Electric Car Range Comparison -- Top 11

11 Electric Cars With Most Range

Published on July 29th, 2015 | by

July 29th, 2015 by

 People make a big deal of electric cars’ driving ranges, for good reason, so I thought it would be interesting to create a list of the electric cars with the most range (to supplement my list of the quickest electric cars to 60 mph, the most efficient electric cars, and my broader electric car list, which is organized by price).

Of course, as with almost everything, when the idea hit the real world, there was an issue. Rating systems for range in Europe, China, and elsewhere are far more lenient (read:unrealistic) than the US EPA’s rating system. So, this list is only including electric cars on the US market. As it turns out, there are only 11 fully electric cars on the market in the US, so below is a “top 11” list instead of a “top 10” list. So, have a look at this electric car range comparison:

11. Mitsubishi iMiEV = 62 Miles

Masdar-City-Mitsubishi-i-electric-vehicles

If you want cheap, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV is cheap, at $22,995 (or $15,495 after the US federal tax credit and $12,995 after that plus the $2,500 California ZEV rebate). It’s the cheapest EV on the US market (if you don’t count the Renault Twizy, which pops up on eBay from time to time). But it doesn’t offer much other than that compared to its electric competitors. Aside from its market-low range, the i-MiEV takes 13.5 seconds to get to 60 MPH. It does seat four people and has a decent efficiency of 112 MPGe, beating the next car on this list.

10. Smart Electric Drive = 68 Miles

electric smart car

The Smart Electric Drive (ED), with just ~6 miles more of range, is also just a tad more expensive — $25,000, or $19,990 + $80/month battery rental (after the US federal tax credit, $17,500, or $12,490 + $80/month). The Smart ED only seats two, of course. It has an efficiency of 107 MPGe, and gets to 60 MPH in 9.8 seconds.

9. Ford Focus Electric = 76 Miles

Ford-Focus-Electric_03

Jumping 8 miles and about $4,000, the Ford Focus Electric costs $29,170 ($21,670 after the US federal tax credit and $19,170 after that plus the $2,500 California ZEV rebate). It seats five, the best on the list so far, has an efficiency of 105 MPGe, and takes 10.1 seconds to get to 60 MPH.

8. BMW i3 = 81 Miles

BMW i3 and me at Arc de Triompf in Barcelona, Spain.(This image is available for republishing and even modification under a CC BY-SA license, with the key requirement being that credit be given to Zachary Shahan / EV Obsession / CleanTechnica, and that those links not be removed.)

Now we’re getting into some serious sellers. The BMW i3 (which I love) costs much more, $41,350 ($33,850 after the US federal tax credit and $31,350 after that plus the $2,500 California ZEV rebate), but it adds a lot of comfort and comes with a market-leading efficiency of 124 MPGe. It also gets to 60 MPH in 7.1 seconds, which doesn’t compare to the Tesla P85D, but is still a lot of fun. The downside, if you have a lot of fellow travelers, is that it only seats four, but this is on my list of potential vehicles to lease.

7. Chevy Spark EV = 82 Miles

chevy-spark-ev-2

We’re in a game of inches for the next several spots. The Chevy Spark EV lands just one extra mile of range on the i3. It does come in at a much lower price — $27,495 ($19,995 after the US federal tax credit and $17,495 after that plus the $2,500 California ZEV rebate) — but also with less luxury. That said, it does compete with the BMW i3 on acceleration, getting to 60 MPH in 7.2 seconds. And it is right behind it in efficiency, with 119 MPGe (#2 on the US market).

6. VW e-Golf = 83 Miles

volkswagen e-golf limited edition

The Volkswagen e-Golf inches ahead of the Chevy Spark EV, but is considered a better all-around drive. With an extra seat, more comfort, and more advanced tech, the e-Golf has an MSRP of $35,445 ($27,945 after the US federal tax credit and $25,445 after that plus the $2,500 California ZEV rebate). It isn’t nearly as snappy, taking a sluggish 10.4 seconds to get to 60 MPH. It does well in the efficiency category, though, landing 116 MPGe (#3 on the US market). The e-Golf has gotten good reviews, so you might want to give it  a shot if you are in this range of the market (no pun intended).

4. Mercedes B-Class Electric = 84 Miles (tie)

Mercedes B-Class Electric

#4 is a tie! Not that the 3 miles that separate #4 from #8 make a big difference. The Mercedes B-Class Electric generally competes with the i3. For this side of the story, it beats the i3 by 3 miles. In terms of acceleration, it is a little behind, needing 7.9 seconds (rather than 7.1 seconds) to get to 60 MPH. And it is much less efficient at 84 MPGe. However, it seats five whereas the i3 only seats four. Almost identical to the i3, though, it’s MSRP is $41,450 ($33,950 after the US federal tax credit and $31,450 after that plus the $2,500 California ZEV rebate).

