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AN SUV that’s more economical on fuel than a hybrid Toyota Prius? Sounds wrong doesn’t it. But that really is the case.

The SUV in question is the Hyundai Kona – the new electric version of the SUV – and it tops the leagues for fuel costs over 10,000 miles. The Kona costs just £89; the Prius £460.

If that’s surprising to you, then it was also the case to a bunch of business car managers at at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) annual conference and exhibition.

The leasing company Fleet Evolution – and member of the Leasing Broker Federation – used a deck of adapted playing cards displaying the fuel costs of different models as a visual aid.

The playing cards displayed different electric, hybrid, petrol and diesel models. Based on the ‘Higher Lower’ card game, delegates were invited to estimate if one model had a higher or lower fuel cost over 10,000 miles than the model on the next card.

Many struggled to identify whether hybrids were more or less fuel economical than conventional petrol or diesel models, or whether any were more efficient than EVs.

“It was a bit of an eye-opener for us,” said Andrew Leech, Managing Director, Fleet Evolution, who said around 100 delegates had taken the ‘Higher, Lower’ test.

“Although we had chosen a quite lighthearted way of making the point, the message was a very serious one about the fuel costs of the different categories of cars. And it seems, based on our results, that we still have a long way to go in the EV education progress.”

Leech said that many quite senior decision-makers expressed real shock that an all-electric Tesla Model S cost just £222 to cover 10,000 miles, compared to £2,357 for a Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe E300 AMG over the same distance (see table).

“And there seemed to be genuine surprise amongst delegates that a Hyundai Kona EV cost just £89 for 10,000 miles, while the cost of a petrol Kona model was 18 times higher at  £1,650 over the same 10,000 mile cycle,” he said.

The Fleet Evolution deck of fuel cost cards looked at nine different models in each category – EV, hybrid, petrol and diesel – with the most economical of all in terms of fuel cost being the new electric Hyundai Kona.

“We believe this will be a real game-changer,” said Andrew Leech. “Costing just £89 over 10,000 miles, it can cover 250 miles on a single charge, which makes range anxiety a thing of the past.

“That means an employee with an average commute would only need to recharge it once a week, which could be done from the office car-park. And we provide free workplace chargers for anyone ordering three electric cars from us,” he added.

All-New Hyundai Kona Electric

Hyundai Kona Electric – wins on fuel costs

Electric vehicles – cost per 10,000 miles @ 4p per KW

Make Model Fuel cost per 10,000 miles
Hyundai Kona SUV 150kW Premium 64kWh 5dr Auto £89
Kia Niro EV Crossover £92
Smart ForFour Hatchback 60kW EQ Prime Prem Plus 17kWh 5dr Auto [22kWCh £100
Nissan Leaf Hatchback 110kW Visia 40kWh 5dr Auto £100
Kia Soul Hatchback 81kW EV 27kWh 5dr Auto £120
Renault Zoe Hatchback 65kW i Signature Nav Q90 40kWh 5dr Auto £128
BMW i3 Hatchback 135kW S 33kWh 5dr Auto £165
Jaguar I-Pace SUV 294kW EV400 SE 90kWh 5dr Auto £180
Tesla Model S Hatchback 449kW 100kWh Dual Motor 5dr Auto £222


Plug-in hybrids: cost per 10,000 miles – 7,000 electric 3,000 petrol /diesel miles

Make Model Fuel cost per 10,000 miles
Toyota Prius Hatchback 1.8 VVTi Plug-in Business Edition Plus 5dr CVT  50mpg £460
Volkswagen Golf Hatchback 1.4 TSI GTE 5dr DSG  50mpg £520
MINI Countryman SUV 1.5 Cooper S E All4 PHEV 5dr Auto £524
Audi A3 Sportback 1.4 TFSI e-tron 5dr S Tronic 45mpg £561
Kia Niro SUV 1.6 GDi PHEV 3 5dr DCT 35mpg £635
Volvo XC60 SUV 2.0 T8 [390] Hybrid Inscription 5dr AWD Geartronic 35mpg £671
BMW 5 Series Saloon 530e SE 4dr Auto 35mpg £691
Mitsubishi Outlander SUV 2.4 PHEV 4h 5dr Auto – 35mpg £695
Audi Q7 SUV 3.0 TDI 258 Quattro e-tron 5dr Tip Auto 40mpg £716


Petrol models  – fuel cost per 10,000 miles @£1.32 per gallon

Make Model Fuel cost per 10,000 miles
Ford Focus Hatchback 1.0 EcoBoost 100 Zetec 5dr £1320
DS 3 Hatchback 1.2 PureTech 82 Connected Chic 3dr £1343
Honda Civic Hatchback1.0 VTEC Turbo 126 EX 5dr £1404
Audi A3 Sportback1.5 TFSI S Line 5dr £1534
Hyundai Kona SUV 1.0T GDi Blue Drive Premium SE 5dr £1650
BMW 5 Series Saloon 520i SE 4dr Auto £1705
Infiniti Q30 SUV 1.6T Luxe 5dr £2062
Audi A7 Sportback 55 TFSI Quattro S Line 5dr S Tronic £2200
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe E300 AMG Line 2dr 9G-Tronic £2357


Diesel models – fuel cost per 10,000 miles @£1.38 per gallon

Make Model Fuel cost per 10,000 miles
SEAT Leon Hatchback 1.6 TDI SE [EZ] 5dr DSG £1232
Citroen C4 Cactus Hatchback 1.5 BlueHDi Feel 5dr £1232
MINI Countryman SUV 2.0 Cooper S D ALL4 5dr Auto £1301
MINI Countryman SUV 2.0 Cooper D 5dr [Chili Pack] £1408
Volkswagen Golf Hatchback 2.0 TDI 184 GTD 3dr DSG £1427
Nissan Juke SUV 1.5 dCi Acenta 5dr £1437
Kia Sportage SUV 1.6 CRDi ISG 1 5dr £1533
Audi Q7 SUV 3.0 TDI 218 Quattro S Line 5dr Tip Auto £1815
Range Rover Evoque SUV 2.0 eD4 HSE Dynamic 5dr 2WD £1864