, for instance. Fitted with the larger ZE 40 battery, and combined with the Q90 quick-charge motor, the Zoe can be charged from 0-80% in just 65 minutes via an appropriate charging station. This makes it suited to those who frequent motorway services with rapid-charge facilities, as overall range is compromised slightly by the £750 Q90 option.
Renault Zoe R90 ZE 40 – NEDC Range 250 miles
That means if you want ultimate range from your Zoe, you need to avoid ticking the box for rapid charging and stick with the regular R90 electric motor. The 41kWh battery offers up a NEDC range of 250 miles, but does take a whopping 15 hours to charge via a standard domestic plug socket. Lease your battery and you’ll pay £17,845, plus the accompanying rental fee, while the cost of buying outright starts from £23,445 for Dynamique Nav specification.
Tesla Model X 90D – NEDC range: 303 miles
In the EV world, Tesla is king when it comes to range on a single charge. Designed around a chassis intended to keep the weighty battery cells low down in the car, the Model X SUV comes with a variety of powertrain options. The 90D features a 90kWh battery pack, linked to two 193kW motors – one for each axle – resulting in an AWD layout. Performance is suitably rapid, with 0-60mph in 4.8 seconds and a 155mph top speed – which might help justify the £89,680 price tag.
Tesla Model X P100D – NEDC range: 336 miles
If you really need to make six passengers vomit profusely, but with the guilt-free feeling of using electric power, the Model X P100D is what you need. The ‘P’ stands for performance, and means a 100kWh battery pack mated to uprated electric motors. The result is a range of 336 miles, but a 0-60mph time of 2.9 seconds is the bigger party trick for this £129,200 SUV.
Tesla Model S P100D ‘Ludicrous’ – NEDC Range 381 miles
Add the same powertrain from the Model X P100D into the Model S liftback, and the outcome is the one of the fastest accelerating cars on the planet. With the wonderfully-titled ‘Ludicrous Mode’ selected, the P100D will blast to 60mph in just 2.5 seconds. That’s possibly worth the £129,780 price alone. Yet, thanks to that 100kWh battery pack, it records a NEDC range of up to 381 miles.
Tesla Model S 100D Dual Motor AWD – NEDC range: 393 miles
Forgo the need to get ludicrous with your Model S and you can save £41,900, and gain an additional 12 miles in NEDC range. The long-distance EV still achieves supercar-rivalling performance and, at present, offers the furthest you can go in an EV on a single charge. As with all the cars featured here, remember the NEDC range is purely for comparison purposes. Real-world figures will vary due to weather, driving style, and traffic conditions.