- epa documents show that porsche voluntarily reduced the range of both the taycan turbo and turbo s.
- automakers are free to lower their fuel-economy or range figures for any reason.
- another contributing factor to the taycan's lackluster range is a battery pack that holds less usable energy than was initially reported.
furious typing of shock-and-awe responses from every corner of the automotive internet immediately followed the release of the porsche taycan's lackluster epa range. at just 201 miles for the turbo, and 192 for the turbo s, porsche's electric sedan is more than 100 miles behind a comparable tesla model s in this important metric.
but, interestingly, those numbers are slightly lower than they could have been. as with any epa-related matter, be it fuel economy or electric range, there's enough nuance to what's allowable in terms of testing specifics, as well as to translating those results into the numbers that appear on the window sticker, that it makes the u.s. tax code look straightforward.
in the case of the turbo s, it's right there in cell fg53 in the epa's fuel economy guide spreadsheet: "combined range voluntarily lowered from 200 miles." although 8 miles might not sound like much, that's a four-percent decrease, and, importantly, without that reduction, the range number would have started with a "2".
why not go with the nice, round 200-mile figure? porsche spokesman calvin kim says that 192 miles is what porsche achieved in its lab at its weissach, germany, r&d center, so it decided to go with that, rather than the 200 miles that the epa achieved in its confirmatory testing. the epa documentation shows that porsche also lowered the turbo model's range figure, but only by a single mile, simply "to round down," according to kim.
another significant contributor to the taycan's range figures is the energy capacity of its battery pack. although porsche touts a 93.4-kwh figure for the larger of the taycan's two available packs, that is its gross energy capacity, not what can actually be used. recently, porsche told us that the usable figure is actually 83.7 kwh. that means the model s packs 17 percent more energy onboard, rather than the 5 percent initially indicated, which explains part of the large gap between the two. between the voluntary lowering and the energy discrepancy, the taycan turbo s's range would be increased by 42 miles, or more than 20 percent.
also recall that the difference between epa range—or fuel economy—can be very different from reality, depending on conditions. our range test at 75 mph between a taycan turbo s and a tesla model s performance showed near parity between the two, with just a 13-mile difference in range versus the 134-mile difference in epa figures.
a number of other evs have also had their ranges voluntarily reduced. the kona ev could've topped the chevy bolt ev's range, but hyundai opted to lower it from 263 miles to 258. its platform-mate kia soul ev, too, dropped from 246 miles to its 243-mile label figure. and the model 3 long range, which now stands at 322 miles of range, was voluntarily lowered by 10 miles. so don't be surprised when tesla bumps up the model 3's range again in an "update" that isn't really an update at all.