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How Far Can An Electric Car Travel On A Single Charge?

Updated: Apr 23


how far can an electric car go

In 2024, more electric vehicles (EVs) will be available than ever before, including the Range Rover Electric, the Hyundai Ioniq 7, and the Volvo EX30. As EV sales increase, ownership is becoming more mainstream and widespread. Now, EV shoppers have many options, from simple sedans to luxury cars and powerful SUVs to electric pickup trucks.


If you're going to have a business installing EV charging stations, you should know about EVs. For instance, how far can electric cars go on a single charge?


Many solar installers are also installing EV chargers as a way to upsell customers and provide a value add service.


Many potential EV drivers are concerned about recharging their EV batteries on the go because it is harder to charge a car than fill up with gas. Unfortunately, range anxiety may be a concern of your customers.


What Is The Average Range For An Electric Vehicle?

Because battery electric vehicles rely only on power from the batteries, they must be charged periodically. Often, this is roughly similar or less compared to how far a conventional vehicle can drive before it needs to be refueled. However, a number of factors can also impact electric car range, such as ambient temperatures, topography, battery pack capacity, battery condition, and driving style.


The average range for an EV is currently a little over 200 miles, but ranges are gradually increasing in newer models as battery technology advances. However, EV ranges vary widely among manufacturers and models. For example, a quick search of manufacturers’ websites shows the 2024 Tesla Model S is around 400 miles, while the 2024 Nissan Leaf has a 149-mile range.


Many automakers are offering standard and extended-range or long-range options with a larger EV battery pack for an additional charge. For example, the Polestar 2 has the standard 69 kWh battery, whereas the long-range version has an 82-kWh battery. However, extended-range versions of EVs have a higher cost.


Increasingly, many companies are starting to add EVs to their corporate fleets, sometimes to help meet carbon emission reduction targets. One big selling point is that the cost of owning an EV is lower than that of a conventional car because it requires less maintenance and results in savings on fuel. Depending on the needed range for the vehicle, some models are insufficient for commercial use.


How Many Miles Can An Electric Car Go On One Charge?

Because the range of an EV varies depending on the model, start by researching the EPA-rated range. Remember that real-world driving conditions can also impact the vehicle range, usually decreasing the range.


Over time, the range of new BEV models has increased significantly. For example, the first-generation Nissan Leaf had a range of about 85 miles with a 24-kWh battery compared to the standard 40 kWh battery with a 149-mile range available now. And, as battery technology advances, the range of future electric will likely increase accordingly.


When traveling long distances, it is often necessary to charge on the go at a commercial EV charging station. As the charging infrastructure improves, there will be more public charging options than ever before and these options are likely to increase over time. Now, shopping centers, parking garages, workplaces, business districts and even some multifamily buildings have charging stations.


How Long Does It Take To Recharge An Electric Vehicle?

Charging times for EVs vary largely based on the type of charging station and the capacity of the battery. For example, Level I EV battery chargers use a standard wall outlet and can take 24 to 48 hours to charge. By contrast, most Level II chargers take about 5 – 10 hours to fully charge a depleted electric car battery, making them far more appealing.


DC fast chargers are the fastest option available, and some can fully charge a battery in minutes instead of hours. However, regularly using a fast charger can cause battery degradation, reducing the capacity of the battery slightly over time.


For this reason, Level II chargers have become popular for home use, and many EV drivers install these chargers at home. Currently, DC fast chargers are prohibitively expensive for most homeowners, so they are mostly just commercially available.


What Impacts How Far An Electric Car Can Go?

Several factors influence the range of an electric car. The primary determinants include the vehicle's battery capacity, driving efficiency, and use of regenerative braking. Additionally, factors such as aerodynamics, weight, road conditions, climate control usage, and external temperatures can impact an electric car's range. Maintenance practices, tire pressure, and driving behavior also play roles in determining how far an electric car can go on a single charge.


Factors Increasing EV Range

Factors Decreasing EV Range

EV Battery Capacity

High Speeds

Efficient Driving Practices

Cold Temperatures

Regenerative Braking

Aggressive Acceleration

Vehicle Aerodynamics

Hilly Terrain

Lightweight Design

Low Tire Pressure

Climate Control Use

Excessive Cargo Weight

Low Rolling Resistance

Battery Degradation


how far can an electric car travel on a single charge

Temperature: Unfortunately, EV batteries don’t perform as well in cold conditions, so vehicle range decreases by up to 20% in colder temperatures.


Heat & AC: When the heat, seat warmers, or air conditioner are on, especially on full blast, it decreases the vehicle's range. When battery life is an issue, it is helpful to have the heat or AC on low.


Vehicle Speed: Traveling at higher speeds, such as over 60 mph, decreases the driving range.


Payload: Excess weight in the vehicle also shortens the range. When possible, avoid hauling heavy items and cargo.


