Edmunds’ check workforce not too long ago revealed the outcomes of its real-world vary testing for electrical autos. Notably, each Tesla the workforce examined in 2020 got here up in need of matching the EPA’s vary estimate. Virtually all different EVs Edmunds examined met or exceeded these estimates.

That consequence, as you possibly can probably guess, ruffled some feathers at Tesla headquarters.


The lacklustre outcomes prompted the automaker to achieve out to the Edmunds check workforce. Tesla’s engineers disputed our figures and argued that by stopping our EV vary assessments at zero indicated miles, slightly than urgent on till the battery died, we have been underestimating their autos’ true vary.

Tesla mentioned its autos have a security buffer that ensures drivers can preserve going even when the indicated vary displayed zero miles. And while you factored on this buffer, Tesla argued, it might permit their autos to match the EPA vary estimates, that are sometimes measured when the battery is absolutely depleted.

It was a problem we at Edmunds have been up for, so we rented a 7.5-mile-long closed-course oval at an unaffiliated automaker’s proving floor in California’s Mojave Desert. This facility allowed us to soundly drive 5 EVs till their battery energy utterly ran out. Tesla offered a Mannequin 3 Lengthy Vary for us to check. We additionally introduced alongside the Edmunds-owned Mannequin 3 Customary Vary Plus and Mannequin Y Efficiency utilized in our authentic vary testing, plus two non-Teslas for comparability functions: a Ford Mustang Mach-E and an Volkswagen ID.4. These have been additionally offered by their producers.


Most in-car vary meters think about your current driving habits when forecasting the remaining vary. Edmunds’ editors wanted to drive the autos in the identical method to normalize the vary meters and supply a stage enjoying discipline.

On the check observe, we drove the 5 EVs at a typical freeway velocity of 65 mph, with the automated local weather management set to 72 levels, audio off, no equipment plugged in, and with drivers rotating in one-hour shifts, till the batteries have been depleted. As soon as every automobile’s vary estimate indicated zero miles, we measured how far it might go earlier than coming to a whole cease.

Miles Travelled Previous Zero

Ford Mustang Mach-E Prolonged Vary: 7.3 miles

Tesla Mannequin Y Efficiency: 12.6 miles

Volkswagen ID.4: 12.9 miles

Tesla Mannequin 3 Customary Vary Plus: 17.6 miles

Tesla Mannequin 3 Lengthy Vary: 25.9 miles

Discover how the buffer can differ even inside the identical model. The Mannequin 3 Lengthy Vary went twice so far as the Mannequin Y. What’s extra, there was no indication how far you can preserve going since all autos merely learn zero miles remaining. For all we knew, the vehicles might cease at any second.


We additionally ran a management check on the Edmunds’ EV vary route with the Mannequin 3 Lengthy Vary and Mannequin Y Efficiency, driving them to the tip of their battery life on public roads. The Mannequin Y travelled 11 miles previous zero and the Mannequin 3 went an additional 17.5 miles; each have been lower than the buffers we skilled on the check observe.

We requested Tesla about this discrepancy within the reserve vary. The automaker mentioned that the buffer was based mostly on a mixture of near-past circumstances and instantaneous circumstances, primarily the climate and terrain variation, which was why “the buffer can’t be outlined precisely to a quantity each time.”


Some Teslas can be able to assembly their EPA estimates in Edmunds’ real-world vary check if we included their reserve battery vary, or the gap we travelled working past the purpose of zero indicated miles left.

However even on this state of affairs, there can be necessities akin to driving conservatively in a temperate local weather and utilizing Tesla’s most battery cost, despite the fact that Tesla recommends this for long-distance journeys solely.

Nearly all of Teslas we have examined to this point — 4 of the six — don’t meet their EPA estimates even permitting for a security buffer. Moreover, virtually each different EV Edmunds has examined met or exceeded EPA estimates with out the necessity to embody their security buffers.

Potential Tesla customers ought to know that to make use of the complete vary as marketed, they should really feel comfy going previous the zero indicated mile mark. This isn’t solely dangerous, but it surely additionally requires the proprietor to deeply discharge the battery, which is not advisable for the long-term well being of the battery.

EDMUNDS SAYS: Edmunds’ EV vary check is not meant to be the definitive phrase on a automobile’s vary however slightly a real-world complement to the laboratory-based EPA testing. We’ll proceed to check to an indicated zero as a result of we would by no means advise clients to depend on the unpredictable buffer vary.


This story was offered to The Related Press by the automotive web site Edmunds. Ronald Montoya is a senior shopper recommendation editor at Edmunds.