The Australian Electric Vehicle Association gives some pointers on this— based on how you drive and the existing conditions, your range is likely to vary. For instance, sustained high speeds, long mountain climbs, three passengers and luggage as well as strong headwinds are all situations that will reduce the car’s economy and consequently the range (just the same way it happens with petrol vehicles). However, tailwinds and long descents will hugely enhance your range.
The ‘fuel’ economy of an electric car that uses a battery is usually quoted in watt-hours per kilometre (Wh/km). On average, a compact EV a fuel economy of 135 Wh/km. PHEVs on the other hand will first have a moderate electric-only range of 50 to 100 km, before the petrol engine can kick in. Because of the additional weight and complexity, the PHEV’s electric-only range will generally be poorer than that of a pure EV, but will still reserve a lot for most daily needs.
Below is a breakdown of the estimate range for the top 10 EVs on the market:
1. Tesla Model S 500 km
2. BEV Electron 120 km
3. Nissan Leaf 170 km
4. Mitsubishi i-MiEV 99 km
5. Ford Focus Electric 122 km
6. Honda Fit 132 km
7. Chevrolet Spark 132 km
8. Kia Soul 148 km
9. BMW i3 160 km-300 km with range extender option that uses petrol
10. Holden Volt 87 km without petrol / 600 km with full charge and petrol generator
- Tesla Model S 500 km
- BEV Electron 120 km
- Nissan Leaf 170 km
- Mitsubishi i-MiEV 99 km
- Ford Focus Electric 122 km
- Honda Fit 132 km
- Chevrolet Spark 132 km
- Kia Soul 148 km
- BMW i3 160 km-300 km with range extender option that uses petrol
- Holden Volt 87 km without petrol / 600 km with full charge and petrol generator
Electric vehicle ranges are getting more innovative by the day as newer models keep hitting the market. The Nissan Leaf is a next-gen car that can deliver 300 km on a single charge. However since most Australian motorists drive about 35 – 70 km each day and EVs have an average range of approximately 100 – 150 km, electric vehicles are definitely a viable option for most drivers.
For longer distances, quick electric charge and swap-and-go battery exchange stations are becoming more readily available all across Australia. Tesla’s recent announcement to launch 16 high-powered supercharger stations from Melbourne to Brisbane by 2016, and 10 of which are poised for completion this year, electric car travel will certainly be fun, fast and convenient.