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The top 5 longest range electric cars in Australia

How far can an EV go on a single charge?

Which electric car has the longest range?

The Tesla Model S Plaid+ has a range of approximately 837km on a single charge, making it the highest range electric car. 

Range, for those just learning all of the lingo related to Electric Vehicles (EVs), is essentially shorthand for how far a fully charged EV battery can take you, distance-wise, before the battery runs empty and the car conks out. 

It’s also one of the most important factors people take into consideration when buying an EV, due to the fact it gives an indication of how far you can travel between charges. 

Concern over this has led to “range anxiety” in some consumers, so the longer the range of an EV is, the more those concerns dissipate. 

Having said that, the average Australian drives 38km per day, meaning EV drivers can go for at least 10 days without having to charge - a figure that should bring some comfort to nervous nellies who worry about running out of power.

Australia’s growing network of public charging stations is another important factor in relieving consumers’ range anxiety - you’ll likely have spotted chargers popping up in supermarket and shopping centre car parks. It’s also worth noting that you can charge your EV at home - something that 80 per cent of global EV owners do by using either grid, wind or solar power (or a combination thereof). 

The range of an EV is determined by a technician who calculates the EV’s energy consumption by dividing the kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy needed to replenish the battery by the number of kilometres driven.

EV battery packs, which usually consist of hundreds or even thousands of lithium-ion cells, have their capacity rated in kWh, and the higher the kWh number, the further you’ll be able to travel on a single charge before having to visit a recharge station. 

How far can an electric car go on one charge? Well, that depends on a lot of factors, not just the kWh of the battery pack. 

Things like extreme temperature, keeping your battery either fully drained or fully charged, frequent fast-charging using a DC fast-charger and rapid acceleration can all negatively impact the EV’s battery, and therefore the range it is ultimately able to achieve. 

Improving range in EVs is at the forefront of EV research and development, chiefly through looking at new ways to produce EV batteries with increased capacity.

Solid-state batteries, which can store energy more densely, are widely considered to be safer, cheaper and can be used for longer without a decline in performance, making them a battery type that is a key contender to eventually replace lithium-ion batteries as the EV power source of choice. 

If you’re curious as to what the longest range hybrid car is, the simple answer is that hybrids aren’t measured using range because they don’t contain a rechargeable battery - just an internal-combustion engine and a small battery that is charged via regenerative braking.

It helps if you think of a hybrid’s battery as something that gives the car a little boost, but isn’t necessarily the thing used as the primary source of power for the car. 

Here’s a comparison between Tesla range and the range of some other models available in Australia. 

 

Tesla range (km)

Tesla range is famous for being so good because they produce powerful - and also very heavy - battery packs. 

The company has made a significant leap with its Tesla Model S Plaid+ - a promised range of 837km - and that car will become available in 2022. 

This is a far cry from the 2012 Tesla Model S, which came with either a 60kWh battery pack offering 335km of range, or an 85kWh battery pack offering 426km of range. 

Tesla Model S range: 628km (Plaid), 663km (Long Range), 837km (Plaid+)

Tesla Model 3 range: 508km (Standard Range Plus), 628km (Performance) 657km (Long Range)

Tesla Model X range: 547km (Plaid), 580km (Long Range)

 

Hyundai Kona Electric range

This zero-emission small SUV claims a driving range of 484km on a single charge, an impressive number considering the Kona Electric is at the more affordable end of the EV market (starting around the $60K mark).

For comparison, the mid-size Hyundai Ioniq Electric range is 373km on a single charge, but it is also around $10K cheaper than the Kona Electric.

 

Jaguar I-Pace range

Although it lags a little in range compared to Teslas, Jaguar’s I-Pace range of up to 470km is nothing to be sneezed at. 

 

Nissan Leaf range

The Nissan Leaf is increasing in popularity with EV drivers due to its price of just under $50K, and a range between 315km and 385km.

This makes it a direct competitor to Hyundai’s Kona Electric, which offers a similar range for a similar price. 

 

BMW i3 range

BMW’s sub-compact electric car comes with the manufacturer’s famous German engineering, but also its premium price tag - $71,900 for a range of 329km, placing it below the Nissan Leaf and Hyundai’s electric offerings, but higher in price. 

 

Renault Zoe range

Another subcompact car, the Renault Zoe trumps the BMW i3 in terms of price and range: $49,490 for an impressive 403km range.

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