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Which Electric Car Delivers the Best Driving Range for Your Dollar?

Which Electric Car Delivers the Best Driving Range for Your Dollar?

Both the price and range of an electric car are high on the list of considerations when deciding to go electric.

And while the deciding factor may ultimately be how big your wallet is, for others it’s how much bang for your buck.

That’s why The Driven has made a handy comparison of which electric car gives you the most range for your dollar.

Interestingly, it’s not necessarily the cheapest EVs that top the list. Based on a straight list price divided by the WLTP range, a driver can pay as little as $130 per kilometer of range. But at the higher end of the scale for cars priced under $80,000, you could be paying as much as $327.

Notably, it might not come as a surprise that the Tesla Model 3 comes to the top of the list. After spending a lot of time and income on lowering the production costs of its electric mainstay, Tesla has also ensured that its minimalist approach also ensures economical energy consumption.

The caveat is that WLTP – the officially recognized range in Europe – is very optimistic at best, and performed in lab conditions may only be feasible under the most conservative driving conditions.

The Model 3, which has a 62.3 kWh battery and a power consumption of 122 Wh/km, currently costs $63,900 on the road and in fact costs about $130 for every kilometer of range. (Notably, some tests report that the Model 3 can even achieve energy efficiency of 119 Wh/km under very conservative driving conditions such as stop-start traffic.)

Next on the list is the Kia e-Niro, which consumes 138 Wh/km and achieves a WLTP range of 455 km from its 64 kWh battery. At $62,590 excluding road charges, that means every mile of ELTP range is just under $138.

kia e-nirokia e-niro
Source: Slava Kozlovskii/Twitter

Third on the list is the BYD Atto 3, which is currently Australia’s cheapest EV. Priced from $44,381 excluding on-road charges, it has a 52.5 kWh battery that provides a range of approximately 200 miles. This means that for every $138.69 spent, there is a mile of potential driving range.

BYD at 3BYD at 3BYD at 3
BYD Atto 3. Source: EV Direct

We’ve included the list below for you to refer to for yourself. While there may be other electric cars in Australia with similar “bang for buck” coming soon, we’ve only included models with a known price tag of less than $80,000.

Fashion model Energy consumption
(Wh/km)
Battery Size
(total capacity, kWh)
Range
(WLTP, km)
Price
($AU)
To score
($/km)
Tesla Model 3 122 62.3 491 $63,900.00 $130.14
Kia e-Niro 138 64 455 $62,590.00 $137.56
BYD Atto 3 157 52.5 320 $44,381.00 $138.69
Hyundai Kona Electric 130 64 484 $70,900.00 $146.49
Hyundai Ioniq EV 123 40.4 311 $49,970.00 $160.68
Kia EV6 194 82.5 400 $67,800.00 $169.50
MG ZS EV 161 42.5 263 $44,990.00 $171.06
Hyundai Ioniq 5 169 72.6 430 $75,900.00 $176.51
Mercedes EQA 156 66.5 426 $76,800.00 $180.28
Volvo XC40 Charging 158 67 423 $76,990.00 $182.01
Nissan Leaf 137 36 270 $51,990.00 $192.56
BMW i3s 134 37.9 284 $70,900.00 $249.65
Mini Cooper SE 142 28.9 203 $55,650.00 $274.14
Mazda MX-30 127 30 200 $65,490.00 $327.45

Bridie Schmidt is associate editor for The Driven, sister site of Renew economy† She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018 and is very interested in the role that zero-emission transport can play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is a co-organizer of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it for rent at evee.com.au