What Car? Real Range: which electric car can go farthest in the real world?

With demand for electric models soaring, What Car? has developed a test that shows their Real Range between charges. Here we reveal the best and worst performers...

20 July 2019
BMW i3 94Ah

15. BMW i3 94Ah

  • Real Range 121 miles
  • Miles per kWh 3.1
  • Full charge cost £4.67
  • Cost per mile £0.038

The i3 is a prestige electric hatchback whose futuristic styling helped it to stand out from the crowd when it was launched in 2014.

Its relatively high price and impractical rear door arrangement mean it hasn’t been a class leader for some time, but a larger battery version was recently introduced and features higher up this list.

Read our full BMW i3 review or let us help you buy an i3

14. Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf
  • Real Range 128 miles
  • Miles per kWh 2.8
  • Full charge cost £5.40
  • Cost per mile £0.042

In its first iteration, the Leaf became the world’s best-selling electric car, while we crowned the second-generation version as our 2018 Electric Car of the Year for its punchy performance, generous safety kit and big boot.

Its range in official WLTP tests is 168 miles, but our Real Range figure shows that 128 miles is more realistic.

Read our full Nissan Leaf review or see how much we could save you on a Leaf

13. Renault Zoe Q90

New Nissan Leaf vs Renault Zoe vs Volkswagen e-Golf
  • Real Range 132 miles
  • Miles per kWh 2.7
  • Full charge cost £5.80
  • Cost per mile £0.044

The Zoe was one of the first mass-market electric cars and set out to prove that zero-emissions motoring could be both practical and cheap.

You can either lease the Zoe’s battery on a monthly basis or buy the whole car outright; do the former and it’s one of the most recommendable electric cars around.

Read our full Renault Zoe review or see how much we could save you on a Zoe

12. Renault Zoe R110

Used Renault Zoe 2013 -
  • Real Range 146 miles
  • Miles per kWh 2.9
  • Full charge cost £6.03
  • Cost per mile £0.041

This more powerful version of the Zoe has brisker mid-range acceleration than the Q90 and a slightly longer range, making it a better choice for motorway drivers. 

Prices for the R110 start at around £16,500 after the Government's £3500 electric vehicle grant is factored in.

11. Hyundai Kona Electric 39kWh

Hyundai Kona Electric 39kWh
  • Real Range 158 miles
  • Miles per kWh 3.6
  • Full charge cost £5.27
  • Cost per mile £0.033

Hyundai’s small electric SUV is offered with 134 or 201bhp, but even in its less powerful form it outperformed all but one of its mainstream rivals, with a Real Range of 158 miles.

The Kona also has a smart interior, sophisticated infotainment system and fine driving position on its side.

Read our full Hyundai Kona Electric review

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