The 6 Longest Range EVs for Summer Road Trips

Written by Leigh Matthews, BA Hons, H.Dip. NT

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Leigh Matthews, BA Hons, H.Dip. NT

Sustainability Expert

Leigh Matthews is a sustainability expert and long time vegan. Her work on solar policy has been published in Canada's National Observer.

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Looking for an EV that you can take on a road trip? These 6 EV models have the longest range.

Got range anxiety? If you’re looking for an electric vehicle with more than 300 miles of range on pure electric, you’re in luck. There’s never been a better choice for SUVs, sedans, hatchbacks, and zippy little two-doors that can traverse the land for hundreds of miles between charges. And some of these EVs barely break the $30k mark!

Let’s take a look at the electric cars with the longest pure electric range for 2023, with an eye on their other eco-credentials. And, if you’re thinking of installing an EV charger at home, we’ve got you covered for the best EV chargers too. You can read about our unique research process here.

A quick word on range ratings before we jump in. I’ve put this list together using the new WLTP standard. This standard came into force in the European Union in late 2017 and after fall 2018 only WLTP-rated cars could be sold in Europe. So, what is WLTP?

What is WLTP for EVs?

Short for Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure, WLTP is a fuel efficiency rating for all petrol, diesel, electric, and hybrid cars. It replaced the NEDC regulations which are largely discredited as being easily manipulated by car manufacturers to inflate performance statistics. The WLTP doesn’t rely on laboratory tests alone. Instead, it factors in real-world testing under various conditions.

The WLTP is designed to give a far more accurate picture of how a car performs on the open road. In many cases, ranges dropped by around 20% when switching from the NEDC to WLTP method.

Don’t be surprised, then, if two reviews of the same car give different ranges; one may be NEDC and one WLTP. Since April, 2020, EU advertisements for cars have begun using WLTP figures.

OK, to the cars!

1

Lucid Air Dream R AWD

Leaf Score

Highlights: Arguably the most luxury EV available, with a record-breaking range at 549 miles on a single charge!

lucid air at a glance

  • Range: 549 miles battery-only (833 km) (WLTP)
  • MSRP: from $87,400
  • Max power: 1,200+ hp
  • MPGe: 125 combined (125 city, 126 highway)
  • Batteries: 178 and 433kW ACPM
  • Charge time: 13 hrs at 240V
  • Charge time: 13 hrs at 240V
  • Passenger volume: 99 cu.ft. (4 door)

December 2022 was an exciting month for Lucid, the luxury EV automaker. This month, the car company began delivering its first vehicles to customers in Germany and Europe.

The Lucid Air also got its official WLTP range in December 2022. The WLTP range? A colossal 883 kilometers (549 miles) on a full charge. 

This easily puts the Lucid Air Dream Edition at the top of the rankings for longest-range EV. Even the Lucid Air Dream Edition Performance got a WLTP combined range of 799 km, and this luxury vehicle can go from 0-100 km/h in 2.5 seconds.

Lucid is working with Panasonic to provide batteries as part of a multi-year partnership. Those 900V batteries will power the Air and the forthcoming Gravity SUV. And thanks to the system architecture of the Lucid Air, this model has record-beating fast-charging capabilities. Using a 300 kW fast charger, drivers can add a staggering 250 miles (400 km) of range in around 15 minutes.

In addition to smashing the record for EV range and charging, the Lucid Air received its Euro NCAP rating for safety in December 2022, too. The verdict? A full five stars, making the Lucid Air Dream one of the safest, fastest, and longest-range EVs around.

The Lucid Air Dream comes with a range of passive safety features, but drivers can also upgrade to include DreamDrive Pro, which boasts a 32-sensor suite – the industry’s most comprehensive active safety system.

2
Tesla coal powered

Tesla Model S

Leaf Score

Highlights: Former winner for longest-range (with more range added for 2023), and still a good choice if you want an EV right away. Not as luxurious or spacious as the Lucid Air Dream, and far less range.

tesla model s at a glance

  • Range: 396 to 405 mi battery-only (EPA) / 403 mi battery-only (WLTP)
  • MSRP: from $104,990
  • Curb weight: 4,561 to 4,766 lbs
  • Horsepower: 670 to 1,020 hp
  • Dimensions: 198″ L x 78″ W x 56″ H
  • Charge time: 15h at 220V, 0.75h at 440V

The Model S is a 5-passenger sportback that is sleek and roomy, with space for up to 63.3 cubic feet of cargo. It has a minimalist interior but a giant 17-inch screen with vehicle controls. This car is lightning fast, has Autopilot driver assist, and those passenger spaces are a good size to fit real adults.

The increased range for 2023 is largely thanks to some changes in the car’s drive unit. And, of course, you get access to the Tesla Supercharger network of EV chargers.

Finally, Tesla released the company’s first environmental impact report in 2019, demonstrating that they’re beginning to take the business of being green seriously. For too long, Tesla and other EV manufacturers have coasted on the ‘clean’ image of electric vehicles, without regard for some of the other issues bedeviling car manufacturing and EV manufacturing in particular. (More on these considerations below.)

