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Tesla abandons inaccurate range claims in Australia in favour of WLTP testing


Tesla has quietly scrapped overstated range claims from its Australian website in favour of more accurate, though still imperfect, range numbers.

Visitors to Tesla’s Australian website are now served with more accurate WLTP European driving range and consumption claims.

The move is the result of a decision to quietly abandon Australia’s standard NEDC consumption and range data, which was displayed to customers until last week.

NEDC measurements are based on a decades-old formula that overstates the range of all electric vehicles because of highly unrealistic acceleration behaviours built into the calculation.

Tesla Model 3 2021 red
Tesla have decided to show buyers lower – but more accurate – range claims.

Tesla’s previous range claims were about 11 per cent higher than the new claims now marketed on their website. The change was spotted by electric car blog EV Central.

Europe moved to a new consumption testing procedure called WLTP a few years ago which bakes-in more accurate real-world driving characteristics, though Chasing Cars testing has found that WLTP claims are an improvement on NEDC, but they are difficult to match in the real world.

The Chasing Cars EV Challenge found that the 2021 Tesla Model 3 Long Range was capable of driving for 508km in the real world.

EV Challenge 2021 contenders
Recent Chasing Cars testing found that WLTP claims were more accurate than NEDC, though still more than 10 per cent too optimistic.

Tesla’s new WLTP claim for the Model 3 Long Range is 580km of driving range, which is 14 per cent more generous than our real-world results. 

However, Tesla’s previous marketing claim of 657km, based on the NEDC standard, was a whopping 29 per cent adrift.

The more accurate WLTP range claims is also now displayed to Australian customers for the Model S sedan, Model X large SUV, and the forthcoming Model Y midsize SUV.

Tesla Model 3 Supercharger front 3/4
WLTP claims are shown across all Tesla models sold in Australia, and the forthcoming Model Y midsize SUV.

Opting to display WLTP data rather than the allowed – and more optimistic NEDC measurement – puts Tesla in a more favourably transparent position compared to a number of other manufacturers.

Across our recent testing of five popular electric cars, the WLTP range claim was, on average, 16 per cent higher than the real-world result achieved.

Only the Hyundai Kona Electric met its WLTP range claim, exceeding it by 1km in the real world.

Tesla Model 3: old vs new range claims

ModelPriceOld claim (NEDC)New claim (WLTP)
Model 3 Standard Range Plus$62,900508km448km
Model 3 Long Range$77,900657km580km
Model 3 Performance$89,900628km567km

Tesla 2021 prices in Australia

All prices listed are before on-road costs.

  • Model 3 Standard Range Plus: $62,900
  • Model 3 Long Range: $77,900
  • Model 3 Performance: $89,900
  • Model S Long Range: $129,990
  • Model S Plaid: $186,990
  • Model X Long Range: $149,990
  • Model X Plaid: $174,990

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