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Concerns about how far an electric vehicle can go without needing to be charged are often one of the key factors that put people off buying an electric car. So much so, that a phrase has been coined for it, “range anxiety”.

We’ve put together a quick guide explaining everything you need to know about electric car range before choosing a vehicle to buy or lease.


What is an electric vehicle’s range?

An electric vehicle’s range is how many miles it can cover on a full battery without needing to be charged up at a charging point.

Historically, range anxiety was probably more justified, but modern electric vehicles can achieve a vastly improved range.

Car manufacturers advertise an electric vehicle’s range in its specifications, but it’s important to bear in mind that this “official range” will probably be higher than its “real-world range” which can be affected by several different factors.

Factors that affect range

A car’s official range is worked out in a lab according to what is deemed to be your average driving conditions, but the figure is still usually higher than what can be achieved in the real world.

Some of the factors that can affect your electric vehicle’s range include:

  • The speed you drive at.
  • The weather.
  • Using the heating/aircon.
  • Driving terrain.
  • Acceleration.
  • Age of the battery.
  • The weight the car is carrying.

Fully electric car range

Fully electric cars rely solely on their electric battery to power them. Most modern electric cars have a range of between 130 and 400 miles, but some high-end models can achieve up to 370 miles on one charge. The average range for a fully electric car in the UK is 193 miles.

Currently, the electric vehicle with the highest range is the Tesla Model S, which has an official range of 405 miles. Other fully electric vehicles with an impressive range include the Hyundai Kona with an official range of 300 miles, the Kia e-Nero at 282 miles, and the Mercedes-Benz EQC at 255 miles.

Hybrid car range

There are two types of hybrid car, self-charging hybrids and plug-in hybrids. Both types have an internal combustion engine to fall back on when they run out of electric charge, so the vehicle’s range is not such an issue.

Self-charging hybrids don’t give a range as they only use the small amount of electric power that is recovered by the car during braking. This electric power is used to improve fuel efficiency rather than cover whole journeys.

Plug-in hybrids can be hooked up to charging points and cover short journeys using just electric power. Modern plug-in hybrids usually have a range of between 20 and 40 miles before the fuel engine kicks in for longer journeys.

Taking long journeys in an electric car

If you do need to take a long journey in an electric vehicle, then you will simply need to find out where the electric charging points are along the route before you set off and plan where to stop and charge up, much like you would to buy fuel in a normal vehicle.

Once you’ve been driving your electric car for a while, you should have a good idea of what its average real-world range is, make sure you plan a stop in plenty of time of running out of charge. Letting your car run down to lower than 20% battery before charging can sometimes mean that it takes a little longer to charge up, so it’s best to stop and charge before the battery runs this low.

Before setting off you should also make sure you know what type of chargers your electric vehicle is compatible with.

When working out how long your journey will take, make sure you factor in enough time for waiting for your car to charge and a little extra in case the charger is not available immediately.

Electric vehicle charging points are now very common and can be found at many service stations, supermarkets, shopping centres, car parks, and hotels.                                                                                                                

To find out more about electric vehicles, or for help choosing an electric vehicle that has a suitable range for your lifestyle, get in touch with our team here at LetsTalk Leasing by calling us on 0330 056 3331 and we’ll be happy to help.

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