Check Out This Chart Showing The Most And Least Efficient Electric Cars

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Photo: BMW

When talking about electric cars, most of the focus tends to be on range. And to a certain extent, that makes sense. A car that can go 300 miles without charging will probably be more convenient to own than one that only has 100 miles of range. But the other side of that coin is efficiency. Do you know which EV is going to make the most of the electricity you pay for? That’s a little more opaque.


That’s a big part of why this spreadsheet put together by CleanTechnica reader Aat de Kwaasteniet is so cool. It does a good job of not just helping potential EV buyers figure out how efficient a certain car is, but it also lets you compare different models in one place.

Since most of our readers are located in the U.S., I should probably point out here that Aat lives in the Netherlands, and their spreadsheet focuses on EVs that are available in Europe. That means it doesn’t include every single vehicle available to buy here, and some of the cars it doesn’t include will never be sold here.

That said, it’s still cool, and I’m sure you’re old enough to handle the existence of the metric system.

As Aat told CleanTechnica:

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.

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Comes with not one, but two 5.0Ah batteries, and even comes with a soft bag for storage.

That’s right. They even normalized for temperature.

So in the end, what’s the most efficient EV you can buy right now? According to the chart, it’s the Volkswagen E-Up followed by the Volkswagen E-Golf, neither of which you can buy new in the U.S. (Although you can always shop around for a used E-Golf.) The Tesla Model 3’s place in the top 5 isn’t much of a surprise, but what’s especially interesting is that the Hyundai Ioniq and Mini Cooper also made the top 5.


The one thing those cars all have in common, though, is that they’re relatively small and aerodynamic. There’s just no getting around the laws of physics, and it would be unfair to expect a boxy SUV or pickup to be as efficient as a compact hatchback.

Incidentally, it shouldn’t be terribly surprising that many of the EVs toward the end of the list are either crossovers or performance models such as the Volvo XC40 or BMW i4 M50. But what is notable is that the BMW i4 appears to be almost exactly half as efficient as the E-Up. Maybe BMW should add that distinction to its future marketing materials.

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