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How Far Can You Drive an EV at Highway Speed: 10 Popular Models Tested

Electric cars manufacturers are far too optimistic when it comes to their models' range. Tested at highway speed, most EVs reveal their weakness. This test shows that range anxiety is real, but not all hope is lost.
Porsche Taycan is one of the better performers in terms of high speed EV range 11 photos
Porsche TaycanMercedes-Benz EQVMercedes-Benz EQSKia e-SoulKia EV6Audi RS e-tron GTVW ID.4 GTFord Mustang Mach-EHyundai Ioniq 5BMW iX
Drivers around the world use to think car range and economy figures are just that, figures. Too often the specified miles per gallon value is close to impossible to achieve in real life. That is because the test conditions used to establish these figures are not easy to meet in real traffic.

This is not a big problem for an internal combustion car. Though possible, it is hard to get tank-empty on the side of the highway. On an electric vehicle, on the other hand, things can spiral out of control fast if you are not paying attention. Drive a little faster and the range that you expected when you started your journey is no longer achievable. Then you will have to turn off air conditioning (or heating) and other useful extras just to be able to get to the next charging station.

Electric vehicles love to be driven carefully and feel most at home in the city, but occasionally you need to get on the highway to get to your in-laws or wherever further away you might need to travel. In that case, speeding will eat away your range faster. Best EVs on the market boast bigger batteries that alleviate range anxiety, but that does not mean the range is always going to be satisfactory.

In fact, the faster you go, the more air resistance and more battery juice is needed to maintain the car’s speed. Depending on the car’s aerodynamics, the range will be severely penalized when you go from 60 mph (approx. 100 kph) to just 80 mph (approx. 130 kph). As this speed is not always legal in USA, we trust the journalists from Auto Bild Germany with their findings. They drove ten popular EVs on the Autobahn at a steady speed of 130 kph (80 mph) to see how far you can go on a battery charge.

The Mercedes-Benz EQV 300 is at the bottom of the pack, with a projected range of 273 km (170 miles). With such an angular shape, no wonder. Close to the luxury people mover, we have Kia e-Soul, which can only get you as far as 280 km (174 miles).

The critically acclaimed Hyundai Ioniq 5 fares a little better, at 290 km (180 miles), while its sister Kia EV6 goes 10 miles further (190 miles). Past the 200 miles mark is the champions’ territory, starting with beloved VW ID.4 GTX (332 km/206 miles).

One of the most talked-about electric cars as of late, the Porsche Taycan 4S, will afford you to go as far as 352 km (219 miles), while its sibling, the Audi RS e-tron GT, manages 367 km (228 miles), just as Ford’s Mustang Mach-E GT. The second best performer is the BMW iX xDrive50, with a practical range of 434 km (270 miles), while Mercedes-Benz gets its name cleared thanks to the EQS 580 4Matic. The German luxury offering in the EV realm is also the range champion, with 444 km traveled at high speed on one charge – that is 276 miles.

In the end, there is only one regret, and that is the Germans are completely ignoring Tesla models in this test. Nevertheless, this proves cross-country trips are possible with electric cars of today. But it does not hurt to have a generous budget when you buy your electric car. Otherwise, you’ll be spending a lot of time charging your car along the way. Thankfully, fast charging stations are plenty these days to make your life easier.


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