German AutoBild tested in December eight of Europe's most popular electric cars (but didn't include the Nissan LEAF, Tesla and BMW i3) in cold weather to determine their real-world range and efficiency.

Hyundai IONIQ Electric Marina Blue

Hyundai IONIQ Electric Marina Blue

Each car was fully charged and pre-heated. With heating set for 21 degrees C (70 degrees F) and the driver's heated seat on for 20-minutes (if available), the cars drove a 143 km route.

It turns out that efficiency highly varies between the models, so battery capacity alone won't provide a solid indication of cold weather range.

The Hyundai IONIQ Electric is the most efficient model among the eight - needs only 14.6 kWh/100 km. Range was 192 km (119 miles) using 28 kWh of battery. That's just a few miles below the EPA result.

The Renault ZOE and new Volkswagen e-Golf were able to achieve decent results too - 16.8 kWh/100km and 17.2 kWh/100km, respectively.

Apart from big Nissan e-NV200 Evalia, the worst results came from the Volkswagen e-up! and Opel Ampera-e. The e-up! with 18.7 kWh and 23.8 kWh/100km didn't even complete the route.

The Opel Ampera-e (60 kWh) with the biggest battery was able to drive just 11% further than  the Renault ZOE (41 kWh). Efficiency in cold weather for the Ampera-E was just 22.0 kWh/100 km! Range of 273 km or 170 miles is certainly far below expectations.

Model Battery kWh Range km Efficiency kWh/100 km
Hyundai IONIQ Electric 28 192 14.6
Renault ZOE 41 244 16.8
Volkswagen e-Golf 35.8 208 17.2
Kia Soul EV 30 167 18.0
Smart ForTwo Electric Drive 17.6 84 21.0
Opel Ampera-e 60 273 22.0
Volkswagen e-up! 18.7 79 23.7
Nissan e-NV200 Evalia 24 101 23.8

Source: AutoBild via Green Car Reports