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Understating electric vehicle range doesn’t help just as overstating range doesn’t help

This week it was discussed that with some conservative independent testing, the Porsche Taycan 4S is capable of approximately 100 miles more range than stated on the sticker. In that same testing, none of the Tesla models tested reached the stated range.

Obviously overpromising and underdelivering is not a great way to sell cars. Electric vehicle range, and the associated range anxiety many have, is a factor that keeps people from switching to the EV lifestyle.

That is pretty obvious. What might not be so obvious, especially to Porsche, is that underpromising and way over delivering is not good, either.

Exceeding the stated range by about 10% would be a good way to build in a buffer for owners. On a road trip, being able to go a little bit farther to recharge than you anticipate before leaving on the trip is a pleasant surprise and helps ensure you make it to the next charging station.

By exceeding the stated range by over 50%, owners just aren’t going to trust the range. And not having any trust in the range estimate at all will ultimately end up with more people stranded, calling a tow truck — or a F-150 hybrid with Pro Power Onboard — to get them to a charging station.

Also, understating range can affect sales. When Porsche announced that the range of the Taycan was in the low 200 miles, it was criticized in the press. Did that low range number convince some people to purchase a Tesla Model S instead?

The Model S Performance can do 0 to 60 mph in 3 seconds. It’s quick. The Model S Long Range is rated at over 400 miles on a full charge.

Compared to the 4S’s 208 miles of stated range, the Long Range Tesla should be able to go almost twice as long between charges. But in the real world that’s just not true.

But when you’re buying a new car, you don’t know that. You go by the claim on the sticker. You compare what you can compare.

Sure, Porsche die-hards would buy the Taycan anyway. But as more electric vehicles come to market, accurate range predictions are important to building consumer trust. Manufacturers should strive to be as accurate as possible.

Written by Chad Kirchner
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