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A complete guide to electric car ranges

March 16, 2023

Complete guide to electric car ranges

Electric cars, or electric vehicles (EVs), are great for the environment and your pocket. 

Choosing an electric car, however, means you have to be sure about the electric car ranges on offer for each make and model. 

Keep reading to discover all the important information about electric car ranges to find the perfect electric vehicle for your lifestyle. 

Electric car ranges

There were more than 680,000 battery-electric vehicles in the UK at the end of January 2023, which was a 40% growth from 2021. Enjoying a market share of 13% of all new car registrations, electric vehicles are certainly on the rise.  

Electric car ranges are an essential factor in choosing your electric vehicle. The driving range depends on many elements. These include the size and capacity of the battery, use of accessories such as heating or air conditioning, as well as the make and model of the electric vehicle. 

Remember that some electric cars are equipped with fast-charging technology that can provide a significant charge in a short amount of time, which makes it easier to travel longer distances.

Understanding electric car ranges 

Electric car range refers to the maximum distance that an electric vehicle can travel on a single charge of its battery. 

New electric vehicles typically have driving ranges of 150 to 300 miles, with some newer models nearing the 400 mile mark. 

The range of an electric car is typically calculated based on the energy capacity of the battery and the vehicle's energy consumption rate. This calculation takes into account the efficiency of the electric motor, as well as factors such as vehicle weight, aerodynamics, and tyre resistance.

To test the range of an electric car, there are a variety of tests. These include manufacturer estimates, third-party testing, and real-world driving data. Most electric car manufacturers provide an estimated range for their vehicles based on standardised testing procedures, such as the EPA's (Environmental Protection Agency) testing method.

This standardised testing method simulates both city and motorway driving conditions and provides an estimated range that reflects real-world driving conditions.

It's important to note that the actual range of an electric car may vary from the estimated range depending on various factors, including driving behavior, weather conditions, and battery age. 

Longest-range electric cars 

If you’re predominantly a long distance driver, a long-range electric car will be of most importance to you. 

Some of the longest-range electric cars available on the market today include several Tesla models (S Plaid, X Long Range, 3 Long Range, and S long Range), and the Audi e-tron GT.  

The notable features of long-range electric cars include fewer charging stops, enhanced performance due to larger battery packs and more powerful motors, and innovative features - think advanced driver assistance systems and large touchscreen displays.

Short-range electric cars 

However, if you’re a driver that favours local travel, a short-range electric car is the better choice. 

Typically defined by a driving range of less than 200 miles on a single charge, some of the short-range electric cars currently on the market include the Nissan Leaf, Mini Cooper SE, and Kia Soul EV. 

While short-range electric cars may not be suitable for long road trips or extended travel, they can be a practical and eco-friendly option for short trips around town or commuting. They can also offer lower maintenance and fuel costs compared to petrol or diesel-powered cars.

Factors that impact electric car ranges 

The main factors that impact electric car ranges include:

Battery size

The size of the battery pack is one of the most significant factors that determine the driving range of an electric car. Cars with larger battery packs generally have longer ranges than those with smaller battery packs.

Elevation changes

Driving uphill or on steep terrain can drain the battery more quickly and reduce the range of the electric car. Driving downhill can help regenerate energy and extend the range.

Driving mode

Many electric cars come with different driving modes (such as eco mode), which can help improve the electric car's efficiency and extend its range further.

Driving habits

Aggressive acceleration, high speeds, and frequent braking can reduce the range of an electric car. Smooth and steady driving can help to optimise the electric car range. Traffic conditions such as stop-and-go traffic or idling in traffic jams can reduce an electric car's range due to frequent acceleration and deceleration.

Road conditions

Driving on rough or uneven roads can increase rolling resistance, reducing the car's efficiency and range. Strong headwinds can increase aerodynamic drag and reduce the range of an electric car, while tailwinds can improve the car's efficiency and extend its range.


Extreme temperatures can affect the performance of the electric vehicle’s battery, thus reducing its range. Extremely cold temperatures can also reduce the efficiency of heating systems, necessitating more energy to operate, further reducing the range.

Drivers can take steps to optimise their electric vehicle driving range, such as driving at moderate speeds, using regenerative braking, avoiding rapid acceleration and deceleration, and preheating or cooling the car while it's still charging.

Minimising the use of accessories can also help the longevity of the electric car range. 

Charging and range anxiety 

Driving an electric vehicle includes a learning curve, which typically involves figuring out the best and most convenient places to charge the car. 

The electric vehicle charging infrastructure has grown rapidly in recent years, and charging options have become more convenient and widely available. Charging stations can be found in many locations, including workplaces, public car parks, motorway service stations - and of course, your home. 

The three standard types of electric car charging are Level 1, Level 2, and DC fast charging. 

Level 1 charging is the slowest method of charging an electric car. Using a standard household 120-volt outlet, Level 1 provides a charging rate of 2-5 miles of range per hour of charging. Level 1 charging is most commonly used for overnight charging at home or at work. 

Level 2 charging is a faster method of charging an electric car. It uses a 240-volt outlet and can provide a charging rate of 10-60 miles of range per hour of charging, depending on the vehicle and the charging equipment. Level 2 charging is often used for public charging stations and home charging setups. 

DC fast charging is the fastest method of charging an electric car. It uses a special charging station that provides direct current (DC) power to the car's battery, bypassing the vehicle's onboard charger. 

DC fast charging can provide a charging rate of 60-100 miles of range in just 20-30 minutes of charging, depending on the car and the charging station. DC fast charging is often used for long-distance travel and is commonly found along major motorways. 

Remember - not all electric cars can accept all levels of charging. 

To avoid range anxiety (the fear of running out of power), plan ahead and use all the apps at your disposal to locate charging stations. You’ll soon have a plan for your frequently used charging stations and it’ll become a way of life.  

Electric cars and car subscription

Wrapping up, hopefully you’ll now have a clearer understanding of electric vehicle ranges. Deciding your optimal car range is key to choosing the perfect electric vehicle for you. After all, there’s an electric vehicle for every lifestyle. 

Bear in mind the different factors affecting electric car ranges - such as environmental, behaviour, and battery size - to pick your perfect EV. 

Driving an electric car with the right range for you provides flexibility, convenience, and significant cost-savings. 

A Drive Fuze car subscription is a flexible and cost-effective option for exploring the benefits of electric cars. You can simply choose the duration of your subscription and switch between different electric car models whenever the need arises. 

An electric car subscription allows you to avoid long-term commitments (unlike purchasing or leasing a car), which is a fantastic option if you’re unsure about committing long-term to electric car ownership.

Explore our range of electric vehicles and feel the freedom to focus on a car that offers you the ideal blend of the latest technology and great savings on running costs. 

Find out more about a flexible, all-inclusive car subscription for your electric car needs today.