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Tesla fined for its battery range estimates and fuel cost efficiency calculations in comparison to gas vehicles

Tesla gets punished for incorrect range estimates (image: Tesla)
Tesla gets punished for incorrect range estimates (image: Tesla)
A consumer watchdog has imposed a fine on Tesla for grossly exaggerated driving range estimates marketed on its website, as well as misleading Supercharger performance advertising. The fine has been levied for false fuel cost efficiency claims in comparison with ICE vehicles as well.

The Tesla vehicle battery driving range drops 50.5% in cold weather compared to what it promises, estimate Korean regulators as they imposed a US$2.2 million fine on Elon Musk's carmaker for its misleading range on a charge claims. The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) - a local consumer watchdog - added exaggerated Supercharger performance estimates as well as faulty fuel-cost comparison with legacy ICE vehicles to the list of grievances in the fine argumentation.

The regulator suggests that Tesla has been doctoring the "driving ranges of its cars on a single charge, their fuel cost-effectiveness compared to gasoline vehicles, as well as the performance of its Superchargers" on its website since 2019, and the advertised numbers have nothing to do with the real-life performance of its electric vehicles or their charging equipment.

Most EV makers advertise a standardized battery range, whether it is the stringent EPA estimate, or the way more generous Chinese and European testing standards that take into account local driving peculiarities. Tesla is not an outlier in that regard and those battery tests don't really market cold weather driving range drops, even if they are part of the probing mix.

Ditto for the charging network performance in freezing weather that is not as efficient as in balmy temps. Recently, a YouTuber uploaded a Tesla car Supercharger test as the temperatures dropped down, for instance, and it took a while for the vehicle's battery to be conditioned enough to start charging after 45 minutes on the stall. Still, Tesla's electric cars are efficiency champions when it comes to range drops in the cold as some other models exhibit range decrease of up to 60%. 

Chinese regulators are trying to address this problem by creating a working group of academia and EV or battery manufacturers to try and solve the problem of the unrepresentative EV driving range estimates in the winter, rather than fine them for false advertising directly.

Korean regulators, however, have long had an ax to grind with Tesla as it keeps refusing their requirement to adopt the popular On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) standard for local inspections and is instead developing its own, so the latest fine levied for misleading Tesla car range ads seems to be just the next episode of that saga.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2023 01 > Tesla fined for its battery range estimates and fuel cost efficiency calculations in comparison to gas vehicles
Daniel Zlatev, 2023-01- 3 (Update: 2023-01- 3)