High-range electric cars often come at a premium, but this guide aims to focus on the best of both worlds: affordable electric cars that also offer impressive driving range.
The higher production costs for electric cars tend to make them more expensive compared to their combustion-engine counterparts. However, efficiencies in production lines have led to cost reductions for electric vehicles. According to research conducted by Oliver Wyman for the Financial Times, the total cost of manufacturing a compact emissions-free vehicle will fall by more than a fifth by 2030. We have even started seeing the results, as major manufacturers like Tesla have reduced their prices for the second time.
With efficient production lines lowering the overall costs, the expense of batteries—one of the most significant factors in high costs and contributing to higher range—is also decreasing. Larger batteries are needed for greater driving range. According to a Reuters report, there was a 10% drop in the prices of batteries used for EVs and energy storage in August 2023.
Electric cars with long ranges, which were once prohibitively expensive, have now become more reasonably priced. We've compiled a list of such vehicles, but it's important to note that range isn't the only factor we've considered. We've also taken into account various other performance metrics that influence the overall driving experience, especially during long journeys, such as charging speed and the overall power generated. This list offers a selection of cars that are both affordable and capable of long distances.
We have compiled this list using a criterion that prioritises vehicles based on their retail price, with the most cost-effective options appearing at the top of the list.
Range: Up to 319 miles Retail Price: £38,595 Leasing Price: £401.95 Our Pick: Hyundai Kona Electric Hatchback 160kW Advance 65kWh 5dr Auto Make an Enquiry
The Hyundai Kona Electric is a strong contender in the electric vehicle market, particularly for those who are budget-conscious yet still desire a substantial range. The model we've selected is the 160 kW Advance with a 65 kWh battery. One of its most appealing features is its large battery capacity, which allows for an impressive range on a single charge.
The 'Advance' name of this variant denotes a higher trim level. It boasts features such as an advanced safety system, enhanced infotainment, and smart technology, setting it apart from the base variant.
The impressive range offered at this price point is truly remarkable. There's no other electric vehicle on the market that provides such a high range alongside such a comprehensive suite of advanced features, all at this price.
In terms of size, the Kona Electric is a compact SUV but offers generous interior space, making it versatile for both urban commutes and longer journeys. Despite its compact dimensions, it doesn't compromise on comfort or utility, making it an excellent choice for various types of drivers.
Aerodynamically, the Hyundai Kona Electric is designed for efficiency. Its sleek shape minimises air resistance, contributing to its impressive range. Every design element works in harmony to make the vehicle as efficient as possible, ensuring you get the most mileage out of each charge.
Battery efficiency is a big deal, especially when considering colder climates where electric vehicle batteries can be less effective. The Kona Electric tackles this issue head-on with its thermal management system, designed to keep the battery at an ideal temperature for optimal performance. This means you can rely on a consistent range year-round, increasing the car's dependability.
Skoda Enyaq Iv Estate
Range: Up to 270 miles Retail Price: £38,970 Motorfinity Price: £36,570 Savings: £2,400 Our Pick: Skoda Enyaq Iv Estate 132kW 60 Loft 62kWh 5dr Auto [120kW] Leasing Price:£512.99 Make an Enquiry
The Skoda Enyaq IV Estate offers not only affordability and range but also an array of impressive technical features. It is available with a variety of battery options, with the largest being an 82 kWh unit. The variant we have selected features a 62 kWh battery. This 62 kWh version provides a range of 246 miles, compared to the 340 miles offered by the 82 kWh version. We chose this variant because its price is highly competitive when compared with competitors; based on both the range and features it offers, this variant certainly stands out. Performance-wise, it does not appear underpowered at this price point in any way. The new model of the 62 kWh variant has seen its charging time reduced from 55 minutes to just 35 minutes.
Size-wise, the vehicle is spacious, making it ideal for families or anyone who needs a bit more room. Despite its size, its aerodynamic design contributes to its efficiency, helping to extend that all-important range even further.
