We Test 6 Electric Cars To Find Out Which Goes Furthest Per Charge


We tested 6 zero-emissions cars to measure range and efficiency.

And we drove them until the battery ran completely out of charge.

Take six of the best-selling electric cars in Italy, give each a full charge and go on a long mixed journey between the city, highway and the countryside until the batteries are completely empty.

* *Editor’s note: This range test comes our way via our fellow scribes over at Motor1.com Italy. It’s translated directly from Italian and we tried our best to leave the original character of the article and its wording intact.

Here, in short, is what our fellow scribes over at Motor1.com Italy have done for the first time to compare the cars with zero-emissions to see how many kilometers each one can travel before hitting 0.

The purpose of this special comparison between electric cars is not just to answer the question “how far can it go?” but to test its real autonomy. Even more important is to understand how much each really consumes. Or, in other words, to test its efficiency, because it is good to get used to parameters such as kWh / 100 km and km / kWh that will soon become more familiar to everyone.

The cars that were tested

Representing the battery-powered category, which are not toys at all, but comfortable, safe and practical vehicles like many petrol or diesel cars, we have chosen six of the best-selling models in our country. The smallest is the smart EQ fortwo, the one that also has the least battery capacity, while the Renault Zoe and the Nissan Leaf cover the type of common compact zero-emission cars.

The SUV and electric crossover segment is well represented by the Hyundai Kona Electric, but also by the luxurious and original Jaguar I-Pace, plus the Tesla Model S 100D, which is ready to confirm the qualities that have made it one of the best selling electrics in the world.


The test takes place on a journey of about 150 km in and out of Rome composed of 45% city driving, another 45% extra-urban and a 10% highway, a loop circuit that summarizes the classic journey of home-work, but also the trips to the airport or a quieter weekend at the lake. The goal, for all the cars involved in this test is what we call “Where I arrive with …”, is to empty the battery charge to establish the true autonomy of each model, but also draw up a ranking based on the consumption of electricity.

The Hyundai Kona is the most efficient

The first to stop is the smart EQ fortwo, the one that goes the farthest is the Tesla Model S and so far there are no surprises, while the final ranking of efficiency is less predictable. What we couldn’t anticipate is that the unexpected winner is the Hyundai Kona Electric, the Korean novelty that knows how to best lower the consumption of electricity without sacrificing performance.

Do they travel more or less the same as stated figures?

Another interesting fact that emerges from this proof is that of real freedom, different from the ones declared, but not by too much. The percentage differences between declared and tested are also significant and all with minus signs (each travels less than stated before running out of juice), but yes, the homologations are only laboratory tests.

Autonomy, as listed below from left to right is our actual test results, WLTP stated figures and NEDC figures.

Our partners

For this special comparative test we have been able to count on the collaboration of some technical partners who have made the test of the road easier and safer. What helped us in the electric recharge was Repower through PALINA installed at the Hotel Artis in Rome, the starting point of the test.

To make it less problematic the exhaustion of the electric energy and the consequent stop along the way has been Europ Assistance that with its tow truck has proceeded to rescue the cars as they remained with discharged batteries.

Source: Motor 1 Italy

Categories: Hyundai, Jaguar, Nissan, Renault, Smart, Tesla

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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105 Comments on "We Test 6 Electric Cars To Find Out Which Goes Furthest Per Charge"

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Only 10% highway disadvantages the Tesla (because it has the best aero).

It’s also bigger than the other cars.

Not bigger than the Jag… lol

But in reality my driving mix doesn’t even contain 3% highway speeds.

I’d say the bulk of this test (80% +) was done at about 35 mph avg speed — stop and go/ slow and go. Where EVs are supposed to reign supreme in efficiency.

I-pace only managed about 2.6 mi/kwh (bad), Tesla 3.2 mi/kwh (not good), Kona 4.7 mi/kwh (respectable).

The high mass vehicles (Model S, I-pace) aren’t recovering a lot of brake energy ? — or Kona is just a much better engineered vehicle?

