Want to get straight to our favourite electric cars of 2022?
Range. It’s a discussion topic that has long dominated car buyers’ electric vehicle research but times are changing. The truth is that even small electric hatchbacks can manage 200 miles on a single charge these days, which is comfortably more than the average weekly commute and school run combo.
Better news still is that our selection of range-tastic electric cars for every budget go much further. We’re talking about the sort of long-distance creds that could call the bluff on anybody who claims they can’t go electric because they need to drive the length of the country without stopping. We’re here to prove the game has changed, folks.
And thanks to advances in technology, we’re seeing electric cars come onto the market with increasingly long ranges. Some newer models even stack up well against petrol and diesel vehicles, travelling further on a full charge than a fuel-powered car can manage on a full tank. Combined with an increase in the number of rapid charging devices around the county, this means electric vehicles are finally becoming an option for those who need to make longer journeys.
Some housekeeping: you’re going to see WLTP referenced a lot in this article. It stands for Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure and it’s the standardised measurement for electric vehicle range that all carmakers are using. Although the range of an electric vehicle can be affected by things like ambient temperature, state of charge or condition of battery, the WLTP figure creates as close to a level playing field as is possible to allow for useful comparison.
Before we hit the list, it’s also important that you look beyond the headline WLTP figures and consider each model’s electric vehicle charging speeds. A car that has a bladder-troubling range and the ability for high-power charging means you’ll be able to get back on the road in less time than it takes you to drink a caramel latte. Generally speaking, the higher the maximum charging rate expressed in kWs, the faster the car is able to refill its battery.
The High Power chargers used at every GRIDSERVE Electric Forecourt® and Electric Super Hub across the country are contactless and capable of providing a maximum 350kW of power - that’s more power than any electric vehicle on sale can currently accept. The reason for that is because we’re future-proofing our EV charging infrastructure. We know the world of electric vehicles is constantly changing and improving, which is why leasing an electric vehicle is considered the safest and easiest way to make the switch today. Thanks to the team at GRIDSERVE Car Leasing, we have a solution for that, too.
14. Porsche Taycan
Range: 301 miles
The Porsche Taycan is proving itself to be a star player in the electric vehicle era. Like many Porsche models, this svelte saloon delivers a driving experience that is tough to beat for its combination of excitement, feel and communication. If you enjoy driving and like to hustle, then choose the Taycan. It’s fast to recharge, too, boasting the most powerful charging capability in this line-up.
13. Hyundai Ioniq 5
Range: 315 miles
Have you ever seen a Hyundai look this cool? The Ioniq5 is an 80s-inspired concept car made real. Whereas most electric cars are chasing aerodynamic efficiency with low, long swoopy lines, the Ioniq5 shuns all of that for a big, practical box. A very stylish box, too. Don’t be misled by the pictures: the Ioniq5 may look like a Golf-sized hatchback, but it’s been super-sized to offer SUV levels of space. And despite only being launched in 2021, it’s recently received a raft of updates that include more range and a new Namsan Edition (Namsan literally translates to Southern Mountain) that gets fancy cameras for wing mirrors and a panoramic glass roof.
12. Volkswagen ID.4
Range: 320 miles
If you’d prefer your electric vehicle to feel more normcore than future-facing, then the Volkswagen ID.4 is a great option. The five-seat family SUV is similar in size to the company’s popular Tiguan, although thanks to its bespoke electric underpinnings, the ID.4 is much more spacious and practical inside. It’s also refined, comfortable and, to Volkswagen’s credit, is being built in a carbon neutral factory.
11. Tesla Model Y
Range: 331 miles
The Tesla Model Y is probably one of the hottest cars on sale right now and already features in the UK’s top 10 best-selling cars list of 2022. If you want a more practical version of the Tesla Model 3 (see No6), then look no further. Compared to the Model 3, the Model Y is more SUV in shape and benefits from a slightly raised roofline, provides the option of seven seats plus a practical hatchback tailgate - the boot is a cavernous 854-litres and there’s still a ‘froot’ (front boot). Like all Tesla models, it also boasts the best EV skillset of any brand on the planet, with everything controlled through a massive touchscreen display. And we do mean everything, from headlights to wipers, climate control to mirror adjustment.
10. Skoda Enyaq iV
Range: 331 miles
Another vehicle that is singlehandedly changing perceptions about its brand is the Skoda Enyak. It mixes fashionable SUV style with typical Skoda practicality and superb value for money. Skoda is owned by parent company Volkswagen, so the electric gubbins under the skin are actually shared with the Volkswagen ID.4 (see No12). And while the Enyak may drive just as well as its cousin, it betters the ID.4 with its marginally better range, bigger boot and more functional interior with fewer touch-sensitive buttons and sliders. It feels incredibly well set up to take on whatever family life can throw at it.
9. Polestar 2
Range: 341 miles
Battery: Polestar 2kWh
Polestar is being billed as the Scandinavian answer to Tesla, although this Swedish EV start-up also benefits from having Volvo in its family tree. This means that despite its newcomer status to the UK, build quality, reliability and parts and servicing are already well established. The Polestar 2 is considered a rival to the Tesla Model 3 (see No6), although it plays with more coupe-inspired styling cues and is the first brand to use Android OS as its infotainment system, so you can easily sync your calendar, contacts, maps, music and any other bits from your Google ecosystem.
