Outrunning Range Anxiety: 4 EVs Actually Excel At Long Road Trips
There’s a cure for range anxiety: EVs that charge quickly and use few kWh/mile. But there aren’t many new vehicles that thread this needle. It seems that EVs with quick (800-volt) charging systems have big, heavy battery packs that make them inefficient (here’s looking at you Porsche, Cadillac, most Teslas, and all EV trucks). More efficient EVs (think smaller) tend to have slower charging systems to keep costs down (Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Equinox, and almost anything on the used market). But if you can find a vehicle in that sweet spot, you’ll be rewarded with less than 30 minutes on the charger for every three hours of driving. That’s comparable to an internal combustion vehicle and makes for an EV you could road trip indefinitely!
1 – Tesla Model 3
To see how EVs stack up, we raced them in an imaginary “Cannonball Run” cross-country rally on the A Better Route Planner website. Tesla has a slightly older charging system (only 400 volts), but its own DC fast charging network (the Tesla Superchargers). So a Model 3 “long-range” trim with the 18-inch aero rims should be able to complete the Cannonball spending just 5 hours and 17 minutes on a charger. That means that for every minute of charging, you’ll get a whopping 7.75 minutes of driving time.
2 – Hyundai Ioniq 5
A RWD Ioniq 5 with a regular battery pack would spend 8 hours and 49 minutes charging between NYC’s Red Ball Garage and LA’s Portofino Inn. That means 4.76 minutes of driving for every minute of charging. You’ll spend about $320 on electricity. If you bump up to the “Long Range” RWD trim, you’ll only spend 6 hours and 18 minutes of the 41-hour, 33-minute trip on a charger. That means 6.60 minutes of driving time for every minute of charging time. While the Tesla only supports 400-volt charging, the Ioniq 5 will accept 800-volt chargers. With more 800-volt chargers going in every day, the affordable Hyundai may be the most future-proof option on this list.
3 – Lucid Air
Lucid made headlines when it debuted its “Long Range” trim with a 425-mile range. But our cross-country rally is much farther than that and will put its charging speeds to the test, alongside its range. The Lucid Air “Grand Touring” gets 6.55 minutes of driving time for every minute of charging time and will spend just 6 hours and 14 minutes on a charger. This aerodynamic sedan will burn 285 Wh/mile, or 850.1 kWh total.
4 – Ford Mustang Mach-E
On the same cross-country route, the Ford Mustang Mach-E RWD with the extended range battery pack will spend 9 hours and 33 minutes on the charger. This means that for every minute you spend charging, you’ll get 4.31 minutes of driving time. The Mustang crossover is projected to burn 327 Wh/mi (974.9 kWh total).
Bigger isn’t always better
Automakers continue advertising longer EV ranges–even for full-size SUVs and trucks–by adding battery capacity. But by choosing an EV with a low expected kWh/mile burn, which is also capable of charging quickly, you can end up with a vehicle that you can take on a highway road trip in much the same way as an internal combustion car.
Next, read our review of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 or see the actual electric Cannonball Run record in the video below: