15 electric cars tested to failure

While none of the electric cars selected by Autobest managed to hit their WLTP numbers, some weren’t far off. Especially the most efficient of them all.

Created in 2001 to elect the best car available on the market each year, Autobest launched the new Ecobest Challenge in 2021. Among other things, it will allow the assessment of manufacturers’ progress in their electric models. Particularly in terms of autonomy and efficiency.

Chosen among segments A, B and C, the vehicles had to fulfill 2 additional conditions: they must be equipped with a minimum radius of action of 200 km and present a price list starting at 32,000 euros excluding taxes in Spain.

Ecobest Challenge

Three city cars were selected: the Dacia Spring Comfort Plus 45, the Fiat 500e Passion 87 kW and the Honda e Advance 113 kW.

Twice the number of models represented in the B segment: Hyundai Kona 64, Renault Zoé 50, Opel Corsa-e Edition, Peugeot e-208 GT Line, Opel Mokka-e GS Line and Peugeot e-2008 GT Line.

So many C-segment electric cars were tested: Nissan Leaf 62 Tekna, Kia e-Niro 64 Drive, Mazda MX-30 Origin, Citroën ë-C4 Feel, Cupra Born 150 kW and Volkswagen ID.3 58 First Edition.

In the hands of journalists from 32 European countries

For comparable data, the 15 Ecobest Challenge electric cars drove in a single column behind a lead vehicle clearing the way for them in Barcelona, ​​Spain.

All journalists changed the steering wheels of all EVs at regular intervals of 30 km. And that, to erase the influence of personal driving styles.

The selected machines traveled as many times as necessary in a 60 km route 50% highway, 20% road and 30% urban in the city of Terrassa.

Ecobest Challenge

When the range dropped to 0 km, the cars continued to drive until they broke down on lanes that depend on Spanish charging station manufacturer Circutor.

Normal Terms of Use

In each electric car, only one person is on board: the test journalist. All were instructed to drive as usual, using the air conditioning and infotainment systems. Tire pressure was in line with manufacturers recommendations.

On the road and on the road, the EVs ran in Normal mode. In urban areas, in addition to Eco mode, the gear selector position B was used, when available. Enhances energy recovery during deceleration and braking phases.

Ecobest Challenge

All these instructions made it possible to obtain a lot of very useful information to compare the models with each other. However, Autobest above all wanted to update the actual values ​​individually in relation to the information communicated by the manufacturers to their customers and prospects. Enough to provide drivers with a reliable database.

WLTP autonomy

The combined cycle WLTP range reported by the manufacturers was not achieved in any of the 15 cars selected and tested. Autobest recognises, however, that it could sometimes have been exceeded by applying eco-driving principles.

For 5 EVs, the values ​​obtained in the field were 90% higher than the official data. So for Dacia Spring (98.67%, 221.03 against 224 km), Kia e-Niro (95.24%, 433.35 against 455 km), Hyundai Kona (92.28%, 446.64 against 484 km), Mazda MX-30 (91.66%, 183.32 against 200 km) and Opel Corsa-e (90.19%, 284.11 against 315 km).

announced autonomy real autonomy
Dacia Primavera 224km 221.03km
Kia and Niro 455km 433.35 km
Hyundai Kona 484km 446.64km
Mazda MX-30 200km 183.32km

Ecobest Challenge

On the other hand, 5 other models stand out less positively, with a percentage below 80%. They are the Cupra Born (79.98%, 339.11 against 424 km), Peugeot e-2008 (79.39%, 255.62 against 322 km), Peugeot e-208 (79.31%, 269.67 against 340 km), Honda e (78.46% , 174.18 against 222 km), and the Citroën ë-C4 (74.59%, 262.54 against 352 km) in the red light.

announced autonomy real autonomy
Cupra Born 424km 339.11km
Peugeot e-2008 322km 255.62km
Peugeot e-208 340km 269.67km
honda 222km 174.18km
Citroën ë-C4 352km 262.54km

Range between 0 km and failure

If you are part of the Ecobest Challenge, when your electric car has a range of 0, you will still have the possibility to travel between 14 and 37.8 km. Values ​​that will certainly not be fixed over time, and will not evolve in the same way from one model to another. And certainly even from one copy to another of the same model.

Autobest and ourselves also recommend that you avoid falling into such a situation. Anyway, 3 electric cars have values ​​above 30 km: Nissan Leaf (37.8 km), Honda e (31.8 km) and Dacia Spring (31 km).

On the other hand, the lowest values ​​are found in cousins ​​that share the same battery: 14 km for the Cupra Born and Volkswagen ID.3. Nice group shot also in Stellantis, with 17.2, 17.5 and 17.9 km respectively for the Peugeot e-2008, Opel Corsa-e and Opel Mokka-e. Between these 2 groups, the Kia e-Niro rocks with its 16.3 km.

Ecobest Challenge


In terms of efficiency, the Dacia Spring is again well placed. Consumption in the combined cycle reported by journalists is reduced to 12.1 kWh/100 km. The Ecobest Challenge calculated that this low-cost electric city car can travel 8.25 km in 1 kilowatt-hour.

Below 15 kWh/100 km, there is also the Hyundai Kona (14.3 kWh/100 km; 6.98 km/kWh), Fiat 500e (14.7 kWh/100 km; 7.12 km/kWh) and Kia e-Niro (14.7 kWh/100 km; 6.77 km/kWh).

Two electric cars consume more than 17.5 kWh/100 km. These are the Nissan Leaf (18 kWh/100 km; 5.55 km/kWh) and the Peugeot e-2008 (17.6 kWh/100 km; 5.68 km/kWh).

Overall, Autobest estimates that the number of kilometers that can be traveled in 1 kilowatt-hour has improved in 3 years. ” We are confident that by 2025 we will have cars reaching easily over 10-12 km/kWh of battery. », considers the founding president of Autobest, Dan Vardie.

Ecobest Challenge

Additional power consumption when charging

The Ecobest Challenge also looked at excess energy consumed when recharging from 0 to 100%, compared to net energy capacity. In this one, the worst student is Honda e (36.23 kWh real, for a net capacity of 28.5 kWh, that is, a delta of 27.1%). On the other hand, the Volkswagen ID.3 presented the smallest difference: 61.41 real kWh, against a net capacity of 58.5 kWh; +5.9%.

In both cases, we notice that the observed value is finally close to the gross capacity. For other models, the recorded values ​​also significantly exceed the gross capacity.

Ecobest Challenge

Thus, for Dacia Spring (actual value = 32.41 kWh; net capacity = 26.8 kWh; gross capacity = 27.4 kWh), Hyundai Kona (VR = 73.33 kWh; CN = 64 kWh; CB = 67 , 5 kWh), Renault Zoé (VR = 63.12 kWh; CN = 52 kWh; CB = 54.7 kWh), Nissan Leaf (VR = 66.94 kWh; CN = 56 kWh; CB = 62 kWh) and Kia e-Niro (VR = 71.51 kWh; CN = 64 kWh; CB = 67.5 kWh).

Read too
What is the range of an electric car?

Autobest wants to investigate more on the matter, but already gives some clues: loss by converting alternating current into direct current, powering systems involved in charging (inverter, software operation), type of charger, battery cooling device.

Source and tables on Autobest.org

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