One of the standout technical features is its battery heating efficiency. This is crucial, especially in colder climates where battery performance can be negatively affected. The Skoda Enyaq iV Estate uses advanced thermal management systems to keep the battery at an optimal temperature, ensuring consistent performance and longevity.
We have curated this list based on the price.
Nissan Ariya EV
Range: Up to 250 miles Retail Price: £39,645 Our Pick: Nissan Ariya Electric Hatchback 160kw Engage 63kwh 5dr Auto Monthly PCP at Motorfinity: from £516 Make an Enquiry
Our pick is the Nissan Ariya Electric Engage, equipped with a 63 kWh battery. This model stands out in the affordable electric vehicle market, offering a solid range that's practical for those seeking a balance between cost and distance.
While there's a high-end variant with an 87 kWh battery that provides an exceptional 329-mile range, it comes with a heftier price tag of £52,000. The Electric Engage model we're focusing on is priced at £39,645, and that cost can be further reduced if you go through Motorfinity.
One feature we're particularly impressed with is the efficient heat pump. It compresses refrigerant under high pressure, utilising less battery power for the high-voltage heater, which in turn extends your driving range. Other standout features include 19-inch alloys with aero covers, a 12.3-inch navigation screen, and a separate 12.3-inch TFT screen, adding a touch of luxury to this cost-effective electric vehicle.
Inside, the Ariya offers a comfortable and roomy interior that meets various passenger and cargo needs. The design seamlessly blends style and practicality, making it a compelling choice for a range of lifestyles and driving requirements.
Engineered with efficiency in mind, the Ariya's aerodynamic design contributes to its overall performance. The streamlined shape helps to reduce air resistance, optimising energy usage and extending the vehicle's range on each charge.
Peugeot e-2008 Electric
Range: Up to 250 miles Retail Price: £40,549 Motorfinity Price: £39,425 Savings: £1,124 Our Pick: Peugeot e-2008 Electric Estate 115kW GT 54kWh 5dr Auto Leasing Price:£512.99 Make an Enquiry
The Peugeot e-2008 is a standout option for those seeking an electric car that combines affordability with an impressive range. The model we've selected is the 115 kW GT, which features a 54 kWh battery. All variants of the Peugeot e-2008 now come with this 54 kWh battery, replacing the older 50 kWh version. This new variant offers around 20% more range.
The GT model provides a premium experience in comparison to the base variant. With a leather interior, state-of-the-art safety features, and additional advanced options, it represents excellent value for money in its price bracket. It not only delivers impressive range but also offers features that make it an attractive choice for buyers.
Motorfinity's Chris Marren says:
“The Peugeot e-2008 GT nails it by understanding the heart of electric vehicle needs. It's not just about long-range driving; it's about coupling that range with high-end functionality and features. This car truly delivers on all fronts"
Aerodynamically, the vehicle is designed to reduce drag, thereby increasing efficiency and extending the car's range. This is an essential feature that ensures you get the most out of each charge.
One of the most crucial aspects to consider, especially in colder climates, is the efficiency of the battery heating system. The Peugeot e-2008 is equipped with advanced thermal management to maintain optimal battery performance. This ensures you don't lose range in colder weather, thus adding to the vehicle's overall reliability.
Range: Up to 318 miles Retail Price: £46,430 Motorfinity Price: £42,370 Savings: £4,060 Our Pick: Toyota Bz4x Electric Hatchback 150kW Pure 71.4kWh 5dr Auto [11kW] Leasing Price:£416.40 Make an Enquiry
Another electric car offering substantial range at a more affordable price point is the Toyota bZ4X. We've selected the 'Pure' trim, which is the base variant. Regardless of the trim you choose, all come equipped with a 71.4 kWh battery and are front-wheel drive, ensuring no compromise on range or functionality.
The Toyota bZ4X is a compelling option in the affordable electric vehicle sector, providing an impressive combination of range and technical features. Its 71.4 kWh battery allows for a competitive range on a single charge, making it a suitable choice for those looking for both affordability and distance.
