Boo! 11 Automakers are Exaggerating EV Ranges
Want to know what really grinds my gears? OK, I’m going to tell you anyway. It irks me to no end when automakers exaggerate the range of their EVs. I already took Tesla to task for rejecting the EPA’s first range estimate and offering a larger number it claimed it had tested itself. Then Consumer Reports tested 22 new EVs against their EPA range estimates and 11 fell short. Every one of these automakers had a chance to contest the range and recommend the EPA publish a lower number. Before you make excuses for these vehicles, know that every Mercedes, BMW, Volkswagen, and Rivian CR tested blew its EPA-published range out of the water. Read on to see the ranges from real world tests, and what number is even more important than an EV’s range.
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning – 50 miles short
The EPA estimates that the Ford F-150 Lightning Lariat Extended Range will get 320 miles, and Ford didn’t correct them on this. But in Consumer Report’s real world test, the truck only got 270 miles. At least the Mustang Mach E tested better than its EPA-published range (299 vs 270 miles).
2023 Lucid Air Touring – 40 miles short
The EPA estimated that when you configure this record-breaking sedan with the big 20-inch rims you’ll see 384 miles of range. CR found that on a long highway drive it only got 344.
2021 Tesla Model S Long Range – 39 miles short
Tesla buyers are paying a pretty penny to upgrade to the Long Range trim of the Model S because Tesla and the EPA agree it can get 405 miles on a charge. But CR found that on the highway it only pulled 366 miles. If you are considering a Tesla, read why the DOJ subpoenaed Tesla over falsifying vehicle ranges.
2023 Lexus RZ 450e Premium – 18 miles short
With a price tag of $59k, you’d hope this crossover would deliver on the EPA’s 220 mile range estimate. But when CR tested one on the highway, it found the range was just 202 miles.
2023 Genesis Electrified GV70 Advanced – 16 miles short
The Genesis GV60 tested above its EPA-published range (251 vs 248). And the company’s Hyundai Ioniq 5 improved on its published range by 11 miles (267 vs 256). But the Genesis GV70 Advanced did not do as well. The EPA predicted it would do 236 miles but in the real world it came in at 220.
2022 Audi Q4 50 E-Tron Premium Plus – 15 Miles short
The next spot goes to Audi’s Q4. This big crossover comes with an EPA-published range of 241 miles. But Consumer Reports tested it on the highway and got 226 miles.
2023 Kia Niro EV Wind – 14 miles short
The Kia Niro EV Wind got an EPA-published range of 253 miles, but CR found it only got 239. Not that the Kia EV6 Wind AWD (from 2022) claims a humble 274 miles but actually got 277 miles.
2023 Subaru Solterra Limited – 12 miles short
The Toyota-built Solterra is Subaru’s first EV. It comes with an EPA-published 222 mile estimated range, but CR found it did just 210 miles on one charge.
2022 Hyundai Ioniq 6 SEL AWD – 5 miles short
The EPA figured the Ioniq 6 was good for 270 miles, but CR found it only did 265. Despite this, I think Hyundai’s EVs are some of the most roadtrip-ready ones out there. That’s because range is not the most important statistic.
2023 Nissan Ariya Platinum+ AWD – 4 miles short
So close! The EPA estimates that if you configure this Nissan with 20-inch wheels, you can expect a 257 mile range. CR found it got nearly there, but petered out at 253 highway miles.
Range isn’t all its cracked up to be
I think automakers and the EPA should be collaborating on more conservative range estimates. The last thing we want is for drivers to buy vehicles that are a poor fit for their lifestyle. That said, I’ve argued that there are more important numbers than range.
Efficient electric vehicles with a good kW/mile rating and an 800-volt charging infrastructure can roadtrip nearly as well as ICE vehicles. The Hyundai Ioniq 5 offers 3 hours of driving time for every 20-30 minutes of charging time, and the Model 3 (though it only has 400-volt charging) might be able to do even better. Next, see all the electric vehicles outrunning range anxiety with fast-charging.