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...

Tesla Model 3
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What Car? team
8 Oct 2019 09:40

10. Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus

  • Real Range 181 miles
  • Miles per kWh 3.1
  • Full charge cost £8.20
  • Cost per mile £0.045

This is the cheapest Tesla yet. And while it isn't as good to drive as the Performance version of the Model 3, because it misses out on four-wheel drive and generally feels less agile and controlled, the Standard Range Plus makes a much cheaper company car than petrol and diesel alternatives.

Tesla is still to confirm how long it takes to charge the car using one of its Superchargers, but typically these are faster than regular public charging points.

Read our full Tesla Model 3 review

9. Audi E-tron 55 quattro

Audi E-tron front
  • Real Range 196 miles
  • Miles per kWh 2.0
  • Full charge cost £13.43
  • Cost per mile £0.069

The Audi E-tron doesn’t feel as sporty to drive as the rival Jaguar I-Pace, and it has a shorter range. However, it’s the classier of the two inside and the quieter cruiser.

In a first for a production car, buyers can improve the aerodynamics by opting to remove the E-tron’s door mirrors and replace them with cameras that feed into small screens inside.

Tesla Model S
  • Real Range 204 miles
  • Miles per kWh 2.4
  • Full charge cost £10.09
  • Cost per mile £0.049

The Model S transformed the image of electric vehicles when it arrived in 2014. A luxury car with plenty of space for five adults, it’s capable of sports car performance and has a long range.

It can be charged at home in an average of 11 hours, while Tesla’s Superchargers will give you 80% in half an hour. However, it should be noted that our Real Range test was carried out in 2018, before Tesla upgraded the Model S's power unit.

Read our full Tesla Model S review or let us help you buy a Model S

7. Mercedes EQC

Mercedes EQC front
  • Real Range 208 miles
  • Miles per kWh 2.2
  • Full charge cost £13.05
  • Cost per mile £0.063

A rival to the Audi E-tron and Jaguar I-Pace, the EQC is closer in character to the former, being exceptionally quiet and comfortable but not particularly agile.

Its Real Range, meanwhile, treads the middle ground, with it managing 208 miles on a charge in our test.

Read our full Mercedes EQC review or let us help you buy an EQC

6. Tesla Model 3 Long Range

Tesla Model 3 nose
  • Real Range 211 miles
  • Miles per kWh 2.6
  • Full charge cost £11.55
  • Cost per mile £0.055

Logic would suggest that the Long Range version of the Model 3 would manage more miles between charges than the range-topping Performance model. After all, although the two cars officially have the same size battery, the Long Range has the advantage of smaller, more aerodynamic wheels.

Sadly, Tesla decided against providing a Model 3 Long Range for testing, so we sourced one from elsewhere and found that the battery of that particular car actually had a smaller capacity than the one in the Model 3 Performance tested previously.

This could have been down to the way the car had been recharged during its life, but whatever the reason, it contributed to a Real Range figure on the day of 211 miles, which is actually less than the Performance managed.

Our test of the Long Range was also blighted by heavy rain, meaning extra battery power would have been required to push the tyres through the standing water. Tesla has been asked to supply a car for retesting, but has so far declined.

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