Want to get straight to any of our longest-range electric cars for 2023?
Range, charging speed and cost. These are the arguably the most important things buyers want to know when shopping for electric cars. You can check out our lists of the best cheap electric cars and fastest charging electric cars, but here we're all about distance on a charge.
Range determines how many miles you can travel before you need to scope out a charging point. The limited range of early electric cars held them back against petrol or diesel cars for many years, but the speed of progress is staggering. In a decade we’ve gone from the first Nissan Leaf, which couldn't manage 100 miles before needing a charge, to a wide choice of EVs capable of going over 300 miles.
And, in 2023, we now see a some cars cars breaching the 400-mile mark. Combined with an increase in the number of rapid charging devices around the county, this means electric vehicles are now an option for those who need to make regular longer journeys. So what are the longest range electric cars money can buy right now?
In this article we’re going to be quoting the official ‘WLTP’ range of each car. But what is WLTP? It stands for Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure and it’s the standardised measurement for electric vehicle range that all carmakers are using. Although range can be affected by things like ambient temperature, driving style or condition of the battery, the WLTP figure allows a level comparison between cars. Just bear in mind that you may struggle to reach that figure in normal driving.
Before we hit the list, it’s also important that you look beyond the headline figures and consider each model’s electric vehicle charging speeds. A car that has a bladder-troubling range and the ability for high-power charging means you’ll be able to get back on the road in less time than it takes you to drink a caramel latte. Generally speaking, the higher the maximum charging rate expressed in kWs, the faster the car is able to refill its battery.
The High Power chargers used at every GRIDSERVE Electric Forecourt® and Electric Super Hub across the country are contactless and capable of providing a maximum 350kW of power - that’s more than any electric vehicle on sale can currently accept. The reason for that is because we’re future-proofing our EV charging infrastructure.
We know the world of electric vehicles is constantly changing and improving, which is why leasing an electric vehicle is considered the safest and easiest way to make the switch today. Thanks to the team at GRIDSERVE Car Leasing, we have a solution for that, too.
14. Hyundai IONIQ 5
Range: 315 miles
Have you ever seen a Hyundai look this cool? The IONIQ 5 is an 80s-inspired concept car made real. Whereas most electric cars are chasing aerodynamic efficiency with low, long swoopy lines, the IONIQ 5 shuns all of that for a big, practical box. A very stylish box, too. Don’t be misled by the pictures: the IONIQ 5 may look like a Golf-sized hatchback, but it’s been super-sized to offer SUV levels of space. And despite only being launched in 2021, it’s recently received a raft of updates that include more range and a new Namsan Edition (Namsan literally translates to Southern Mountain) that gets fancy cameras for wing mirrors and a panoramic glass roof.
13. Volkswagen ID.4
Range: 320 miles
If you’d prefer your electric vehicle to feel more 'normal' than future-facing, then the Volkswagen ID.4 is a great option. The five-seat family SUV is similar in size to the company’s popular Tiguan, although thanks because it's been built as an EV from the start, the ID.4 is much more spacious and practical inside. It’s also refined, comfortable and, to Volkswagen’s credit, is being built in a carbon neutral factory.
12. Tesla Model Y
Range: 331 miles
The Tesla Model Y is probably one of the hottest cars on sale right now and already features in the UK’s top 10 best-selling cars list of 2022. If you want a more practical version of the Tesla Model 3 (see No.8), then look no further. Compared to the Model 3, the Model Y is more SUV in shape and benefits from a slightly raised roofline, more passenger space plus a practical hatchback tailgate - the boot is a cavernous 854-litres and there’s still a ‘froot’ (front boot). Like all Tesla models, it also boasts the best EV skillset of any brand on the planet, with everything controlled through a massive touchscreen display. And we do mean everything, from headlights to wipers, climate control to mirror adjustment.
11. Skoda Enyaq iV
Range: 331 miles
Another vehicle that is singlehandedly changing perceptions about its brand is the Skoda Enyaq iV. It mixes fashionable SUV style with typical Skoda practicality and superb value for money. Skoda is owned by parent company Volkswagen, so the electrical tech under the skin is actually shared with the Volkswagen ID.4 (see No.13). And while the Enyaq may drive just as well as its cousin, it betters the ID.4 with its marginally better range, bigger boot and more functional interior with fewer touch-sensitive buttons and sliders. It feels incredibly well set up to take on whatever family life can throw at it.
10. Tesla Model X
Range: 348 miles
If you were in the market for a dedicated seven seater, you’d usually have to turn to something that resembles a van with windows. Well, thanks to the Tesla Model X, you’ve got better options. The Model X is available with five, six or seven seats and performs the role of large family SUV expertly. It’s needlessly rapid for its size, but it’s good to sit in and great at making you feel like you’ve stepped into the future. Kids (and some adults) will also love the signature ‘falcon doors’, which are more than a gimmicky party piece. They’re able to open in just 11 inches of space, and feature sensors to prevent knocks against pillars, children or cars parked annoyingly close.
