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Electric car range trebles in a decade to 257 miles on a single charge

The average battery-powered car sold in Britain can now travel almost 260 miles on a single charge with electric vehicle ranges more than trebling in the last ten years.

Battery models in showrooms today have an average claimed range of 257 miles compared to just 74 miles in 2011, says industry trade body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

It says the number of plug-in vehicles on the market has surged almost 15-fold in that period, which it has dubbed the first ‘electric decade’.

EV ranges have more than trebled in the first ‘electric decade’: The average electric car on sale in 2011 had a single-charge driving distance of just 74 miles.The average today is up to 257

Electric vehicles have certainly come a long way since 2011.

This was the year Britain’s first mass-market electric model – the Nissan Leaf – was made available to the UK market.

The Sunderland-produced EV debuted with a claimed range of 93 miles, which would have only been enough to take drivers from London to Northampton on a single charge.

Fast forward a decade and Nissan’s current Leaf+ can travel up to 239 miles, which is enough to get from the capital to Liverpool without needing to stop for a charge. 

Of all the electric models currently on sale in the UK, Mercedes’ EQS offers the longest range.

The EQS 450+ has a whopping single-charge driving distance of up to 453 miles – though you will have to fork out £102,160 for the privilege.

The SMMT listed each EV in showrooms right now, as well as the battery powered models – both fully-electric and ‘range-extending’ hybrids – that were available to Britons in 2011.

Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-Benz EQS 450+ AMG Line Premium Plus 453
Ford Mustang Mach-E Extended Range SUV AWD Auto 1SP 335
Kia Kia EV6 77.4kWh Air RWD 328
Skoda ENYAQ iV 80 Sportline 324
BMW i4 M50 316
Volkswagen ID.4 GTX Max 77 kWh 299 PS 301
Audi e-tron GT quattro Vorsprung 298
BMW iX3 M Sport 286
Kia Kia Niro EV (Pre-production) 282
Hyundai IONIQ 5 Ultimate 73kWh AWD 281
Genesis GV60 280
MG Motor MG 5 EV Long Range 61kWh Exclusive & Excite 273
Porsche Taycan 4S Cross Turismo 265
Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-Benz EQB 300 4MATIC AMG Line Premium 66.5 kWh battery and a 100 kW DC on-board charger 260
Volvo XC40 Recharge Pro 260
Volvo C40 Recharge Twin Pro 260
BMW iX xDrive40 257
Nissan  Leaf+  239 
Citroën ë-C4 134bhp electric motor, 50Kwh Shine Plus 217
SsangYong Korando e-Motion Ventura 211
Vauxhall Mokka-e 201
Fiat New 500 Icon 199
MG Motor MG ZS EV MG ZS Trophy standard range 198
Citroën e-Berlingo Flair XTR M 174
Peugeot e-Rifter Standard 172
Mini Electric Shadow Edition 140
Honda Honda e Advance.Modern Steel Metallic 137
Fiat 500 Action 118
Source: SMMT     
Chevrolet Volt Range Extender 93
Nissan Leaf Fully Electric  93
Vauxhall Ampera Range Extender  84
Citroën C-Zero Fully Electric  83
Mitsubishi i-MIEV Fully Electric  50
Source: SMMT       

Of all the electric models currently on sale in the UK, Mercedes’ EQS offers the longest range at 253 miles

As well as offering longer ranges, the increased availability of different plug-in cars – both fully-electric and plug-in hybrid – has seen low-emission vehicle sales sky-rocket in compared to a decade ago.

Some 140 models with a plug are now on sale in Britain.

And while just 1,082 pure electric models were sold in 2011, that figure grew to over 190,727 last year.

The SMMT said such progression is testament to the automotive industry’s ‘ingenuity and investment’ and promised that this trend will continue with all of Britain’s leading car manufacturers and importers committed a further 150 new and updated plug-ins for the UK market by 2025. 

These figures will be music to the ears of Boris Johnson, who continues to press ahead with plans to ban the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 – and hybrids from 2035 – in a bid to achieve ambitious net-zero targets.

These are just some of the fully electric and plug-in models currently on sale in Britain

In 2011, the first-generation Nissan Leaf (left) had a claimed range of 93 miles, which would have only been enough to take drivers from London to Northampton on a single charge.Fast forward a decade and the current Leaf+ (right) can go for 239 miles – taking you from the capital to Liverpool without needing to stop for a charge

But while manufacturers are holding up their end of the bargain by making available more accomplished battery-powered vehicles, both industry and consumers are being let down by the limited number of public chargers on Britain’s roads, the trade body said.

Earlier this month, the Department for Transport confirmed the number of public chargers available in Britain had surpassed 30,000 – an increase of  a third in a year. 

The Government has already outlined that it wants to have 300,000 chargers available in total by the end of the decade.

However, car makers have concerns.

They suggest this number won’t be enough to match demand, are worried that there will be a serious lack of fast chargers and raised issue with the postcode lottery of charging solutions around the UK, with areas such as Northern Ireland and the North West of England having far fewer devices than other parts of the country.

For instance, the North West has 5.9 rapid chargers per 100,000 people compared to 111 in London.

Motor industry bosses are concerned that there already are not enough public EV chargers across the country, certainly in particular areas

Add to the equation rising energy prices, which will see average charging costs rise by around £200 a year, along with a lack of dedicated EV tariffs – and the slashing of plug-in vehicle and homecharger grants in recent months, and the SMMT said ministers have plenty to resolve ahead of 2030. 

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said: ‘To turn this nascent demand into a mass market, however, motorists need choice, affordability and the confidence to charge. 

‘The UK has an ambitious timescale to deliver net zero and road transport must shoulder the biggest burden delivering that goal. 

‘The industry is up for the challenge but we need all stakeholders, including government, charge point providers and energy companies, to match manufacturers’ commitment by providing the competitive incentives and infrastructure that assures a zero-emission future.’ 


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