US drivers enjoy the longest electric car range on a charge buoyed by Tesla models
American electric vehicle owners hit a record average driving range on a charge last year. The reach of the five most popular electric cars in the US that account for 70% of sales - Tesla Model Y, Model 3, Model S, Mustang Mach-E, and Chevy Bolt - actually broke the 300-mile range threshold. This is a third higher than the global average, explaining why automakers are not even offering some smaller, cheaper electric cars with more limited range that are all the rage in places like China or Europe.
The top five EV bestsellers in the US collectively have a 309-mile driving range on a battery charge, while the average in all other countries combined sits a tad below 200 miles. On last survey, American drivers settled on 341 miles as enough to satisfy their driving habits. With the current annual range increase trend, EVs sold in the US will hit that milestone in a bit over a year.
The electric vehicles sold in America started with a puny 73 miles range back in 2011 when the Nissan Leaf was introduced, and have increased their reach by 13% annually to arrive at the 300-mile threshold a decade or so later. In the meantime, the global average EV range climbed just 10% per year, leaving the US ahead by a wide margin. As can be seen from Bloomberg's graph below, things really took off when Tesla introduced its longer range cars, but electric vehicles from Ford and GM are now no slackers in that regard, too.
The next, mass market phase of electric vehicle sales in the US would include affordable sub-$25,000 models, but they may not lower the record average range that American drivers enjoy by much. A recent industry analysis, for instance, pegged the rumored Tesla Model 2 as having a 25% lower battery capacity than the Model 3. At the same time, however, it is expected to be smaller and 30% lighter, so the range on a charge is likely to remain comparable to the Model 3.