Top Ten Longest-Range Electric Cars
08/23/2023 / Gail Alfar
There’s a race to see which EV has the longest range. Driving range is an important consideration when choosing which electric vehicle to purchase or lease, though it's not the only one. With many EVs today offering a 300-mile and over range, anxiety associated with driving long distances in an electric car is becoming a thing of the past.
Let's take a brief look at the history of range in the electric car industry.
Electric Car Range Evolution
Early Days (19th Century to Early 20th Century):
Electric vehicles were among the earliest automobiles. However, their range was severely limited due to the available battery technology at the time. The earliest EVs could only go about 30 miles on a single charge.
1920s to 1950s:
During this period, EVs faced competition from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, which could go farther and were easier to refuel. When crude oil was discovered in Texas, gasoline became cheap and plentiful, and the oil and gas industry wasn't exactly a huge proponent of going electric. As a result, EVs saw a decline in popularity, and developments in battery technology took a back seat in priority.
Late 20th Century:
In the 1970s and 1980s, there was renewed interest in EVs due to concerns about oil dependence and pollution. However, battery technology was still a limiting factor, and most EVs of this era could still only manage 40 to 60 miles on a charge.
Late 1990s - Early 2000s:
The General Motors EV1, introduced in 1996, was a significant milestone in the evolution of EVs. It featured a driving range of around 70 to 100 miles, depending on the version and driving conditions. Now, it was feasible to commute in electric cars and spend the day out on the town between charges, and the starting price was only about $34,000.
Late 2000s - Early 2010s:
The Tesla Roadster, introduced in 2008, marked a major leap in EV range. It could go over 200 miles on a single charge, thanks to advancements in lithium-ion battery technology. The Roadster's success laid the foundation for their models and now meant you could take a reasonably long drive without having to stop and charge. That lets you make it from Houston to Austin, for instance, which was a game changer.
2010s - Early 2020s:
Throughout this decade, advancements in battery technology, including higher energy densities and more efficient powertrains, contributed to improving electric car range. The Tesla Model S, introduced in 2012, lets drivers go well beyond 200 miles, with some variants exceeding 370 miles.
2020 - Today (2023):
The pace of innovation has continued, with several electric automakers introducing models with more power and ranges exceeding 300 miles. Battery technology has continued to improve as well, enabling longer ranges without sacrificing performance. Companies like Tesla, Nissan, Chevrolet, and Ford have been at the forefront of pushing the boundaries of EV range, and you can be confident that further innovation is happening in labs across the globe to get us even further down the road.
Now that we've gotten a history refresher on electric cars, let's talk about the “Top Ten EVs” with the longest range. I hope this guide can help you decide which EV would be the best fit for you. I’ll also share my personal experiences owning both a Tesla Model Y and 3.
1: Lucid Air, 516 Mile Range
As more and more drivers are asking, “What is the longest-range electric car?”, many different manufacturers and specific vehicles come to mind, but right now, the winner is the Lucid Air.
When Lucid brought the Air to an electric expo in Austin, they invited me to test drive the car on Circuit of the Americas’ track. My passenger and I both agreed we would love to travel in the vehicle, especially with a very long range of 516 miles. The Air is the most expensive of the top ten, at $138,000*, and according to one owner, his favorite feature is the “deep massage” that the seats can give. However, “Out of Spec Dave,” is a bit dissatisfied with charging his Lucid Air. Maybe Lucid should adopt the North American Charging Standard (NACS)?
If you want the luxurious Lucid, I recommend waiting to see if Lucid will adopt the North NACS. Supercharging with ease on the Tesla Supercharger Network* makes this proposition much more reasonable.
2: Tesla Model S Range, 405 Miles
With a range of 405 miles and a price of $84,990, the Model S truly is a great deal. I recently test-drove an S around Austin, and I enjoyed the ease of operation and fast acceleration. The vehicle I tested had the yoke steering wheel (a round steering wheel is standard), and I found it to be a pleasure to use. Both my passenger and I were impressed with the vehicle’s vented seats and the immersive sound system. Range, as with all Tesla vehicles, is not an issue when traveling as the Supercharger Network is ubiquitous.
3: Hyundai Ioniq 6, 361 Miles on a Charge
The Ioniq 6 has up to 361 miles of range and qualifies for the $7500 Federal Tax Credit. What new owners are saying about this vehicle is that it has an elegant, distinctive silhouette as a sleek sedan. In trying to find this vehicle for sale in Austin, I discovered it comes at many different MSRP’s, which are all adjusted by the local Hyundai dealers. I also found out that the range depends on which wheels are on the vehicle and other specs.
I’m excited to see if Hyundai will adopt the NACS, making this car a viable option for traveling with ease because of its potential for good range, as well as its sporty look.