Even if you brake by regeneration, you are always wasting some of the energy as heat. The heavier the car, the more energy it takes to accelerate, and the more energy is lost as heat under braking — even if the *percentage* (regen efficiency) is identical. The same goes for potential energy when elevation varies, but to a lesser degree. If no braking is done (regen or otherwise!) on the way down almost nothing is lost. Some subway systems are designed with the stations placed at a higher elevation that the rest of the track, hence converting some kinetic energy to potential energy instead of wasting it through braking when approaching, and back again when leaving the station. This also allows running trains closer to each other than otherwise safe, because it increases safety margins at the most critical points, the stations. And yes, electric cars ARE much more efficient than fossil ones. Especially in city driving. Since fossils can’t regenerate fuel from braking energy the losses under braking are 100%. However, the DIFFERENCE being greater in city driving doesn’t mean EVs are more efficient in stop and go driving than at constant speed! No car is, because of physics.… Read more »

Good explanation, thanks. I guess coasting is a far better option for slowing/stopping .. even in an EV. But coasting might be a little harder to do in a heavy car due to the extra momentum (and is always harder to do in heavy traffic). And of course .. harder to get rolling again due to the mass.

4.7 mi/kWh is hella good

The Model S does have some high vampire losses that hopefully have been reduced in the Model 3.

Guys the fictional story I was talking about happening it finally happened a man got so drunk he passed behind the wheel of his Tesla while driving on autopilot https://www.sfchronicle.com/crime/article/Drunk-driver-slept-while-Tesla-drove-Hwy-101-on-13435295.php

The Car drove for over seven minutes with the guy pasted out and the police had to figure out how to stop the car.

The Guy was a Planning Commissioner.

What does this have to do with this article, or thread??? NOTHING, that’s what!

What was the guy ‘pasted’ with?. CHP pulled in front of him and slowed down then the Tesla TACC (part of Autopilot) simply slowed down to a stop. CHP then they knocked on the guys window. New interviewed CHP on camera and that is what they said.
Also Twitter: Elon Musk @elonmusk 8:22 PM · Dec 2, 2018
“We’re adding police car, fire truck & ambulance to the Tesla neural net in coming months”

I, for one, will welcome my car recognizing there is a fire truck in front of my car. 😀

That’s so old

Good informative test and article.
It shows how good the Tesla Model S and Hyundai Kona-e are.

Also shows again what an abysmal efficiency failure i-Pace is, gobbling up electrons as if there is no tomorrow. What the heck is wrong with this car?

I wonder if the first Teslas years ago had efficiency as bad as this first bev jag

What’s most odd is how the range of the I Pace varies so much. Are there still I Paces out there without the software update and did it make that much of a difference? Is there a significant variation in efficiency between units? Is it particularly efficient/inefficient at particular tasks/ranges?

It’s a good start… it is a Jag after all.

Oh no, the long predicted great electron shortage has finally hit. Woe is us.

Its the Peukerts effect. The Ipace has 432 cells the model X has 7104 cells. At low speeds the peukerts effect accounts for the lower efficient.

Too bad the ampera-e wasn’t included. Already knew the Kona and Model S would do well.

Agreed. Also they should have tested the Kia e-Niro.

The Niro and Ampera-e may not be available in Italy. The article says they tested what is available.

I wished they used EPA mileage, the WLTP and NEDC stated numbers are junk compared the the real range.

Well, it isn’t *that* strange that a european test uses the european range standard and european declared range for these vehicles.

But you should easily be able to google the stated EPA range for these vehicles yourself, and convert from km’s to miles as well



Yes, but how do I convert kilo-pascal-joules to newton meters?

EPA is an American test. The article is from Italy.
But it really shows how off NDEC really is.
Most disappointed in the consumption of the leaf.
And for range better used the 90 kw modelS. 35kw to 60kw more batterycapacity makes it obvious model S takes the victory

Also as long as they all use the same scale (which they did) you are able to compare. Plus it will allow them to compare other European tested cars.

