Most efficient electric cars revealed: BMW i4 and Tesla Model 3 top
Electric vehicles are generally considered to have better environmental benefits than petrol and diesel cars – but which EVs are most efficient?
A new ‘E-Rating’ has been launched that ranks each model on sale in Britain for how efficiently they use electricity, claiming there is a £500 gulf in annual charging costs between the best and worst cars.
Of the 49 models already rated by Electrifying.com, the BMW i4 and Tesla Model 3 have the highest A++ rating while bottom of the list is the Mercedes EQV MPV – the only car to score the lowest E rating.
Most efficient EVs revealed: A new E-Rating system to tell consumers how frugal different electric models are has been launched, with the Tesla Model 3 scoring a top A++ rating
BMW’s i4 saloon, which has a range of up to 365 miles, has also been given the highest rating in the new scale
The website, which provides information and advice to electric car buyers and existing owners, says the aim of the E-Rating is to give consumers clarity about which EVs will be better to their bank accounts.
While motorists understand the concept of miles per gallon for petrol and diesel motors, there is no industry-standard figure to help drivers to understand the overall efficiency of an electric car.
With the public well-versed on energy labels from all things from washing machines to EPC scores for properties, the E-Rating is a similar scaled system to inform buyers which cars are ahead of others.
Each EV’s rating is calculated using an algorithm that incorporates a number of factors.
The E-Rating scale works similarly to energy labels from all things from washing machines to EPC scores for properties
This includes how well electrical power is converted into miles on the road, the speed at which the battery can be recharged and if it includes features to help minimise power use, such as heat pumps, intelligent brake energy recuperation and climate control preconditioning.
So far, only the BMW i4 – priced from £51,905 and with a range of up to 365 miles – and Tesla Model 3 – priced from £42,990 and with a range of between 305 and 360 miles (depending on spec) – have been worthy of the maximum A++ ratings for EVs currently on sale in Britain.
Proving that it’s not just about price, the £100,000 Mercedes EQS luxury saloon gets the same A+ rating as the dinky – and cheap – Citroen Ami (approx £6,000) and Renault Twizy (approx £12,000) quadricycles, and Seat’s £20,000 (inclusive of the £2,500 Plug-in Car Grant) Mii Electric city car.
These four vehicles are among 13 models to achieve A+ ratings, with a further 14 performing well enough to earn an A.
The E-Ratings don’t factor in vehicle price, so the luxury Mercedes EQS saloon (left) – which starts from £100,000 in the UK – has the same A+ rating as the £6,000 Citroen Ami quadricycle (right)
At the other end of the scale, the Mercedes EQV people carrier – which has a 213-mile range and £71,645 costs a whopping is the only vehicle to obtain the lowest E rating, while the Audi e-tron (from £60,560) and Mercedes EQC (from £64,925) luxury SUVs were rated D.
Based on miles per kilowatt hour alone, Electrifying.com calculated the cost difference to cover 10,000 miles between the A++ rated BMW i4 and the E-graded Mercedes EQV to be £580.
While the Mercedes people carrier and BMW family saloon are not competing in the same class, there are still big differences between electric cars that sit within the same segment.
For example, a Tesla Model Y (rated A+) will cost £176 less over 10,000 miles than a Volvo XC40 Recharge, based on the calculation.
Besides the extra cost, owners will find themselves waiting for a charge much longer in the least efficient cars – partly because they use more energy to move, but also because they can take charge at a slower rate.