What Car? Real World Range Test Put Hyundai Kona Electric #1


…using its own test.

The electric vehicle that offers the most range today, according to What Car?, is the Hyundai Kona Electric. That would be the 64 kWh-battery version, not the 39-kWh one, of course. The publication, which just released a list of what it believes are the top 14 all-electrics ranked according to how far they can go on a charge, says the sub-compact crossover can cover 259 miles before needing to be plugged in again. There are some caveats.

One of the most important things to bear in mind is that the list only had vehicles that they have tested. So, while they do include the Tesla Model S 75D, it is the only model from the California automaker to grace the compilation. Hence, no Long Range Model 3, or Model S 100D. Another important note: the numbers were arrived at using the publication’s own test.

Now, we can’t blame them for wanting to devise their own test cycle. The official one now used in Europe is the WLTP which we find to be rather optimistic. We feel the EPA test to be much more accurate and owners tend to report they achieve similar results to what that agency predicts. What Car?, however, is based in England, and so prefer not to put their faith in the Yankee system.

Luckily, they are pretty transparent about their methods. For each vehicle they test, they drain its battery, then fill it up. After leaving the cars overnight at a steady temperature of 18 degrees C (64.4 F), they make sure the tires match its manufacturer inflation spec and then, with the aid of instruments to make sure they are consistently traveling at the proper speeds, they drive around a course on a private track meant to mimic real-world conditions.

Interestingly, their test comes up with a very similar number as the EPA one for its winner, the Kona Electric, with only one more mile than the official U.S. figure, but falls far from the EPA tree regarding the Tesla Model S 75D figure. We thought it would be interesting to compare some of the others ranked with their corresponding results from each test too (where available), so we’ve listed their top ten below, with What Car? results bolded, for your edification and enjoyment.

  1. Hyundai Kona Electric 64-kWh 259 miles / 258 miles EPA
  2. Jaguar I-Pace 253 miles / 234 miles EPA
  3. Kia e-Niro 253 miles / N/A
  4. Tesla Model S 75D 204 miles / 259 miles EPA
  5. Hyundai Kona Electric 39-kWh 158 miles / N/A
  6. Renault Zoe R110 146 miles / N/A
  7. Nissan LEAF 128 miles/ 150 miles EPA
  8. BMW i3 94-Ah 121 miles / 114 miles EPA
  9. Volkswagen e-Golf 119 miles / 125 miles EPA
  10. Hyundai Ioniq Electric 117 miles / 124 miles EPA


Hyundai Kona Electric
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Source: What Car?

Categories: Hyundai

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53 Comments on "What Car? Real World Range Test Put Hyundai Kona Electric #1"

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Not in North America.

I can’t drive an award!

I’m just as disappointed in Hyundai not importing enough Kona’s to sell them everywhere, but it’s not true that people can’t get one. If anyone really wants a Kona Electric you can go to a Hyundai dealer in any state and order one, you just have to wait until they appear in the dealers order banks, which should be in early January.

Of course it’s not a good way to sell cars, and I wish they would stock them everywhere, but they aren’t. However, anyone in the US that wants one can get one if they want to.

It is the better way to buy cars.
For many BEV it will be the only way in coming years.

That makes for zero room for negotiating the price. In effect, one would pay full MSRP for compact Hyundai. That will practically eliminate the demand. This is a case of how not to sell cars: Hyundai ain’t Tesla.

Dealer markup will be in effect for sure.

Tesla also fell into this temptation. Recall TM3 AWD at $4K, then $5K then $6K. There’s also the fiasco with the Performance options.

Only Apple held true to their pricing.

Apple was horrible with pricing, not 4 weeks after buying a new PowerBook 12″ (it was just released) they dropped the price $300 and included a free ipod. When I contacted them and told them they told me, sorry, you are past the 2 week return window. Deal with it.

dumb comment…. Tesla only sells electrics. Hyundai has a complete lineup of vehicles that encompasses ICE, hybrid and now full EV’s. The lack of supply isn’t intentional.

its six months since they began production! At the same point Tesla had less than half the Model 3s produced. and hasn’t left its own continent.

Of course, they probably won’t ramp up what Tesla are doing now this year or next but Hyundai are doubling Ev production year after year so it wont be too long till there is reasonable numbers for those that really want one.

Already in Estonia the Kona-e is the 10th best selling EV YTD 2018

Interesting that the Jag far exceeds its EPA rating.

They studied hard, and got better.
Plus maybe some hometown bias there. I would not put much faith in this test as a comparison.
Just stick with EPA ratings they are by far the most accurate.
Btw testers, don’t drain the battery down to 0, not recommended by any manufacturer.
Btw you can’t even do that in the Jag.
It’s idiot proof, but apparently WhatCar? isn’t.

ffbj any driver with a range extender who travels the max distance for it to kick in is draining all the way down. All electrics car have an in built reserve that is unusable and doesn’t show on the display to prevent damage, so why the remark against What Car?

