Electron Guzzlers: The Five Least Efficient EVs of 2022

How much energy do the thirstiest electric vehicles demand?

Capital One

Fuel economy still matters in the EV era. The power source is different from what we’re used to—electricity instead of liquid dino juice—and it has different limitations; not only is the energy capacity of the battery pack a concern, but also how efficiently the vehicle uses that energy. And while fuel costs are lower for electric vehicles than they are for internal-combustion cars, they’re not zero.

To help compare fuel economy between vehicles with dissimilar powertrains, the EPA developed a new unit: miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent. An MPGe rating expresses how many miles an electrified vehicle can travel using the amount of energy equal to that stored in a gallon of gasoline.

Yes, we know it’s confusing, but MPGe is useful as a comparative tool between EVs. It shows up on most (but not all) electrified vehicles’ window stickers, and we’ll use it to highlight this year’s top electron guzzlers. (For reference, the most efficient EV for 2022 is the rear-wheel-drive Tesla Model 3, rated at 132 MPGe.)


GMC Hummer EV Pickup: 47 MPGe combined

Because the Hummer EV weighs more than 8,500 pounds, GMC is not required to display an MPGe rating on the window sticker, and you won’t find one listed on FuelEconomy.gov either. But thanks to documents filed with the EPA, we know the rating for the three-motor, 1,000-hp Edition 1 model, and it’s bad. But then what did you expect from a vehicle as heavy as this?


Audi e-tron S: 63 MPGe combined

Audi makes a couple of variations of its e-tron mid-size SUV (plus a couple of other models with e-tron in their name, confusingly). The least efficient is the e-tron S equipped with either 21- or 22-inch wheels. The Sportback (Audi-speak for fastback) version of that model with the same large wheels is slightly more efficient, at 65 MPGe. The top-performing member of this e-tron family has an EPA rating of 78 MPGe.


Rivian R1S: 69 MPGe combined

The R1S, Rivian’s first full-size SUV, is heavy at about three tons and shaped like a washing machine—two disadvantages when it comes to efficiency. The nearly identical R1T pickup achieves a nearly identical 70 MPGe. But hey, those ratings are still about 50 percent better than the Hummer’s.


Porsche Taycan Turbo S: 70 MPGe combined

Yet another multi-variant model, Porsche’s Taycan is available as a sedan, a sports wagon, and a slightly lifted pseudo-crossover wagon. The least efficient version is the Turbo S sedan, which makes 750-hp and returns a 70 MPGe rating. On the other end of the Taycan efficiency spectrum are two sedans, the rear-drive Taycan and all-wheel drive Taycan 4S, both of which receive 79 MPGe ratings with the standard battery.

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David Gluckman
David Gluckman has over a decade of experience as a writer and editor for print and digital automotive publications. He can parallel park a school bus, has a spreadsheet listing every vehicle he’s ever tested, and once drove a Lincoln Town Car 63 mph in reverse. When David’s not searching for the perfect used car, you can find him sampling the latest gimmicky foodstuffs that America has to offer.