More people are driving electric cars than ever before, and this is only set to increase. 

It’s no secret that electric cars are the future. But, drivers that are new to the world of electric vehicles will still often have one question on their minds; ‘how far can an electric car go?’.

This question is largely a result of ‘range anxiety’, a fear of running out of charge before reaching a destination. Although, modern EVs are equipped with much more advanced technology and batteries than earlier models associated with this fear. 

That said, it is still important to find out how far your electric car can go, how long it takes to fully charge, and whether you are getting a good travel range for your buck. 

This guide covers everything you need to know about EV range – from average UK ranges, to factors that impact EV range.

Average electric car range

The average electric car can travel between 100 and 300 miles on one full charge, depending on the model and the size of your electric car battery. Though some larger battery vehicles can do around 350 miles on a single charge.

The exact average range of an electric car in the UK is around 193 miles. Though, this figure includes many long-range EVs, such as Tesla models. Priced over 60k, Tesla models are outside of most household budgets. Excluding Tesla models, the average electric car range in the UK is 174 miles.

Overview of electric car range

84 miles (135 km)193 miles (310 km)396 miles (637 km)

What is a good range for an electric car?

birds eye view of roads

The majority of electric cars can travel at least 130 miles on a full charge. Most modern electric vehicles have a travel range of over 200 miles, and some larger battery vehicles can go over 300 miles on a single charge.

Generally, any range starting from around 130 and above can be considered a good range for an electric vehicle. Your full travel range will depend on how often you drive your car, and what you use it for. 

For instance, those who use a vehicle to commute many miles may need to consider an EV with a longer travel range. Though, if you mostly travel short distances around a city, then you might not need such a long travel range. 

What is range anxiety?

Range anxiety is the term used to describe the worry that the electric car’s battery will run out of power before reaching the destination, or before the driver reaches a charging point. 

Whilst this was more of a concern in the very early days of electric vehicles, range anxiety is less of a legitimate concern as electric car charging technology and vehicle batteries have become more advanced.

Additionally, charging infrastructure has become much more widespread across the UK. Government statistics show that the UK has over 25,000 public charging stations (as of June 2021) with just under 5,000 of these being rapid chargers.

graph showing total number of UK charging points

Total number of UK public charging stations – 2021 – Source

Drivers are never too far away from the next charge point if their electric car battery is running low, making range anxiety a worry of the past. 

What’s more, many electric car owners charge at home, giving vehicles a full charge before completing journeys by fully charging the battery overnight. The majority of EV drivers prefer to install a home EV charger, since this ensures the car is charged and ready whenever it is needed.

Factors that affect EV range

car driving on road

There are several factors that can affect the range of an electric vehicle. 

1. Driving speed

Driving speed affects EV range by varying the electric car’s efficiency. Driving at higher speeds will increase the amount of work the car has to do, and put additional strain on the car battery.

Most car manufacturers are upfront about range estimates and account for the possibility of different driving styles and speeds when calculating EV range. Renault provides an interactive EV range tool that lets you calculate the Renault Zoe’s range in relation to driving speed and other factors.

2. Age of battery

As with any type of battery, electric car batteries can diminish over long periods of use. Battery degradation over time can result in shorter electric car ranges as it gets older, in comparison to when the car battery was new.

A study from Geotab found that electric car batteries show a 2.3% decline in energy storage per year. You can see the average rate of battery degradation by year for your vehicle in this EV Battery Degradation Comparison Tool.

3. Size of battery

The simplest way to compare EV driving ranges is by battery size – measured in kWh. As a general rule of thumb, the larger the electric vehicle battery size, the longer the travel range. This principle is the same as having a larger fuel tank on a petrol engine vehicle.

Though, larger batteries can result in additional weight, which can in turn affect EV range. This is why smaller electric cars such as the Honda e are fitted with smaller batteries (35.5kWh).

4. Weather conditions and temperature

Weather conditions can affect the travel range of an electric vehicle. EV drivers are likely to experience shorter travel ranges during colder temperatures. 

Cold temperatures in winter can reduce the effectiveness of your electric car battery, particularly in sub-zero conditions, as it becomes more difficult for EVs to reach optimal performance temperatures. 

Additionally, you are more likely to use electrical-powered heating features in colder temperatures – which can also impact your battery life and EV travel range. 

According to Renault’s EV range tool, the Renault Zoe’s range would variate as follows in response to different outdoor temperatures:

Outdoor temperatureEV range (heating/AC on)EV range (heating/AC off)
-15°C118 miles129 miles
-5°C152 miles165 miles
5°C187 miles203 miles
20°C234 miles
35°C205 miles220 miles

(calculated at an average speed of 31mph)

5. Vehicle weight and payload

Vehicle weight and payload are both factors that affect EV range. If the load carried by an electric vehicle is higher than usual, then the EV range is likely to become much shorter. 

For instance, if you were to load your vehicle with lots of heavy items, this increased payload would put additional strain on the car battery in order to travel at normal speeds; reducing your vehicle’s maximum travel range.

6. Electrical-powered features

Your EV’s travel range can even be affected by its electrical-powered features, such as heating, air conditioning, media player and more.

Does heating and air conditioning reduce EV range? 

Using your vehicle’s heating and air conditioning continuously can decrease your EV range by up to 30%. Though, by reducing the amount of heating and air conditioning you use, or by switching them off, you can improve your electric vehicle’s travel range significantly.

Which electric car has the longest range?

The electric car with the longest travel range is the Tesla Model S Long Range, which can travel up to 370 miles on one charge in the summer. In the winter, it can travel up to 275 miles, and an average of 323 miles overall.

EV charging experts 

Here at Joltify, we are experts in all things EV charging. We help customers put their range anxiety to ease with a range of home EV charging solutions. Always stay ready for your journey. Explore EV chargers, or speak to an expert.