Check Out Results From Biggest Electric Car Winter Test Ever

NOV 20 2018 BY MARK KANE 16

The tested cars were the Opel Ampera-e, BMW i3, new Nissan LEAF, Hyundai IONIQ Electric and Volkswagen e-Golf.

The Norwegian EV Association performed what we believe to be the biggest electric car test in a winter wonderland setting ever with five electric cars tested.


The LEAF and e-Golf were noted to be the stand outs in this group of 5:

“Particularly the Nissan LEAF and the Volkswagen e-Golf stood out from the crowd regarding safe and steady handling underway, while BMW I3 (the only car with rear wheel drive) and Opel Ampera-e were somehow a bit more nervous.”

The Opel Ampera-e, with the biggest battery in this grouping (60 kWh) had the most range, while the i3 tested out with the shortest range.

Five electric cars in Norwegian winter wonderland! (source: Norsk Elbilforening/ Norwegian EV Association)

The Hyundai IONIQ Electric notes the lowest energy consumption, while the Nissan LEAF was surprisingly high.

Five electric cars in Norwegian winter wonderland! (source: Norsk Elbilforening/ Norwegian EV Association)

IONIQ is the fast charging leader too (average of 45 kW), while the Opel Ampera-e took on an average of just 25 kW in this winter test.

“As mentioned, the Opel Ampera-e (named Chevrolet Bolt in the US) is by far the best alternative in the electric C-segment if you need to drive long distances between charging.

The LEAF had a similar consumption profile to Ampera-e during the first day, but takes fast charging more quickly. In theory, it might be able to “outrun” the Ampera-e over longer stretches.”

Five electric cars in Norwegian winter wonderland! (source: Norsk Elbilforening/ Norwegian EV Association)

Results from the tests:

Source: Norwegian EV Association

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16 Comments on "Check Out Results From Biggest Electric Car Winter Test Ever"

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So, the heaviest car has one of the lower efficiency numbers (Bolt/Ampera E) but it has the biggest battery which gives a big range. The lighter cars tend to have better efficiency. With average speed of 36mph (which weight and rolling efficiency dominates), no wonder the result shows.

But the bigger point is still that when battery is large enough, the small difference in efficiency hardly matter.

I am surprised that LEAF isn’t much better in efficiency considering that it has heat pumps.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

LEAF heat pump doesn’t help at low temperatures.

They didnt include a tesla because otherwise the other charging bars would have been so short

I’m surprised they mention the slow charge speed of the Bolt/Ampere-e, but not mentioning it would charge at a lower rate because it’s battery was probably 50% charged at each stop versus the others.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

Bolt’s know to have slower cold charging. Model 3’s the same.

Wow. I am impressed by the efficiency in winter these people achieved. In our Bolt, in Canada, I find it hard to achieve less than 20 kWh/100km if the temperature in -10C or below, driving at 80 kph and using the heat set at 21C and Blizzak snow tires.
But, I need only about 120km so no problem. No need to be an efficiency nut; just drive the car at a conservative but not annoying pace with a comfortable interior temperature.

Consider that if your consumption goes from 14kWh/100km in the summer to 20 in the winter, that’s the same cost increase as a gas car going from 8.0L/100km to 8.3L/100km.

So as long as you have range, don’t sweat the consumption increase!

(assuming 6.5c/kWh Ontario off peak, $1.20/L gas)

The i3 has active battery heating, which is a disadvantage, when used at short trips. The car can be preconditioned while charging to remain its full range. At long distances a heated battery turns out to be helpful for its lower electric resistance. So this is important: what settings where used while performing this test?

that is a good point.

All the cars that have active thermal management system will potentially use more energy to keep the battery properly warmed.

In the case of the Bolt/Ampera-E, it will heat the coolant which heats the battery. So, it is actually less efficient when used in short trips.

Even with thermal management, it looks like the longer return trip at higher speeds had the BMW i3 as the 2nd most efficient vehicle. And of course quite a bit quicker then an ioniq too.

So, Ioniq is efficient but it is the slowest one to 60mph and has least amount of power while has the 2nd lowest weight.

Hmm… Sounds like it should be more efficient since it is lighter, slower and tuned for efficiency over performance here.

Out of those five, only one is available in Pennsylvania.

It’s getting increasingly frustrating to follow a product segment, that most manufacturers don’t enthusiastically support, let alone make available to purchase.

How is the market supposed to grow, when the manufacturer artificially restricts sales?
I’m starting to wonder if I should just find some classic car I’m fond of, and converting it to electric.
Yes, I know there are plenty of companies they sell the parts, and would be happy to sell to anyone.

“Out of those five, only one is available in Pennsylvania.”

Really?! Certainly the Leaf, Bolt, and i3 must be available at dealers in the larger Pennsylvania cities.

The only thing I’ll say is the handling of the BOLT ev isn’t great in the winter time. Of course, in the states the BOLT ev gets the Michelin runflats. Maybe the tires on the Ampera-e make the difference.

The test was run using winter tires (ContiViking Contact 6 215/50R17 on Ampera-e). I would love to try this test in our Bolt EV running winter Michelin X-Ice Xi3 205/60R16 with 16″ aluminum rims.

Wasn’t this already posted late last winter?