The Finnish magazine “Tekniikan Maailma” has published (paywall) an interesting article comparing six electric cars: the Audi E-tron, Hyundai Ioniq, Kia e-Soul, Mercedes EQC, Renault Zoé, and Tesla Model 3. There’s a large range of performance across the six different LED headlamps. Here’s a summary of the magazine writers’ lighting-related comments and data about this group of cars:
• Matrix LED headlamps included on the Audi test car are an extra-cost option.
• Hyundai should have spent more money on lights, because the Ioniq’s reflector-type low beams are the worst of the whole group: the beam is narrow, and even though the right lamp’s asymmetrical area is fairly large, the car’s own lane is not lit properly and the high beams leave the left verge of the road dark. The only plus for the Hyundai is the automatic switching of high beams, but it operates with a long delay. There are no headlight washers, the quick adjustment of lights according to the load is manual, and you can still drive with the tail lights off even in the dark when the light switch is in the 0 position.
• The Tesla’s high-beam assist works occasionally too eagerly, even on areas with road lighting, but the delay in switching to high beams is too long when encountering or overtaking other cars. High beams cannot be turned on manually from the stalk; the automation is turned off in the centre menu, which is not convenient while driving. When driving the Tesla, the difference between the width of the Audi’s low beams and the Mercedes’s high beams is also clear.
• The Kia gives broad low-beam coverage.
• The Renault shows the others what the low-beam range should be, but it is the only one in which the driver has to turn the high beams on manually.
• The high-beam assist taking other road users into consideration comes as standard in the Mercedes, and it is available as an option for the Audi. Both operate smoothly, and the glare prevention removes reflected light from traffic signs. However, both systems react to other cars too far in advance, the shading is often too wide, and there are delays in switching to full high beams. In the Mercedes, using high beams manually during automatic operation is difficult.
• The features related to washer fluid that are essential when driving on salted roads only work as they should in the Audi, which is the only one to have headlight washers.