• How Far Do Electric Cars REALLY Go?

How Far Do Electric Cars REALLY Go?

Discover the truth about driving an EV and overcome range anxiety

With fuel prices going up and the deadline to an EV-only future looming, you’d be forgiven for feeling the pressure of investing in an electric car

We expect you’ll have lots of questions when it comes to EV ownership, so as electric-vehicle experts, at Wilsons Epsom you’re in safe hands. Do you have range anxiety? Can an electric car really go the distance before recharging? Does cold weather affect an electric car’s driving range? We answer all these questions and more… 

What is range anxiety?

It seems the struggle is real. As UK motorists face a future of electric-only vehicles, many people feel concerned about the reliability of a battery-powered car. Known as ‘range anxiety’, this is the fear that an electric car will stop working mid-trip. 

Whilst we appreciate this is a very real worry, the truth is that the chances of this actually happening are unlikely - unless you fail to charge your car at all of course! Let’s put it into perspective; most of us are not overly concerned when our fuel light comes on, as we understand that we still have a certain amount of miles left in the tank before we fill up. So why is it any different for an electric car?  

To give you peace of mind, we’ve explained more about this below…

What happens when an electric car runs out of charge?

The main point to remember is that when an electric car starts getting low on charge, it will let you know. An electric vehicle will warn you well in advance when you need to stop and recharge via the dashboard display - referred to as Driving to Empty (DTE).

Generally, an electric car will warn you when there’s roughly 20% battery power left. Depending on the make and model of your EV, it may even inform you where the nearest charger is if you’re mid-journey. If not, downloading an app like Zap Map will allow you to easily search for charge points all over the UK. 

However, just like a petrol or diesel car, your electric vehicle can of course run out of battery power if you do fail to recharge it within the given timeframe. In this instance, your car will come to a complete stop. Just like you would in any other car, you’ll need to call for roadside assistance to tow you home or to the nearest charging station.

Do bear in mind that not all electric vehicles can be towed in the traditional manner. Many need to be moved using a flatbed truck to avoid potential damage to the traction motors and electrical components. You may be lucky that your breakdown provider has a mobile charger on board, so they’ll be able to boost your battery until you can reach the next charging station. 

Check out our dedicated Everything you need to know about EV Charging blog where we explain how to charge an electric car, how much it costs, how long it takes to charge, and so much more.   

How far can an electric car go?

Understandably, one of the biggest concerns motorists have about transitioning to an electric car is how far it will actually go. 

Manufacturers are quick to boast about how much range their latest EV models have, so how far can you really drive in an electric car? Well, there’s no one short answer to this question as it totally depends on a number of contributing factors.  

Here we’ve listed the top 10 reasons an electric vehicle’s battery range will vary: 

  1. Make and model of vehicle
  2. Size of the battery
  3. Engine efficiency
  4. Weight of the car
  5. The weather
  6. Driving style
  7. Road surface
  8. Average speed
  9. Use of equipment
  10. Condition of tyres  

On average, the range of an electric car is generally considered to be about 250-miles based on the 40 most popular models tested. At Wilsons Epsom in Surrey, we’re proud to represent 11 new car brands, including; Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Jeep, Hyundai, Nissan, Nismo, Peugeot, MG, Renault & Dacia, as well as stocking over 1,000 nearly new and used cars that you can browse on site or online. 

We stock electric vehicles from some of the biggest manufacturers in the world, so if you’re looking for an electric car in Surrey, then make Wilsons Epsom your first and only pit stop.

How is the driving range tested on electric vehicles?     

All electric vehicles undergo testing to determine its range. This process is called the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP). Its purpose is to determine the range of miles based on what an everyday driver would experience, such as urban and rural driving, or motorway travel. 

Manufacturers then use this system to promote the achieved range. Their examples may contain WLTP urban cycle, or WLTP combined cycle. We’ve displayed the WLTP ranges for our electric vehicles in the table below…  

Electric car range by make and model 

Let’s get to the nitty gritty! Whilst manufacturers quote the top end driving range figures based on WLTP results, what you really want to know is how realistic this is. 

