Let’s face it. The world is becoming more and more focused on sustainability and the emergence and popularity of electric vehicles is more prominent than ever in the car sales market. Buying a car isn’t an easy decision – it’s an investment that you want to last well into the future. And there’s a lot to consider, particularly when you’re shopping for efficient EVs!

How to choose an electric car

According to the Electric Vehicle Council (EVC) the cost of running your car on fossil fuel is around $1.50 per litre. This is compared to $0.33 per e-litre for an electric motor vehicle. So, essentially, you could be saving over $5,000 every five years. Not only that, but electric cars don’t generally need the same services as fuel engine cars. There are no filters and spark plugs, no oil changes and no need to replace petrol engine parts. The EVC also states that if we all switched to electric cars, we’d save 6% of our greenhouse gas emissions.

Now to the purchase. There’s a lot you need to consider when you’re buying an electric car – in particular, where you’re planning to drive it, and where are you going to charge it?

Where you’re going: If you generally drive through the city, you’ll have no worries with an electric car. But if you tend to travel interstate, you’ll find the big challenge is having to charge it along the way. In some electric cars, the battery lasts up to 150 kilometres, which isn’t much when you need to travel long distances. Others can get you up to 660 kilometres. Take all of this into account when buying.

For charging: You need to check the battery pack specifications. If you generally stay local, you can usually charge at home or the office using a wall connector; but if you head away, you need to find out where the nearest charging station might be. You can often find these at shopping centre car parks, but a quick search online should bring up a range of options. There are some vehicles that offer a fast charging option as well, which is ideal if you’re on the go, and want to charge while you stop for a coffee or lunch break.

When you compare cars, there are some fantastic offerings on the market these days, such as the Nissan Leaf, Kia Souls and Kia Niro, Chevrolet Bolt and the Hyundai Kona. But for the purpose of this article, we’re comparing Australia’s most popular electric models – the Hyundai Ioniq Electric and the Tesla Model 3.

About Hyundai Ioniq Electric

The Hyundai Ioniq Electric is the cheapest electric car on the Australian market. It is mid-size, has five seats and five doors, 16-inch alloy rims, and a tablet-style media screen inside so you can control everything, from the battery power to the radio. It has a curb weight of between 1,475kg and 1,575kg. Other features include climate control, ventilated front seats, air bags, heated leather-appointed steering wheel, rear seat and front seats, sunroof, LED headlights (auto), and reverse camera. Trunk volume is 443 litres.

There are a few versions of the Hyundai Ioniq EV – it’s available as a hybrid, plug-in-hybrid, and all-electric model. Each one offers good fuel economy, plenty of cargo volume and includes a long-term warranty.

Prices start at $48,970. Exterior colours include iron grey, intense blue, polar white and fiery red.

About Tesla Model 3

The Tesla Model 3 is produced in variety, there are numerous body styles available and each year, the company produces a new and improved version of the car. The curb weight is between 1,600kg and 1,850kg. Standard features include a glass roof, air bags, custom audio system, dashcam viewer and backup camera, 15” centre touchscreen and premium seating. Trunk volume is 425 litres.

It used to be available as a rear wheel drive vehicle, but Tesla discontinued that production in 2019. Today, Tesla Model 3s are all wheel drive.

Prices start at $54,800. Colour options include pearl white, solid black, midnight silver metallic, deep blue metallic and red multi-coat.

Tesla Model 3 vs Hyundai Ioniq Electric

So, which car is best for you? The following comparison helps to weed out the specific features of each car, so you can make an informed choice.

Battery

When it comes to battery range, this is based on the distance the car can travel, and on a single charge – including both the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) standard as well as the WLTP standard (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure).

  • Average battery range (NEDC)
  • Tesla Model 3 (standard range plus) 460km
  • Hyundai Ioniq Electric 280km
  • Average battery range (WLTP)
  • Tesla Model 3 409km
  • Hyundai Ioniq Electric 204km
  • Average efficiency
  • Tesla Model 3 18kWh/100km
  • Hyundai Ioniq Electric 11.5kWh/100km

Power

Each vehicle has a different battery pack and motor, offering different power and charging abilities.

  • Charge time with normal powerpoint
  • Tesla Model 3 – 30 hours
  • Hyundai Ioniq Electric – 12 hours
  • Charge time with home charging station
  • Tesla Model 3 – 6 hours approx
  • Hyundai Ioniq Electric – 4.5 hours approx
  • Charge time with a fast-charging station to 80% capacity
  • Tesla Model 3 – 30 minutes
  • Hyundai Ioniq Electric – 23 minutes
  • Charging speeds
  • Tesla Model 3 – 250kW
  • Hyundai Ioniq Electric – 100kW
  • Acceleration 0-100km/hr:
  • Tesla Model 3 5.6 seconds
  • Hyundai Ioniq Electric 9.9 seconds

Efficiency

The reason most people get an electric vehicle is for efficiency – you want to save time, money, and at the same time do your part for the planet.

For the Hyundai Ioniq Electric, each year model has become more efficient over time and the 2020 model includes Lithium-Ion batteries that have a capacity of 38.3kWh. The energy efficiency is 15.5kWh/100km.

The Tesla Model 3 2020 model has battery capacity of 50-75kWh, with efficiency of 18.4kWh/100km.

Which model to choose

So, you’ve been hit with the stats. But when it comes down to which model is actually going to be better for you, it’s really a personal choice.

If it’s the design that matters, the Ioniq is made with a range of materials throughout the vehicle, including sugarcane bi-products, recycled plastic, powdered wood, volcanic stone and bio-fabrics. The electric engine is styled to look more conventional and it’s pretty small, so it fits well under the hood. The Tesla has an all-glass roof and is made from a combination of aluminium and steel – which gives it maximum strength.

For practicality, the Hyundai is just under 4.5 metres long, just over 1.8 metres wide, and 1.45 metres high; compared to the Tesla which is 4.7 metres long, 2.09 metres wide and 1.45 metres high. Same height, but Tesla has a little extra length and width.

For safety. Both cars have received the maximum five-star rating with ANCAP. The Hyundai Ioniq also includes advanced crash prevention features like brake assist, ABS, EBD, and traction and stability controls. The Model 3 has six airbags, autonomous emergency braking, and pedestrian and cyclist detection.

Finally, warranties. Hyundai has a five-year unlimited kilometre warranty, 12 months roadside assist and 1500km complimentary first service. The Ioniq battery warranty is eight years of 160,000km. The Model 3 has a four-year or 80,000km warranty, and powertrain cover for eight years or 160,000km. The AWD has eight years and 192,000km. There are no maintenance plans.

Do your research, check the reviews online, and choose the best option to suit your lifestyle and personality.