4. Nissan LEAF = 84 Miles (tie)

Nissan Leafs Barcelona

The much more affordable (and much more popular) Nissan LEAF ties the B-Class Electric in terms of driving range on a full battery, but the similarities basically stop there. The LEAF comes in at a super affordable price of $29,010 ($21,510 after the US federal tax credit and $19,010 after that plus the $2,500 California ZEV rebate). It is #5 in terms of efficiency, with an EPA rating of 114 MPGe. Though, it isn’t Usain Bolt in a sprint, taking 10.2 seconds to get to 60 MPH.

3. Fiat 500e = 87 Miles

fiat 500e

Fiat executives hate on electric vehicles like it’s their job to slow the revolution, but they actually produced a nifty little electric car that a lot of us would love. Aside from coming in at #3 on this list, the Fiat 500e comes in at #4 on the efficiency list (115 MPGe) and #16 on the list of fastest-accelerating EVs (8.7 seconds). Not a bad buy at $32,300 ($24,800 after the US federal tax credit and $22,300 after that plus the $2,500 California ZEV rebate).

2. Kia Soul EV = 93 Miles

2015 Kia Soul EV Price

The relatively new (and young) Kia Soul EV takes #2 by a good margin. It has an efficiency of 105 MPGe, seats five, takes forever 11.8 seconds to get to 60 MPH, and costs a reasonable $33,700 ($26,200 after the US federal tax credit and $22,300 after that plus the $2,500 California ZEV rebate).

1. Tesla Model S = 240 to 286 Miles

Tesla Model S Green

Technically, there are various Tesla Model S options with different driving ranges. You’ve got the 70D with 240 miles of range, the P85D with 253 miles of range, the P90D with 268 miles of range, the 85D with 270 miles of range, and the 90D with 286 miles of range.

The Model S is of course the best car in the world, and there are various matters to consider when choosing which option to go with. I’ll leave that decision-making to you.


 

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, SCTY, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB. After years of covering solar and EVs, he simply had a lot of faith in these companies and felt like they were good companies to invest in as a portion of his retirement strategy. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.
  • vdiv

    There is an argument to be made that some of these cars are not available in the whole US market. How about calling it the California market?

  • Mike Dill

    In a few years there will be battery pack upgrades for all of these cars. Buy what you can afford now, the batteries will be there in time.

  • blackandwhiteohana

    Just to clarify. The Nissan LEAF is a 60 mile per charge EV after about 18 months. A joke of a EV. No thanks.

    http://nlpc.org/stories/2014/08/06/consumer-reports-removes-recommendation-after-nissan-leaf-fails-crash-test

  • windbourne

    The Model X should have been #2 since it was KNOWN that it was coming.
    As to the rest? Well, some are not even as good as an old tonka truck.

    • I’ll update this soon. “As soon as” production really begins.

      • windbourne

        Cars are being delivered.

        • 6 have been delivered (1 to Elon and 5 to early investors/insiders). That was basically to barely meet the commitment to start by the end of Q3. No indication production is starting on normal customers’ vehicles, not even the ones who put down $40,000 for years. I follow the TMC forum and am very eagerly waiting to see Sig reservation holders say their cars are being delivered! Sig #2 is very active there and will surely let us know, if someone else doesn’t beat her to it.

  • SparkEV

    I don’t know if cars without DCFC should be on this list. With DCFC, hundreds of miles per day is possible; I’ve done 280 miles in a day with SparkEV, something not possible with any L2 only cars. Even 1000 miles per day on SparkEV is theoretically possible.

    By the way, there’s big hoopla about range, but I’m finding 20 minutes of DCFC near bathroom and coffee/snacks after 1 hour driving to be perfectly fine. My bladder doesn’t hold out much longer after caffeine (damn diuretic!)

    http://sparkev.blogspot.com/2015/05/dcfc-quick-charge-and-driving-from-la.html

  • Kevindunbar

    ” The Model S is of course the best car in the world” No bias whatsoever… lol Yes I want one too.

  • Kevindunbar

    I googled DCFC and came up with Death Cab for Cutie… wtf?

  • cc15

    How does range hold up over time? My typical experience with batteries (but not electric car batteries) is that as they age their charge runs down faster-or maybe it’s with use rather than age but basically I think it works out about the same. So, if I buy an EV because the 85 mile range is adequate will it eventually drop to, say, 60 which would be inadequate?