10 electric cars range tested until their battery died

Max McDee, 18 September 2022

The UK What Car? magazine is trying to answer the same question we all ask - what is the real-life range of an electric car these days? Never mind the manufacturer’s claims or the WLTP or EPA tests - we need real-life, honest results.

For the test, we have the 10 latest electric cars: Cupra Born 58 kWh V3, Volvo XC40 Recharge Single Motor Plus, MG ZS EV Long Range SE, Kia Niro EV 4, BMW iX3 M Sport Pro, Kia EV6 RWD GT-Line, VW ID.5 Pro Performance Style, Tesla Model 3 Long Range (70 kWh), Tesla Model Y Long Range and finally the BMW i4 eDrive40 M Sport.

10 electric cars range tested until their battery died

Unlike the test carried out by the Norwegian Automobile Federation, the What Car? used a closed circuit road without interference from other traffic. The chosen route was about 15 miles long (just over 24 km) with 2.6 miles for stop-and-go section simulation city driving, 4 miles (6.4 km) were driven at a constant 50 mph (80 kph) and 8 miles (12.8 km) at a steady 70 mph (112 kph). This route was repeated until each car eventually run out of battery.

The cars were fully charged up a day before and left overnight in the same location. The following morning all cars were checked and topped up to make sure the batteries were all at 100 percent of charge and the test began.

There were no surprises when it came to the test results, no car managed to reach the official range but some came fairly close. Here’s the results table:

Car Battery Size WLTP Range Tested Range Shortfall Efficiency
Cupra Born 58 kWh V3 58 kWh 249 miles (400 km) 219 miles (352 km) 12.0% 3.8 m/kWh (6.1 km/kWh)
Volvo XC40 Recharge 67 kWh 263 miles (423 km) 226 miles (363 km) 13.7% 3.4 m/kWh (5.4 km/kWh)
MG ZS EV LR 68.3 kWh 273 miles (439 km) 246 miles (395 km) 9.7% 3.6 m/kWh (5.8 km/kWh)
Kia Niro EV 4 64.8 kWh 285 miles (458 km) 253 miles (407 km) 10.9% 3.9 m/kWh (6.2 km/kWh)
BMW iX3 M Sport Pro 74 kWh 282 miles (453 km) 253 miles (407 km) 10.2% 3.4 miles (5.4 km/kWh)
Kia EV6 RWD GT-Line 77.4 kWh 328 miles (527 km) 278 miles (447 km) 15.2% 3.6 m/kWh (5.8 km/kWh)
VW ID.5 Pro 77 kWH 315 miles (506 km) 281 miles (452 km) 10.5% 3.7 m/kWh (5.9 km/kWh)
Tesla Model 3 LR (2021) 70 kWh 360 miles (579 km) 293 miles( 471 km) 18.6% 4.2 m/kWh (6.7 km/kWh)
Tesla Model Y LR 75 kWH 331 miles (532 km) 304 miles (489 km) 8.1% 4.1 m/kWh (6.6 km/kWh)
BMW i4 eDrive40 M Sport 80.7 kWh 345 miles (555 km) 316 miles (508 km) 8.2% 3.9 m/kWh (6.2 km/kWh)

The BMW ix4 eDrive40 M Sport managed to drive the longest distance of 316 miles (508 km) which was just 8.2% less than the claimed WLTP range. But it is the Tesla Model 3 Long Range that achieved the highest efficiency of 4.2 miles per kWh (6.7 km/kWh) - if it had the same size battery as the BMW it would be able to drive for 338 miles or 543 kilometers. Let’s not forget that all the vehicles had the AC switched on and set for 21C for the entire test.

All the cars in the test have a decent usable range, even the smallest battery Cupra Born can deliver over 200 miles which is probably enough for a normal daily commute and occasional longer trips. The cheapest MG ZS EV Long Range delivers not only 246 miles (395 km) but it delivers the biggest value and should win a trophy for the Biggest Bang for the Buck.

10 electric cars range tested until their battery died

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Reader comments

You mean other than efficiency and need for fuel? Hybrids are great, but pure EV is always more efficient and more "green" in terms of direct emissions.

  • Anonymous

These could be solved by using self charging hybrid. Self charging hybrids their have any issues drawbacks compared to EV nor do they have their drawbacks

It is not only about the drag because Kia is fairly aerodynamic, but it did compromise rear seats in a big way ... even compared to Hyundai version of this platform. Tesla, right now, has the best efficiency and above else best packaging, too bad t...

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