Come count kilowatt-hours with us.
As lithium battery cells are produced in growing quantities, and research into improving them continues, they’re become cheaper and more energy dense. These changes mean the batteries powering our electric vehicles hold more kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy and are achieving longer ranges per charge, making them more practical for more people.
We expect this trend to continue for a while, though eventually it will make sense to cap the number of kWh a car might have. Then, reducing the physical size and weight of the battery packs will take precedence, which will also contribute to further increases in efficiency and, therefore, range. Until we get there, we’re keeping an eye on which vehicles have the biggest batteries as that is a great indicator of range and relative price.
Now, we should note that since a number of new vehicles with large battery packs are poised to arrive over the next year or so, we’ll be updating this list from time to time to keep you up to speed with this developing market. Also, since some vehicles have more than one battery size option, we are limiting their appearance to one instance, represented by its largest available pack. Keeping all that in mind, let’s take a look at the top 7 vehicles available in the U.S. today, according to the amount of energy their batteries will hold. (*Note – You’ll find battery size and much more in our Compare EVs page here).
2018 Ford Focus Electric – 33.5 kWh
The Ford Focus Electric has been around since December of 2011, but got a 47 percent increase to its battery for the 2017 model year. That’s enough juice to earn a 115-mile range rating from the EPA. It just edges out the BMW i3 with its 33.2 kWh pack, but with only 1,817 examples moved in all of 2017, it’s hardly a sales champ. By contrast, the i3, with only 107-mile EPA range and $44,450 base MSRP, sold 6,276 copies. The Ford Focus Electric starts at $29,120 before incentives.