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Electric Vehicles That Promise the Most Range

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 3/26/2015 Kelly Pleskot

Electric vehicles have been around for a while, but many drivers continue to stay away from them because of range anxiety. Some models, however, are clearly better than others. Electric vehicles on the market today come with an estimated range starting as low as 62 miles on the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and exceeding more than 250 miles on some Tesla models. Here are the electric vehicles available today with the highest EPA-rated range.

Research


Electric Vehicles That Promise the Most Range
BMW i3 BEVNissan LeafTesla Model S 85
Chevrolet Spark EVMercedes-Benz B-ClassTesla Model S 60
Volkswagen e-GolfFiat 500eTesla Model S P85D
Chevrolet Bolt EVKia Soul EVTesla Model S 85D

BMW i3 BEV – 81 miles

2014 BMW i3 eDrive Remote Valet Parking© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 BMW i3 eDrive Remote Valet Parking The BMW i3 BEV, starting at around $43,000, isn't cheap, but this urban hatch but will take you a reasonable distance on a single charge. Drivers can plug the i3 into a standard 240-volt outlet to recharge the battery in just 3.5 hours. According to the EPA, the model also has the best fuel economy of any new car on the market at 124 mpg-e in combined city and highway driving. Look for plenty of sustainable materials inside the cabin, including recycled plastics, responsibly forested eucalyptus, and plant fibers covering the instrument panel and door trim.

Chevrolet Spark EV – 82 miles

2015 Chevrolet Spark EV Charging© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Chevrolet Spark EV Charging The Chevrolet Spark EV was only available in California and Oregon before this year, but now the tiny hatch is rolling out at dealerships in Maryland. Standard features on this model include height-adjustable driver's seat, keyless ignition and entry, heated front seats, a 7-inch touchscreen, and 10 airbags. For 2015, General Motors made the car quicker with some tweaking to the drivetrain.

Volkswagen e-Golf – 83 miles

2015 Volkswagen E Golf© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Volkswagen E Golf The 2015 e-Golf is Volkswagen's first all-electric car to be sold in the U.S. Although at just over $36,000 it's not the cheapest EV on the market, it comes with plenty of standard features, including full navigation, push-button start, heated front seats, leatherette upholstery, parking sensors, and back-up camera. Because the battery pack is located below the trunk on the e-Golf, cargo capacity doesn't suffer.

Nissan Leaf – 84 miles

The Leaf is the world's best-selling electric car. Now priced at less than $30,000 before federal tax credits, the Nissan Leaf is one of the more affordable options on the market, and even the base model offers heated front and rear seats and a rearview camera. We expect a second-generation model to feature a battery with increased energy density so drivers can travel much farther on a single charge.

Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive – 87 miles

2015 Mercedes Benz B Class Electric Drive© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Mercedes Benz B Class Electric Drive The B-Class comes with a Tesla-sourced battery inside, but it feels like a Mercedes in every other way. It shares much of its front-drive architecture with the A-, CLA-, and GLA-Class models but offers the most accommodating interior with room for plenty of gear. The cabin is nice and quiet so as not to mar the driving experience. Leather seats, a wood dashboard, and other surfaces embody luxury, and unique shift paddles on the steering wheel allow drivers to control the amount of regenerative braking produced at a given moment.

Fiat 500e – 87 miles

2015 Fiat 500E© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Fiat 500E The Fiat 500e differs in many ways from the rest of the 500 lineup. Its torque-happy electric motor makes it particularly nimble and responsive, and it also offers a stiffer suspension to accommodate for its extra weight. The model starts at a little more than $32,000 before tax credits.

Kia Soul EV – 93 miles

2015 Kia Soul EV Front Three Quarter View 43© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Kia Soul EV Front Three Quarter View 43 Given its unusual styling, the Kia Soul EV might not look like a serious EV. But once you drive this hatch, there's no doubting its ability to hold a steady range. It's surprisingly quick both in the city and on the highway, and drivers will feel comfortable thanks to the car's low motor whine and comfortable interior.

Tesla Model S 60 – 208 miles

2014 Tesla Model S© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Tesla Model S As the base trim in the Model S lineup, the 60 version (with a 60-kW-hr battery) offers plenty of range for long-distance driving. But even the base model costs a pretty penny at more than $71,000 before incentives. Standard features include heated power front seats with lumbar, Wi-Fi connectivity, Internet radio, vinyl upholstery, and a 17-inch touchscreen.

Tesla Model S P85D – 253 miles

2015 Tesla Model S P85D Front Three Quarter In Motion© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Tesla Model S P85D Front Three Quarter In Motion The P85D, the most powerful car in the Model S lineup, features an upgraded 691-hp dual-motor system that takes just 3.2 seconds to zip to 60 mph. But even though the P85D is the top-of-the-line version, it doesn't take the cake in terms of range. Prices for this upgraded model start more than $104,000.

Tesla Model S 85 – 265 miles

2013 Tesla Model S© Provided by MotorTrend 2013 Tesla Model S Instead of a standard 60-kW-hr battery, buyers can upgrade to the 85-kW-hr model that offers increased range and a higher top speed than the base model. But fuel economy decreases slightly at 88/90 mpge city/highway. Supercharging capability becomes standard on this model, allowing drivers to replenish half the car's charge in just 20 minutes.

Tesla Model S 85D – 270 miles

2014 Tesla Model S© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Tesla Model S Just like the P85D, the regular 85D features all-wheel drive and an additional motor. Along with its incredible range, this model also features top-of-the-charts fuel economy at 95/106 mpge city/highway. The annual cost to power the vehicle is estimated at just $600, or $4,750 less than a typical new vehicle on the market today.

In the future…

2015 Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept Front Side View With Cityscape© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept Front Side View With Cityscape In just the next few years, a number of new players will make the EV game more interesting. General Motors is bringing out the Chevrolet Bolt electric small car, which promises a range of about 200 miles on one charge. Reports say Nissan is looking to double its range on the next-generation of the Leaf hatchback. Meanwhile, Audi is boasting a 280-mile range for its upcoming R8 E-Tron supercar.

Top Electric Vehicles© Provided by MotorTrend Top Electric Vehicles
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