Electric Car Mileage Rates – How Efficient Are Modern EVs Really?

electric car mileage

Electric car mileage is one of the most important factors when buying an EV. The capacity to travel long distances without recharging is crucial for EVs to be economically feasible, especially because EV charging infrastructure is nowhere near the coverage that petrol stations offer yet. Therefore, it becomes all the more important to know how far you can travel with an EV before having to recharge.

This articles explains all you need to know about electric car mileage rates. First, we explain the meaning of related metrics. Furthermore, we provide an overview of how to determine good and bad efficiency ratings and what EVs are currently the best in this regard.


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Efficiency Measures

Miles per kWh indicates the efficiency electric cars achieve on a single kWh. Miles of range per hour tells you how far an EV can travel after charging it for an hour.


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Most Efficient EVs

In total, we have compared efficiency ratings for 4 different EV models. The best among them are Tesla Model 3, BMW i4 and the Renault Zoe.


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Efficiency in Modern EVs

The best electric vehicles achieve 4 miles (6.5 kilometers) per kWh or more. In turn, cars that feature 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) or less are seen as inefficient and are usually older models.


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Efficiency & Charging Cost

Not only can efficient EVs travel longer distances, they also save more money. The most efficient EVs can save you up to 25% in charging costs.


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How to Measure Mileage Rates for Electric Cars?

For conventional fuel-based cars, miles per gallon indicates how many miles the vehicle can go on a single gallon of fuel. For EVs, efficiency is basically measured in the same way, except that you have to exchange gallons of fuel with kilowatt hour (kWh). Obviously, a higher efficiency rating translates to lower charging costs per mile.

For example, an EV with a battery size of 100 kWh and an efficiency rating of 3 miles (4.82 kilometers) per kWh can travel 300 miles (480 kilometers) on a single charge.

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Real Word Range vs. Manufacturer Specifications

Real world range and manufacturer’s specifications are often not the same. This is because range varies and depends on several factors.

Speed, terrain, temperature and whether other devices inside the car consume electricity are the major factors that determine real world range.

In the final section of this post, we compare specified range with real world data for 4 EVs.

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Miles of Range Per Hour

Another metric to measure EV efficiency is miles of range per hour. It tells you how many miles an EV can go after charging for one hour. This metric is measured in miles of range per hour. The number of miles you can drive after one hour of charging depends on two factors: EV efficiency and charging rate.

How Long Does It Take to Charge an Electric Car?

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Charging speed is one of the major impediments for drivers to switch from combustion engines to electric ones. Rapid charging stations can reduce charging times to 30 minutes, but they are still relatively expensive and low in supply.

Therefore, knowing how long you have to wait for a full recharge is very useful in planning your car routes. How long does it take to charge an electric car? »

What Is the Average Electric Car Mileage?

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Modern Electric Car Mileage Range

  • Average Modern EVs can go 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) per kWh.
  • Very Efficient EVs achieve up to 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) per kWh.
  • Less Efficient EVs are 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) per kWh.

What Is a Good Electric Car Mileage?

When it comes to conventional cars, most drivers know what to expect of a good car in terms of mileage. Given that fully electric mobility is still in it’s infancy though, we have to learn this for EV’s all over again. The best mileage electric car drivers can achieve is about 350 miles of range per charge. Taking all factors into account, this value comes close to what modern fuel-based cars deliver.

What is a Good EV Energy Consumption Rate?

Electric cars with the best efficiency nowadays get 4 miles per kWh or more. With 4.54 miles (7.3 kilometers) per kWh, the Tesla Model 3 is one of the best EVs in terms of efficiency. However, cars with efficiency figures in that range come at a price. On average, modern electric cars have an an efficiency of 3 to 3.5 miles (4.8 to 5.6 kilometers) per kWh.

On the low-end, some cars have 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) per kWh. Anything below that should raise suspicions. Usually, cars with extremely low efficiency ratings are from the early days of electric mobility.

What Are Good Values for Miles of Range Per Hour?

When on the road, it is important to know how many miles of range you get when you charge an electric car. This way, it can easily be determined if they can reach their destination before having to recharge again.

The number of miles you can drive after one hour of charging depends on how efficient the car is and how much power output the charging device yields. Obviously, rapid charge points and highly efficient cars yield more miles of range per hour than slow chargers with less efficient EVs.

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How Much Money Can You Save with an Efficient EV?

At the end of the day, mileage per kWh is nothing other than an expression of how expensive it is to cover a certain distance with a given car. To get a better idea of how economical an efficient car really is, it’s helpful to look at some numerical examples.

The table below shows how much money it costs to drive 8000 miles (12870 kilometers) a year with EVs of different efficiency ratings. For this example, we assume a charging cost of GBP 0.10 (€ 0.12) per kWh.

EV Efficiency Comparison

Miles per kWh
Kilometers per kWh
Cost per mile
Cost per kilometer
Cost of 8000 miles/year
Cost of 12870 kilometers/year


0.025 £/mi
0.019 €/km

£ 200
€ 245
0.033 £/mi

£ 267
€ 322

0.04 £/mi

£ 320
€ 386

0.05 £/mi
0.038 €/km

£ 400
€ 490

The table shows that a high-efficiency EVs have a significant economic impact on an individual level. With a high-end EV that achieves 4 miles per kWh, a driving distance of 8000 miles per year only costs £200. Compare that to a vehicle that only makes 3 miles per kWh. To cover the same 8,000 miles, you have to pay roughly 34% percent more money.

Obviously, worse efficiency ratings result in even higher costs. The most inefficient EVs with 2 miles per kWh will cost you 100% more for the same driving distance compared to high-end EVs.

What Are the Most Efficient EVs in 2022?