Isn’t it obvious? Jag designs with UK and Northern Europe in mind, and optimizes for WLTP. So you have heat pump, 290 mile WLTP range, and better range when tested in cold weather.

Tesla designs with California in mind and optimized for EPA test, so you have much better EPA range and worse WLTP range or cold weather performance. Lack of heat pump takes its toll.

A lot also depends on tires and their pressure. You can put on low rolling resistance tires and mandate bicycle tire level pressure. It is great for test performance or hypermiling, but horrible for real world driving.

Tire pressure was set to manufacturer specs according to article.

The Tesla S75D seems to me to be an implausibly bad result and should be examined by the testers. How new was it? Could it have a damaged battery? Did they somehow fail to charge it completely? Did they run it on the low regen setting like CU did? How much is lost through “vampire drain” Resistance heat vs. heat pump is not near enough to explain the result.

To make the unexpectedly good result for the I pace (and the other results generally) believable they need to figure out what’s going on with the Tesla. Otherwise it puts all their results in question

There is no way of spin doctoring it. The Jag battery is absolutely crap!

As a Brit, it’s very encouraging to see What Car get serious about EV’s…

Agreed. I’m not in the UK, but have been given to understand that they’re quite an influential publication, and evaluate cars very much on practicality — so not car aficionados ordriving enthusiasts. If they think EVs are practical enough to pay attention to, it’s great.

So, #1 within EVs, which range is the same or shorter than Kona?

This is like “5 Salads With More Calories Than A Big Mac”

You do realize the website you linked was completely joking, yes?

With some caveats, no kidding. I like mine on a Ritz.

The Tesla result seems like an outlier. My 70D has done over 200 miles on one charge and has done 180 miles at a steady 70 to 75 mph, so I can’t see a 75 D getting 204.

Well, don’t forget that all of those cars had one night of vampire drain, while being fully charged (that’s when it’s worst), also a 75D only has 72.6 kWh usable, while your 70D has 68.8 kWh usable capacity, so about 5% more real range for the 75D.

Also, the Bolt has 190 miles of range at 75 mph, your 70D just 180. And since the Model S and X aren’t really that efficient in city driving, I guess 204 miles sounds reasonable. Especially if you see that many people driving Ioniqs report ranges of 120-150 miles and they estimate 117 here. I guess it depends a lot on driving style as well, but if it’s consistent, then it should be a fair test.

It is not a real world test at all. Most people unplug the car in the morning before driving off.

Reading Whatcars website it appears the vehicle is plugged in overnight. They may take any vampire drain as part of the efficiency numbers though, so a vehicle with a higher vampire drain may fare worse.

“Temperature impacts battery efficiency, so the car is ‘soaked’ overnight in an air-conditioned chamber at 18deg C while plugged in to ensure all cars are in the same state when the test commences.”

From what I can tell from articles on the web, the EPA uses a dynamometer to determine an estimated range for a given EV model.

I saw an interesting article on torquenews

I liked the fact the “What Car?” let the car sit overnight, making it more like real world. EPA doesn’t appear to do that. Even though one would expect the drain from sitting to be small, it may vary from model to model.

In real world, people plugged at the evening and unplugged in the morning before driving off because in most countries electricity is cheaper during night. Maybe WhatCar made their homework and then, accordingly, they made off the test to favor some cars and to paint others (with known story of vampire drain) in the worst way.

It is plugged in overnight.

“Temperature impacts battery efficiency, so the car is ‘soaked’ overnight in an air-conditioned chamber at 18deg C while plugged in to ensure all cars are in the same state when the test commences.”

Here were Consumer Reports numbers for Tesla and the Bolt EV — it is a bit old.
The 90D result is strange.

Do a search for “consumer reports range record” to find the article.
To find out how Consumer Reports range test, do a search for “consumer reports electric vehicle range tests”.

2017? Chevy Bolt EV, 250 miles achieved vs. 238-mile EPA estimate.
2016 Tesla Model S 75D, 235 miles achieved vs. 259-mile EPA estimate.
2016 Tesla Model X 90D, 230 miles achieved vs. 257-mile EPA estimate.
Model 3 long range, 310 miles in CR’s test — from a different CR article.

This is exactly what I said for the article on I-Pace’s 234 EPA range. Look at how optimistic Tesla’s EPA range claim is.
Jaguar I pace: 253 miles vs 234 EPA claim.
Tesla Model S 75D: 204 miles vs. 253 miles EPA claim.

obviously they screwed up somewhere in the test, it doesn’t match any of the others.

