Watch Range Test – New Nissan LEAF Versus Hyundai IONIQ

MAR 18 2018 BY MARK KANE 22

The Hyundai IONIQ Electric won the winter test against the new Nissan LEAF in Norway in terms of range and energy consumption.

A very interesting comparison between the two during the duel was provided by Bjørn Nyland, who found out that in cold weather (below -10°C), especially at speeds over 90-100 km/h, the IONIQ Electric is able to drive further on a smaller battery. That was kind of surprising (even if we take into account that the LEAF’s usable energy is a few kWh below 40 kWh).

Part of the reason could be better aerodynamics of the IONIQ, as under 90 km/h energy consumption should be more comparable. Another reason could be different wheel sizes (LEAF had 17, while IONIQ 16).

The other finding is that, despite the new LEAF being equipped with a higher capacity battery (40 kWh instead of 30 kWh), charging power, at least in winter, struggled to exceed 40 kW.

“We did a test between Leaf and Ioniq. Despite having a smaller battery, Ioniq managed to get more range than Leaf. It seems like Leaf struggles in very cold weather. When I tested Leaf in Tenerife, the range and consumption was much better. Therefore, I have to take a new test once the temperature is higher.”

A problem with testing the real energy consumption values prevented any reliable numbers from being presented though.

Related – 2018 Nissan LEAF Range Test – Videos

The second video (below) on the topic explained the energy consumption results at low battery temperature.

The LEAF needed 355 Wh/km (540 Wh/mi) at highway speeds. The Hyundai IONIQ Electric used just 194 Wh/km (312 Wh/mi). The difference of 83% is actually more like 31%, as you can’t trust the trip meter and state of charge results from EVs, it seems.

“In earlier videos about the new Leaf, I assumed that the battery had massive heat loss due to high load. It turns out that the SoC displayed in the screen is lower than what LeafSpy shows. The Leaf would go farther than expected. But it should get a firmware fix for that “bug” I talk about in the video.”

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22 Comments on "Watch Range Test – New Nissan LEAF Versus Hyundai IONIQ"

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…and yet the Leaf sold at an annualized rate of over 55k in Feb. it will probably break rates of 60k this month, 75k in April , and 100k in June or July.

The Ioniq would too if Hyundai would make enough of them.

The Ioniq EV is not a 50 state car

Interesting, did I hear that both cars, in cold weather, energize their battery heating systems automatically when you plug in for a high speed charge?

The BMW i3, you have to manually “fool it” by setting a departure time.

I’m having trouble understanding how you fool an i3 to precondition if using a DCFC, as you need to set battery precon 3 hours ahead of time (based on everything I’ve read on the forums). Are you saying you pretend you will be leaving in 3 hours while just starting your DCFC session? Have you done that and actually shown that you can increase the DCFC rate of charge in cold weather?

Not happy with the rear suspension of either car.

Well the i3 will consume less energy if it heats only when needed before departure time. If you left for a month with the other cars plugged in a garage, that could be a lot of energy consumption.
Compared to even a Prius, my i3 has uncanny traction at full throttle on a wet road, while I could hear the Prius loudly scrubbing it’s tires as I rocketed away. Chalk it up to RWD and that sophisticated rear i3 suspension design.

That’s an interesting point, the Prius Prime has a primitive independent rear suspension, but, that’s much better then torsion beam suspensions. Agreed, the BMW i3 suspension comes from BMW and it Represents the company’s engineering skill.

Still, at a high speed CCS charger, on a trip, I’d prefer that the i3 just automatically send a charge into the battery heating system automatically. That would improve charging speed with a warmer battery and you’d leave the charger with a warmer battery getting better MPGE on the road.

There ought to be an option for that in the Connected Drive app.

Yes you would think during ccs it would heat as needed. For those of us that don’t live in frigid conditions, we are more worried about keeping the heat down, as DCQC really heats up the battery pack in the normal charging sessions. In that aspect, the BMW refrigerated pack is very effective. Far cry from my 2012 LEAF.

The new Hyundai Kona EV will have a real rear independent suspension, I’d wait for that.

The average person can’t tell the difference between an independent rear suspension and rear torsion beam (especially if well calibrated). Rear torsion beam is also more compact, lighter and more cost effective. So while independent suspension certainly can yield some ride and handling benefits are people willing to pay for it?

I definitely won’t.

Although the Kona’s SUV aerodynamics are going to hurt.

Very thorough and interesting write-up Dave. Thanks for taking the time to document this.

Shockingly the vehicle with the better aerodynamics performs better at speed. Just take them out onto the interstate and crank them open to 80 mph and see which one goes farther. Somewhere in Montana in January. Sounds like the Hyundai would win that test.

I’m surprised that the Ioniq has a smaller battery than Nissan but is about the same price. Even though this test showed interesting results, Hyundai could’ve undercut Nissan is pricing.

They may have a more efficient electric motor, which would cost more. But, you are correct, they might have been able to under cut the Leaf in pricing.

The Ioniq only has a 30KWh battery? When will it be available outside California?

Bigger question is when will it really be available in CA? What we have now is not availability.

The Leaf has a very good internal space for the passengers not too cramped I found the Ioniq very nice but with the battery difference and range the Ioniq is the winner and comfort to the Leaf both of them looks could do with a style change as with a lot of EV’s

What type of cooling is deployed in Ionia?