Visualizing the Range of EVs on Major Highway Routes

Visualizing the Range of EVs on Major Highway Routes

The Range of EVs on Major Highway Routes

Between growing concerns around climate change, new commuting behaviors due to COVID-19, and imminent policy changes, the global transition to electric vehicles (EVs) is well under way.

By the year 2040, sales of electric vehicles are projected to account for 58% of new car sales, up from just 2.7% currently.

But switching from a gasoline car to an electric one is not seamless. With charging and range capacities to consider, and the supporting infrastructure still being slowly rolled out in many parts of the world, understanding the realities of EV transportation is vital.

Above, we highlight 2020 all-electric vehicle range on well-recognized routes, from California’s I-5 in the U.S. to the A3 autobahn in Germany. The data on estimated ranges and costs are drawn from the U.S. EPA as well as directly from manufacturer websites.

The EV Breakdown: Tesla is King of Range

For many consumers, the most important aspect of an electric vehicle is how far they can travel on a single charge.

Whether it’s for long commutes or out-of-city trips, vehicles must meet a minimum threshold to be considered practical for many households. As the table below shows, Tesla’s well-known EVs are far-and-away the best option for long range drivers.

Vehicle Range (miles) Range (km) MSRP Cost per mile
Tesla Model S Long Range Plus 402 647 $74,990 $186.54
Tesla Model X Long Range Plus 351 565 $79,990 $227.89
Tesla Model S Performance 348 560 $94,990 $272.96
Tesla Model 3 Long Range 322 518 $46,990 $145.93
Tesla Model Y Long Range 316 509 $49,990 $158.20
Tesla Model X Performance 305 491 $99,990 $327.84
Tesla Model 3 LR Performance 299 481 $54,990 $183.91
Tesla Model Y Performance 291 468 $59,990 $206.15
Polestar 2 275 443 $59,900 $217.82
Chevrolet Bolt EV 259 417 $36,620 $141.39
Hyundai Kona Electric 258 415 $37,190 $144.15
Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus 250 402 $37,990 $151.96
Kia Niro EV 239 385 $39,090 $163.56
Jaguar I-PACE 234 377 $69,850 $298.50
Nissan LEAF e+ S 226 364 $38,200 $169.03
Audi e-tron Sportback 218 351 $69,100 $316.97
Nissan LEAF e+ SV/SL 215 346 $39,750 $184.88
Audi e-tron 204 328 $65,900 $323.04
Porsche Taycan 4S Perf Battery Plus 203 327 $112,990 $556.60
Porsche Taycan Turbo 201 323 $153,510 $763.73
Porsche Taycan Turbo S 192 309 $187,610 $977.14
Hyundai IONIQ Electric 170 274 $33,045 $194.38
BMW i3 153 246 $44,450 $290.52
Nissan LEAF 149 240 $31,600 $212.08
MINI Cooper SE 110 177 $29,900 $271.82
Fiat 500e 84 135 $33,460 $398.33
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In an industry where innovation and efficiency are vital, Tesla’s first-mover advantage is evident. From the more affordable Model 3 to the more luxurious Model S, the top eight EVs with the longest ranges are all Tesla vehicles.

At 402 miles (647 km), the range of the number one vehicle (the Tesla Model S Long Range Plus) got 127 miles more per charge than the top non-Tesla vehicle, the Polestar 2—an EV made by Volvo’s standalone performance brand.

Closer Competition in Cost

Though Tesla leads on overall range and battery capacity, accounting for the price of each vehicle shows that cost-efficiency is far more competitive among brands.

By dividing the retail price by the maximum range of each vehicle, we can paint a clearer picture of efficiency. Leading the pack is the Chevrolet Bolt, which had a cost of $141.39/mile of range in 2020 while still placing in the top 10 for range with 259 miles (417 km).

Just behind in second place was the Hyundai Kona electric at $144.15/mile of range, followed by the Tesla Model 3—the most efficient of the automaker’s current lineup. Rounding out the top 10 are the Nissan LEAF and Tesla Model S, but the difference from number one to number ten was minimal, at just over $45/mile.

Top 10 All-Electric Vehicles by Cost Efficiency
Vehicle Cost per mile
Chevrolet Bolt EV $141.39
Hyundai Kona Electric $144.15
Tesla Model 3 Long Range $145.93
Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus $151.96
Tesla Model Y Long Range $158.20
Kia Niro EV $163.56
Nissan LEAF e+ S $169.03
Tesla Model 3 LR Performance $183.91
Nissan LEAF e+ SV/SL $184.88
Tesla Model S Long Range Plus $186.54
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Higher Ranges and Lower Costs on the Horizon

The most important thing to consider, however, is that the EV industry is entering a critical stage.

On one hand, the push for electrification and innovation in EVs has driven battery capacity higher and costs significantly lower. As batteries account for the bulk of weight, cost, and performance in EVs, those dividends will pay out in longer ranges and greater efficiencies with newer models.

Equally important is the strengthening global push for electric vehicle adoption. In countries like Norway, EVs are already among the best selling cars on the market, while adoption rates in China and the U.S. are steadily climbing. This is also being impacted by policy decisions, such as California’s recent announcement that it would be banning the sale of gasoline cars by 2035.

Meanwhile, the only thing outpacing the growing network of Tesla superchargers is the company’s rising stock price. Not content to sit on the sidelines, competing automakers are rapidly trying to catch up. Nissan’s LEAF is just behind the Tesla Model 3 as the world’s second-best-selling EV, and Audi recently rolled out a supercharger network that can charge its cars from 0% to 80% at a faster rate than Tesla.

As the tidal wave of electric vehicle demand and adoption continues to pick up steam, consumers can expect increasing innovation to drive up ranges, decrease costs, and open up options.

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