Tesla years ago began exaggerating its vehicles’ potential driving
distance — by rigging their range-estimating software. The
company decided about a decade ago, for marketing purposes, to
write algorithms for its range meter that would show drivers
“rosy” projections for the distance it could travel on a full
battery, according to a person familiar with an early design of
the software for its in-dash readouts.
Then, when the battery fell below 50% of its maximum charge, the
algorithm would show drivers more realistic projections for their
remaining driving range, this person said. To prevent drivers from
getting stranded as their predicted range started declining more
quickly, Teslas were designed with a “safety buffer,” allowing
about 15 miles (24 km) of additional range even after the dash
readout showed an empty battery, the source said.
The directive to present the optimistic range estimates came from
Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk, this person said. “Elon wanted to
show good range numbers when fully charged,” the person said,
adding: “When you buy a car off the lot seeing 350-mile, 400-mile
range, it makes you feel good.”
Jonathan Elfalan, vehicle testing director for the automotive
website Edmunds.com, reached a similar conclusion to Pannone after
an extensive examination of vehicles from Tesla and other major
automakers, including Ford, General Motors, Hyundai and Porsche.
All five Tesla models tested by Edmunds failed to achieve their
advertised range, the website reported in February 2021. All but
one of 10 other models from other manufacturers exceeded their
Starting to pick up a pattern with this guy Musk.