Tesla has long been accused of being, um, “overly optimistic” about its EVs’ range estimates. Its vehicles often fall further from their EPA estimates than other models, prompting an investigation by the DOJ and owner complaints. Now, the automaker has quietly reduced its advertised range estimates, with some falling by significant amounts.
The Model Y, Model S, and Model X got range cuts. The Model Y Performance dropped 18 miles, while the Long Range cut seven miles. The Model S Plaid’s range estimate fell the most, from 396 miles with 19-inch wheels to 359. The Model 3 and Cybertruck did not see changes.
Tesla doesn’t have a communications department, so there’s no way to reach out and ask why it made this change, but there are a few hints. Drive Tesla reported that internal documents blame the change on “comfort and functionality improvements” that drain more battery power, as well as a change in the way the EPA tests range, which the automaker said causes “higher consumption and a slight decrease in overall range.”
To be fair to Tesla, many automakers’ EV range estimates turn out to be optimistic, and there are a variety of factors that impact the numbers. That said, these aren’t massive changes in range, so it will be interesting to see if it takes some of the heat off Tesla for inflating its estimates.
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