At the moment, there’s really only one player that’s truly in the game when it comes to real-world range that rivals gasoline cars: Tesla. Their Model S has long held the crown, and the updated version manages 390 miles on a single charge. The Model X and Model 3 Long Range sit comfortably within the 300-mile club as well. That’s a feat that no legacy automaker has matched yet, but that’s not to say that some cars don’t compete with Tesla on efficiency for a given battery size.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates electric cars on a Miles Per Gallon equivalent scale, or MPGe. Using that system, an electric car consuming 33.7 kWh is equivalent to burning one gallon of gasoline. That means for cars like the Tesla Model 3 Long Range, for example, that you can go 130 miles on the combined cycle for each 33.7 kWh (or 1 “gallon”) of energy you use. That results in a MPGe rating of 121, much higher than any gasoline car.
Most efficient EVs by MPGe (Least to most efficient)
|Rank||Model||MPGe (City/Hwy/Comb.)||Range (mi)|
|10)||Nissan Leaf (40 kW non-Plus)*||124 / 99 / 112||150|
|9)||Kia Niro EV*||123 / 102 / 112||239|
|8)||Chevrolet Bolt||127 / 108 / 118||259|
|7)||Hyundai Kona Electric||132 / 108 / 120||258|
|6)||Tesla Model Y Performance AWD||129 / 112 / 121||315|
|5)||Tesla Model 3 Performance AWD||124 / 116 / 121||322|
|4)||Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD||124 / 116 / 121||322|
|3)||Tesla Model 3 Long Range RWD||136 / 123 / 130||310|
|2)||Hyundai Ioniq Electric||145 / 121 / 133||170|
|1)||Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus||148 / 132 / 141||250|
These results are ranked by average combined efficiency according to EPA figures. Models like the Tesla Model 3 Long Range perform better on the highway than the Hyundai Kona Electric, but the Hyundai’s higher efficiency in city driving puts it out ahead.
The EPA publishes efficiency ratings to fueleconomy.gov.
Driving conditions will affect your range
Thanks to lower weight and a lack of all-wheel drive, the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus and Hyundai Kona Electric are actually the most efficient. They don’t have the same range as the larger capacity, all-wheel drive models, but they excel in making the most out of what they have.
Of course, depending on where you live and how you drive your real-world efficiency results may vary. We created the “Loveland Trials” test for that exact reason, seeing how these cars manage in mountain driving conditions. Check that out below, and let us know what you think of electric car range and efficiency in the comments below: