When the first electric cars hit the market more than a decade ago, most had a maximum driving range that would have only been good enough to get you to the local shops and back.
But such has been the rapid development of batteries and electric motors that most will now be able to drive the full length of the UK with just one recharge en route.
In fact, the electric model on sale in Britain today with the longest full-charge range can cover more than 450 miles before needing to stop for more juice.
Here’s a list of the top 10 longest-range EVs on the market right now, based on their claimed ‘official’ figures.
10. Polestar 2 – 335 miles
Variant: Long Range Single Motor
Volvo spin-off brand Polestar has entered the compact executive market with the Polestar 2. The longest-range version offers up to 335 miles on a single charge
If you’re not well versed in the world of EVs, you might not know the name Polestar. It’s Volvo’s spin-off brand that’s dedicated to building only greener cars.
The Polestar 2 is the only model currently on sale in the UK – and it’s an impressive vehicle.
A rival to the Tesla Model 3, it has executive car looks combined with a modern and tech-packed cabin.
The cheapest version costs from £41,900 and offers 275 miles of range from a 64kW battery.
However, the model that makes it into 10th spot is the 78kW Long Range, which costs an additional £3,000 and has the longest single-charge driving distance in the ‘2’ line-up at 335 miles.
At £43,900, it’s not the most expensive derivative; there is also the option of dual-motor versions that improve performance – its 402bhp setup (221bhp for the single-motor versions) trimming the 0-62mph time from 7.4 seconds to just 4.7 seconds.
However, this energy sapping performance means the range isn’t on par with single-motor Long Range featured here.
ELECTRIC CAR VIDEOS
9. Volkswagen ID.3 – 336 miles
Variant: ID.3 Tour Pro S
VW’s ID.3 is one of the most popular electric cars, with prices starting at the lower-end (though still expensive) of the market. The range-topping Tour Pro S can go for 336 miles on a charge
The ID.3 is Volkswagen’s first dedicated electric model – one built from the ground up exclusively featuring a battery and electric motor.
And it’s proved a huge hit across Europe and in the UK, where it is one of the most popular new EV models across the continent.
The cheapest version is the ID.3 Life Pure Performance, which costs £29,635 and has a 45kW battery offering up to 217 miles from a full charge.
However, move up to the most expensive variant in the ID.3 line-up and you’re rewarded with an additional 119 miles of driving distance between charges.
The £38,815 Tour Pro S has a 77kW battery that provides claimed range of 336 miles and a 0-62mph sprint time of 7.9 seconds – that’s not bad for a Golf-sized family hatchback.
Buyers can find a happy medium with the option of variants with a 58kW battery, which have a range of 263 miles.
8. Tesla Model X – 360 miles
Variant: Long Range
Tesla has promised a range of up to 360 miles from the upgraded Model X Long Range that’s due shortly
Tesla is the global leader in terms of electric vehicle sales, and it is their car’s mega ranges that are one of the biggest reasons behind the brand’s success.
Its biggest car is the Model X, which is one of the few electric vehicles with seven seats. It also has ‘Falcon-wing’ door, which are unique to the hulking Elon Musk creation.
Having been produced since 2015, Tesla recently announced it will receive a major upgrade to keep up with the expanding competition.
No exact details have been released – or prices for the UK market – but the US brand promises the ‘Long Range’ version will be capable of covering 360 miles between charges.
As it stands, the Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive model currently available to order has a quote range of 348 miles along with a 0–60mph time of 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 155mph while the flagship Model X Plaid has a slightly lesser 333-mile range but improved performance of 0–60mph in 2.5 seconds and a top speed of 163mph.
7. BMW i4 – 365 miles
Variant: i4 eDrive40
BMW’s electric executive saloon, the i4, offers enough range for any rep to get up and down the country each day without worrying about needing to recharge
BMW is one of the brands that has been upping its electric car game in the last few months, bringing to market a range of plug-in saloons and SUVs.
One of the most impressive is the i4 – the electric saloon alternative to a 3 Series.
It’s the entry-spec eDrive40 model that offers the longest range.
It uses an 81kWh battery pack that provides enough power to keep the car going for a claimed 365 miles.
It is combined with a single electric motor powering the rear wheels that produces 335bhp and is good enough to propel the leccy-exec to 62mph in a mere 5.7 seconds and onto a top speed of 118mph.
If you thought that was impressive, wait until you see the performance stats of the hot M50 model. It accelerates from 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds – though it means the range falls to just 258 miles.
It’s also over £10,000 pricier than the eDrive40.
6. Tesla Model 3 – 374 miles
Variant: Long Range
With the pound weak against the dollar, Tesla prices are going into overdrive. The Long Range Model 3 offers 374 miles of range on a single charge – but will set buyers back
The Model 3 is the model that’s made Tesla available to more drivers as its most affordable vehicle – though at almost £50,000, the entry version is still very expensive.
It has proved so popular that the Model 3 became the second best-selling passenger car of 2021, with only the Vauxhall Corsa sold in higher numbers.
Tesla is forever updating its prices, and with the pound extremely weak against the dollar at the moment, the Model 3 is no longer considered that attainable.
At the time of publishing, the cheapest example is a staggering £48,490 and offers a maximum range of 278 miles, a 0–60mph time of 5.3 seconds and a top speed of 140mph.
However, this isn’t the one with the longest range.
