What’s The Real Range Of A Tesla?

Mon 19th Aug 2019

One of the world’s most popular electric cars is at the centre of a storm after consumer survey disputed the available range on a full charge.

The What Car? Real Range test looks at the actual range of electric vehicles compared to the marketing and claims made by the manufacturer. While the advertised range may be available in laboratory conditions, factors such as weather and driving style play a huge part in the likely performance of the battery. However What Car? found a rather large discrepancy in the range of the Model 3 which at £36,500 remains one of the most popular electric cars on the market.

The advertised range of the standard Model 3 is 254 miles, but the Real Range test found it more like 196 miles, after two independent tests.

“Unlike the official WLTP tests, which are carried out in a laboratory, What Car?'s Real Range test reflects the way people actually drive. But we've still put stringent methodologies in place to ensure that the results are robust,” said What Car? Editor Steven Huntingford in The Daily Mail.

“One of the few remaining concerns for people considering an electric car is that the battery will run flat and leave them stranded, and we're not going to overcome this by being opaque about what's realistic.

“The Model 3 is an excellent car in many respects, but due to the limitations of WLTP you'll need to drive very cautiously to get near its official range.”

In their own statement, Tesla told This Is Money that the “results are wrong and not reflective of the WLTP results determined by European regulators due to the fact that WhatCar? conducted an abridged test without fully depleting the vehicle's battery. 

“Using only a fraction of a car's total range and attempting to extrapolate that result as a proxy for its full useable range is simply incorrect.”