Once all are in the US, then test here using the not-as-unrealistic-EPA numbers.

It doesn’t really exist. Opel still has the configurator online here in Norway, but they still haven’t delivered more than a tiny fraction of the cars that were ordered before the car launched — and that’s starting to be a good while ago already. Ever since the sale of Opel to PSA the situation seems very uncertain for the future of the Ampera-e. Personally I wouldn’t even consider it just because of that, unless it was half price and immediate delivery or something…

If you’re just curious how it would perform, I suggest you watch Bjørn Nyland’s video on YouTube in which he races it against the Hyundai Ioniq. The Opel opens up a big lead when the Ioniq has to stop and charge the first time, but the Ioniq starts catching up when the Opel needs more juice. I won’t say who wins in the end, but I can reveal there is some drama, and only one car actually managed to reach the finish line under its own power…

Ampera-e does not exist on the market.

Ampera-e only exists on paper.

ampera-e (chevy volt) is practically unavailable in most of EU at this time

Hyundai/Kia are ramping quickly and I believe are going to tear.it.up. 62,000 EVs worldwide through Oct. Approx 10,000 in October which is a pace approx 120,000 per year so obviously ramped up throughout 2018. The running total for 2018 is double what it was last year at this time. 200,000 in 2019?

Not sure where you are getting your numbers… Hyundai has clearly stated that they will produce only 30,000 Kona and Ioniq EVs annually.
They just don’t have the battery manufacturing supply to do more.

Hyundai announced 40,000 Kona, 20,000 Ioniq (40kWh), and 36,000 Niro/Soul.

It’s interesting how much things vary between WLTP and real-world range. The drops are Zoe 8%; Kona 9.8%; Leaf 21.9%, i-Pace 33.0%.

I wonder what accounts for the differences.

The regimes for this range test and the WLTP are different. Different speeds, city/highway, etc. Weather is a factor too. Each vehicle has its strengths and weaknesses. Good aero favours highway, low weight favours city.

That is why I don’t look at the WLTP or NEDC and noone should either, I only check EPA because it is the most accurate

But even EPA cannot be taken as a holy grail by buyers. It’s just a comparison across the board, and for many buyers their test cycle does not represent how they drive … ex. If I drive 80% of time hwy 70mph … Kia Soul is the wrong car to get most definitely.

Anyway, these testing standards are just indicators, and always should be taken with a grain of salt. Sometimes large sometimes small …

I have always read the BMW i3 was very efficient. Why didn’t it get in the test. My Chevy Spark EV has more room and is more efficient then the Smart-ED too bad Chevy stopped making it. The Bolt should also get in this type of study.
As for the LEAF it should be tested after 2 or more HOT summers in Arizona. The same with all of them. A real world test should be in the COLD, HEAT and lots of Hills. Each may do ok in 1 area or another but the Tesla 3 would beat them all.

The Bolt (or Opel Ampera-E over here) simply is not available in most markets, because GM in its endless wisdom decided to:
1: get out of the European market
2: sell Opel to PSA (Peugeot/Citroen)
3: upped the price for the Ampera-E after they sold Opel.

Remark: of course, as soon as Opel was not a GM company any more Opel was made a profit for the first time since like forevever.

Ah, someone else noticed too.

Edit : answered to the wrong person.

PSA upped the price. Not GM.

Why no Bolt???

It is hardly available in Europe.

Know your stuff mate . simply not sold in most EU countries

And after March of 2019, nowhere…

Oh dear. I knew the Volt was going out of production; hadn’t heard about the Bolt. I think you may have a world wide scoop.

