Electric Vehicle Range - Everything You Need to Know

Electric Vehicle Range

We’ve all learned to drive in cars that are either petrol or diesel-powered and are experts in knowing how often we need to refuel based on how much driving we do.

You might fill the tank up before a particularly long journey but day-to-day you don’t need to think much about how much fuel you’ve got unless that little light is telling you you’re close to empty.

When you switch to an electric vehicle though, you need to learn about two important things – charging your EV and your vehicle’s range. So, what exactly is range and why is it so important?

What is the range of an EV?

Range means how far your car can generally drive fully charged. An aspect that has previously held electric cars back from competing in the way they are now is that their range has often been prohibitively small.

That’s changed a lot now, with more powerful and sophisticated batteries and charging stations helping to improve the range of EVs. It’s worth noting that not all EVs have equal range and while a Tesla Model 3 has a range of 360 miles, a Mini only has 145 miles.

On average though, EVs still have a range that’s less than half of what you’d expect from a fossil fuel-powered vehicle, which is why we still need to pay close attention to this aspect of EVs much more than how far a petrol or diesel car can go on a full tank.

It’s also why for particularly long journeys, you’d be wise to plan ahead to map out where the charging points are on your route. For more on EV road trip tips, take a look at our guide for taking your EV abroad in 2022.

What’s an EPA range?

There’s another stat you need to know too. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rating of a vehicle applies to all kinds of engines and covers aspects like fuel economy, these can be split between city and highway ratings.

However, when you’re looking at a new EV, things can get confusing. So, manufacturers often simplify matters with an expected range in terms of miles.

It’s worth doing your research though, because these can sometimes be generous compared to the results you’ll see in car magazines and blogs where they have tested the range themselves.

Generally, these can be about 20 miles or so shorter than the official estimates, so bear this in mind when deciding which car is right for your driving needs.

Why is range significant?

If you won’t be doing many long journeys and are buying an EV as a city run-around, the range won’t be quite as significant a factor in your decision.

But if you’ll be using it for regular, long motorway journeys, then knowing the range of your vehicle will be the difference between slick and efficient charge management and needing to divert to the nearest charging station.

Make sure you’re making the right range choice before you Zen It!

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