Electric car driving style: Quick acceleration and fast driving reduce the range of EVs. Thus, accelerate gradually when possible.


Battery degradation: As batteries age, they become less effective at holding a charge. When possible, avoid exposure to extremely high temperatures when parked and avoid fast charging except when it is imperative, like on a road trip where charger availability may be scarce.

Does An EV’s Range Decrease Over The Life Of The Vehicle?

As EV batteries age, vehicle range decreases due to battery degradation. However, most EV manufacturers offer a battery warranty for a specific number of miles. For example, many offer an 8-year/100,000-mile warranty for the battery, ensuring at least 70% of its original capacity.


When purchasing a used EV, it is essential to consider how degradation may have decreased the range of the EV. Also, the battery warranty is an important consideration when purchasing a used EV, because some out-of-warranty battery repairs are expensive.


How Can I Increase How Far My EV Can Go On a Charge?

Improving the range of your EV involves optimizing various factors that influence energy efficiency. Here are several tips to help maximize how far your electric car can go:


Efficient Driving Practices:

  • Avoid rapid acceleration and heavy braking.

  • Maintain a consistent speed.

  • Use regenerative braking to recapture energy when slowing down.


Aerodynamics:

  • Keep windows closed at higher speeds to reduce drag.

  • Remove roof racks or carriers when not in use.


Climate Control:

  • Precondition your EV while it's still plugged in to minimize the use of heating or cooling while driving.

  • Use seat heaters and steering wheel warmers instead of heating the entire cabin.

  • Park in shaded areas or lower the windows if possible to reduce the need for air conditioning.


Optimal Tire Pressure:

  • Regularly check and maintain the recommended tire pressure.

  • Well-inflated tires reduce rolling resistance and improve efficiency.


Battery Management:

  • Charge your EV regularly to keep the battery within its optimal state of charge.

  • Avoid frequently charging to 100%; a charge between 20-80% is often recommended for daily use.


Drive at Moderate Speeds:

  • Higher speeds result in increased aerodynamic drag, reducing efficiency.

  • Use cruise control on highways for steady speed and efficient driving.


Plan Efficient Routes:

  • Use navigation systems that consider topography and traffic to optimize your route.

  • Minimize hilly terrain if possible.


Reduce Weight:

  • Remove unnecessary items from the vehicle to reduce weight.


Battery Health:

  • Keep your battery in good health through regular maintenance and software updates.

  • Avoid exposing your EV to extreme temperatures for prolonged periods.


Regenerative Braking:

  • This technology converts the vehicle's kinetic energy back into electrical energy during deceleration, helping to recharge the battery.

  • Some electric cars have different levels of regenerative braking, with higher levels allowing greater EV driving range.

Do Heat Pumps Increase How Far Electric Cars Can Go In Cold Weather?

Yes, heat pumps in electric vehicles (EVs) can help extend the range in cold weather. Traditional electric resistance heaters are less efficient in cold temperatures, consuming more energy from the battery to heat the cabin. In contrast, heat pumps are more energy-efficient as they transfer heat from the outside environment to the inside of the vehicle.


Here's how heat pumps can contribute to extending the range in cold weather:

  1. Energy Efficiency: Heat pumps use a refrigeration cycle to extract heat from the outside air, even in cold conditions. This process is more energy-efficient than electric resistance heaters, which directly convert electrical energy into heat.

  2. Reduced Battery Drain: By using a heat pump, EVs can heat the cabin with less impact on the overall energy consumption. This results in reduced strain on the battery and helps maintain a longer driving range in cold weather.

  3. Cabin Preconditioning: Some EVs with heat pump systems allow you to precondition the cabin while the vehicle is still plugged in. This means you can warm up the interior using power from the grid, rather than relying solely on the electric car battery once you start driving.


Does Speed Impact How Many Miles EVs Can Go?

Electric cars are generally most efficient at lower speeds. This is because higher speeds result in increased aerodynamic drag, which requires more energy to overcome. The optimal speed for efficiency varies among different EV models, but typically, driving at moderate speeds, such as 30 to 50 mph, allows for better energy efficiency and longer driving range.


How Far Electric Cars Go Is Critical for Convenience

Although EVs were an anomaly a few years ago, they are becoming far more mainstream and gaining popularity. Now, most automakers have at least one electric vehicle on the market, with many automakers having numerous ones. Some of the leading automakers for electric cars include Tesla, Audi, BMW, Hyundai, Kia, Ford, Rivian, BYD (in China), Lucid, and Nissan.


Although EVs are an excellent way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, charging them with renewable energy helps them further slow climate change. Thus, solar energy installations and electric vehicles are an excellent combination.


Want to learn more about GreenLancer’s EVC design and engineering services? We have numerous services for EV charging station contractors, including permit plan sets, PE stamps, and engineering reviews.


Submit the form below to learn more and get started.



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