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Best electric cars by real-world range that you can buy NOW

Following Theresa May's announcement this week that Britain will become the first major economy to put into law a net zero emissions target for 2050, motorists will be wondering what that means for the cars they'll be driving in the not too distant future.Many will be querying if an electric car is really suitable for their needs, especially when it comes to long-distance journeys.Fortunately, real world tests are already proving the ranges of electric models that are on sale today – and this is how far they can go, according to the measurements.What Car? has been publishing real range figures for electric cars for almost a year.It conducts controlled and repeatable assessments of each plug-in model on sale in the UK to compare what manufacturers tell you about battery range and what is really achievable when driving on the road.There are some big discrepancies between the 'official' and real-world ranges, and there's a staggering 202-mile differences in the ranges of the best and worst new electric cars you can buy in showrooms today.What Car? also calculates the cost to fully charge each model and the price per mile using an average electricity rate of 12p per kilowatt hour.Prices listed for each model are inclusive of the £3,500 low-emission vehicles (OLEV) grant subsidy currently provided for electric cars by the government.14. Smart ForFour EQSmart ForFour EQ Official range: 68 milesWhat Car? Real Range: 57 miles Full charge cost: £2.42 Cost per mile: £0.042 Price new: from £18,190The Smart ForFour isn't the most accomplished electric car. In fact, it has the shortest range of any plug-in model What Car? has tested so far.Small and nippy, it's suitable for those who only want to do short journeys in towns and cities. Its merits as being a one and only car in your family are restricted by its puny 57-mile range.13. Smart ForTwo EQSmart ForTwo EQ Official range: 70 milesWhat Car? Real Range: 59 milesFull charge cost: £2.43 Cost per mile: £0.042 Price new: from £19,835Smart's smallest model – the ForTwo – is also available with an electric drivetrain, but the battery range is almost as disappointing as the larger ForFour.What Car? tested the Cabrio (not yet the Coupe) and found it will do just 59 miles on a full charge – a meager two miles more than its bigger sibling. Despite being dinkier it's pricier than the four-door model.12. Volkswagen e-UpVolkswagen e-Up Official range: 83 milesWhat Car? Real Range: 66 miles Full charge cost: £2.28Cost per mile: £0.035 Price new: from £19,615The Up is a great city car and the addition of electric power makes it an even better option – as long as you're limiting yourself predominantly to the city.With a 66-mile range, it's not going to be all that practical if you've got a commute than exceeds 30 miles. It's also almost twice the price of the cheapest petrol-powered Up – even with the plug-in car grant – which costs £10,080.11. Hyundai IoniqHyundai Ioniq Official range: 174 milesWhat Car? Real Range: 117 miles Full charge cost: £3.57 Cost per mile: £0.030 Price new: from £26,745The official range is still based on the old (and out of date) NEDC test cycle, which is why the Ioniq falls so short of the claims. For a £27,000 family car, it will come down to personal requirements if 117 miles of range is enough.In the Ioniq's defence the interior is very smart. And if you don't want a full-electric model there is a hybrid or plug-in hybrid variant.10. Volkswagen e-GolfVolkswagen e-Golf Official range: 186 milesWhat Car? Real Range: 117 miles Full charge cost: £4.27 Cost per mile: £0.036 Price new: from £29,230Like the Hyundai Ioniq, the e-Golf's claimed range is based on the old NEDC cycle. That said, 117 miles of battery life from a car that costs almost £30,000 inclusive of a £3,500 discount is a little disappointing.The biggest compliment you can pay the e-Golf is that it feels like any other Golf – premium. VW's forthcoming I.D.3 will be its replacement, and will be a far more capable model.9. Nissan LeafNissan Leaf Official range: 168 miles What Car? Real Range: 128 miles Full charge cost: £5.40 Cost per mile: £0.042  Price new: from £24,495The first-generation Leaf was the electric car to have half a decade ago, but this second-generation version hasn't yet proved as popular.There's another version available with a higher-capacity battery that has a claimed 239-mile range, though the one tested here is a more limited 168-mile option. What Car? says you should expect 128 miles from a full charge in the less rangier of the two.8. Renault ZoeRenault Zoe Official range: 186 mi ...Read more

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