Tesla slapped with a $2.2 million fine for exaggerating driving range of EVs

  • The South Korean antitrust regulator has fined Tesla for exaggerating the driving range of the brand's electric cars.
Tesla cars are claimed to witness a drop of range by up to 50.5 per cent in cold weather conditions. (REUTERS)
Tesla cars are claimed to witness a drop of range by up to 50.5 per cent in cold weather conditions.

South Korea's antitrust regulator has imposed a $2.2 million fine on Tesla for exaggerating the driving range of its electric cars. The automaker reportedly failed to tell its customers about the shorter driving range of its electric vehicles in low temperatures. Reuters reports that the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) found Tesla had exaggerated the driving range of its cars on a single charge, their fuel cost-effectiveness compared to petrol cars as well as the performance of its Superchargers on its official local website. The report also claims that the EV manufacturer has stated false data misleading its customers since August 2019 until recently.

Electric vehicles' driving range drops significantly in cold weather conditions as the efficiency of the lithium battery of the EVs gets lowered in low temperatures. Electric vehicles face challenge of battery's operational efficiency in extreme thermal conditions. This is a common phenomenon worldwide that EVs are not as efficient as petrol vehicles during winter in extremely cold conditions, primarily because the battery has to work overtime to heat the car for the driver and passengers.

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The driving range of the US electric car manufacturer's cars plunges in cold weather by up to 50.5 per cent compared to what the brand advertises online, said KFTC in a statement. The agency also said this false data clearly misleads the Tesla vehicle owners and potential buyers.

Tesla, on its official website, provides winter driving tips like pre-conditioning vehicles with external power sources and using its updated Energy app to monitor energy consumption. However, it doesn't mention the loss of driving range in sub-zero temperatures.

This is not the first time KFTC has fined automakers for false data advertising. In 2021, the KFTC fined German auto manufacturer Mercedes-Benz and its South Korean unit 20.2 billion won for advertising false emission data for its diesel passenger vehicles.

First Published Date: 04 Jan 2023, 14:52 PM IST

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