How far can an electric car go?

6 minute read Published on Jan 2, 2024 by BrokerLink Communications

A low angle shot of a mid adult man taking a phone call  while his electric car is on charge at a public charging point

Whether you are debating between a hybrid vs electric car or even a gas-powered car vs. an electric car, one main factor to consider is how far your electric car will go. Ultimately, many factors impact how far an electric car can travel before needing to be charged, one of which is the electric car battery in your vehicle. Continue reading to find out more about how far electric cars can go.

How far can an electric car travel?

The distance that electric cars travel depends on a number of factors. For this reason, electric vehicles can travel anywhere from 200 miles to 500 miles. While older models from a decade ago or more used to have maximum ranges of roughly 100 miles, technology has improved significantly since then. Nowadays, most electric vehicles have a minimum range of 200 or 300 miles, while the newest state-of-the-art EVs have ranges of up to 400 or 500 miles.

What is the electric car range?

When discussing how far an electric car can go, it’s important to discuss range. An electric car’s range refers to the miles that can be driven before the battery is recharged. Think of the electric car range as similar to the distance a car can travel on a full gas tank.

When we say that a certain EV has a range of 200 miles, assuming it is fully charged, you can drive your electric car for 200 miles before recharging it.

Determining your electric car range needs

Part of choosing a reliable electric car is choosing one with a range that meets your needs. The rule of thumb for electric car range is to pick a car with enough range to cover three times your daily commute.

For instance, if you commute 50 miles each day, you should select a vehicle with no less than 150 miles of range. Keep in mind that your commute refers to the total amount of miles you drive per day, on average.

To help you determine if an electric car is worth it and if it will suit your driving habits, you will need to calculate how much you currently drive. To do this, check the odometer in your current car.

It will give you a good idea of how much time you spend on the road. From there, you can decide what electric car range you are comfortable with.

Other factors that impact how far an electric car can go

It is important to note that the range of an electric car, which is determined by its battery, is not the only factor that impacts how far it can go. Although electric car manufacturers will list a range that the car is likely to reach before recharging, this isn’t a guarantee.

This is because other variables can impact how long an EV can hold its charge and, thus, how far it can go. For instance, the car battery's age, the weather you are driving in, your driving habits, the charging stations you use to charge your vehicle, and how much you charge your battery can all influence the distance your EV can travel.

We break down a few of these factors below:

Car battery age

The age of the battery in your electric vehicle can impact how far it travels. As you likely know from using other pieces of technology, such as smartphones or laptops, lithium-ion batteries do not last forever.

Not only that, but their capacity is likely to deplete with age. As such, if your car battery is older, you can’t expect it to travel as far as it once did. After a number of years, many EV batteries will only hold 70% to 80% of the charge that they once did.

It is worth noting that if your battery is old and you notice that the range is not what it once was, you may have to replace it. Depending on the terms and conditions of your warranty, the manufacturer might cover it.

For example, Tesla offers warranties for the Model 3, stating that the car should retain 70% of its charge capacity, and if it doesn’t, the owner of the car can request a replacement.

Similarly, Hyundai offers a warranty for its Ioniq 5 model and states that the battery should not deplete by more than 30% during the warranty period. The Ioniq 5’s battery is under warranty for ten years or 100,000 miles and can cover the cost of replacing a dead battery or a depleted battery.


Extreme weather, especially cold weather, can impact your electric car battery range. The truth is that EVs and cold weather don’t go hand-in-hand. So if you frequently drive your electric car in freezing temperatures, your battery will likely be impacted.

Some studies have shown that the range of some electric cars can drop by as much as 35% in extreme cold. That said, the exact amount of range your car will lose ultimately depends on the make and model of EV you are driving and the precise temperatures you are driving in.

Regardless, if you know that you’ll regularly be driving in temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius, most experts recommend adding an extra 30% to your range calculation. It is also important to note that it isn’t just extreme cold that can impact your car’s battery range.

Extreme heat can affect your battery, too, though not to the same degree. This is partly because when driving in hot weather, you will likely use your car’s air conditioning more, and when the AC is running at full power, the range will be depleted.

Charging station type

The type of charging station you use to charge your electric car will also affect how far it travels. For instance, if you are installing an electric car charger at home, which is one of the main ways to prepare your home for an electric car, you will likely be charging your car using a Level 1 or Level 2 charger.

These types of chargers have lower voltages, 120 and 240 volts, respectively. This means they take longer to charge your car, usually between 4 and 12 hours.

While this is significantly longer than the 15 or 30 minutes, it might take a public charging station, like a Level 3 charging station or a Tesla supercharger station, to charge your car, Level 1 and 2 chargers are less likely to drain your battery.

Regular usage of high-speed chargers like Level 3 chargers and Tesla superchargers can lead to significant battery degradation. This degradation isn’t temporary, either. It can permanently reduce your electric vehicle’s battery capacity.

Learn more about how electric charging stations work and the hidden costs of owning an electric car , like paying to charge your vehicle at a public charger or installing a charging station in your home, by contacting BrokerLink.

How much you charge your battery

You might assume that charging your battery to 100% is the best practice, but the truth of it is that doing so can deplete your battery faster. Instead, you should aim to charge your battery to 80% rather than the full 100%, especially when using Level 3 chargers. This can help the battery maintain its capacity. Thus, an important part of hybrid and electric car maintenance is never charging your EV battery 100%.

Driving habits

Driving habits or style is another factor that can influence how far your electric car will travel before needing to be charged. Aggressive driving habits like slamming on the gas pedal or braking suddenly can drain your battery faster. Even with EVs that have regenerative braking, you still need to be careful with the way you drive, as braking quickly at the last minute won’t regenerate nearly as much energy as coming to a slow, smooth stop.

Contact BrokerLink for electric car insurance

As a full-service brokerage, we can explain how accidents affect car insurance rates, what documents you need for car insurance, and much more. We can also offer insight into the different types of auto insurance out there, including the coverages which are mandatory and those which are optional. Some of these coverages include:

To request free electric car insurance quotes today, contact BrokerLink or use the online quote tool on our website. We offer free Toronto car insurance quotes for all customers.

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