How far can Electric Cars travel on one charge?
As the cost of fuel increases and the price of an electric car continues to decrease, many today are considering buying an electric vehicle. However, it seems that many drivers are concerned about the potential range of an EV before making their purchase. There is a fear among drivers that they won’t be able to charge their car when needed and will be stranded on the road. This is called “Range anxiety” – one of the obstacles that prevent people from going electric.
To help our drivers form a better understanding of an electric car’s range and what can affect it, we have put together a blog that answers one of the main questions regarding range: “How far can an electric car travel on one charge?”
Overview of Electric Vehicle Range
Electric Vehicle Range is essentially explained as the distance your EV can travel on a single charge before the battery runs out and the car stops working. The range of EVs has been increasing over the past few years, wherein the early days it spanned anywhere from 100km to 150km, to the current average of about 313km (194miles) per charge. Originally, the Nissan Leaf was one of the best-selling electric cars at the time with a maximum range of about 135km. While today a Kia EV6 can reach up to 528km of driving range. This is all due to the evolving technology of battery research and development which helps increase capacity and reduces the cost of electric cars to make them more affordable for everyone.
However, the range of an EV depends on how it is driven, as well as the outside temperature and the electrical-powered features. An EV’s battery will drain quicker when driven faster or accelerated more aggressively. Temperature is also another factor that can affect how far you can go on a single charge, especially in the cold. Other electrical-powered features such as the heating or cooling system can affect an EV’s range as well. It is reported that when the ambient temperature drops down to or underneath -6 ºC and the vehicle’s heater is in use, the average electric car’s operating range drops by 41 percent.
So, what is a good range for an electric car?
As range is the first and foremost factor that potential drivers would consider when buying an EV, a good range should meet the specific drivers’ needs. For many people, their daily commute won’t even reach an EV’s maximum range. Additionally, topping up an EV is completely different from putting fuel in a gasoline vehicle. You can charge your car at home overnight or plug it in at work if your workplace has EV chargers. Range anxiety shouldn’t be as prominent as you may think at first.
Many automakers are aware of the driver’s fear when it comes to range anxiety, and therefore have focused on developing innovative features such as the Driving to Empty (DTE) metric which is visible on a vehicle’s dashboard. The DTE allows you to track how far you can drive with the remaining charge of an EV’s battery.
An EV’s battery can lose its range overtime but not as fast as you may fear. Most EV batteries are currently estimated to last at least a decade before they need to be replaced. They don’t suddenly stop working but instead slowly degrade overtime. The average decline across all vehicles is stated to be around 2.3% per year. For example, if your EV has a driving range of 300km, you’ll only lose about 34.5km of accessible range over 5 years. Check out another blog of ours about EV battery longevity to learn how to prolong your EV’s battery lifespan.