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Tuesday 6th December
Top Gear Advice

What's the best EV for escaping?

It's rare you'd use an EV's range in one go, but sometimes you just need to be approximately 464 miles away...

Published: 16 Nov 2022
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Headline range in EVs is a strange concept – how often do you look at the total distance when arranging your trip somewhere? That number is also the one possible number of miles out of a full battery that you’ll never do. 

Obviously you’re going to need to take into account real world conditions, your driving style, weather conditions and the position of Jupiter in relation to Mars, but say that your car will go 250 miles, you’re going to do 249 miles maximum unless you’re filming a YouTube video where you aim to run out of electricity in the middle of nowhere for no other reason than to have people watch you do it. 

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Driving 300 miles? Great, just stop off and charge on the way. And you can do that at any distance, if you fancy. Go 23 miles down the road and stop for a juice-up. It would be a bit time consuming to break the journey into quite such nibbly chunks, but that’s your freedom. 

The most exciting thing is the plethora of possibility when it comes to charging – more than 21,000 locations in the UK with sockets you can charge your car from at the time of writing. The number is going up all the time. And that’s locations, there are nearly 60,000 plugs in the country specially dedicated to filling up passing electric vehicles. What a time to be alive. How many petrol stations are there in the country? A smidge under 8,400 – a number that is not going up all the time. 

Yet no one really knows the maximum range they’ll get out of a tank of petrol – you’ll have a distinct idea of the car’s efficiency, and the fact that if you hoof it away from every set of lights you’ll have to fill up significantly sooner. Electric cars have yet to switch on to that notion, that it’s better to use less electricity than to lug around tonnes of useless lithium ion in the vain quest to go a bit further. 

That’s not to say that range is insignificant – sometimes you’ll find yourself in a situation where you just want to put as much distance as possible between you and something else. The scene of a crime, perhaps, or a family Christmas. Stopping every two hours for an important rest break, of course. 

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If you’re going for maximum range then there’s still really only one car for the job – the Mercedes-Benz EQS 450+, which is rated up to 464 miles on the WLTP cycle. That’s almost 500 miles – enough to give The Proclaimers a lift and they can walk the rest if they really must. 

Unfortunately, going for that headline range figure does mean slumming it in the entry level AMG Line-spec model. It’s practically a Magaluf rental car at £106k – you get the tiny 12.8-inch central infotainment set-up for that money… obnoxiouscreen rather than hyperscreen. Your aerodynamic alloy wheels are a mere 20in across, but you do get a reversing camera and panoramic roof. Thanks, Mercedes. Heated seats and a bit of chrome trim? Don’t mind if we do. At least we’d be warm while the neighbours point and laugh – but those chumps will be laughing on the other side of their faces when you have to be approximately 464 miles away and don't have time to stop.

Best EV for escaping – Mercedes-Benz EQS 450+
Price: £105,610
Range: 464 miles
Engine: 329bhp e-motor
Battery: 108kWh
Top speed: 130mph
0–62mph: 6.2secs
Boot space: 610 litres

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