The Ioniq does something that we haven't seen before.
We fully charge a 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Electric and take it out on the New Jersey Turnpike to see how far it will go at a constant 70-mph (113 km/hr) in the latest chapter of the InsideEVs EV highway range tests.
When the Ioniq Electric launched in 2017, it was the most efficient EV at the time. However, it wasn't long before the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus edged out the Ioniq to become the efficiency king of the hill. Now the Ioniq's back with a larger battery and 46 more miles of EPA-rated range.
However, because of that larger battery (38.3 kWh compared to the previous version's 28 kWh), the 2020 Ioniq is slightly less efficient. But based on our highway range test, you'd barely notice.
The 2020 Ioniq has an EPA-rated range of 170 miles, although we saw estimated ranges of 180 to over 200 miles when the vehicle was fully charged. However, that was after we drove it mildly around town, not at highway speeds so we weren't sure exactly how well the vehicle would do at a constant 70 mph.
So far, the Tesla Model 3 has been the most efficient vehicle we've tested on our highway range tests, averaging 4.25 mi/kWh (14.59 kWh/100 km). The Ioniq crushed that and delivered an average 4.5 mi/kWh (13.78 kWh/100 km) over the test.
We finished up driving 167.2 miles and had 2% battery state of charge remaining. We're certain we could have gone another 3.8 miles on the remaining 2% (and probably drove at least a mile after the state of charge reached zero, so we're calling the final range at 171 miles; exactly one mile greater than the Ioniq Electric's EPA rated range.
We've never had an EV on our highway range tests prove capable of matching, or in this case, exceed its EPA range rating while driving at 70-mph, until now. Like Tesla, Hyundai has been known for its high-efficiency electric cars. Our recent 70-mph highway range test for the Kona Electric saw us netting 247 miles or range (the Kona Electric is EPA rated at 258 miles) with an average efficiency rating of 3.9 mi/kWh.
The Kona Electric 3.9 mi/kWh was second only to the Tesla Model 3's on our highway range tests at the time. Now, Hyundai and Tesla own the top three spots as far as efficiency goes on our highway range tests. We'd like to get a Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus to test, as it's the most efficient version of the Model 3, and actually the most efficient EV available today, according to the EPA. However, unlike every other auto manufacturer, Tesla doesn't provide media loans for road tests. The Model 3 we previously range tested was my personal vehicle.
InsideEVs 70-mph highway range tests average efficiency, best to worst:
- Hyundai Ioniq: 4.5 mi/kWh (13.78 kWh/100 km)
- Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor Long Range 4.25 mi/kWh (14.59 kWh/100 km)
- Hyundai Kona Electric: 3.9 mi/kWh (15.9 kWh/100 km)
- MINI Cooper SE: 3.7 mi/kWh (16.76 kWh/100 km)
- Chevy Bolt EV 3.4 mi/kWh (18.24 kWh/100 km)
- Nissan LEAF Plus 3.4 mi/kWh (18.24 kWh/100 km)
- smart Electric Drive Cabrio 3.4 mi/kWh (18.24 kWh/100 km) *estimated
Some notes about this range test:
The tires were adjusted before the drive to meet the manufacturer's recommended 36 psi. It was 71° F (22° C) degrees at the start and 79° F (26° C) at the end of the test. There was a mild, 4-6 mph crosswind for most of the drive. We drove in a loop on the New Jersey Turnpike to attempt to offset any elevation change and potential head or tailwind. The air conditioning was on for most of the drive and was set to 71° on the low fan setting.
About our highway range tests:
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.