How much does electric-car range cost per mile?


2016 Nissan Leaf

2016 Nissan Leaf

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When it comes to electric cars, range is a commodity.

But how much are buyers paying to increase the amount of driving they can do between charges?

We looked at every electric car currently on sale, as well as the upcoming 200-mile 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV and Tesla Model 3, and some of the longer-range plug-in hybrids.

With anticipated base prices under $40,000, the Bolt EV and Model 3 appear ready to lower the cost of range drastically.

DON'T MISS: Highest Gas Mileage For The Least Money: We Rate 10 Top Cars

Buyers may pay less than $200 per mile of range, compared to the $300 to $400 average of most current electric cars.

We have more details below, as well as several of the models that come closest to meeting their cost-to-range ratio.

Across the board, plug-in hybrids proved significantly more expensive per mile of range than battery-electric vehicles--likely due to their two powertrains.

The 2016 Chevrolet Volt rings up at $641 per mile, while lower-range plug-in hybrids like the Hyundai Sonata and Ford Fusion Energi worked out to over $1,000 per mile.

2012 Tesla Model S beta vehicle, Fremont, CA, October 2011

2012 Tesla Model S beta vehicle, Fremont, CA, October 2011

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Tesla Model 3: $181 per mile

If Tesla can achieve its claimed $35,000 base price and 200-mile range, the Model 3 will offer the cheapest range of any electric car.

Add in the $1,200 destination charge Tesla applies to all of its other cars, and the Model 3 achieves an impressive $181 per mile.

ALSO SEE: Tesla Model 3: What We Know About Its $35,000, 200-Mile Electric Car

That shows just how powerful a force a 200-mile electric car could be in the market.

Tesla will begin taking orders for the Model 3 at the end of this month, but production isn't expected to start until next year.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV: $187 per mile

Right behind the Model 3 is the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, which will also have a 200-mile range.

General Motors has already confirmed that the Bolt EV will start at $37,500 before any Federal, state, or local incentives.

RELATED: First Drive: Chevy Bolt EV 200-Mile Electric Car Development Vehicle

Since GM hasn't disclosed the destination charge That price includes destination, bringing the estimate for the Chevy to $187 per mile.

The production Bolt EV was unveiled in January at CES, and is set to enter production before the end of the year at GM's Orion Assembly plant in Michigan.

2016 Tesla Model S

2016 Tesla Model S

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2016 Tesla Model S 70: $304 per mile

Of the many Tesla Model S variants, the one that offers the best cost-to-range ratio is also the least expensive.

The Model S 70 is base variant of the range, with a 70-kilowatt-hour battery pack and rear-wheel drive.

It starts at $71,200, and has an EPA-rated 234-mile range. That means each mile of that range costs $304.

The all-wheel drive Model S 70D has slightly more range, but its higher base price still makes it a less-impressive value.

MORE: How I got a new 2015 Nissan Leaf electric car for $16K net: indecision

The 70D's $76,200 base price and 240-mile range work out to $317 per mile.

That pattern continues with the 90-kWh Model S 90D, which starts at $89,200, has a 270-mile range, and a cost-per-mile of $330.

Both the 70D and 90D fit within the range of our top 10, though.

The performance-oriented Model S P90D is much further away, at $456 per mile.


 
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