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How Far Can You go in an Electric Car?

How far can you go? 🤔 That's the question lots of drivers interested in buying an electric car ask. Electric models are now more common in the motor market, but there's still some uncertainty with many over just how much mileage you get with a charge. After all, the last thing you want is to be halfway down a motorway, and the battery dies – otherwise known as "range anxiety".

If you've got questions about electric cars and their capabilities, you've come to the right place. We're looking at how far an electric car can go in this guide.

Real-world versus official range

When you buy a new laptop, it's not uncommon to see one of the shiny back-of-the-box selling points focus on its 10-hour battery life. But when it comes to using it, with multiple browsers and programs open, you get something more akin to six or seven hours. 

It's kind of the same with eclectic cars–the official range is the manufacturer's suggestion about how far their car can go on a full battery charge. They usually conclude the millage after working out the details in a lab, considering different factors in the process. 

The result is a fairly accurate estimate, but it is just that – an estimate.

On the other hand, the real-world range provides a more accurate description of what sort of mileage you can expect to get with your electric car. It's affected by factors such as the speed you drive at, the weather, if you're going uphill, how hard you accelerate or brake and the use of things like air-con and heating. It's safe to say that the real-world range is slightly lower than the official range. 

So how far can an electric vehicle drive?

The mileage you get out of an electric vehicle varies depending on the manufacturer. It's a competitive market out there, and each carmaker is competing to design their eclectic vehicle to go the furthest.

However, if we're going by an average, you're looking at around 195 miles, give or take. That's pretty decent and will get you going on some fairly long-distance journeys, and perhaps even a road trip or two. 

195 miles sounds decent, but can electric cars go further?

As technology improves, so too does the mileage on an electric car. Nowadays, it's not uncommon to find models that can do a whopping 300 or 400 miles on one charge. So not only could you go on a domestic road trip; you could potentially visit another country

Again, it's a competitive space, and car manufacturers are all competing to have the car that goes the furthest on one single charge. As a consumer, that's good news for you, and you can expect electric cars of the future to potentially travel for even longer, meaning fewer charges and more mileage. 

How can I make an electric car go further?

Remember that laptop with the 10-hour battery life if you only used the most basic features? Electric cars are similar: the fewer features you use, the more mileage you can expect to get out of a single charge. Some factors to consider when driving your electric car and maximising mileage include:

  • Remove the roof rack – removing the roof rack or any non-essential bulk from the outside of the car will lower air resistance and boost your range
  • Turn off the air-con – if you can roll down the windows, you could get more juice from your car as things like air-condition take up battery power and therefore lower the overall mileage you could get
  • Don't put anything in the boot – doing so makes the car heavier, which means the battery needs to work even hard
  • Drive slow – probably not what you want to hear, but much like a fuel car, driving slower is more economical and gives you a better range.

Some of the above involves pretty basic usage of a car and driving an electric vehicle with a full boot or using the air-con won't dramatically affect your mileage. But if you're looking to get every last drop out of your how far the car will take you, then you might want to strip back on using some of the extra features in the car.

What's the best electric car?

The Tesla Model S has the best range of all the electric cars. This shouldn't come as a surprise, especially with Tesla essentially being the de facto luxury electric car maker. The Model S can do around 410 miles off one charge.

If you're looking for a slightly cheaper option, then the Volkswagen ID3 is also pretty impressive. It does just over 330 miles and costs around £30,000 brand new, as opposed to the Model S, which goes on sale for £70,000-plus. 

Can you feel the electricity?

Electric cars have come a long way, even in the last 10 years. In today's market, there are some seriously impressive options as we all become accustomed to the idea of driving an electric vehicle. And if you're thinking about "going electric" for your next car, you can easily expect to do around 300 miles per charge of the newer models. 

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this article!

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