First round of tests in 2024 for Green NCAP, the independent European body that assesses the efficiency of new models. In this series of tests, carried out both in the laboratory and on the road, four electric cars and one petrol-powered mild hybrid were examined.

Obviously, the best scores in terms of efficiency and emissions were won by the battery-powered models (although the tests do not take into account the emissions released during the production of the cars themselves). We go on to analyse each test.

The BYD, smart and MG tests

Starting with the 204 PS BYD Dolphin Design, the Chinese electric compact collected five stars and a score of 98 per cent, excelling in the Clean Air Index with a score of 10/10 and scoring 9.6/10 in the Energy Efficiency Index and 9.9/10 in the Greenhouse Gas Index.

In terms of fuel consumption, the BYD averaged 17 kWh/100 km in various conditions, with a maximum consumption of 25.6 kWh/100 km in the worst conditions in a cold environment at 7°C. Thus, the range was from 267 miles to over 249 miles.

BYD Dolphin ai test Green NCAP

BYD Dolphin ai test Green NCAP

Turning to the smart #3 (tested here in the 272 PS RWD engine), the Sino-German novelty scored five stars and 95 per cent, with 9.2 in the Energy Efficiency Index and 9.4 in the Greenhouse Gas Index. The SUV was penalised above all by consumption on motorways and in cold climates, which raised consumption considerably from an average of 22.1 kWh/100 km to 33.5 kWh/100 km. In these situations, the real range drops from 223 to 143 miles.

smart #3 ai test Green NCAP

smart #3 ai test Green NCAP

MG 4 ai test Green NCAP

MG 4 ai test Green NCAP

Staying in China, it is the turn of the MG4 in the Comfort version with 204 PS. This is one of the best-selling electric cars in the Italian market and scored five stars and a 95% rating. Again, the top score of 10/10 in the Clean Air Index is confirmed, while the Energy Efficiency Index and Greenhouse Gas Index stop at 9.2 and 9.4 respectively.

The MG also experiences some problems in the cold, with the range dropping from an average of 227 to just 126 miles (consumption from 20.1 kWh/100 km to 34.9 kWh/100 km).

The Ioniq 6 and BMW tests

The 325 PS all-wheel-drive Hyundai Ioniq 6 First Edition was the other top performer in this round of tests, with five stars and 98 per cent. The Korean saloon scored a 9.6 in the Energy Efficiency Index and a 9.98 in the Greenhouse Gas Index, with consumption falling from an average of 18.8 kWh/100 km (range of 286 miles) to 27.6 kWh/100 km (190 miles) in temperatures of 7°C.

Hyundai Ioniq 6 ai test Green NCAP

Hyundai Ioniq 6 ai test Green NCAP

An overall moderate deterioration allows the Hyundai to be among the most efficient cars tested by Green NCAP. In this regard, we recall that the vehicle that recently crowned the GVM Ora 3 as the most efficient car of 2023.

Not far behind the Ioniq 6 is the 286 PS BMW i4 eDrive 35, which finished the test with five stars and 96 per cent. For the battery-powered Bavarian, of note is the 9.3 achieved in the Energy Efficiency Index and 9.5 in the Greenhouse Gas Index. Again, there were some critical issues in the tests in cold environments, with the range dropping from an average of 235 to 137 miles (from 20.3 kWh/100 km to 34.1 kWh/100 km).

BMW i4 ai test Green NCAP

BMW i4 ai test Green NCAP

BMW Serie 2 Active Tourer ai test Green NCAP

BMW Serie 2 Active Tourer ai test Green NCAP

Finally, the last car tested by Green NCAP was the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer in a 220i version with a 170 PS 1.5-litre turbo mild hybrid petrol engine. As might be expected, the results were significantly lower than for electrics, with a score of 3 stars and 51 per cent. BMW scored 7.5 in the Clean Air Index, 4.7 in the Energy Efficiency Index and 3.1 in the Greenhouse Gas Index.

In the first survey, Green NCAP highlights the overall low emissions of NMHC, NOx and CO, while NH3 and particulate matter remained quite high in the various tests. Turning to fuel consumption, the 220i averaged 6.6 l/100 km, with a 'worst case scenario' of 7.6 l/100 km. Finally, CO2 emissions were around 134-142 g/km.

Gallery: Green NCAP tests in February 2024