For years, vehicle range has been a constant source of anxiety for electric vehicle owners.
Questions like these are on the minds of all prospective EV owners, and they’re certainly valid questions.
Especially when they come from EV buyers who are about to fork over $50k for an electric car or $1-5k for an electric bike, scooter, or skateboard.
These buyers expect a quality vehicle that they can trust. One that won’t break down on them, or leave them stranded without a charge.
Good news. Battery technology is improving rapidly with every passing year, and EVs across every vehicle class are seeing dramatic increases in vehicle range and battery performance. Charging networks are also expanding rapidly, making on-the-go EV charging a breeze.
Let’s explore some of the longest range electric vehicles on the market today.
Right now, the longest range electric car in the world is the Tesla Model S Long Range Plus. It has 402 miles of EPA rated range, and an 8 year history of regular battery improvements.
In 2012, Tesla rolled out the first ever Model S with just 265 miles of range in an 85kWh battery pack.
The battery pack in the Model S today is only 18% larger (100kWh), but the car gets 52% more driving range, owing to battery and vehicle efficiency improvements over the years.
Tesla also has roughly 2,000 supercharger stations all over the world to make long drives possible. In America, 99% of people are within range of at least one Supercharger, and from there they can get anywhere in the country without fear of being stranded.
I would know, last summer I did a 45 day road trip all around America in my Tesla using Superchargers the entire way.
Tesla cars will also let you know how long you need to charge in order to reach your destination or the next Supercharger on your trip.
While the Model S claims the title of longest range electric car today, there are a few cars that are coming soon with more than 402 miles of range.
Tesla Cybertruck Tri-Motor (Launches in Fall 2021): 500+ Miles of Range
Lucid Air Grand Touring (Launches in Fall 2021): 517 Miles of Range
Tesla Roadster (Launches in 2022): 600 Miles of Range
Electric bikes come in two forms. Pedal-assist and throttle.
Pedal-assist bikes send small bursts of electricity through the bike motor to help you pedal. This makes it feel like you’re riding a regular bike, just without as much effort. You can decide how much help you want from the motor, but you still pedal the bike to make it move.
Electric bikes with a throttle can be driven whether you’re pedaling or not. Typically, these bikes are controlled by turning some kind of throttle on the handlebar to speed up or down. This makes the experience similar to riding a motorcycle, but unlike a motorcycle, you can still pedal these bikes if you choose to (or if you’re out of battery).
The longest range pedal-assist bike today is the Tern GSD S10, with up to 155 miles of pedal-assist range. Yes, 155 miles of range. At an average speed of 20mph, you’d have to drive for almost 8 hours straight to use up the entire battery. You probably won’t run out of juice.
The Tern GSD S10 is also a true cargo bike. It’s built on a durable frame with lots of options to add cargo racks or extra seating. In short, there’s not much this bike can’t handle.
The longest range throttle bike comes from a company called DOST. They make two bikes (the Drop and the Kope), which are identical except for the shape of their frame.
DOST bikes can go up to 120 miles on a charge, and the motor can actually be engaged by the throttle or by pedaling. So the choice is yours. You can pedal or you can just relax, and the bike’s motor can take you up to speeds of 28mph for hours on end.
Electric scooters have undergone an enormous transformation in the last decade. It wasn’t long ago that a scooter was simply a toy for kids to get around the neighborhood.
Those self-powered scooters were never meant for long-haul commutes, but their electric counterparts have changed all that.
Today’s electric scooters are beefed up with large wheels, suspension for rough roads and potholes, and batteries large enough to get you across town and back.
As an added advantage, scooters weigh far less than cars, and even less than most bikes. This means you can travel further with a smaller battery.
The longest range electric scooter today is the Dualtron X with up to 120 miles of range on a single charge. It is an absolute tank of a scooter.
With adjustable suspension, 13-inch wheels, hydraulic and electronic brakes, built-in LED lights, and a 3 kWh battery pack, there’s not much you can’t do with it. It can even drive on grass, dirt, and other off-road environments.
However, it doesn’t come cheap. The Dualtron X costs $5,999 and is the second most expensive scooter in the Dualtron line-up.
The longest range electric skateboard on the market today is the Lacroix Nazare Lonestar. It can go up to 60 miles on a single charge, and is built like a beast.
Just like the Dualtron scooters above, Lacroix boards can handle driving on grass, dirt, potholes, and bumps with ease, making it a versatile board that can be used on a daily basis.
The Nazare Lonestar is also built with an extra-wide 19-inch wheelbase to keep you stable at high speeds. A helpful feature because this board is so fast that Lacroix doesn’t even publish the top speed on their website.
Regardless of speed, you can expect to get at least a few hours of range from this board if you’re using it around town. City traffic makes it quite difficult to maintain speeds of above 20mph on any skateboard, unless you’re riding on a bike path or on empty streets.
One drawback to all the vehicles I mentioned above is that they are expensive. But it’s important to know that you don’t have to spend $100k on a car or $5k on a bike, scooter, or skateboard to get a great EV that you can count on as your daily driver.
You’ll find that the average vehicle in each class is far less expensive than the ones mentioned above, and you’ll still get more range than you need each day. For reference:
The average electric car has a starting price of $65K and a range of 264 miles.
The average electric bike has a starting price of $3,159 and a range of 58 miles.
The average electric skateboard has a starting price of $1,161 and a range of 19.3 miles.
The average electric scooter has a starting price of $1,254 and a range of 34 miles.
Whether you’re commuting to and from work, driving across your college campus for class, or just exploring around town, your EV battery won't be a limiting factor with any of the vehicles above. In fact, most electric vehicles won’t limit your transportation habits.
Five years ago I wouldn’t have been able to say the same thing, but it’s astonishing how fast battery technology is improving every year, and how quickly new competitors are forcing other EV brands to innovate.
So if you’re on the fence about going electric, range is not something that should hold you back right now.