Tesla Model 3 vs Chevy Bolt vs Hyundai Ioniq vs Tesla Model S
Who is the king (or queen, if you like) of electric vehicle efficiency? For a long time, the Hyundai Ioniq Electric has worn this crown. Indeed, the EPA rates the 2018 edition at 136 MPGe for combined highway and city driving. This is good enough to edge out its closest competitor, the Tesla Model 3, which wears a 130 MPGe combined rating. But does that really translate in the real world? There's one way to find out.
More about EV efficiency
In the video above, electric vehicle YouTuber Bjorn Nyland has rounded up owners of the Ioniq Electric and various flavors of Model 3 -- from rear-wheel-drive Long Range to Performance -- along with a Chevy Bolt and, for laughs, a Tesla Model S. After getting them assembled in one place, the group gets their motors running and head out on the highway. The EV convoy covers a route of about 77 miles, returning to the original starting point to compare figures.
Spoiler alert* Among the various Model 3 on hand, it was thought that the one driven by Bjorn would be the most efficient. It's a Long Range rear-wheel drive variant, sitting on 18-inch wheels while wearing the standard issue aerodynamic wheel covers. As the results are tallied, it turns out that this car gave the best result among the Tesla vehicles with an average score of 232 Wh per mile (144 Wh/km).
As you can see in the image above, the result was close, but in this test the Model 3 also managed to edge out the Hyundai Ioniq. The Korean car, in turn, managed to stay ahead of the Dual Motor versions of the mid-size Tesla and even a rear-wheel drive car wearing 19-inch wheels. For its part, the Chevy Bolt finished better only to the full-size Model S. Sadly, there was no Nissan LEAF involved in the action, but judging by the EPA figures, it would have been edged out by the Chevy.
Of course, this wasn't a scientific undertaking. If the route had been more city-traffic oriented, the Ioniq Electric may have easily cleaned up, if its 150 MPGe city rating is as accurate as we expect it is. Still, it gives us a good indication of how these cars stack up, as well as how factors like all-wheel-drive can impact efficiency.
In the final analysis, we have to say the RWD Model 3 and the Ioniq Electric will have to share the efficiency crown. It should be interesting to see how these numbers shift in the future when the Hyundai hatchback gets a bigger battery later this year.