That goes to the – appropriately named – ‘Long Range’ Model 3, which offers 374 miles of single-charge driving along with a 0-60mph time of 4.2 seconds and top speed of 145mph.
The current price? A whopping £57,490.
5. Ford Mustang Mach-E – 379 miles
Variant: Extended Range
This isn’t like the Mustang we’ve known for over half a century: the Mach-E is a fully-electric SUV with a mightily impressive single charge range
When you hear the words ‘Ford Mustang’ you instantly think of big American muscle fastbacks and convertibles with roaring V8 engines. But the Mach-E couldn’t be more different.
It’s not only a fully-electric model but also an SUV, which begs the question to why Ford graced it with the brand’s most iconic nameplate.
Away from the controversy of its name, the Mustang Mach-E is a seriously impressive performer.
Prices start from £47,530 in the UK, which will provide a combination of a 70kWh battery pack and a single electric motor which offer a maximum range of 273 miles.
However, for those wanting to prolong the distance between recharges, there’s a version with a larger 91kWh battery.
Paired with the same electric motor powering the rear wheels, it drags the range up to 379 miles – though for an extra £4,500 or so.
For added acceleration, Ford also offers an all-wheel-drive version of the Mach-E, which is pricier again at £61,480.
With an extra motor on the front axle, it limits the 91kW battery’s range to just 335 miles.
4. BMW iX – 380 miles
Variant: xDrive50 Sport
Look past the questionable new grille design and the BMW iX is an impressive EV, offering up to 380 miles of driving range on a single charge. But with a price in excess of £90k, most won’t be able to afford one
The second BMW to make it into this list is the iX SUV – the brand’s current flagship model.
The – obvious – biggest talking point is its debatable looks, with many customers turning their noses up at the enormous new grille design that’s being incorporated across the German giant’s range.
However, this shouldn’t overshadow the car’s impressive battery performance, which is mighty for such a tank of a motor.
At over £90,000, this isn’t a cheap car. But the xDrive50 model’s duo of electric motors combined with a 106.3kW battery means it has a combined output of 516bhp, a 0–62mph time of 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 124mph.
More importantly, the full-charge range is 380 miles.
Hopefully this tech will soon be passed down to other electrified BMW models that are priced towards the lower end of the market.
3. Tesla Model S – 405 miles
Variant: Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive
The Tesla Model S has been around for 10 years, but the latest updates mean it is still at the front of the pack when it comes to driving ranges – though prices are steep
The Tesla Model S has been at the front of the electric vehicle field for a decade now, and the latest versions offer ranges that are keeping it a the front of the pack.
More upgrades are on their way for later this year – though not likely until 2023 given the delay in deliveries of all new cars – that Tesla says will deliver impressive ranges on a fully charge.
The new ‘entry’ version – the Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive – is preliminarily quotes as being able to go for 405 miles before it needs to be plugged into a charging point.
As well as a range in excess of 400 miles, this variant will accelerate from standstill to 60mph in 3.1 seconds and to a top speed of 155mph.
However, expect UK price to be steep, especially with current poor value of the pounds against the dollar.
And if you’re happy spending six-figure-sums of an EV, there’s also the high-performance Model S Plaid.
US economy figures say it will do 396 miles between charges, though European cycles traditionally suggest it will go for longer and improves performance figures: 0-60mph in 1.99 seconds and a top speed of [gulp!] 200mph.
There had also been plans for an ever longer-range Model S Plaid+ quotes as being able to cover 520 miles between charges, but this has since been omitted from the Tesla website.
2. Mercedes-EQE – 410 miles
If you want a mid-size executive electric car with a decent range, look no further than Mercedes’ new EQE
Mercedes has recently started a phase of introducing electrified versions of its most notable nameplates under the EQ banner.
The latest luxury saloon to get the EV treatment is the E-Class, which takes the name EQE in battery guise.
It is built on the same EVA2 platform as other electric Mercs, with this particular model – the EQE250+ – featuring a massive 90kW battery.
This, linked to a single electric motor on the rear axle with 288bhp of power means a range of up to 410 miles – though it is still pending full economy teat cycle verification.
Like most of the cars in this list, it has compatibility with the nation’s fastest rapid charging devices. meaning a driver can boost the battery from 10 per cent charge to 80 per cent capacity in around half an hour – meaning a lot of range from just a short duration being plugged in.
1. Mercedes-EQS – 453 miles
Variant: EQS 450+
With a range of up to 453 miles, the £100,000+ Mercedes EQS is currently the EV with the longest driving distance on a single charge
At the top of the rankings with the longest driving range is Mercedes’ flagship EQ model – the EQS saloon, which is absolutely jam-packed with technology and the latest driver assistance features.
An electrified version of the S-Class limo, the long wheelbase means there plenty of room under the floor for a big battery pack.
And underpinning the EQS450+ is a massive 107.8kW battery – the largest on sale right now.
It’s enough to provide up to 453 miles of range, granted you’re driving efficiently and not pushing the throttle deep into the carpet too often.
However, if distance isn’t a concern and you want to push the EQS at pace, it will hit 62mph from a standing start in just 6.2 seconds, though the top speed is electronically limited to 130mph as to not zap the battery of energy too quickly.
While the EQS is the market leader for single-charge driving distance, it’s at the priciest end of the market, with buyers having to fork out over £100,000 for the luxurious EV.
Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.