I’d love to finally find a study/survey confirming my long-held suspicion or belief that circa 50% of ICE/EV drivers drive over 150 miles a day on FEWER than 10-15 days a year. I’ve read many studies into realworld driving habits – all confirm that 80-90% of car owners drive less than 50 miles on 300+ days of the year. One recent German study found that most cars sit parked and idle 23 hours a day. And given that people spend so much time either watching TV or playing with their laptops, netbooks/tablets after spending 8 hours a day at work plus an hour getting to and from work – it’s simply not possible to spend hours of an evening escaping to that largely mythical “Freedom down the Freeway”. And at weekends the thought of having to deal with the stress and time-wasting tedium of long-distance driving persuades most of us to stay closer to home unless we’re forced to do otherwise. Sure – drivers like to believe – and have been conditioned to believe – that their cars do offer them the freedom of the road and the means to escape to a fantasy world of adventure, thrills and fun… Read more »


Study? Why do you need a study? GM has been measuring/reporting that for years and it is partially how they arrived at the range for Volt 2.0.

Jean-Baptiste Labelle

That is totally true. But i have only one car, and we do travel as you say more than 350km like 5 trips per year max but we do need to be able to make those trips.
Also, my wife regularly goes to a big town 120km away from home plus she is driving there (and there is 1 L2 charging at an inconvenient location) so Tesla it is.

“trips of 100 miles or more account for less than one percent of all vehicle trip” according to charts I linked but they went to moderation.

I commute by public transport so my car is used about once a week, around 50% of those journeys are >100miles/150km (most of those will be 200 miles/350km+), and over half of those journeys are done in sub zero temperatures.

I know my journey habits aren’t the norm though.

The issue is, for those just doing that sort of distance a few times a year, hiring a vehicle can be a pain, and the costs can start racking up. It’s simpler to just buy a vehicle that sates all your requirements – one of the reasons so many people have large vehicles, rather than two seater smart like cars, which would be practical and efficient for most journeys.

I think a car swapping service could solve a lot of this. Some people could own the compact smart cars and pay to swap for the large long range car for the few times a year they need it for roadtrip – while someone who own a big long range car, noticing the next week is going to just be commute to work, can make money from they larger while driving the compact swap-in to work.

Mostly city and suburban driving with only 10% highway driving. The Model S didn’t do too bad then. Flip it around to 90% highway driving and the Model S will tank better.

Jean-Baptiste Labelle

The S fares exceptionally well i would say. This is a S100D that consumes 7% more than mt S75D and the efficiency is incredible compared to an i-Pace which is 30cm shorter and as heavy and big in front surface area.

Something wrong in I-Pace numbers? If I-pace efficiency is 23,9kWh/100 km and it made 315 km, then total usage was 75,28kWh, where did 10kWh go assuming usable battery capacity is around 85kWh (Nominal 90kWh)? Or I-Pace should do over 350km with 85kWh.

Which battery on model S?

In the last graph, the columns are not marked. Which is which?

You left off the Chevy Bolt.

and most glaringly, the Tesla Model 3 Long Range.

“Take six of the best-selling electric cars in Italy…”

Could you and the others like you read at least the first part of the article ? There’s no Model 3 and no Bolt in Europe. Even though it’s in Italy the Fiat 500e isn’t part of the study. Guess why.

And the Taycan! Why didn’t you test a TAYCAN!?!?!

That efficiency bar graph isn’t scaled to show absolute values, only relative ones. If the bars were the right lengths then the Kona’s would only be a little more than half as long as the I-Pace’s. Just saying, the differences are more extreme than that graph lets on. The range graph also seems to be scaled strangely.

How about battery info? The Model S is available with diffrent batterys… Also the ipace…

The more tests are in the more the Jaguar looks like a joke.
Knowing the Americans it is only a matter of time until there is a class action lawsuit because of range.

Where is m3 results????

Like Chevy Bolt, still not sold in Italy and even in the rest of Europe.

Would be nice to list the battery capacity for each vehicle tested.

Yes and preferably their usable part 🙂

Sorry to hear that there was no Chevy Bolt involved in your testing.

It’s called Opel Ampera-e in Europe but it isn’t sold in Italy, where they did the test.

I’m a bit puzzled about the Leaf numbers. Sure we know it’s not efficient for a ev its’ size, but yesterday we managed 190 km on 86% used, in 3-5 degrees C and heater on 90% of the time. Most highway but we kept 90 km/h. So less than ideal conditions. They should have scored a bit better numbers in the test?

