Auto Bild tested the range of 8 electric cars

Auto Bild tested the range of 8 electric cars
Electric car range test by Auto Bild

The German auto magazine Auto Bild decided to test the range of eight electric cars. With an outside temperature of just 5º C and the AC set to 21º C, all electric cars were submitted to the same 143 km route, which included a 43 km long highway ride at speeds up to 130 km/h.

Some of the tested electric cars didn’t have enough range to complete the route…


Let’s see the results.


Electric car



Volkswagen e-up (18,7 kWh)

79 km

23,7 kWh/100 km

Smart ForTwo Electric Drive (17,6 kWh)

84 km

21 kWh/100 km

Nissan e-NV200 Evalia (24kWh)

101 km

23,8 kWh/100 km

Kia Soul EV (30 kWh)

167 km

18 kWh/100 km

Hyundai IONIQ Electric (28 kWh usable)

192 km

14,6 kWh/100 km

Volkswagen e-Golf (35,8 kWh)

208 km

17,2 kWh/100 km

Renault Zoe (41 kWh)

244 km

16,8 kWh/100 km

Opel Ampera-e (60 kWh)

273 km

22 kWh/100 km


While I would rather have the Smart ForFour ED tested instead of the ForTwo ED, and the Nissan Leaf instead of the e-NV200 Evalia, the results are interesting. Furthermore, the BMW i3 should also be included.

The fact that the Volkswagen e-up was beaten by the Smart ForTwo ED in range and efficiency surprised me. I guess that the smaller cabin of the Smart requires less energy to keep it warm and this made the difference.

Another thing that became apparent was the importance of a heat pump in cold weather, the Opel Ampera-e really needs one. This is not surprising and was already discussed in a past article.

My two favorite electric cars did great, the Renault Zoe proved it has the range, while the Hyundai IONIQ Electric has the efficiency. At the moment the only electric car that appears to combine near perfect efficiency and range is the Tesla Model 3. Maybe next year this German auto magazine will test it…


Any comments about the test and its results?



More info:

Leave a Reply


hi pedro,
you are absolutely right, unbeliveable that the german journal do not test the german bmw i3.
When I look to the consumption of small EV, they are very high. It seems the test range started with the motorway test.

whatever, thanks to the journal and you for forwarding this nice test

Dmitry Pelegov

Maybe next time they will indicate km per 1 kWh, but not kWh per 100 km. It much more convenient and requires less cuculations in real life


Either you take for example 5km/kWh * 30kwh = 150 km range or you take 30kWh / 2kwh/100km = 150km. Don’t really see why either of that much more convenient. I guess you live in a country where you calculate gas consumption as km/l or mpg?

Dmitry Pelegov

In first example you need one active – you just multiply two figures. In second – two actions and dividing is a little bit more complicated. If we want mass EV adoption, we have to be simple.


Don’t think heat pump is that important. The ampera e is actually not that efficient in summer either. Depends on what it costs to put ina heat pump. If it costs 1000 EUR or more I think it is better to put in 5kWh or so later battery that will give you more range even in summer.

It should be offered at least as an option.

Nevertheless, I think that LED headlights, heated seats and heat pumps should be standard in every electric car. These items are important to improve efficiency, and if they were standard the economies of scale would help to reduce costs.

I always prefer to improve range by improving efficiency. However, increasing battery capacity will eventually become more important when we start using the V2G (Vehicle-to-Grid) functionality.

Dmitry Pelegov

V2G will require much better cycleability – first of all

Dmitry Pelegov

Interesting study, thank you for link. But, nevertheless, V2G still needs improved cycleability. To my understanding, this study is just saying – in other words – that li-ion battery should not be stored fully charged.

Toshiba’s SCiB batteries would be great for V2G. Not very high energy, but extremely high power density and cycleability.

Dmitry Pelegov

I guess batteries utilizing LTO as negative electrode materials will be fine. It would be great if different cars will use different “chemistries”

Dmitry Pelegov

heat management systems in cabins (as heating so cooling) should be definetely elaborated for EV needs


Nice comparison test. BMX i3 and Nissan Leaf should have been included. The Opel and the Hyundai er not really available yes, testing them is like testing a Tesla Model 3. Maybe they can make a new test next year with the new models including the new Nissan Leaf and the Tesla Model 3.
I think that the results for the Hyundai IONIQ Electric are impressive, once they get bigger batteries and produced in number so they actually are available they would be a good alternative to Nissan and Tesla.

Martin M

The calculation of the energy effeciency is not correctly in respect to the VW eGolf at least. The battery capacity used for the calculation must be the netto capacity (=31,5kWh), and not the brutto capacity (=35,8kWh), As I der it. This is also how it is done at e.g. the Hyundai Ioniq.
When using the correct battery capacity, the e-Golf has an efficiency at 15,1kWh/100km, which is in fact in top of efficiency


I have more trust in the official EPA testing. I don’t see AutoBild as independent.

(Chevrolet Bolt is Opel Ampera-e)

The problem with EPA or WLTP is that they are only reliable for warm climates.

The Auto Bild test at 5º C shows us the importance of efficient heat pumps and better isolation.


EPA tests don’t include heating the cabin. That’s where’s the difference.

Another Euro point of view

EVs sold in cold climate just need to have the available option of a fuel heater as found in trucks or leisure boats. Now EV are sold to a tiny fraction of people for whom all in relation with burning fossil fuel is a big no no but we are now beyond those 1-2% and aiming for the 98% others that coudn’t care less. if I had to buy an EV, no way I would accept to deal with a 20-30% range reduction in cold temperature, just fit in a fuel heater such as a webasto that would burn a… Read more »


Undoubtly BILD is not independent IMHO. Testing EV’s at cold 5°C is not very advertising for EVs (it’s the opposite).

But I am amazed how close the range of the Zoe’s 41kWh small battery is to Ampera-e’s 60kWh mucho grande battery. This proves that pumping big kWh-Blocks in a car is NOT everything about range.


I think the e-Golf did surprisingly well.
Does anyone know if the e-Golf they test had a heat pump
A heat pump is not standard on the e-Golf in the UK, its an £830 option

Usually for these kind of tests automakers send their best cars. While I’m not sure, I assume that Auto Bild tested the higher trim level – with heat pump.

Daniel Walser

I drive a VW E-Up and a Zoé ZE40 (41 kWh) and I’m surprised about these results. Probably the most difficult part of the trip was during the 70 first km, maybe it went up and probably the highway part was during these 70 km. For effiency measurements, it would make more sense to drive all cars on the same distance (for example 70 km) and then to measure the used energy for this trip by recharging the cars.