A little warmer, a little further...
We take a fully-charged 2020 Hyundai Kona Electric out on the New Jersey Turnpike to find out how far it will go at a constant 70-mph. Wait, didn't we just do that? Yes, we did. InsideEVs Kyle Conner recently performed a 70-mph highway range test in North Carolina.
Why do it again? Because, the more data the better, and also because Kyle's test was done in temperatures 15°-25°(f) colder, so we wanted to see how much of a difference the temperature made. Spoiler alert: It made a significant difference.
The Hyundai Kona has a 64 kWh (usable capacity) and an EPA rated driving range of 258 miles per charge. I was able to drive the Kona 245 miles and still had 1% state of charge remaining when I pulled off of the NJ Turnpike and plugged into an Electrify America DC fast charger.
Kyle drove his Kona Electric down to zero SOC, and he was able to drive about 2 miles after he reached the 1% point. He finished up with 229.1 miles with an efficiency rating of 3.6 mi/kWh.
Therefore, I feel confident adding two miles to my range, giving the Kona Electric a final 70 mph driving range of 247 miles, only 11 short of the EPA range rating. I managed to average 3.9 miles per kWh (256 Wh/mi) which is second only to the Tesla Model 3's 4.25 miles per kWh (235 Wh/mi)during our 70-mph highway range tests.
Hyundai has been making some of the most efficient EVs on the market, so I did expect the Kona Electric to perform well, however, it did slightly better than I thought it would. I'm going to be doing this same highway range test with a 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Electric next week, and I'm really looking forward to it. I believe the Ioniq may even be more efficient than the Model 3, although it won't go nearly as far as the Model 3 did (290 miles), with only a 38.3 kWh battery.
The conditions were great for my test. The temperature ranged from 70 degrees when I began to 79 degrees when I finished. There was a slight wind of around 5-6 mph and I set the tires to the manufacturer's recommended pressure of 36 psi. I drove up and down the turnpike to even out any slight elevation change and head/tailwind. It was warm so had the air conditioning on and set to 70 degrees for the majority of the trip.
The range estimator was overly optimistic in the first half of the journey. When I was at 50% state of charge, I had driven 133 miles and the range estimator was predicting another 137 miles of range was still available. However, once I started out on the second half the estimator began lowering its predicted range, and by the time I was down to 25% SOC, it seemed to be more in sync with reality.
We always like to mention that these range tests aren't perfect. There are variables out of our control like wind, traffic, topography, and weather. However, we do our best to control what we can. We do these 70-mph range tests to provide another data point for potential customers that are looking for as much information on the driving range as they can get. As always, let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.