9. BMW i4
Range: 365 miles
The BMW i4 may not look as bold (or brash, depending on your view) as other BMW EVs, but it’s easily one of the best electric cars you can buy in the UK today. It may not be made with a part carbon construction like the BMW iX (see No.6) but it looks and feels exactly like a BMW executive saloon should and benefits from the brand’s reputation for quality, comfort and driving pleasure. Don’t worry, petrolheads, the future of performance saloons is in safe hands.
8. Tesla Model 3
Range: 374 miles
The Tesla Model 3 has been the best-selling EV in the UK for the past few years - outselling the total registrations from brands including Citroën, Honda, Mazda and Renault - and for good reason. This entry-level ticket to the Tesla experience offers a compelling blend of performance, techy cool and everyday usability. The more practical Tesla Model Y is certainly stealing sales, but the Model 3 is still nicer to drive. The optional and lauded ‘Autopilot’ driver assistance system takes the edge off long-distance trips, too.
7. Ford Mustang Mach-E
Range: 379 miles
Think Mustang and your mind may drift to 60s muscle cars and noisy V8 engines - not for much longer. The Mustang Mach E is a five-seat family SUV that isn’t short of power, and it manages to mix Tesla-inspired touchscreens with retro styling cues for that perfect blend of new and old. It’s a car with real feelgood factor - you can even play fake V8 sounds in the cabin - with all versions being fun to drive, although the ride is a little on the firm side when compared to rivals like the Skoda Enyaq (See No11).
6. BMW iX
Range: 380 miles
The BMW iX may not be everybody’s idea of beauty, but it certainly isn't bland. It's spacious and practical but as a BMW it's also still a driver's car, with fantastic performance and a surprisingly fun drive. It also has one of the most beautifully appointed and supremely comfortable cabins on sale. If you're a shrinking violet then it might not be for you, but it's one of our favourite large electric SUVs right now.
5. BMW i7
Range: 387 miles
Oh look, it's another large and luxurious BMW that isn't exactly shy and retiring. The BMW i7 won't be to all tastes but you can't deny it has real presence, and as with the iX its large battery gives it the legs to travel across a large chunk of the UK without taking a break. Passengers will do so in impressive comfort, but it's the tech on offer that really wows. Among the usual luxury limo treats one option is a 31-inch screen that drops down from the roof, turning the rear compartment into a full-on home cinema.
4. Mercedes-Benz EQE
Range: 394 miles
Mercedes-Benz is a class act when it comes to creating high quality luxury cars and the EQE is no exception. This is the E-Class saloon reimagined for the electric era, although its new-age proportions are very similar to the larger EQS (keep reading to see that car). The E-Class has never really been about rocketship performance - unless you’re talking to the AMG division - but it has always excelled at being quieter than a library to sit in. With no engine noise the Mercedes-Benz EQE takes it to another level.
3. Polestar 2
Range: 394 miles
Polestar has burst onto the scene, aiming its Scandanavian roots firmly at Tesla. Owned by Volvo, this newcomer is ultra-sustainable, reliable and cool. The Polestar 2 is considered a rival to the Tesla Model 3 (see No.8), although it plays with more coupe-inspired styling cues and is the first brand to use Android OS as its infotainment system, so you can easily sync your calendar, contacts, maps, music and any other bits from your Google ecosystem. A 2023 update boosted the range substantially to make the Long Range model one of, well, the longest range EVs you can buy.
2. Tesla Model S
Range: 405 miles
It’s difficult to overstate the importance of the Tesla Model S. Launched in 2012, it’s the electric car that provided the technology, ability and excitement to capture the zeitgeist and really kickstart the EV revolution. Its minimalist interior and that touchscreen made Tesla stand out, and is now being replicated by more traditional brands. And then there’s the performance: You'll find many videos online of exotic supercars getting left in the dust by a standard Model S. Yet what’s most remarkable is that even today, despite a raft of new challengers, Tesla’s longest-serving model remains desirable, hugely fast and one of the longest range electric cars around.
1. Mercedes-Benz EQS
Range: 453 miles
We'll get to the point: the Mercedes EQS boasts the biggest EV range of any production car with 453 miles (WLTP). That’s London to Edinburgh with juice to spare, or Land’s End to the Norwich Electric Forecourt®. We feel a challenge coming on…
As you’d imagine with a fully-electric equivalent of the S-Class limousine, the EQS is big, luxurious and oozing with technology. Think premium woodwork, soft leather, doors that open and close themselves and air suspension that makes rutted British roads feel snooker table smooth. Oh, and the infotainment system looks like it belongs in a multiplex cinema. Mercedes calls it the ‘MBUX Hyperscreen’ and it pretty much covers the entire dashboard. If you’re keen to avoid fingerprints, you can also operate the system through the car’s excellent voice recognition.
It’s true that such a big range is helped by having a massive battery, but also because the EQS is one of the world’s slipperiest production cars, carving the air cleanly for maximum efficiency. It's a more convincing effort than smaller Mercedes-Benz EQ models and a very special vehicle to cover any kind of distance in.