The best electric vehicles for road trips revealed

Darren Cassey, PA Motoring Reporter
·2-min read

Many modern electric vehicles can now travel impressive distances on each charge, but if you’re planning a really long road trip, it can take a lot of forethought.

However, new research suggests that buying a Tesla is your best bet if you’re regularly travelling the length of the country. plotted a route from John o’Groats to Land’s End – an 837-mile trip – in a wide variety of electric vehicles. The trip accounted for a vehicle’s range and planned appropriate charging locations along the way, judging the time spent topping up based on the vehicle’s top charge speed capabilities.

Electric vehicle journey times
(Leasing Options)

The Tesla Model S and Model X came joint first, needing just three stops each and costing less than £60 in electricity. The overall journey time for both was 16 hours and 18 minutes.

In third was the Tesla Model 3, which cost a few pennies less over the duration of the trip but required five stops on account of its smaller range, adding three minutes to the trip.

The Audi e-tron was the best of the rest, clocking in a time of just over 17 hours with six stops costing about £86. The Jaguar I-Pace rounded out the top five with a time of 17 hours and 32 minutes, though it only needed four stops and cost £67.44.

The Renault Zoe came eighth of the vehicles tested, but was the least expensive, with electricity costing about £53 for the trip. If running costs are a key consideration, it’s worth noting that many older Teslas come with free access to the firm’s Supercharger charging network.

Electric vehicle journey times
(Leasing Options)

The worst-performing vehicle was the Volkswagen e-Golf, which both took the longest to complete the trip as well as being the most expensive.

The findings show the importance of factoring in more than just range when it comes to buying an electric car. If a vehicle has a large battery but a low charging capacity, you could find yourself spending a lot of time waiting for a top up.

Meanwhile, a smaller battery with less range might not sound so appealing, but with a fast charging time it could mean that quick, regular top ups are all you need during your regular toilet or food breaks.