BMW i3 vs Nissan Leaf vs Hyundai IONIQ Electric

BMW i3, Nissan Leaf and Hyundai IONIQ Electric

Lukáš Dittrich from the Czech auto magazine published an article where the BMW i3, the Nissan Leaf and the Hyundai IONIQ Electric had their range tested.

The road test was made in mid-November on Czech roads near Prague with bad weather – wet roads and outside temperature of 5-6º C. The heating was on.

Below we have the google map with the route.



To be noticed is the fact that the test wasn’t made at a constant speed. A substantial part of the route was made at highway speeds. Looking at the map in detail I count at least 107,5 km made on toll highways. While another part of the route was made at county roads and around the city.


Let’s see the results in the table below.


Hyundai IONIQ Electric

BMW i3 (94 Ah battery)

Nissan Leaf (30 kWh battery)

Range after the first part of the route (61 km)

114 km

96 km

77 km

The average speed of the first part of the route

79 km/h

80 km/h

72 km/h

Average consumption over the first part of the route

17,1 kWh /100 km

20,4 kWh /100 km

22,3 kWh /100 km

Range after driving 122 km

48 km

28 km

The average speed of the second part of the route

77 km/h

81,3 km/h

81,5 km/h

Average consumption over the second part of the route

17 kWh /100 km

19,6 kWh /100 km

20,7 kWh /100 km

Total traveled to halt

165 km

149,1 km

122,1 km


Overall, the Nissan Leaf wasn’t able to complete the route and only traveled 122,1 km, while the BMW i3 did 149,1 km and the Hyundai IONIQ Electric 165 km. All three electric cars were pushed to their limits and driven until the batteries were fully depleted.


The BMW i3 is an outsider in this test, since it’s a very different car when compared to the other two. In this case the comparison that makes more sense is between the Nissan Leaf and the Hyundai IONIQ Electric since they have similar dimensions and usable battery capacity (28 kWh), yet very different real world range.


By now you must be tired of all these range tests that include the Hyundai IONIQ Electric, I get it, they state the obvious. Hyundai IONIQ Electric is the star of the moment. It’s best described as a second generation electric car with a small battery.

It would be more interesting to see these electric cars have their real world charging time tested at the 150 kW CCS fast chargers available in Switzerland. But again the result shouldn’t be very different, the Hyundai IONIQ Electric will probably pass the test in first place by a large margin. Not only it puts more energy in the battery per minute, that energy allows it to go further since it’s a more efficient electric car.

For example if the Hyundai IONIQ Electric can charge the battery from 0 to 80 % in 23 minutes. That 80 % of the battery allows us to make 160 km (EPA), this means 6,94 km are possible per charging minute or that it takes 14,41 minutes of charging to make 100 km.

While the Nissan Leaf (30 kWh battery) roughly gets from 0 to 80 % in 30 minutes, this 80 % makes 138 km possible (EPA), this means that 4,6 km are possible per charging minute or that it takes 21,78 minutes of charging to make 100 km. But we have to consider that the Nissan Leaf’s fast charge time varies a lot depending on the battery’s temperature.

To sum up, the Hyundai IONIQ Electric roughly requires 34 % less time in a fast charger than the Nissan Leaf to make the same kilometers – if the fast charger supports 100 kW rate or more.


Have you seen or charged a Hyundai IONIQ Electric at 100-150 kW fast chargers yet? Can we top up the battery from 0 to 80 % in just 23 minutes even with winter sub-zero temperatures?



More info:

Hyundai Ioniq Electric vs. Nissan Leaf vs. BMW i3: Kdo dojede nejdál? Na 200 km zapomeňte

Pedro Lima

My interest in electric transportation is mostly political. I’m tired of coups and wars for oil. My expectation is that the adoption of electric transportation will be a factor for peace and democracy all over the world.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
4 years ago

I’m a little disappointed by all of these results, even though once again we see that the Ioniq could very easily have been a great car – if only it were equipped with a battery worthy of 2017. Especially the LEAFs result is shockingly bad, and I’m left wondering what range I would get on the coldest winter days. In my area the temperature seldom drops below minus twenty Celsius, but a few days as cold as that are normal over the course of a winter. My 2012 USA-imported LEAF with about 18 kWh useable capacity left in it got 60 km or so, but it doesn’t look like the new one would get even 100. Certainly not at the highway speeds I had on my 46 km (each way) commute last winter.

This is why I do eagerly await cars with range like the Ampera-e. When we get to that point range will finally stop being an issue at least in everyday life, and only a little planning for infrequent long trips will be needed.

I hope we get some news from Kreisel soon. With their factory meant to get going in March, isn’t it about time we start to hear about what products they will offer? A pack for the Ioniq seems counterintuitive given how new it is, but actually would make it an extremely interesting contender. Alas, getting an Ioniq and then replacing the battery pack is if course a horribly inefficient and expensive way to get 50-60 kWh into the car, compared to if Hyundai did it in the first place, but the fact that this combination would still be interesting goes to show what a horrible battery choice Hyundai made!

