Roundup

Most Efficient Electric Cars in NZ

An efficient vehicle travels the furthest using the lowest amount of energy.

February 28, 2023    |    9 min read

Listed in order of most efficient to the least, using the WLTP consumption rating.

Running cost is based on 0.25 cents per kWh electricity price.

WLTP*Dashboard**
VehicleWh / kmRunning cost ($/100km)km / kWh
Hyundai IONIQ138$3.458.1
Hyundai IONIQ 6139$3.488.1
Hyundai Kona SR143$3.587.8
Hyundai IONIQ 6 LR RWD143$3.587.9
Hyundai Kona LR147$3.687.6
Tesla Model 3149$3.738.5
Opel Corsa-e152$3.808.5
BYD Atto 3 LR156$3.907
Tesla Model Y157$3.937.6
BYD Atto 3157$3.936.9
Opel Mokka-e158$3.958.1
Tesla Model 3 LR160$4.008
Peugeot e-208 (1st gen)160$4.008
BMW i4 eDrive40160$4.007.3
Hyundai IONIQ 6 LR AWD160$4.007
Peugeot e-2008161$4.037.1
Å KODA Enyaq Sportline 80162$4.056.9
Kia Niro162$4.057.1
Mercedes-Benz EQE 300164$4.107
Tesla Model 3 Performance165$4.137.3
Kia EV6 Air LR165$4.137.1
Kia EV6 Air Standard Range166$4.157.3
Kia Niro Plus166$4.156.7
Hyundai IONIQ 5167$4.187.1
Polestar 2 (1st gen)167$4.187.1
BMW iX 50167$4.186
GWM Ora167$4.186.8
Mercedes-Benz EQB 250167$4.185.6
GWM Ora LR167$4.187.1
Hyundai IONIQ 5 LR RWD168$4.206.9
Lexus UX 300e168$4.206.3
SsangYong Korando e-Motion168$4.206.1
Nissan Leaf171$4.286.9
Polestar 2 LR (1st gen)171$4.287.3
Tesla Model Y Performance172$4.306.9
Kia EV6 Earth172$4.306.8
MG ZS EV173$4.336.5
Mercedes-Benz EQA 350 4MATIC175$4.386.5
Mini Cooper SE176$4.407
Mercedes-Benz EQA 250177$4.436.4
Hyundai IONIQ 5 LR AWD177$4.436.6
Mercedes-Benz EQE 350 4MATIC178$4.456.5
Kia EV6 GT-Line180$4.506.5
Hyundai IONIQ 5 LR Elite180$4.506.4
BMW iX1 xDrive30181$4.536.4
Volvo C40 Recharge182$4.556
Volvo XC40 Recharge183$4.586.3
Nissan Leaf e+185$4.636.5
Mercedes-Benz EQB 350 4MATIC188$4.705.4
Mazda MX-30190$4.756.7
BMW i4 M50190$4.756.3
Hyundai IONIQ 5 Limited191$4.786.1
Polestar 2 LR Dual (1st gen)194$4.856.5
BMW iX3195$4.886.2
Audi Q4 e-tron 40196$4.906.9
BMW i7 xDrive60196$4.906
Audi e-tron GT quattro199$4.985.7
Audi RS e-tron GT206$5.155.6
Kia EV6 GT206$5.155.7
Volvo C40 Recharge Twin208$5.205.9
LDV MIFA 9213$5.334.9
Audi e-tron Sportback216$5.405.2
Mercedes-Benz EQE AMG 53218$5.455.5
Jaguar I-PACE220$5.505.5
Audi e-tron 55 quattro222$5.555.1
Mercedes-Benz EQC 400223$5.585.1
BMW iX 40 Sport225$5.636
Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin238$5.955.6
BMW iX M60247$6.185.4
Porsche Taycan265$6.634.7
LDV eT60268$6.703.8
Audi e-tron S Sportback281$7.034.4

Help! I’m confused 🤔

* The WLTP is the benchmark for comparing EVs and estimating running costs. It measures recharged electric energy from the mains.

Charging loss: if you’ve ever measured household draw when charging, more electricity leaves your circuit board than goes into the battery.

Power can be lost as heat, and some cars, such as Tesla, may use power for battery heating or pre-conditioning.

I’m still confused 🤪

** The dashboard shows how much power is consumed from the battery. It knows nothing of the energy lost during charging.

How can you get two vehicles with the same WLTP Wh / km but different dashboard consumption?

The vehicle that gets more kilometres per kWh on the dashboard must have used less electricity during charging.

How does this compare to Hybrids and Plugin Hybrids?

Consumer NZ did a real-world test.

How electric energy consumption is measured

Efficiency can be expressed in three different ways.

  1. watt-hours (Wh) consumed per kilometre travelled.
  2. kilowatt-hours (kWh) per 100 km travelled.
  3. km / kWh (the number of kilometres travelled per unit of kWh of electricity.

Energy consumption can be measured from the battery or recharged electric energy from the mains.

  1. Battery consumption allows comparison on a drive-by-drive basis (viewed in the dashboard).
  2. Mains consumption is good for comparing running costs as it considers charging losses (measured using special equipment).

Car reviewers routinely mix the two up: “The WLTP says 167 Wh / km, but I managed to get 148 Wh / km”.

Unless the reviewer wired up a meter to measure power leaving the mains – they are not comparing the same thing.

How is EV efficiency measured?

The WLTP testing process depletes the battery, then recharges it again (while measuring electricity leaving the mains). Along with other calculations, this process predicts a consumption figure using recharged energy from the mains.

The test cycle also measures electricity consumption from the battery during travel in order to estimate the EV’s range.

What affects efficiency?

Efficiency is affected by vehicle mass, powertrain, aerodynamic drag, and rolling resistance.

A more efficient EV is typically lighter, has a low aerodynamic drag coefficient, and has an efficient powertrain that makes maximum use of regenerative braking.

Why drive an efficient EV?

  1. Lower running costs – less recharging needed.
  2. Fewer emissions during travel – NZ has around 85% of renewables but still generates electricity from fossil fuel sources.
  3. Fewer emissions during production – inefficient EVs have larger batteries to power larger mass.

A highly inefficient EV has questionable environmental credentials.