8. Tesla Model X
Range: 348 miles
If you were in the market for a dedicated seven seater, you’d usually have to turn to something that resembles a van with windows. Well, thanks to the Tesla Model X, you’ve got better options. The Model X is available with five, six or seven seats and performs the role of large family SUV expertly. It’s needlessly rapid for its size, but it’s good to sit in and great at making you feel like you’ve stepped into the future. Kids (and some adults) will also love the signature ‘falcon doors’, which are more than a gimmicky party piece. They’re able to open in just 11 inches of space, and feature sensors to prevent knocks against pillars, children or cars parked annoyingly close.
7. BMW i4
Range: 365 miles
The BMW i4 may not look as innovative as previous models produced by the BMW i division, but it’s easily one of the best electric cars you can buy in the UK today. It may not be made with a part carbon construction like the BMW iX (see No4) but it looks and feels exactly like a BMW executive saloon should and benefits from the brand’s reputation for Germanic quality, ergonomics, comfort and driving pleasure. Don’t worry, petrolheads, the future of performance saloons is in safe hands.
6. Tesla Model 3
Range: 374 miles
The Tesla Model 3 was the UK’s favourite EV in 2021. More than 34,000 cars found a home last year - outselling the total registrations from brands including Citroën, Honda, Mazda and Renault - and for good reason. This entry-level ticket to the Tesla experience provides a provocative blend of performance, techy cool and everyday usability. The arrival of the Tesla Model Y may start to cannibalise some of these sales, but we expect it to remain a firm favourite for years to come. The optional and lauded ‘Autopilot’ driver assistance system isn’t fully self-driving, but it does take the edge off long-distance trips.
5. Ford Mustang Mach-E
Range: 379 miles
Think Mustang and your mind may drift to 60s muscle cars and noisy V8 engines - not for much longer. The Mustang Mach E is a five-seat family SUV that isn’t short of muscle, and it manages to mix Tesla-inspired touchscreens with retro styling cues for that perfect blend of new and old. It’s a car with real feelgood factor - you can even play fake V8 sounds in the cabin - with all versions being fun to drive with great grip and agility, although the ride is a little on the firm side when compared to rivals like the Skoda Enyak (See No10).
4. BMW iX
Range: 380 miles
The BMW iX may not be everybody’s idea of beauty, but it’s certainly a vibe. It’s also humungous in pretty much every respect, tipping the scales at 2.5-tonnes, measuring 5m in length and sitting on the biggest battery in our shortlist. That said, the BMW iX is a statement SUV and feels surprisingly rapid and wieldy on the road. It also has one of the most beautifully appointed and supremely comfortable cabins on sale
3. Mercedes-Benz EQE
Range: 394 miles
Mercedes is a class act when it comes to creating high quality luxo-barges and the EQE is no exception. This is the E-Class saloon reimagined for the electric era, and although its new-age proportions may look like a shrunken EQS (keep reading to see that car), it has a calm, composed and comfortable character of its own. The E-Class has never really been about rocketship performance - unless you’re talking to the AMG division - but it has always excelled at being a refined and quiet car to sit in. Now with the absence of a combustion engine, the Mercedes EQE takes this to the next level. It feels like you’re sitting in a library.
2. Tesla Model S
Range: 405 miles
It’s difficult to overstate the importance of the Tesla Model S. Launched in 2012, it’s the electric car that provided the technology, ability and excitement to capture the zeitgeist and really kickstart the EV revolution. Its minimalist interior and that touchscreen could only ever have come from outside the automotive arena, and yet it’s an approach that has since been replicated by every other carmaker. And then there’s the performance: name any petrol-powered supercar and the chances are you’ll find a drag race video on YouTube featuring a stock Model S making it look embarrassingly slow. Yet what’s most remarkable is that, today, despite a raft of new challengers, Tesla’s longest-serving model remains hugely desirable, breathtakingly fast and one that can travel farthest on a single charge.
1. Mercedes-Benz EQS
Range: 453 miles
Tesla may be packing a big punch in the electric era, but the company that invented the automobile isn’t sitting back. The Mercedes EQS boasts the biggest EV range of any production car with 453 miles (WLTP). That’s London to Edinburgh with juice to spare, or Land’s End to the newly opened Norwich Electric Forecourt®. We feel a challenge coming on…
As you’d imagine with a fully-electric equivalent of the S Class limousine, the EQS is big, luxurious and figuratively oozing with technology. Think marquetry woodwork, soft leather, doors that open and close themselves, air suspension that transforms rutted British B roads into something that’s snooker table smooth. Oh, and the infotainment system looks like it belongs in a multiplex cinema. Mercedes calls its super-wide touchscreen display the ‘MBUX Hyperscreen’ and it pretty much covers the entire dashboard. If you’re keen to avoid fingerprints, you can also operate the infotainment system through the car’s excellent voice recognition system.
It’s true that such a big range is helped by having a massive battery, but also because the EQS is the world’s slipperiest production car. Unlike some EQ-badged cars (think EQA, EQB, EQC and EQV) that share a platform with their internal combustion engine equivalents, both the EQE (see No3) and EQS use a bespoke platform to help better package those batteries and create aerodynamic silhouettes. Clearly, bespoke is working for Mercedes, and the EQS is a very special vehicle to cover any kind of distance in