Update: It should be noted that electric cars are much, much more energy efficient than gas-powered or diesel-powered cars. The most efficient cars on the market are all 100% battery-electric cars. The comparison below explores the energy efficiency of various electric cars for those who are focused on or interested in “the best of the best” in this regard.
One of our readers, Aat de Kwaasteniet, has created a great resource comparing the actual energy consumption of different electric vehicles, among other things. It is quite a detailed and thoughtful analysis that compares the real-world energy efficiency of 66 different EV models and ranks them based on which are the most efficient electric cars and which are the least.
The analysis is focused on models available in Europe and use in Europe, but the comparisons can surely be useful beyond the Old Continent, and they are certainly interesting!
Aat writes, “I put together a spreadsheet on EVs to document the actual energy consumption of EVs. To do this, I researched the internet and youtube and captured all the videos that showed the energy consumption of EVs with a drive test and entered the energy consumption with the relevant parameters like temperature and speed into the spreadsheet. Then I normalized the energy consumption so they can be compared. I also applied an energy classification. So far all EVs have energy label A but there are large differences between them. I have now made those transparent via this spreadsheet. Also the charging speed is documented. The reader can now see what the average speed for long trips is and so on.”
You can jump in and view the whole spreadsheet via this Google Sheet link.
EV Specs & Real-World Data
Various details about the tests are included in the comparison sheet as well as vehicle specs such as:
- battery capacity (kWh)
- WLTP range (km)
- manufacturer-indicated WLTP consumption (Wh/km)
- manufacturer-indicated maximum DC charging power (kW)
- measured maximum DC charging power (kW)
- charge time from 10-80% in minutes
- charged energy in kWh from 10-80%
- average charging power from 10-80% (kW)
- average fast charging power 10-80% across 1 hr of charging (km)
- price in the Netherlands
… and more.
Needless to say, you could spend hours examining the details of this spreadsheet.
A drawback here is that these are not large sample sizes for the vehicles examined, so you can’t actually make scientifically valid conclusions about the figures observed. You’d need many more tests for each vehicle in order to do that. Nonetheless, this is the most comprehensive real-world comparison of energy consumption among EVs that I’ve seen.
The Most Efficient Electric Cars
On the plus side, Aat actually normalizes electricity consumption based on a temperature of 10°C (the average in the Netherlands). This is one of two columns in which the cell backfill is red (column N), and the sheet is sorted according to the results in this column. Basically, this is where he answers the question: which are the most energy efficient electric cars in Europe and which electric cars consume the most energy for each kilometer driven?
You can see that the top four models identified as most energy efficient — and the only ones getting an energy label of “A” — are the:
- VW e-Up 36.8 kWh — 136 Wh/km
- VW e-Golf 35.8 kWh — 149 Wh/km
- Hyundai Ioniq 38 kWh — 150 Wh/km
- Tesla Model 3 LR 82kWh — 152 Wh/km
On the other end of the scale, the five models with the worst results are the:
- Volvo XC40 — 256 Wh/km
- BMW iX xDrive 40 — 256 Wh/km
- Audi e-tron 50 — 260 Wh/km
- Audi e-tron S 55 Quattro — 266 Wh/km
- BMW i4 M50 — 268 Wh/km
Those are 5 of 16 models that got an energy label of “G.” (I thought “F” was the lowest until I noticed that.)
Kudos and thanks to Aat for doing the work on this! Jump into the sheet and see what you notice. Naturally, the focus is real-world EV energy consumption per kilometer driven, but there’s plenty of data in there to compare models in different ways that may spark your interest as well.
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