The Tesla Range Claims Teapot Tempest

I’m sure everyone here is going to be shocked to learn, clutch pearls, that cars don’t get their EPA rated mileage. We’re all probably even more shocked to discover that EV, also don’t get their rated EPA mileage. Sorry, I probably should have asked you all to sit down first. My bad.

What’s this all about? Well, in case you missed it, there’s a class action lawsuit against Tesla stating that their cars don’t hit their range estimates in real world driving. Ranting about that was on my weekend TODO list, but Alex beat me to it and, honestly, did a better job than I would have. So go watch his video.

That said, I think he missed a key point though. We mostly obsess over EV range because the EV infrastructure sucks. Fix that, and it’s mostly like an ICE car where EPA range is just a number on a sticker that most people ignore. I say mostly, because like a lot of things, there’s some nuance there. But for the most part I’m happy to roll with it.

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bjdraw
6 months ago

Obsessing over range is just FUD. It just is. No one cares about range on an ICE. I’ve had a Model 3 since 2019, and range has just never been an issue.

That being said, no car should waste valuable instrument space with useless information. And the “estimated range” is completely worthless. Tesla should just disable it. At least by default — you can easily turn it off by switching to percentage.

And evidently the EPA EV specifications are terrible. I half knew this by the fact that they use “range” or MPGe as their key metrics. They need to change them to reflect real world use. Perhaps wh/mi at 70mph would be a more useful comparison for highway speed efficiency?

bjdraw
Reply to  Andrew Van Til
6 months ago

Yes, a range estimate is useful. Tesla has that in an “energy app” and it works great — adjusts for wind, speed, all kinds of things. What they need to eliminate is the “rated range” display. It is prominently displayed near the speed and is the default. It shows the SoC / EPA efficiency, and in my case NEVER matches the estimated range.
My car’s EPA efficiency is 300 wh/m, but my actual average is 325 (yes, I like the feeling of acceleration, and usually have a bike on the back).

I also pay attention to the SoC like a fuel gauge, but I have it set to display percentage. If I want an accurate estimate, I use the trip planner or energy app.