Has Tesla lied about drive range? US Department Of Justice probes

  • There have been numerous complaints made against Tesla and the US-based manufacturer has been accused of inflating range-related figures often.
Tesla Model 3
File photo of Tesla Model 3.
Tesla Model 3
File photo of Tesla Model 3.

The maximum range of an electric vehicle (EV) is much like the maximum possible fuel efficiency of a petrol or diesel-powered car - it may be possible but under absolutely ideal conditions and with perfect driving pattern. The claimed figures, therefore, must always be taken with a pinch of the proverbial salt. But Tesla still finds itself in hot water over its own claims of per-charge drive range on some of the electric models it offers.

According to a report in Electrek, Tesla is being probed by the US Department Of Justice which has already been looking into the company's claims of full self-drive capabilities. The probe has now been expanded to include subpoenas on vehicle range and other matters.

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There have been numerous complaints made against Tesla and the US-based manufacturer has been accused of inflating range-related figures often. In fact, Reuters reported in July that Tesla even created a ‘secret team’ to blunt such complaints coming in from customers. The company is said to have even used this team to put off many service complaints that pertained to range-related issues.

But Tesla may not be alone in allegedly inflating range-related figures. In a world where it has a sizeable lead, rivals are looking to make a deeper mark and one major way to do this is to offer EVs that have an impressive - or at least practical - drive range. Does it connect with buyers? You bet!

A study conducted in November of 2022 in the US - with a survey size of around 1,200 EV owners - it was found that around 70 per cent of them zeroed in on their final purchase because of the range offered. It was concluded that while factors such as brand repute, body styling and cabin features are very relevant too, it is the range of an EV that almost always tops the list of priorities. Little wonder then that manufacturers are working - directly or indirectly - on batteries that have a higher density in order to eventually offer an enhanced drive range. Mostly, it works. When it doesn't, it could tempt brands to potentially make exaggerated claims instead.

First Published Date: 24 Oct 2023, 14:06 PM IST
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