The U.S. market has a new most energy-efficient vehicle, and it’s one made in America: the 2020 Tesla Model 3.
Last model year the most efficient model you could buy was the 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Electric. The 2019 Tesla Model 3 had a range-and-efficiency edge, and it came close in Standard Range Plus form, with a 133 MPGe combined rating (about 25 kwh per 100 miles), but the Ioniq Electric was so much stronger in the city cycle that it ended up with a 3 MPGe combined edge over the Standard Range.
For 2020, with slightly lower efficiency ratings for the Ioniq Electric—due to its larger pack and range boost—the official figures went down 3 MPGe for the Ioniq Electric. With the official EPA ratings still significantly higher in city driving, the Ioniq Electric maintained a very slight edge—for, well, about a day.
Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus – consumer site, November 2019
Last month Tesla started advertising a 250-mile range for the Standard Range Plus, rather than a 240-mile range. And just this week, a full set of corresponding “2020” ratings for the Model 3 arrived early—reflecting in government-stamped test data the 5-percent improvement to range that CEO Elon Musk said was on the way in a call with investors last month.
The 2020 Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus currently costs $40,690, including the $1,200 destination charge (but not the $1,875 potential EV tax credit). And simply put, it does better: an EPA combined 141 MPGe (148 MPG city, 132 highway). It’s the new efficiency champ—and likely to stand at the top of the ranks this whole model year.