To be completely transparent, we’ve also featured the ‘real-world’ driving ranges of each electric car listed, so that you can get a clearer indication of how many miles you can actually expect from each EV on a single charge.  

In the table below, we’ve listed the range* for each of the fully-electric cars stocked here at Wilsons Epsom. Get in touch with us today to take one of these electrifying vehicles for a test drive! 

*Ranges quoted are the official WLTP figures from the manufacturer, alongside the Electric Vehicle Database (EVDB) figures. The EVDB provides a complete overview of all electric vehicles in the UK and estimates ranges in a real-world situation.  

Electric car make and model

Manufacturers top driving range (WLTP figures)

Real-world driving range (EVDB figures)

Audi E-Tron

341 miles 

260 miles

Fiat 500e

199 miles

145 miles

Hyundai IONIQ Electric

193 miles 

155 miles

Hyundai IONIQ 5

298 miles

185 miles

Hyundai KONA Electric

300 miles

245 miles 

Jaguar I-Pace

292 miles

235 miles

MG ZS EV

273 miles

165 miles

MG5 EV Long Range

370 miles

225 miles

Nissan ARIYA

310 miles

275 miles

Nissan LEAF

239 miles

145 miles

Peugeot e-208

225 miles

175 miles

Peugeot e-2008

214 miles

155 miles

Peugeot e-Rifter

172 miles

No data available

Renault Zoe E-Tech

238 miles

190 miles

Tesla Model 3

374 miles

235 miles

Tesla Model S

396 miles

350 miles

Electric car range myths debunked

As the popularity of electric vehicles grows, so does the list of myths associated with EV ownership. If you’re looking to purchase an electric car but have been put off by some of the false news in the press, we’re here to help put the record straight by answering some of your hard-hitting questions… 

Do electric cars lose range over time?

In short, yes. Electric cars do lose range over time, but it is not as noticeable as you may first think. It’s estimated that electric vehicle range will drop by just 2% a year, so the miles lost are pretty minimal.

Do electric car batteries stop working when they’re old?

Not as such. Like any battery-operated technology, an electric car battery will degrade over time, so it won’t just stop working without warning. Most manufacturers offer a battery warranty of up to 10 years, so you’ll find it won’t need replacing any time soon.

Does cold weather reduce the range of an electric car?

Like with all vehicles, cold weather can have a negative impact on an electric car’s performance. Because batteries perform better in the heat, prolonged periods of cold weather and freezing conditions will reduce the range of miles from your electric car.  

Are electric cars slower to drive?

This is a common misconception which is entirely false. In fact, electric cars are much quicker than their combustion engine counterparts. Because an electric motor generates power much quicker than petrol and diesel engines, they are very quick off the mark. 

Are electric cars unsafe to drive in wet weather?

In short, no! Driving an electric car in wet weather conditions, such as heavy rain or through puddles on road surfaces, is no different to a conventional vehicle. Although we understand the rationale behind this myth, we can reassure you that the battery packs and electrical system in an EV are protected from the elements. Which means there’s no need to worry about driving through your local car wash either! 

Can an electric vehicle be used for towing?

Another misconception is that you can’t use an electric vehicle to tow. The truth is quite the opposite! Some EVs in the market have been specifically approved for towing the likes of trailers, horseboxes and caravans.   

Electric cars at Wilsons Epsom     

Accelerate your journey to a greener future of driving by going electric! Here at Wilsons Epsom in Surrey, we offer some of the very best electric cars available right now. Explore our electrifying range in-person or online and book a test drive in one of our EV demonstrators, and speak to us about making your electric dreams a reality!

Discover more in our dedicated The Future of Electric Cars blog which explains why there’s never been a better time to make the switch to electric, and what electric car options are available to you at Wilsons Epsom.

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