The limited battery capacity makes efficiency one of the most important factors that directly affect the final range of an electric vehicle, as well as other aspects, including energy costs.
In today's post, we will check the EPA energy consumption (the only common metric for all BEVs in the US) of currently available models (and multiple upcoming ones), as of early February 2022.
In some cases, EPA efficiency values are expected/estimated (by a manufacturer) or carried over from the previous model year (not yet officially listed on the EPA website).
The EPA energy consumption numbers (MPGe - miles per gallon-equivalent) include charging losses, so they give us glimpses of what we can expect in terms of the total energy usage. We calculate the numbers to Wh/mile.
Let's get into the results.
EPA energy consumption (incl. charging losses)
Overall, the EPA efficiency varies between 253 Wh/mi (157 Wh/km) to 535 Wh/mi (333 Wh/km).
The most efficient model on the list is the Hyundai IONIQ Electric at about 253 Wh/mi (157 Wh/km). It's not a large car, and it has a relatively small and light, air-cooled battery (38.3 kWh).
The second most efficient model is the Tesla Model 3 RWD (LFP-powered), at about 255 Wh/mi (158 Wh/km). It's not as good as the former Tesla Model 3 SR+ at 237 Wh/mi (147 Wh/km) though.
The Hyundai IONIQ Electric has returned to the top (from #3 in September 2021), without technical changes, because the latest 2022 Tesla Model 3 models noted lower EPA efficiency ratings than in 2021. The previously most efficient car - Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus (SR+) with NCA batteries - has been replaced by the Tesla Model 3 RWD with a heavier LFP battery (less energy-dense and with a few more kWh), mostly to improve affordability. EPA energy efficiency decreased by about 7-8%.
In third place, we can see two models at about 257 Wh/mi (160 Wh/km). First, the Lucid Air Grand Touring with 19" wheels. It's also the top in terms of highway category at 255 Wh/mi (158 Wh/km). And second, the 2022 Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD, which is slightly less efficient than in 2021, when it was ahead of the Hyundai IONIQ Electric at 251 Wh/mi (156 Wh/km).
All of those numbers are pretty amazing if we consider the usage of less than 26 kWh per 100 miles or 16 kWh per 100 km.
The most efficient crossover/SUV, according to the EPA, is the 2022 Tesla Model Y Long Range AWD at 276 Wh/mi (172 Wh/km). Also slightly worse than in the 2021 model year version.
Interesting is the rather high position of the all-new Kia EV6 at 288 Wh/mi (179 Wh/km), not far behind the Hyundai Kona Electric.
* some numbers estimated/unofficial values
In some cases, the EPA range/efficiency includes values expected/estimated (by a manufacturer) or carried over from the previous model year (not yet officially listed on the EPA website).
** Porsche Taycan family/Audi e-tron GT EPA numbers are usually much worse than in the real-world tests (see InsideEVs 70 mph range test results here)
*** Energy consumption in Wh/mile is calculated from EPA's MPGe numbers for Combined/City/Highway categories.
**** only models for which data are available
Data for the 2022 BMW i4, BMW iX, Ford F-150 Lightning, GMC Hummer EV Pickup, Nissan Ariya, Volkswagen ID.4, as well as most of the Ford Mustang Mach-E are not yet available.
For the latest data, check out our Compare EVs card here.