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How far can electric cars go in one charge?

The average range of electric cars is increasing as new battery technology is developed. Electric vehicle (EV) driving range and electric car mileage per charge varies, but typically drivers can expect an average of 250 miles in a single charge. Keep in mind there are factors that can affect an EV’s range, including weather, battery size, and more.

Tesla has a long-range model that can go for about 400 miles on a single charge. Breaking the charge barrier is new auto maker Lucid Motors, which has produced a car with an estimated driving range of over 500 miles.
At Credit Union of Southern California (CU SoCal), we make buying an electric car in California easy.
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Read on to learn more about electric car range.

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Electric car range

Technology is moving forward fast and EVs of all types are being manufactured with enhanced battery technology that’s raised the average range of electric cars, giving drivers more distance-per-charge than the models released just a couple of years ago.

All-Electric Vehicle (EVs).

All-electric vehicles, also referred to as battery electric vehicles (BEVs), run entirely on an electric charge from a rechargeable battery, with no other fuel source needed. Average driving range is 250 – 500 miles.

Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs).

These are powered by an internal combustion engine in combination with an electric motor that uses energy stored in a battery. PHEVs can operate in all-electric (or charge-depleting) mode. Average driving range on electric charge: 20 – 40 miles.

Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEVs)

Sometimes referred to as “hybrids,” HEVs are powered by a gas-powered internal combustion engine and an electric motor that uses energy stored in a battery. Average driving range: 20-30 miles.
How far can an electric car go in one charge?
Here are some of the EVs with the longest driving distance, according to EPA averages:
  • Tesla Model S Long Range: Up to 405 miles
  • Ford Mustang Mach-E: 314 miles
  • Tesla Model 3: 315 miles
  • Chevrolet Bolt: 259 miles
  • Hyundai Kona Electric: 258 miles
  • Lucid Motors Lucid Air: Up to 520

Factors that can affect an EV's range

There are numerous factors that can affect electric car mileage per charge and how many miles can an electric car go, these include:
Weather. EVs lose some charging capacity in cold weather because cold slows down the chemical reactions in the battery. A study by AAA found that “when the mercury dips to 20°F and the HVAC system is used to heat the inside of the vehicle, the average driving range is decreased by 41 percent.”
Driving speed. The faster you drive the more energy will be used by the motor, which results in more charge loss. If you are driving fast long-distance highway driving, you will likely need to recharge your battery.
Battery size. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “most of today's all-electric vehicles and plug-in electric vehicles use lithium-ion batteries, though the exact chemistry often varies from that of consumer electronics batteries.” Each car manufacturer determines the size of the battery to put in a particular model. EV battery sizes are measured in kWh (kilowatt-hours), which largely determines the driving distance.

How long does it take to charge an EV?

EV charging stations come in three charging levels, each providing a different charging voltage. The difference in voltage translates to charging time, with level 1 being the lowest voltage and the longest charging time.
Level 1. Most new EVs come with a level 1 charging cord. Level 1 charging units operate on 120-volt electric power, which means you can plug it into a household plug. This provides the slowest charting time.
Level 2. This provides charging approximately 10 times faster than level 1. Level 2 requires a 240-volt plug, such as the one used for an electric clothes dryer.
Level 3. This capacity is delivered by DC (direct current) and is what you’ll find at public charging stations.

What happens when an EV runs out of charge?

Electric car range is a concern for most drivers, but electric car mileage per charge is increasing due to new technology. Electric vehicles feature a warning light and/or dashboard symbol that alerts the driver to a low battery in need of charging.

As long as you pay attention to your car’s battery charge indicator (as you would pay attention to gas gauge), you shouldn’t worry about running out of charge. Most vehicles with GPS will provide a map of the nearest charge locations. If you do ignore the low charge warning the car will eventually stop and you will need to get towed to a charging station.

Which EV is right for me?

When deciding which EV to buy, think about your driving habits and what you need the vehicle for. Will you be commuting to work, shuttling the kids to sports, or driving long distances? Any one of these factors alone can point to which vehicle will best fit your needs. When shopping for an EV, one of the most common questions people ask is, “how far can an electric car go in one charge?”
As we mentioned earlier, the electric car mileage per charge and average range of electric cars largely depends on individual driving habits, the type of driving (highway vs. stop and go), and weather.
For most people, budget is another concern. EVs aren’t cheap, but they can save you money in the long-term.
Another thing to consider is vehicle availability. EVs are in high demand, so be sure to visit a dealership as soon as you know which make and model you want, as there may be a waitlist for delivery.

Are electric cars worth it?

Although the initial cost for buying an electric vehicle is typically higher than a gas-powered vehicle, California electric car rebates and incentives, including the California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, can make them more affordable. With gas prices going up, electric cars might actually be more affordable in the long run.

Do electric cars really save you money?

When it comes to average cost of electric car vs. gas car, owning an electric vehicle is cheaper than owning a gas-powered car, especially if you plan on keeping the car for several years.
Are EVs worth it? How much can you save driving an electric car depends on the make, model, and features you choose, as well as how long you own the car. A Consumer Reports study shows that gas-only cars cost more in repairs in the long term.
EVs can be pricey, so you may need to save up money for a car.

How long do EV batteries last?

The EV battery technology is improving all the time, and EV batteries are being built to last 15-20 years. Because EV batteries don’t perform as well in cold weather, a car driven in cold or extreme conditions may become depleted sooner.

Weather can affect electric car range and electric car mileage per charge.

Are electric cars good for the environment?

Although the initial cost for buying an electric car in California may be high, California electric car rebates (including the California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project) and incentives can make them more affordable.

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