4 years ago
Reply to  Terawatt

I tested a 30 kWh leaf just the other day in Sweden. -2 outside, studded tyres, did a 100 km trip with probably 60% 110/100 speed limit.

Got back with 24% spare.

4 years ago

On an unrelated note, it’s now official: BMW i3 did become the most sold car (of any type) in Norway this November. That is fully 40% of all EVs, and just over 8% of all new cars sold. A bit unbelievable given that Motor Trend awarded Car of The Year to the Bolt in the very same month, comparing it to the i3 by saying it is “twice the car at half the price” (a gross exaggeration, but even so..!)

Jonas Jovial
4 years ago

The Ioniq is in fact revealing to be a very good car, being the only sin having being released to late 🙁

4 years ago

Everything depends on price!!
Here in Canada the ioniq is not out yet!! If the price is very agressive compare to the leaf (3K or more compare to the leaf), it can explain the reason why Hyundai decide to put a 28kw battery (real battery size is around 31kw). If the price is to high, there is no excuse and the only reason behind the car is to comply with ZEV laws.
The bolt as a 60kw battery and the price for it is around 12K of the price in the car!! It’s expensive!!!

Like others said, I would like to see a range test in te,peratire around -10C to see how the car react to these type of temperature which are standard in winter here (montreal, Canada)

4 years ago

Hola Pedro Lima. Perdona por el tema que te expongo que no tiene que ver con este post. Hace unos meses se hablaba de la batería de 400wh/kg-1200wh/l de Solid Energy se hablaba de que este mes de noviembre 2016 iban a empezar a comercializarlas he buscado información por muchos sitios y no encuentro nada incluso en su pagina oficial ¿Sabe usted Pedro Lima algo sobre el tema?. Gracias y perdone por las molestias.

4 years ago

And now there should also be a Renault ZOE 41 kWh test similar to this one.
I am sure, that ZOE will make more km of course.

I expect it to do about 200 km real (a little bit less than Leaf – i own a Japan Leaf 21 kWh and had a Zoe Q210 22 kWh before).

Jonas Jovial
4 years ago


Is there any info if the i3 had a pump heater?


Jan Johansen
4 years ago

? As owner og a 24kwh Leaf I am supprised that the 30kwh only did 122 km. Can the journalist be wrong, and have tested a 24kwh and thought it was a 30kwh?

Jonas Jovial
4 years ago
Reply to  Jan Johansen

5 to 6 degrees, the lack of thermal management in the battery and the high Cd has it’s effects on the Leaf performance. There is no miracle that can help it here.

Jonas Jovial
4 years ago

Based on these results, we could say that for this particular situation it would require a 38kWh Leaf to do the same the Ioniq was able to do!

4 years ago

Would be great to see the new VW e-Golf and Kia Soul EV in this test!

4 years ago

Battery capacity is only a “small” part of the usability equation. The charging time is another. Sure the Ioniq has a 100KW CCS as standard, which I find super (the Bolt/Ampera-e costs an extra $750 or so for 50KW fast charge).

What disappoints me though is that the standard charging is only 6,6KW which means at many recharging points it will take some 4,5 hours to refill. I would have liked to have see at least 22KW capability, such as in the ZOE.

For a lot of us in Germany, charging at home is not an option. Personally I can’t get my car up-to my apartment on the 1st floor and my garage has no power nor am I allowed to install power, so I am restricted to public charging points. I have already given Hyundai feedback on this point.

I was very impressed with the test drive I had of the Ioniq Electric the other day, and cant wait to get on.

4 years ago
Reply to  Victor

And in Germany, 6.6 kW AC 1ph. is not allowed due to “Schieflastverordnung”. So the IONIQ is limited to 20A / 4,6 kW on 1 Phase only (Info from eCarTec Munich / Hyundai Dealer).

I was also considering the new IONIQ BEV but then ordered Renault ZOE Q90 (43 kW Typ 2 AC) here in Austria!

4 years ago

Idea of the EV is to charge it always when it is not moving. It is more easy to setup AC-chargers than DC-chargers into the parking areas. So every parking slot should have (and will have) cheap AC-charger, so why do not car manufacturers install more powerful AC-chargers into inside of the cars? AC-charging is the future of eMobility. Not sitting inside of the car and waiting your turn in the DC fast charger queue.

4 years ago

Thanks for this! I am posting on the IONIQ forum under a thread where I am collecting data on the efficiency of the IONIQ Electric. I have ordered one and I am eagerly researching while I wait for delivery!

3 years ago

I tested my Leaf24 and Ioniq to compare the efficiency, results on my blog at . The conditions were 11C, no heating on in the car.
The headline result is that at a “GPS” or “real” 70 mph, Ioniq=4.2 miles/kWh, Leaf=3.25 miles/kWh.
I realise these cars are of a different “generation”, but one big difference in charging, apart from speed when a 70kW charger can be used, is that the Ioniq continues charging faster at higher battery % than the Leaf. Partly due to age, and partly by design. The Ioniq also has some thermal management which should help here.