4: Mercedes EQS Sedan, 350 Miles
Starting in January 2024, the Mercedes EQS will be capable of charging at all Superchargers throughout North America.
Having a 350-mile range, the EQS will bring you where you need to go, and possibly further. For this article, I spoke with a friend from Louisiana who drives an EQS and he told me, “In my experience, Mercedes has underrated the range on the EQS. With a mixed commute but largely Highway (around 50/50) I am seeing a range over 400. Sometimes as much as 430.” The EQS price tag in my area was between $105,000 to $142,000.
Check out the Xcelerate electric car lease calculator to see how little you can lease the EQS Sedan for.
5: Tesla Model X Range, 348 Miles
The X is, hands-down, the top vehicle in the Tesla lineup for stunning views due to it having the world’s largest panoramic windshield.
When I test-drove the X down the tree-lined country roads in the Hill Country around Austin, I felt like I was in an actual spaceship. The smooth handling and comfort, along with the roomy size of this SUV, make it a great luxury option.
Range anxiety is a non-issue for the Model X, similar to other Tesla vehicles, due to easy access to charging in the Supercharging Network.
6: Tesla Model 3, 333 Miles on a Single Charge
The Model 3 Long Range has a range of 333 miles and, like the Ioniq 6, it also currently qualifies for the $7500 Federal Tax Credit. The Model 3 was the first Tesla I owned, and I appreciate its agility and speed. It makes narrow, tight turns and parks with ease.
The 3 is popular with both Uber drivers and Hertz rental cars because it is practical and less expensive than any other Tesla vehicle. These advantages are great in the city and for daily usage. I have also taken my Model 3 on many successful road trips.
7: Tesla Model Y, 330 Miles
Practicality is important, and the Model Y SUV is perfect if you need space for anything from a baby car seat (or two!) to sports equipment to a mattress for car camping. The Y has room for it all and will get you home relaxed and safe!
My daily driver is a Model Y, and I drive about 120-150 miles a day. I appreciate the comfort of the Model Y and have had no worries about the range on several road trips. The current $7500 Federal Tax Credit applies to the Model Y, which makes it a very attractive lease or purchase. No wonder this vehicle was the best-selling vehicle of any kind globally in the first quarter of 2023, surpassing the likes of Corolla and Golf.
8: GMC Hummer EV Pickup Range, 329 Miles
The GMC Hummer EV Pickup has gained notoriety for its appearance in the new Barbie movie. Ken Carson, Barbie’s longtime boyfriend, confidently drives the futuristic electric vehicle. The Hummer also appears in the video game “Forza Horizon 5,” and as a promotional diecast toy by Hot Wheels. If you need a pickup truck with a reliable range, check out Xcelerate’s configurator to see how much your lease payment might be for this truck.
GMC explains the crabwalk feature of this truck, “Available 4-Wheel Steer provides the maneuvering flexibility of CrabWalk—a revolutionary available setting. This allows the rear wheels to turn in the same direction as the front, up to 10 degrees in either direction, to drive diagonally at low speeds to help you traverse tight trails.”
9: Rivian R1T, 328 Miles
Rivian is an American company that has built its vehicles from the ground up. Their Quad-Motor AWD has an estimated range of 328 miles. I enjoy seeing Rivian pickup trucks quite often around Austin. Rivian has three options for their pickup trucks, with an estimated range between 270 miles to 400 miles.
Rivian says, “The R1T is available with three AWD drive systems: Dual-Motor, Performance Dual-Motor, and Quad-Motor. All three deliver exceptional performance, both on-road and off. Based on the drive system and battery pack you choose, you’ll get 270–400 miles of range.”
Both the current year 2023 R1T and R1S vehicles qualify for $3,750 in federal tax incentives.
10: BMW iX, 307 Miles
The BMW iX is built at the BMW Assembly Plant in Dingolfing, Germany. I have not had the opportunity to test-drive one. I am hopeful BMW will embrace EVs and one day offer many options to its loyal customers.
Road and Track was able to test drive this vehicle and said the inside is spacious and insulates the driver from loud city sounds. Another unique feature of this SUV is the “Panoramic Sky Lounge LED Roof,” which adds an open-air feeling and allows the interior's sky view to go from fully transparent to opaque at the touch of a button.
Lease a Long-Range Electric Car with Xcelerate
In conclusion, these top ten EVs with the longest range offer impressive options for electric vehicle enthusiasts. With increasing charging infrastructure and technology advancements, range anxiety is diminishing quickly.
Learn how you can get into one of these amazing vehicles and experience the electric revolution by checking out our personal EV leasing page!
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain
*Most recent prices available as of April 2023 *At the time of this article, Lucid had not adopted the NACS. See interview info about Ioniq 6 here.