Same here. I have had mine for 9 months now, and I am averaging about 250 km and can get up to 270-280 if I really try. With snow and ice, I get more like the mileage shown here, because the heater takes a lot of battery.

NEDC is a joke, and WLTP is a bit better. I wonder how EPA would have compared. Gear Brain had an article comparing the 3 tests and noted the EPA problem with a lack of true high speed highway testing. The tests aren’t perfect, and can’t be, but they do seem to be getting more realistic.

Of course NEDC is a joke today. It was used since 1973 with very slow accelerations and lower average speeds. It should had been replaced 20 years ago.

There is a problem in this article: what Tesla? 75D or 100D? According to the results I suppose it is the 100D, but it needs to be mentioned!

It is clearly mentioned : the 100D.

The competition is doing better than Tesla fans ever though they would. This is only the beginning. Wait until you see what will be available from the major manufacturers 5 years from now.

Doing better in what way? Making much smaller, less luxurious and lower performance cars that naturally have more efficiency, but still sell for more than the ICE peers and thus have tiny market share in their price categories?

What ! NO Model 3…. ? No Fair Man ! ……….. > 🙁 <

Just read the article, they did the test in Italy and the Model 3 still isn’t sold there, and neither in Europe in general. Let’s just wait a few months 🙂

How would a Model S 75, or Model 3 with lower curb weight fair in this test? A 100D is a VERY HEAVY car compared to a single motor S 75 with a smaller pack, especially by contrast to the other cars in the test. Power-to-weight ratios are still important in the measure of efficiency.

We already know the answer to that question.
Model S 100D obviously has slightly lower efficiency than 75 but 100D has quite a bit more range.
Model 3 Long Range has MUCH better efficiency than Model S AND has quite a bit more range than Model S 75 and almost as much range as Model S 100D (500km versus 540km).

Where is the Tesla model 3?

This is from Italy.

Model 3 ‘s do exist in Italy along with charging stations .. 🙂

If they exist then they are grey imports, not officially sold there.

More than Likely …Or People Visiting from neighboring Countries ..I have Relatives that have Photographed Model 3 ‘s in different parts of Italy ..

They aren’t sold in neighbouring countries either.

Would have been good to see how the Model X does.

The fact that there is nearly a 2X difference between the most efficient and the least efficient is bizarre.

And what the heck did Jaguar do to make the I-Pace so bad at efficiency? (The Model S isn’t great but that’s probably largely due to it being a big heavy car doing city driving. Plus it does have some bad vampire losses.)

Good comparison, but I think it would be better to include charging. How many Km per Kwh input? Do all the cars have the same charging efficiency?

How is it possible that the LEAF provides 38kwh of battery and your accounts give more than 39kwh? 18.9kWh / 100km X 211kms traveled has the result of almost 40kWh. The Nissan LEAF only provides 38kWh for what Nissan says.

A better translation of “autonomy” would be “freedom” since “autonomy” has certain implications in a world where self-driving cars are anticipated in the near future (and “autonomy” is already associated with self-driving)

Good point. Fixed!

For the love of God, stop testing range in the city! It’s not important whether you can drive around in the city for 5h or 10h per day. Noone does that. People with EVs have charging at home or at work anyway. What’s interesting is range on a road trip. Country roads or highway is what’s interesting! And there the Tesla would win way easier and the I pace would travel way farther than the Zoe, way farther.

Considering trips of more than 100miles are less than 1% of trips taken, if the EV has more range than that, who cares?

100% agree. You will NEVER worry about range in an EV with 200+ mile (320 km) range unless you are driving long distances. Most long distance trips are almost all at highway speeds. Regenerative braking is meaningless on long trips (how often do you brake during highway driving?). Aerodynamics is the only factor that affects range at highway speeds (the effects of aerodynamics dwarf the effects of weight as well).

I would like to see figures that show “miles per percentage of MSRP”—you know, bang for the buck, or in this case, charge for the buck.