EV Range: What You Need to Know

When looking to buy an electric car, range is an important factor to consider. These tips can help you decide how much range you need.

EV Range: What You Need to Know

When deciding whether electrification will work for you, it is important to ask yourself if an

Electric car

Can offer you the range that you need. This was once a simple yes or no question. Today, there are many options.

Over 40 new electric cars

There are many battery options to choose from.

There are now electric cars that can cover a range of distances, from 100 miles to 516 miles. Prospective EV purchasers must now decide not only whether they want to purchase an electric vehicle, but also what range they are looking for.

You'll find below a list of factors you should consider when deciding what range you need.

Your budget

The $138,000 car is the best option if money is not an issue.

Lucid Air Grand Touring 516-miles

You may not have unlimited budgeting power, so the range you get will depend on your choice of EVs and battery capacity.

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Generally, the higher the price of an EV, the longer its range and the larger the battery.

Battery is the most expensive component on an electric car. It directly affects the price, power, range and charging time. The price of electric vehicles will eventually be reduced by new developments in battery chemistry. However, it is a general rule that the larger the battery the higher the EV price. The cost of optional equipment can also reduce the range. It's important to consider this when choosing between an all-wheel-drive system or a performance package.

Hyundai Ioniq 5SE Extended Range

For example, the range drops from 303 to 266 miles when you upgrade to AWD. This costs an extra $3,500. If you live in sunny Southern California then perhaps it's not worth the upgrade.

You can also use your own commute

It seems like a no brainer: the most important factor to consider when looking for an electric vehicle is how many miles you drive on average each day. This is a simple question, but I often find that drivers overestimate it.

Many American drivers are unaware of their actual mileage on most days. This is due to the speed and abundance of gas stations, as well as the historical focus on the miles per gallon instead of miles per tank. To understand electric cars, you need to change your perspective. According to

Federal Highway Administration estimates for 2021

The average US driver covers less than 40 miles each day. This is a distance that almost anyone could cover.

You can purchase EVs today


Your mileage will vary due to the nature averages. The average mileage of drivers in rural areas and suburbanites who have long commutes can be significantly higher, while city dwellers or remote workers will usually drive less on most days. You can use your car's trip counter or Google Maps to plot your daily routes and get a better idea of how much range you require.

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You'll need to allow for irregular and unexpected trips. The average American travels only 40 miles per day.

Be sure to allow yourself some flexibility. You'll be driving more or less on some days. We don't all drive the same route every day. You'll need to include variations in your estimation, such as detours due to traffic, shopping at the weekend, and visits to family or friends.

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Each EV available in 2023 ranked by range

Your charging strategy

Once you have calculated how much battery range you will need each day, you can then determine how and when you will be able charge. Installing a charger in your garage or driveway will allow you to start each day with a fully charged (or almost full, if only charging up to 80%). You may be able get away with less miles between charges since you will be resetting your range every night. You can reduce your dependence on large batteries and range by charging at your workplace, retail stores or other locations you visit.

You may consider an EV that has enough range to last a few days without charging if you live in a multifamily or apartment building where there is no charger or a shared one. If you do not have consistent access to charging, it may be better to wait before going electric.

Your climate

The ambient temperature can affect your EV's driving range just as much as the actual driving. Even freezing temperatures can reduce the range of your EV.

The EV range is 25%

According to a study by Idaho National Labs. According to an article, if you turn up the heat, your range could drop as much as 41 percent.

AAA 2019 Study

According to the same research, air conditioning can reduce the range of an electric vehicle by up to 17% on hot days.

Heat pump technology and sophisticated thermal systems can minimize the impact of winter range reductions on newer, advanced EVs. These vehicles often do not suffer as much as the EVs of 2019, but a penalty in terms of range is unavoidable. If you live in a region with harsh winters and extreme heat, it's important to factor in some shrinkage when choosing an EV.

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You'll have to factor in the effect of extreme cold on your electric vehicle range when you make your estimate.

It may be worth looking at EVs with the longest range possible if you frequently take long road trips. High-speed DC fast chargers and Tesla Superchargers are usually available at regular intervals, and depending on where one lives, along major interstate highways. This reduces the need for a large per charge range.

My experience has shown that the speed at which your EV recharges is as important, if you don't more so, than how much range it can pack. Our long-term

Kia EV6

The test car has a range of around 274 miles on a full battery charge. It's also one of the fastest charging EVs at its price point, with 233 kW. This means that I can travel from San Francisco to Los Angeles in just two 20-minute breaks. The more range I have, the fewer legs. But, I would still want to stop every 2 to 3 hrs for food and to stretch.

You may, on the contrary, want to have longer stops between each one. You may want a greater range safety net if the infrastructure for charging is not as advanced in your area. You may enjoy outdoor activities such as camping, exploring and other adventures that take you off the beaten track. All of these factors may lead you to choose an EV that has a larger battery than ours.

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Charging speed is more important than range for road tips.

Battery health is important

It's not a good idea to let your EV battery run flat. And this isn't just because you'd rather not be left stranded on the roadside. The chemistry of lithium-ion battery is most healthy and happy between 10% and 80% charge. Nuking your battery repeatedly can negatively affect the range over time. Almost all EVs come with built-in reserves, a portion that you do not have access to, to minimize degradation. If you plan to keep your EV indefinitely and want to preserve its maximum range, you should consider charging your battery to 100% only when necessary and never completely draining it.

In this regard, it is important to note that the

Mazda MX-30

One of the cheapest, but shortest range new EVs available today drops from an EPA estimated 100 miles per charge down to a much less impressive 70 in the sweet spot. Or around 90 if charging to 100% is done every time. Jane Q will be covered. This is based on a hypothetical 40-mile drive, which leaves little room for unexpected detours. If she is planning to use this car as her only vehicle, then other options such as the

Hyundai Kona EV

, with its estimated 258 miles by the EPA, or the 275 mile



Other cars on your driveway

Your EV does not need to be the only vehicle you own. According to the

most recent US Census data

A majority of Americans own a car. 37.1% have two cars and 21.9% have three or more. If you want to keep a gas or hybrid car in your driveway along with your new EV then a vehicle such as the

Mini Cooper SE

The 114-mile electric range of a premium compact car, which the automaker says is usually the second or third vehicle for its target customers, could be an attractive EV choice despite its limited range. The cheaper EV can be used as a commuter car or for around-town driving, while the longer-range vehicles are reserved for road trips and weekend excursions.