Designed as a mid-size SUV, the bZ4X offers generous interior space, making it ideal for families, outdoor enthusiasts, or anyone requiring extra cargo room. Despite its size, the vehicle maintains efficiency, rendering it a versatile choice for a range of driving needs.
Engineered for optimal aerodynamic performance, the sleek and streamlined design of the bZ4X minimizes air resistance. This contributes to its impressive efficiency, ensuring you get more miles for each charge.
The bZ4X comes equipped with advanced thermal management systems to maintain the battery at its optimal temperature. This feature is particularly useful in colder climates, as it helps to preserve the battery’s performance and maintain a consistent range year-round.
Lexus UX 300e
Range: Up to 279 miles Retail Price: £46,614 Our Pick: 300e 150kW 72.8 kWh 5dr E-CVT Leasing Price: £570.95 (personal lease) Make an Enquiry
Lexus UX 300e is another affordable vehicle in the high range electric vehicle range. Our pick is the 150 kw 72.8 kWh variant which gives an impressive range of 279 miles. If we have curated this list a year before we might not have put the Lexus 300e however now the new variant has to be in this list. According to Lexus official, it generate more than 279 miles making it efficient and the commendable choice to have an electric car at this price. We selected the base variant as there is no difference between the performance and the range. It is the optional features such as optional 18 inch alloy wheels. The top variants includes also advance tech and safety packs such as front seat ventilation, a Mark levinson 13 speaker premium sound system and etc.
One feature we found particularly noteworthy is the E-CVT (Electronically-Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission), which ensures a smooth and efficient driving experience. This complements other premium features like advanced infotainment systems, elegant interior finishes, and state-of-the-art safety mechanisms.
When it comes to interior space, the Lexus 300e doesn't disappoint. It offers a generous and comfortable cabin that perfectly aligns with the brand's reputation for luxury and quality. The vehicle successfully combines aesthetics with functionality, making it a top choice for those who are unwilling to compromise either.
Range: Up to 265 miles Retail Price: £52,314 Motorfinity Price: £48,867 Our Pick: Volkswagen Id5 Coupe 150kw Style Pro 77kWh 5dr Auto Savings: £3,457 Make an Enquiry
The VW ID.5 Coupe is a noteworthy competitor in the affordable electric car sector, distinguished by its balance of range and value. The model we've selected is the 150 kW Style Pro with a 77 kWh battery, capable of covering up to 265 miles on a single charge.
Although the ID.5's pricing may seem a bit steep, the overall driving experience, functionality, and features make it excellent value for money. Its rapid charging capabilities are also remarkable, able to charge up to 135 kW, which equates to gaining 62 miles in just 7 minutes—one of the fastest in its category.
Despite its coupe silhouette, the ID.5 boasts a spacious interior, merging the sleekness of a coupe with practical utility. This renders it a versatile option, particularly for those seeking a sportier yet functional vehicle.
A key attribute of the ID.5 Coupe is its aerodynamic design. This streamlined form not only enhances its aesthetic but also improves efficiency, optimising performance and maximising range for each charge.
The ID.5 Coupe is well-equipped to manage battery temperature efficiently, courtesy of its advanced thermal management system. This is an important factor, especially in colder climates, where maintaining optimal battery temperature can greatly influence range and performance.
Ford Mustang Mach-E
Retail Price: £59,382 Motorfinity Price: £53,542 Savings: £5,838 Our Pick: Ford Mustang Mach-e Estate 216kW Premium 91kWh RWD 5dr Auto Leasing Price:£739.21 Make an Enquiry
The Mustang Mach-E Estate stands out as a formidable option in the cost-effective electric vehicle sector, boasting an excellent combination of driving range and features. We've spotlighted the Premium 91 kWh RWD variant, which delivers a remarkable WLTP-rated range of 372 miles. Although it carries a somewhat premium price tag, its cost is justifiable when compared to high-end models like the Tesla S, which starts at £73,000.
This specific variant is equipped with DC high-power charging capability, enabling it to gain 73 miles of range in a mere 10 minutes at compatible rapid-charging stations. This is particularly noteworthy given the vehicle's power output and driving range. The model is robust, producing 216 kW of power, and can accelerate from 0-62 mph in a swift 6.2 seconds.