Impressively, Tesla have remediated several heavily polluted brownfield sites and turned them into vibrant factories producing EVs, solar arrays, and other technologies. Their Fremont Factory was certified as a “Zero Waste” facility in 2016 and in 2017 diverted over 93% of waste from landfills to recycling or to a waste-to-energy facility.

I’m in no way arguing that Tesla is a ‘green’ company, but they’re arguably doing more for the environment and for green infrastructure development than some countries’ governments.

3

2023 Tesla Model 3

Leaf Score

Highlights: Impressive range for about half the price of the Lucid or Tesla Model S!

tesla model 3 at a glance

  • Range: 272 to 315 mi battery-only (EPA) / 360 mi battery-only (WLTP)
  • MSRP: Base $46,990 / Performance $62,990
  • Horsepower: 271 to 455 hp
  • Battery: 50-82 kWh 350 V lithium-ion
  • MPGe: Up to 138 city / 126 highway
  • Charge time: 8.5 to 10h at 220V

The Tesla Model 3 is one of the least expensive EVs around if you’re going on a cost-per-mile-of-range basis. It has an excellent range, recently improved for 2023, and also offers excellent MPGe. Teslas have consistently held their value too, making this a great choice if you’re looking for an EV that qualifies for the tax credit in early 2023 but might want to sell later and upgrade to a Model S or even a Lucid! 

There are few spec available for the Tesla Model 3 Long Range, but it seems the WLTP range is around 383 miles.

The Model 3 remains sleek and simple and is the smallest of the Tesla cars, making it a great choice for daily city driving. It’s also the least expensive, fun on the open road and, thanks to the range, ideal for weekend getaways and longer road trips.

There are no dials behind the steering wheel of this model, nor the portrait touchscreen familiar from other Teslas. Instead, the Model 3 has a central landscape display with sat-nav, wiper controls, and everything else controlled by touch screen. This sounds horrifying to me but, like most innovations, once you get used to it you’ll wonder why most others cars have so many buttons and switches and whistles all over the place.

The Model 3 can be fitted with the Autopilot system like the S and X models, and this EV can also access the Supercharger network of stations, although you’ll have to pay to plug in. There’s also a Performance version of the Model 3, which is zippier, accelerating from 0-60 in 3.2 seconds. The Performance Model 3 only has a range of 329 miles though.

4

2023 Tesla Model X

Leaf Score

Highlights: A little more luxury, some fancy doors, 7 seats, and fast acceleration, plus up to 358 miles of range according to WLTP.

tesla model x at a glance

  • Range: 333 to 348 mi battery-only (EPA) / 337 to 358 mi battery-only (WLTP)
  • MSRP: From $120,990
  • Horsepower: 670 to 1,020 hp
  • Gross vehicle weight rating: 6,250 lbs
  • Dimensions: 198″ L x 79″ W x 66″ H
  • MPGe: Up to 107 city / 97 highway

The 2023 Tesla Model X Long Range offers up to 358 miles of range according to WLTP. The Plaid gets an impressive 337 miles of range too!

The Long Range also goes from 0-60 MPH in less than 3 seconds, can carry 7 people, and has a huge panoramic windscreen that makes it feel like there’s nothing between you and the open road. So, if you’ve a penchant for big skies and feeling free, the Model X Long Range may well be for you.

It takes just 10 hours to charge the 100 kWh lithium ion battery using a 240 Volt outlet, and the Model X has a fuel economy of 96 MGPe (city and highway combined). Get ready to launch away from stop lights, with the Model X reaching 60 MPH in less than 3 seconds from a standstill.

The Model X is arguably over-engineered, with this Tesla SUV using the same battery and electric motors, and the same chassis as the zippier models, but with a far larger body on top. And, of course, this one boasts the vertically opening ‘falcon-wing’ rear passenger doors (which respond to music, because… why not?). The Model X also has the central touchscreen, Autopilot system, and Supercharger network access.

5
Tesla model Y

2023 Tesla Model Y

Leaf Score

Highlights: Deceptively spacious and offers up to 330 miles on a single charge!

tesla model y at a glance

  • Range: 303 to 330 mi battery-only (EPA) / WLTP not yet available
  • MSRP: Long Range $65,990 / Performance $69,990
  • Dimensions: 187″ L x 76″ W x 64″ H
  • Gross vehicle weight rating: 5,302 to 5,712 lbs
  • Cargo volume: 30.2 ft³, 76.2 ft³ with seat area
  • Battery charge time: 11.5 to 11.8h at 220V
  • Horsepower: 425 to 455 hp

The Tesla Model Y is like a scaled-down version of the Model X, without the falcon-wing doors, but with a panoramic glass roof. There are two bucket-type seats for the driver and front passenger (like in the Model 3), and there’s plenty of room in the rest of the deceptively spacious 7-passenger car.

If you’re looking for some flexible cargo room, the Model Y may be right for you. The three seats in the second row fold down to provide more room for transporting unwieldy items.