Even if a high range is generally desirable in EVs, most drivers seldom travel more than a few miles from home. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with short-range EVs in general. However, we have to accept that range remains an important quality measure for electric cars.

The most recent generation of electric cars yields adequate mileage to compete with conventional cars. Like fuel-based cars, efficiency and mileage vary based on several factors. The most important factors to determine real world range for EVs are weather and terrain. To get a clear picture of how far EVs can go under real-world circumstances, we analyzed 4 popular electric car models.

Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus

tesla model 3 standard range plusTesla’s Standard Plus version of the Model 3 uses a 50kWh battery. With an official range of 278 miles, the Model 3 has a nominal efficiency of 5.56 miles per kWh.

This is one of the best efficiency ratings the market has seen and in part owed to the car’s heating system.  As opposed to a resistive heater, the Model 3 uses a heat pump.

The main advantage of heat pumps is that it’s more efficient when warming the cabin, thus reducing range impact during cold months. Real world data shows that official range and efficiency of the Model 3 are a good approximation to the car’s actual performance.


Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus – Real Range & Consumption

TerrainRange & Consumption (Winter)Range & Consumption (Summer)
City205 mi
330 km
4.1 mi/kWh
6.6 km/kWh
320 mi
515 km
6.4 mi/kWh
10.3 km/kWh
Highway155 mi
250 km
3.1 mi/kWh
5 km/kWh
205 mi
330 km
4.1 mi/kWh
6.6 km/kWh
Combined180 mi
290 km
3.6 mi/kWh
5.8 km/kWh
250 mi
402 km
5 mi/kWh
8.04 km/kWh

Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus – Specs

(0 to 62mph/100kmh)
Max. SpeedOfficial RangeEngine PowerBattery SizeEngine Location

5.6 sec

278 mi

Renault Zoe

renault zoeThe Renault Zoe isn’t the best in any category, but it’s a practical car with good allround-capabilities. It has battery capacity of 52kWh and an official range of 239 miles.

Thus, the official consumption rate of the Renault Zoe is 4.6 miles per kWh. Real world testing shows that it is almost impossible to achieve this during winter months, but it is a good approximation what to expect during summer.

In total, the Zoe excels at reducing costs to a bare minimum, emitting practically no hazardous emissions. At the same time, it remains extremely practical and providing ample storage and adaptable assistance for families. 


Renault Zoe- Real Range & Consumption

TerrainRange & Consumption (Winter)Range & Consumption (Summer)

195 mi
314 km

3.75 mi/kWh
6.04 km/kWh
295 mi
475 km
5.67 mi/kWh
9.13 km/kWh
Highway135 mi
217 km
2.6 mi/kWh
4.17 km/kWh
175 mi
282 km
3.36 mi/kWh
5.42 km/kWh

165 mi
266 km

3.17 mi/kWh
5.12 km/kWh

225 mi
362 km
4.33 mi/kWh
6.96 km/kWh

Renault Zoe – Specs

(0 to 62mph/100kmh)
Max. SpeedOfficial RangeEngine PowerBattery SizeEngine Location

11.4 sec

84 mp/h
135 km/h

239 mi
385 km


BMW i4

BMW i4The BMW i4 is a four-door gran coupe with an 81kWh battery and 365 miles range. Thus, it’s official energy consumption is around 4.5mi/kWh. This is a pretty reliable value as to what can be expected on the road.

Its single electric engine, which is mounted on the back axle and produces 335bhp, allows it to go from 0 to 62 mph in 5.7 seconds

In general, the i4 is a fantastic car that excels in a variety of situations. It’s performance is great across the board and like it’s predecessor, the i3, can be considered a trend-setter in the industry.

BMW i4- Real Range & Consumption


TerrainRange & Consumption (Winter)Range & Consumption (Summer)

280 mi
450 km

3.46 mi/kWh
5.56 km/kWh
425 mi
684 km
5.25 mi/kWh
8.44 km/kWh
Highway215 mi
346 km
2.65 mi/kWh
4.27 km/kWh
280 mi
450 km
3.46 mi/kWh
5.56 km/kWh

245 mi
394 km

3.02 mi/kWh
4.86 km/kWh

340 mi
547 km
4.2 mi/kWh
6.75 km/kWh

BMW i4 – Specs

(0 to 62mph/100kmh)
Max. SpeedOfficial RangeEngine PowerBattery SizeEngine Location

5.7 sec

118 mp/h
190 km/h

365 mi
587 km


Nissan Leaf e+

Nissan LeafThe Nissan Leaf’s large range is quite good, considering the small size of the car. The official range for the bigger 56kWh version is 200 miles.

Accordingly, the Leaf’s expected energy consumption should be 3.57mi/kWh, which is pretty much in line with real world data. While it certainly can’t be considered the best of it’s class, it offers good value for money and great allround performance.

The leaf has a rapid charging capacity of 50kW, allowing for a full recharge in 1 hour. The leaf comes with two battery pack options: a 37kWh model and one with 56kWh. The table below shows the specifications for the 56kWh model.

Nissan Leaf e+ – Real Range & Consumption


TerrainRange & Consumption (Winter)Range & Consumption (Summer)
City200 mi
322 km
3.57 mi/kWh
5.75 km/kWh
300 mi
483 km
5.36 mi/kWh
8.63 km/kWh
Highway140 mi
225 km
2.5 mi/kWh
4.02 km/kWh
185 mi
298 km
3.3 mi/kWh
5.32 km/kWh
Combined170 mi
274 km
3.04 mi/kWh
4.89 km/kWh
230 mi
370 km
4.11 mi/kWh
6.61 km/kWh

Nissan Leaf e+ – Specs

(0 to 62mph/100kmh)
Max. SpeedOfficial RangeEngine PowerBattery SizeEngine Location

7.3 sec

98 mp/h
158 km/h

200 mi
322 km