As for interior space, the Mach-E Estate is quite spacious, making it well-suited for families or those in need of additional cargo room. Despite its practical estate configuration, the car doesn't compromise on its sporty look, successfully merging utility with the legendary Mustang flair.
Aerodynamically, the Mach-E Estate has been engineered for efficiency. Its streamlined design helps reduce air resistance, thereby increasing overall vehicle efficiency and contributing to its impressive range.
The Mach-E Estate comes equipped with an advanced thermal management system, designed to keep the battery at an optimal temperature. This is particularly crucial for those in colder climates, as it ensures consistent battery performance and range throughout the year.
Other Factors to Consider When Getting an Electric Car
While range is a crucial consideration when purchasing an electric car, it's not the only factor that could significantly influence your decision. Your personal driving needs, such as the number of miles you typically cover, are also important. A lower range might suffice if you don't require frequent charging during your journeys. If you cover thousands of miles weekly, a plug-in hybrid could be a more suitable option.
Another key consideration is the total cost of ownership. Although electric cars may initially cost more than their petrol or diesel counterparts, they often become more economical in the long run due to tax exemptions and government incentives for charging. To learn more, check our blog on available incentives and grants for electric vehicles.
Charging speed also varies between electric cars and can affect the total cost of ownership. Most models claim a maximum charging speed ranging from 150 kW to 250 kW, although some high-end models can go up to 350 kW. Faster charging speeds are generally found in more expensive vehicles.
Energy efficiency is another vital factor. Some electric cars are more energy-efficient than others, which can affect both charging speed and range.
Battery longevity is also a consideration, especially if you're thinking about buying a second-hand electric vehicle. While most new electric cars come with batteries designed to last for the vehicle's lifespan, this can vary.
Lastly, other variables such as how extreme temperatures might affect battery performance, the cost of replacement parts and maintenance, and battery warranty should also be researched
Factors That Influence the Range of the Car
Several crucial factors come into play when it comes to determining the range of an electric car. At the forefront is the battery technology, with Lithium-ion batteries leading the market due to their high density and decreasing costs. But it is not just about the type of battery, its size and weight also have a direct impact on range and overall vehicle efficiency.
But it's not just about the type of battery; its size and weight also have a direct impact on range and overall vehicle efficiency. As battery capacity increases, so does the vehicle's weight, which could counteract the benefits of a larger battery, especially for shorter commutes. The weight is a crucial factor in determining the efficiency of the car as increase weight result in increase energy demand as the heavier vehicles require more energy to move. Also it also results in rolling resistance, as the heavier cars exert more force on their tires, increasing rolling resistance and thereby requiring more energy to maintain a constant speed. It also effects aerodynamics, as additional weight alter the vehicle centre of gravity potentially affecting its aerodynamics and, subsequently, its energy efficiency. Therefore it is crucial to go for an electric car that have a good balance between weight and battery capacity.
The key numbers to look for to determine the ideal balance between wight and battery capacity are:
Energy density which tell how much energy a battery stores per unit of weight.
Range to weight ratio which calculates the range of the vehicle per unit weight (miles per kg or km per kg) .
A higher number means the vehicle is more efficient in terms of range for its weight.
Specific Energy: Which is the energy per unit mass or volume of the battery
Energy Consumption: This is usually given in Wh/mile or Wh/km, this shows how efficiently the vehicle uses energy. A lower number indicates better efficiency.
Charging infrastructure is another vital factor where the advent of fast-charging stations and Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology can make a significant difference in EV usability and range optimisation.
Also, the electric motor's size and efficiency can influence the vehicle's performance, with smaller motors often being more suitable for city driving conditions. Last but not least, the aerodynamics of the vehicle's body shape can affect air resistance, particularly at higher speeds, thus impacting the overall range.
To sum up, an electric car's range is determined by a complex interplay of factors including battery technology, vehicle weight, charging infrastructure, motor size, and aerodynamics.
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