Tesla range estimates are called into question in new independent tests by Edmunds showing that Tesla’s vehicles don’t hit their EPA estimates.
There are no good range estimates for electric vehicles. There are just bad ones, with some being not as bad as others.
To be fair, that’s also the case for gasoline-powered vehicles, but range has been more of a focus for electric vehicles due to the fact that they have a shorter range, especially at the beginning of the transition.
Range is based on the energy capacity inside the vehicle and its efficiency.
However, efficiency can be affected by a ton of different factors, including speed, temperature, elevation, and more.
The EPA range estimate is believed to be the most accurate, but it’s not the same for every electric vehicle, as manufacturers have the option to play with the numbers a little, depending on how conservative or aggressive they want to be.
Tesla range estimates vs other automakers
Tesla is famously the leader in the EV industry when it comes to range and efficiency based on the EPA numbers.
However, the automaker has been known to play with the numbers a little, and in recent years, some owners have been complaining about not being able to achieve the estimate in real-world conditions.
Edmunds tried to compare the EPA ratings of 15 electric vehicles, including five Tesla vehicles, against real-world range, and here are the results:
|218 miles||238 miles*|
|259 miles||277 miles|
Mustang Mach-E AWD Ext Range
|270 miles||304 miles|
|170 miles||202 miles|
|258 miles||315 miles|
|239 miles||285 miles|
|110 miles||150 miles|
Leaf Plus SL
|215 miles||237 miles|
|233 miles||228 miles*|
|203 miles||323 miles*|
Model S Performance
|326 miles||318 miles*|
Model 3 Performace
|310 miles||256 miles*|
Model 3 Standard Range Plus
|250 miles||232 miles*|
Model X Long Range
|328 miles||294 miles*|
Model Y Performance
|291 miles||263 miles*|
As you can see, Edmunds was unable to achieve the EPA range on any of the Tesla vehicles, while they beat the EPA range by some decent margins in other electric vehicles.
Again, no range test is perfect, but I think the comparison here is what most people would experience and what I’ve experienced myself, having driven almost all the vehicles on that list.
Tesla is more aggressive in its advertised range while other automakers tend to be more conservative.
Now let me be clear: You can still achieve the EPA range in Tesla vehicles, and it doesn’t mean that Tesla is lying. There are allowed to play within a margin (a multiplier) in the EPA rating.
Those are just different strategies that are being adopted by the different automakers. Ideally, you want more consistency in the industry, but that’s the state of it right now.
The EPA ratings are better than nothing, but I do like this trend of automakers being more conservative since I think it’s better for range anxiety to an accurate or conservative displayed range than having a long advertised range.
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