Long Range Electric Vehicles: When Will We See 1000 Miles?

Long Range Electric Vehicles: When Will We See 1000 Miles?

Since their adoption, electric vehicles have gotten better and better. Whilst many seemingly mundane cars, such as the Kia EV6, can beat supercars in the acceleration stakes, the biggest drawback for many drivers is still the issue of their range. People need long range if we’re ever going to adopt electric cars fully. 

This has been getting better, though, just look at the first generation Nissan Leaf, it could only manage 73 miles to a charge, in the current model lineup, the car with the smallest battery capacity will drive for nearly 2.5 times longer, doing 168 miles before it needs charging again.  

In this article we’ll take a look at the EVs on sale, and what the future holds for EV range numbers. 

Electric Vehicles with the Longest Range

Mercedes EQS - Range Of 452 miles

Thanks to its huge battery bank, storing over 107 kWh of power - that’s over 5 times the capacity of the original Nissan Leaf! - it will do 452 miles on a single charge. As the MQS is the electric version of the revered S-Class, it will be 452 miles of comfort and luxury too!

It’s nice to see manufacturers creating EVs by tailoring the styling slightly from the standard cars, instead of only creating bizarre concept car-looking designs. With its accented trim and shiny grille, we think the EQS is simply a sleeker, more modern-looking S-Class.

Fisker Ocean - 440 miles Range

A relatively new player in the EV market, and one that has focussed on sustainability and longevity in its ethos, Fisker has multiple EVs either in production or planned to be soon. The Ocean is an SUV that comes in multiple trim levels. The top model, the Ocean One has a slightly smaller battery pack than the Merc’ but still manages 440 miles between plug-ins. 

Fisker claims the Ocean is the world's most sustainable vehicle, with over 50kg of recycled, biodegradable materials being used. Hopefully, that won't mean the dash will disintegrate after 15 years of use!

Polestar 2 - Over 406 miles

Polestar have been in the UK for a few years now, after being bought by Volvo, they have cemented their place in the mid-to-high end of the EV market. The new Polestar 2 has definitely achieved sector-topping performance, with over 400 miles range.  

As one of the more subtle EVs the new Polestar could be mistaken for a new Volvo if it didn't have the green number plate stickers, aero wheels and shiny, flat front grille.

Tesla Model S - 394 miles Range

Around 10 years ago, Tesla would be dominating this lineup of EVs, it shows then the pace at which the competitors have innovated, that the Tesla only takes spot 4.  

Regardless, the tech crammed into the latest Model S cannot be overstated, and the figures back it up with a range of nearly 400 miles and a 0-60 of 3.1 seconds.

Tesla Model 3 - Range Of 391 miles

Very similar to the Model S, the Model 3 is built on the same motor, battery and drivetrain ‘skateboard’, this means the stats are very similar, with the Model 3’s baby-SUV styling increasing the drag coefficient slightly, leading to slightly worse range figure of 391 miles.

Do we need longer range EVs?

Instead of longer range EVs, we think it would be much more beneficial to increase the charging infrastructure found in the UK, here’s why:

On a trip from Land’s End to John o’ Groats - the longest journey you can make in the UK - the Mercedes EQS will take you over halfway on a single charge. It can also extract 200kW of power from a suitable charger, meaning 15 minutes on charge gives 86 miles of range. 

This then begs the question of whether EVs need to get much better, and if the extra cost and weight of more battery power is worth the range increase. One big selling point of even longer-range EVs is range anxiety, and the lessening of it.  

Thankfully the government has pledged to up the number of ultra-rapid charging stations from the current 200, to 6,000 by 2035. 

What is Range Anxiety?

If you speak to anyone dismissive or sceptical of electric vehicles, range anxiety will usually be one of the most prominent issues raised, it is the fear of running out of battery power whilst making a journey.  

It can be a genuine problem, mainly due to two factors. The first is that EVs cannot be towed the same as petrol or diesel cars, their drivetrains are complex and can be damaged. Secondly, you cannot walk to the nearest charging station to get some extra power in a jerry can, like you can with petrol.

This can mean if you do run out of battery power, you’re looking at an expensive recovery truck, or possibly enlisting the services of someone like EVBOOST to come and charge your car, with the latter being few and far between outside of major cities.

Will EV Range Ever Reach 500 Miles?

Yes, it’s looking very likely that in the next 2-3 years we will see the advent of 500-mile range EVs using existing methods.  

According to MIT’s 2023 technology review lithium batteries still have some more advancements to come in the near future, with improvements being made daily in the field of battery cooling, charge movement and energy densitywe may well see 10 - 20% increases in capacity, with little increase in volume. 

Will EV Range Ever Reach 1000 Miles?

With the best cars of 2023 only just managing 450 miles, 1,000 miles to a single charge is going to take a significant improvement in battery technology. It’s hard to say if a 1000-mile range will become possible in the near future, or if it will be worth the cost to consumers.

One of the largest car manufacturers in the world is looking into it though, Toyota has laid out a plan to achieve an EV with a 1,000 Km range using a new variant of Lithium battery technology.

It also claims by the time these new ‘solid state’ batteries are ready, they will cost 10% less than the Lithium-ion ones today.

Other Ways to Increase EV Range

If a car is to reach a 1,000 mile range, we think it will need to be radically different from the current top contenders in the EV world in one distinct way; weight. The same cars that have the largest batteries are packed with complicated tech such as fully automated electric seats, doors and suspension modulation.

We’d love to see how far a modestly equipped and sized EV, like the early Nissan Leaf, would travel on a single charge if it had a 100 kWh battery pack from the Mercedes EQS.

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