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10 best electric cars for range: which is miles better?

A plug is seen coming from the Chevrolet Volt electric car during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit...A plug is seen coming from the Chevrolet Volt electric car during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan January 13
Charged atmosphere: the limited range of electric cars is often cited as a deterrent to purchase Credit: MARK BLINCH/Reuters

Going electric is becoming more and more of a mainstream move for car buyers today – but that doesn’t mean everyone is convinced. In fact, plenty of buyers are still put off by range anxiety: the prospect of the vehicle not being able to travel as far on a single charge as they need it to.

But the latest wave of electric cars (EVs) are capable of some very respectable ranges – the sort that mean you can do a week’s commute on a charge, and still have enough left for a day out at the weekend. 

Cars such as these, which will need charging less often, could be an answer to the prayers of those who have an electric car but don’t have a driveway on which to charge them. And for those who do, they mean destinations further afield are within easier reach – and that presents the possibility of an EV as a sole car in the household. 

So what are the longest-range electric cars on sale today? We’ve found the 10 best, and ranked them in order of their official WLTP (World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure) range. In time-honoured fashion, we’ll count down the top 10 before arriving at the longest-distance electric car you can buy.

10. Volvo XC40 – 249 miles

The electric version of Volvo’s excellent XC40, called the P8 Recharge, is due in the UK toward the end of 2020, but Volvo has already revealed that it will have a WLTP range of ‘at least 249 miles’. Estimates place the price at around £50,000 – not cheap, but if the electric XC40 stays true to all of the facets that make its petrol- and diesel-powered stablemates so good, it’s likely to be a very desirable electric car, even at that price.

9. Mercedes EQC – 259 miles  

“The flawed EQC turns out much nicer than it should be: comfortable, practical, good to drive and with a terrific cabin.” So spake Andrew English in his review of Mercedes’s great white electric hope. As a way to go electric with comfort and space to spare, then, the EQC is a strong contender – and while its styling isn’t exactly outlandish, some of Mercedes’s more conservative buyers might just see that as a boon. 

7=. Porsche Taycan – 279 miles

You’ll have to fork out an eye-watering £116,000 for the Turbo version of the Taycan to get this sort of range – but if that’s too rich for your blood, the 252-mile 4S can be yours for a ‘mere’ £83,000. Either way, the Taycan is astonishingly fast and incredibly grippy, even if it doesn’t quite deliver the sort of incisive driving experience we’re used to from conventionally-powered Porsches. 

7=. Hyundai Kona – 279 miles

With a range equal to that of the longest-legged Taycan, the £35,000 price of the Kona Electric looks like a snip. And indeed, the Kona is one of the electric car bargains of the moment, offering one of the most impressive electric ranges around for a relatively affordable price. The catch? Availability is extremely limited; with so much power on tap, the Kona’s a bit of a handful to drive, too. But if you can get hold of one, it’s a very tempting electric car. 

6. Kia Soul EV –  280 miles

We’ve yet to drive the latest version of the Soul EV, but Kia’s form with electric cars suggests it’s going to be pretty special. And with a 280-mile range – almost as much as that of its bigger brother, the E-Niro, with which it shares its powertrain – it should go plenty far enough for most electric car owners. What’s more, while the Soul EV’s price hasn’t yet been confirmed, it might just come in below the £30,000 mark, after the Government grant is taken into account – which will be enough to make it something of an EV bargain. 

5. Kia E-Niro – 282 miles 

The E-Niro is one of our favourite electric cars at the moment, offering a deeply impressive range combined with all the space and practicality a family car needs. It also happens to be manageably sized, and it’s a very pleasant car to drive, with a comfortable ride and well-controlled wind and road noise. However, the problem you might have is getting hold of one: the demand has been so high that Kia was unable to satisfy the initial demand but a Kia spokesman says that the backlog should be cleared by mid-2020.

4. Jaguar I-Pace – 292 miles

It should come as no surprise that the Jaguar I-Pace has won so many awards – among them the World, European and UK Car of the Year accolades. It’s one of the best electric cars on sale today, combining a huge range with a delightful interior, plenty of space and excellent driving dynamics. What’s more, it’s one of the most stylish and appealing electric cars to look at – and it’s even reasonable value, costing £61,000. 

3. Tesla Model X – 314 miles

In its longest-range variant, Tesla’s SUV-cum-MPV costs a heady £83,000 – but for that, you get seven seats, a vast amount of space and astonishing performance. Not to mention the Model X’s party trick – its fancy ‘falcon doors’, which open up and outward so that they’re more usable in a car park. Of course, the Model X comes with all the advantages of other Teslas, including over-the-air upgrades and advanced semi-autonomous driving; quality, however, remains questionable. 

2. Tesla Model 3 – 348 miles

You can pick up a Model 3 for just £38,500 – though to get the longest-range variant you’ll need to fork out £47,000 instead. Still, compared with some of the other options here, the Model X looks like great value – and with a rather lovely, minimalist interior and much-boosted quality compared with other Teslas, it’s an extremely strong electric contender.

1. Tesla Model S – 379 miles
And the winner is...

The car that established Tesla’s reputation, the Model S is now a little long in the tooth although it’s ageing gracefully, and with constant improvements and upgrades available over the air, Tesla contends it’s still as cutting-edge as ever. Certainly, no car on sale in the UK can match the 379-mile range of the Long Range version, which will set you back £78,000; with sensational performance, a spacious interior and four-wheel drive, it certainly isn’t hard to make the case for the Model S, despite its age. 

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