Korean brand tops What Car?'s 'Real Range' test of electric cars
7 November 2018

Hyundai's 64kWh variant of its Kona hatchback has topped What Car?'s real-world-range test of the UK's bestselling electric cars. 

Each car was charged, stored and then tested in the same mild weather conditions, with the weight of an average driver and passenger on board. The climate control was set to 21deg C in every car and the headlights were left on throughout the test drive. 

Where applicable, the cars were driven in ‘Normal’ mode, with minimum interference from regenerative braking, at What Car?’s 19.4-mile test track. A Racelogic Route Profiler ensured consistent driving styles along the route, which comprised simulations of stop-start traffic, rural roads and motorways.

Cars with batteries that accepted more than 60kWh in the initial phase of testing were driven along the route twice, while those with batteries that took more than 100kWh conducted three passes. After the driving phase, the testers measured the amount of energy required to refill the batteries, and were able to calculate each car’s 'Real Range' from the overall results. 

The Kona EV had a Real Range of 259 miles, six more than the Jaguar I-Pace in second place.

Of the featured brands, Hyundai was the clear winner, with its 39kWh Kona Electric and Ioniq Electric also in the top ten.  

See below for a rundown of the results, from the cars with the lowest 'Real Range' to those with the highest. For a more detailed breakdown of the test results, click on the link.

What Car? Real Range: which electric car can go farthest in the real world?

Smart Forfour EQ 

Our Verdict

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Real Range: 57 miles

Smart Fortwo EQ Cabrio 

Real Range: 59 miles

 

Volkswagen e-Up

Real Range: 66 miles

Hyundai Ioniq Electric

Real Range: 117 miles

Volkswagen e-Golf

Real Range: 117 miles

BMW i3 94AH

Real Range: 121 miles

Nissan Leaf

Real Range: 128 miles

Renault Zoe R110

Real Range: 146 miles

Hyundai Kona Electric 39kWh

Real Range: 158 miles

Tesla Model S 75D

Real Range: 204 miles

Kia e-Niro 64kWh

Real Range: 253 miles

Jaguar I-Pace

Real Range: 253 miles

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Comments
24

7 November 2018

You gave us this article last week, albeit in a slightly different format.

7 November 2018

An 'almost' scientific range review. Not 100% though, it's better as an efficiency guide than  a 'true' range one.

What's impressive is how well the BIG, FAST, OLD, HEAVY Model S does 

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

7 November 2018

I was to quick to compare it to the new Jag when I should have looked at the others. Like the Tesla the Jag's range is great but both of them need a big battery compared to Hyundai and Kia to achive thier big range as their efficiency is quite a long way behind.

BUT, the Jag is bigger, heavier and has 4WD and the Model S has been around 5 years or so.

Whatever your view point MPKH (Miles Per Kwh) is the new MPG, think I gonna have to work on that

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

7 November 2018
or a relatively bad result for the Tesla model S. It'd be in interesting to see how much better the model 3 is when it goes on sale.

Kudos to What Car for designing what looks like a fairly solid comparative test

7 November 2018

The Hyundai works out at the equivalemt of 180mpg (12p kwh £6 a gallon) or 240mpg if using overnight cheap rate at 8p a kwh

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

7 November 2018

If I'm reading this correctly, What Car has done a reasonable job of measuring these cars' efficiency, but a poor one of measuring their range. Because each car was driven a relatively short distance (between 19.4 miles and under 60 miles) before "topping up" with electricity, with the range presumably implied from the nominal capacity of the battery. Where the test is flawed is that this nominal capacity may or may not be allowed by each car's control electronics. It's unlikely that the batteries would be allowed to discharge completely, for to do so would result in a breakdown and prejudice the life of the battery - and we don't know what the realtionship is between the nominal battery capacity and the actual usable one.

That aside, I do like the idea of publishing a "miles per kWh" figure for EVs as a basic measure of efficiency. It would be no bad thing to do likelwise for petrol and diesel cars  (1 litre of petrol = 9 kWh, 1 litre diesel = 10kWh), if only do demonstrate how hopelessly inefficient even the best combustion engines are at converting energy into work!  

7 November 2018

I've just read the full What Car description of how the tests were carried out - and in fairness they did deplete the batteries to the point where each car would no longer run, then measure the energy required to fully charge each battery, thereby measuring the actual usable capacity. So my previous scepticism was wrong and well done to what Car for doing the job properly!

It would however be interesting to see what the actual battery capacities were...

 

 

7 November 2018
and will become more relevant as a measure of cost if electricity charges increase and/or battery prices reduce resulting in a smaller variation in range.

I've had a look at the What Car data and the mpkWh rank is:

1. Hyundai Ioniq (3.9 mpkWh)
=2. Hyundai Kona 39 (3.6)
=2. Hyundai Kona 64 (3.6)
=3. VW e-up (3.5)
=3. Kia e Niro (3.5)
4. VW e Golf (3.3)
5. BMW i3 (3.1)
=6. Smart 4 (2.9)
=6. Smart 2 (2.9)
=6. Zoe (2.9)
7. Leaf (2.8)
8. I Pace (2.6)
9. Model S (2.4)

Of course this doesn't take into account the weight of the car, of which batteries and luxury accoutrements probably take roughly equal billing, and probably account for the relative inefficiency of the Tesla and I Pace.

That said, if i3 is pegged as the median average at 3.1, then the Smarts, Zoe and Leaf all look pretty poor to post sub 3 mpkWh relative to the mighty (ahem) Hyundais at the top of the list.

TS7

8 November 2018

... and the fact it's not a bespoke design the e Golf does rather well.

 

Slowmo wrote:

and will become more relevant as a measure of cost if electricity charges increase and/or battery prices reduce resulting in a smaller variation in range. I've had a look at the What Car data and the mpkWh rank is: 1. Hyundai Ioniq (3.9 mpkWh) =2. Hyundai Kona 39 (3.6) =2. Hyundai Kona 64 (3.6) =3. VW e-up (3.5) =3. Kia e Niro (3.5) 4. VW e Golf (3.3) 5. BMW i3 (3.1) =6. Smart 4 (2.9) =6. Smart 2 (2.9) =6. Zoe (2.9) 7. Leaf (2.8) 8. I Pace (2.6) 9. Model S (2.4) Of course this doesn't take into account the weight of the car, of which batteries and luxury accoutrements probably take roughly equal billing, and probably account for the relative inefficiency of the Tesla and I Pace. That said, if i3 is pegged as the median average at 3.1, then the Smarts, Zoe and Leaf all look pretty poor to post sub 3 mpkWh relative to the mighty (ahem) Hyundais at the top of the list.

7 November 2018

 Now, if they could only get them to charge up in an hour too!

Peter Cavellini.

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