The Model Y goes from 0-60 in 3.5 seconds, and has a top speed of 12 MPH. It takes 10 hours to charge the 75 kWh lithium ion polymer battery, and the Model Y has an EPA fuel economy of 121 MPGe and a range of up to 333 miles, though the WLTP has not yet been released and could be more.

6

2023 Kia Niro EV

Leaf Score

Highlights: A zippy EV offering nearly 300 miles of range per WLTP, with fast charging in under an hour! All at half the price of a Tesla Model S.

kia niro ev at a glance

  • Range: 253 mi battery-only (EPA) / 287 mi battery-only (WLTP)
  • MSRP: Wind $39,450 / Wave $44,450
  • Dimensions: 174″ L x 72″ W x 62″ H
  • Cargo volume: 22.8 ft³, 63.7 ft³ with seat area
  • Battery charge time: 57.08h at 110V, 6.08h at 220V, 1.08h at 440V
    MPGe: 126 city / 101 highway
    Horsepower: 201 hp

If paying more than $50k for an EV is out of the question, but you want a car with a long range on a single charge, the Kia Niro is where it’s at. This 5-passenger EV might not win any awards for its looks, but it has a 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty, a 7-year standard warranty, an excellent range of safety and tech features, and boasts a range of 253 miles (EPA) and 287 miles per WLTP. All that and it’s half the price of a Tesla Model S or Model X.

Or, looked at another way, if you’re willing to forego a few miles of range, you could save yourself more than $30,000 and buy the Niro instead of the Jaguar I-Pace.

The Kia Niro is zippy and agile, offers a range of trim options, and the flagship First Edition has radar cruise control and wireless phone charging as well as Lane Follow Assist.

The 64 kWh lithium ion battery charges up in around 6 hours at 240 V, or in around 45 minutes using fast-chargers. The Niro gets 126 MPGe city and 101 MPGe highway. It also boasts 201 horsepower and 291 lb-ft of torque.

The only downside of the Kia Niro is its popularity. In some places, the Niro sold out almost instantly, with a long wait list getting even longer.

In terms of CSR and environmental responsibility, Kia take this more seriously than most car manufacturers, having run its own environmental audit to ensure compliance with the requirements for ISO 14001 since 2004. ISO 14001 is an international standard that specifies requirements for an environmental management system (EMS), and all Kia Motors’ domestic and overseas worksites are ISO 14001-certified. This involves annual re-certification of their adherence to environmental laws and regulations and assessment of pollution prevention efforts.

Since the early 2000s, Kia have taken robust steps to minimize the environmental impact of their production processes. Their ethos that waste materials aren’t a disposal problem but a wasted resource for the company. They don’t provide much concrete data on their efforts, speaking largely in generalities, but they do note that they aim to be zero-waste at all production sites, with one already achieving that target and three others hovering at 1% waste.


Other things to consider – is an EV actually more eco-friendly?

An electric car is always more eco-friendly than one with a gas combustion engine, right? Not necessarily. See my Coal Powered Tesla post for more.

The overall carbon footprint of an EV is actually quite similar to that of a conventional car with a combustion engine, according to a 2011 study by the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IFEU) in Heidelberg. This is regardless of size. And, rather alarmingly, the complex batteries in EVs mean it takes more energy to produce an EV than it does a gas motor car.

Then, of course, depending on where you live and how you charge your EV, you may simply be switching on-road emissions to off-road (at the power plant) emissions.

So, how can you make your EV genuinely greener? Well, you could consider looking for a used EV that meets your needs, rather than buying new. You can also think about how to charge your EV. Maybe there’s a greener utility company you can switch to at home, and an EV charger you can install to make charging a breeze and eco-friendly. Or, consider rigging up a solar array, wind turbine, or microhydro system to power your EV and your home!

One other way to keep your impact low is to choose an EV with a battery only as big as you’ll actually need. So, despite the focus of this article, range isn’t everything when it comes to an EV. If you’re a city driver with no plans to go on longer road trips, consider a cheaper model with a smaller battery, such as the Nissan Leaf or the Chevrolet Bolt.

A study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics concluded that each kWh of battery capacity accounts for 125 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions. So, the Tesla Model S Long Range’s 100 kWh lithium ion battery requires 12,500 kg or nearly 14 tons of CO2, while a Chevrolet Bolt and its 60 kWh battery uses up just under 7 tons CO2 and still provides 240 miles of range.

Another study, this time by the IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute found that EV batteries involved some 150 to 200 kg of CO2 per kilogram. This would mean nearly 28 tons of CO2 for the Tesla Model S Long Range and over 13 tons for the Chevrolet Bolt.

Batteries also require rare earth minerals such as neodymium, as well as copper and cobalt. These minerals are typically mined in China and the Democratic Republic of Congo, with human rights violations and major ecological and environmental impacts often associated with such mining operations.

So, again, if your current car is a real clunker and you absolutely need to upgrade, consider an EV. Go for the smallest battery that will meet your needs and check out used EVs before considering a new vehicle. Oh, and install a solar array ASAP!

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