Electric cars: Suddenly less range: Tesla corrects exaggerated information about driving performance

On its American and Canadian websites, Tesla has downgraded the range of many vehicles by up to 60 kilometers without an official explanation.

Electric cars: Suddenly less range: Tesla corrects exaggerated information about driving performance

On its American and Canadian websites, Tesla has downgraded the range of many vehicles by up to 60 kilometers without an official explanation. The biggest change affected the Model S Plaid. There were no adjustments for other vehicles, such as the Model 3. The trade magazine "Drive Tesla Canada" reports that the reasons would only emerge from internal documents. Accordingly, changes in the testing procedures of the American environmental protection agency (EPA) and new comfort functions of the vehicles are responsible for the adjustments to the information.

In the future, the EPA will stipulate that range measurements must take place in different, sometimes unfavorable, conditions and driving modes for electric cars. The manufacturer's information must then be made up of average values ​​of the often extremely different results.

The new guidelines are intended to ensure that manufacturers are no longer only allowed to work with values ​​that were achieved under ideal conditions. When it comes to electric cars, this fact has long been causing frustration among customers because the advertising rarely corresponds to reality.

This is particularly noticeable in winter. Although the capacity of the batteries obviously remains unchanged, the efficiency of the cells sometimes drops immensely. A cold battery generates more waste heat due to the increasing internal resistance of the cells, which reduces the amount of electrical energy that can be released. In short: the range is decreasing.

There are also factors such as the need to heat the vehicle. Electric cars suffer significantly more from this than combustion engines. The reason is clear: While a diesel or gasoline engine can use the engine heat to warm the vehicle, an electric car has to use energy from the battery to generate heat. And it's not just the cold interior that needs to be heated. In order for a battery to work efficiently, the car also heats it - which also reduces the range.

Tesla is by no means alone affected by this circumstance. The information provided by other manufacturers also reflects ideal ideas. As soon as you drive a little too quickly, put too much strain on consumers or the temperatures get tough on the car, the advertising value can often no longer be achieved.

Tesla is known for pushing range information to the limit and also using rather exaggerated values ​​in cars. This was recently revealed, among other things, by a comprehensive investigation by the “Reuters” news agency. Customers also repeatedly complain that the vehicles do not reach their destinations without stopping to charge, even though it initially seems absolutely possible on the display. In 2020 there was a dispute with the environmental agency about this – “The Verge” reported.

There is of course a very simple reason for the inflated range figures: the cars sell better. According to a "Reuters" source, Elon Musk himself demanded that "optimistic estimates of the remaining range" be displayed in the cars instead of orienting themselves as correctly as possible to the circumstances. This, the source said, “makes people feel good.”

It is therefore quite astonishing that Tesla is changing this important information in two very large markets. The company may want to prepare itself for the consequences of an ongoing investigation by the American Department of Justice, which has been looking into the discrepancies between advertising promises and reality regarding the range of Teslas since autumn 2023.

There have been no corresponding changes in Germany so far - it remains to be seen whether Tesla will also tweak the technical key figures of its cars in this country.

Quellen: Reuters, Drive Tesla Canada, Electrek, The Verge, CNN

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