I can’t do 259 miles in my Model S75. My 12,000 mile average over a variety of driving in summer and winter months is 349kWh/mile. So assuming I could use all 75kW in the battery that would be 215 miles. I live in Scotland, so it’s both hilly and chilly. Warmer, flatter places might do better.

The Tesla is my only car and I find its range to be enough. I drove to Manchester and back (220 miles each way) today without a problem. One short stop on the way. Two on the way back. I’d have done that anyway. Its a long drive. I think anything that does 200 miles or more in real world driving is perfectly useable.

Uhhh, Electricpeter, “My 12,000 mile average over a variety of driving in summer and winter months is 349kWh/mile. ” – I SURE HOPE NOT!

“349kWh/mile”, would give you about a 1/4 mile range! Drop the ‘k’, for “349 Wh/mile”, and you will go farther on about a 70 kWh Battery!

Thanks for spotting the error. With one less k I stand by my real world test 🙂 Around 200 miles of real, usable range in a Tesla Model S 75 in Scotland.

Curious. British magazine. Jaguar rates much higher than EPA spec. American Tesla rates much lower.

I am a long term reader of What Car, although I cancelled a while ago. I am confident it would not cheat deliberately. While it downplays Tesla, and American cars generally, it gives S and X good reviews, 4/5 generally. It is true that it is pretty blatant in talking up British cars, or what it perceives as British cars. The iPace won the magazine’s Readers Award 2018 (all cars, not just electric). But the magazine is lagging a bit behind its readers, in still giving diesels top marks in reviews.

Odd that the nominally 90kWh iPace (is that right?) doesn’t get as far as the 64kWh Hyundai. That’s quite a difference in efficiency.

It’s 25% less efficient than a Tesla at highway speeds. There is something seriously wrong with the Jag internals. Probably the battery chemistry too much internal resistance and trouble keeping it cool. That would explain its slow charge rate too.

I-Pace average charge rate may be faster than 75D in kW as it keeps initial 80+kW for longer. Peak doesn’t matter much.

75D supercharging speed

I think it is safe to say that Tesla is optimized for EPA tests. The other guy from Netherlands got similar results with Model X being less efficient than I-Pace in real world driving.

Model X is 25% more efficient than the I-Pace tested by german bloggers. This test is garbage.

That hood panel gap though.

Why is that even there?

The hood “panel gap” ducts air from the (mostly closed) “grill” dumping it out in front of the windshield. I think it is supposed to have an aero drag reduction role especially given that they chose to have a grill like thing on the front of the car presumably as a styling feature.

The hood seam ducts air, or the badge ledge? It’s the hood seam I don’t understand.

I’m not sure what the hell is wrong with the Jag battery. 95kwh and it only gets 234 miles!? There is something seriously wrong with the chemistry in there!

I see the Kona as Nr.1 e-car overall! It looks better than Tesla, has decent looking car cockpit (way better than just an poor iPad). Can hold the lane longer than Tesla (need to touch the steering wheel lees often) more cargo space and hell yes, it looks way better outside and inside!

“After leaving the cars overnight”

Knowing that all Tesla’s suffer from vampire drain, that may partly explain why the Model S got such a low result compared to EPA.

Also, for their test: did they do a standard charge or range charge?

the photo from their website shows an AC charging point.

Put the Kona vs the 75D at constant speed and 80, 100 and 120 km/h and I’ll dare say the 75D will win all of those. In the city the Kona will have greater range but who needs 250 miles range in the city every day, maybe a taxi.

I seriously doubt that. The Kona and Niro are both significantly more efficient than a Model S. Model 3 might do better.

Agreed, that’s one of the problems with the combined figures the EPA and other testers use. Great for calculating how much it’s going to cost on average but not great for range calculation. If I need 250 miles then it’s likely I’m doing 90% of the trip on the highway at 110-130km/h. Give us some numbers based on those speeds.

Hilarious caveats.

The biggest issue with testing Tesla vehicles with only induction motors is the experience of the driver. Most other EVs have regenerative braking linked to the brake pedal. Tesla vehicles do not. So if a driver isn’t used to using regenerative braking in a Tesla, the difference in results can be very big. In the Consumer Reports range test with the Bolt, CR actually turned down the regen setting to low. And this test, they didn’t give us enough testing specs to know what they did – the characteristics of the route, the driving style, and the settings.

Tesla vehicles are also optimized for long distance highway driving. If they spent a lot of time in traffic and then extrapolated, they would also show a much lower range result. But range matters most when driving at high speeds for long distances. Most of us don’t drive 200+ miles at 35 mph average every day. But UK testing may reflect that kind of driving.

We do have a wealth of information on Tesla vehicle efficiency. So when we get results like this, it usually comes down to the people running the test.