What The Heck is My Range?

What The Heck is My Range?

One of the most common comments I see on this forum is "why is Tesla misleading me about my vehicle's range". There are actually four "ranges" which are critical to consider, and the descriptions below may be helpful for those confused as to what "range" means.

Rated Range: The advertised range for the vehicle as determined by the EPA under defined and controlled operating and ambient conditions.

Projected Range: The remaining vehicle range shown on the energy chart screen determined by dividing the remaining usable battery capacity (watt-hours) by the average efficiency (wh/mi) over the chart’s displayed mileage range.

Estimated Range: The range displayed on the main screen green bar determined by dividing the remaining usable battery capacity (watt-hours) by the efficiency factor (wh/mi) established for the vehicle by the EPA (e.g. 220 wh/mi for the SR+). Note that when the energy chart efficiency (wh/mi) over the chart range displayed is equal to the efficiency factor established by the EPA, the "Projected Range" is equal to the "Estimated Range" at that time.

Actual Range: The actual range of the vehicle is equal to the Estimated Range divided by an “efficiency modification factor” (EMF). Where the operating and ambient conditions are identical to those under the EPA range/efficiency-determination testing, the EMF equals 1.0, and the Actual Range is equal to the Estimated Range. Where operating and ambient conditions are more favorable than those in the EPA test procedure (e.g. “hyper-miling”), the EMF is less than 1.0, and actual range will exceed estimated range. Where operating and ambient conditions are less favorable than those in the EPA test procedure, the EMF is greater than 1.0, and the actual range will be less than the estimated range. Such negative factors include: higher speeds, uphill driving, stop-and-go driving, rain/snow, head winds, tire pressure, etc.

Maxxer | January 12, 2020

Your forgot the

Porsche range: Lowest for the price paid

rehutton777 | January 12, 2020

Should have included heater and A/C use (and others) as additional negative factors.

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi | January 12, 2020

Finally decent write up about range. Good job

kevin_rf | January 12, 2020

I just charge to 80% and stop at the super charger when the car tells me.

rehutton777 | January 12, 2020

@FISHEV: "...that will give them a range 75% less than EPA Rated Range".

If, as you say, they start off with a range "75% less than the rated range", then lose another 25% due to weather as you said, that pretty much is a loss of 100% of their range. I think I know what you meant, but what you said is nonsense.

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi | January 12, 2020

Fish is known for nonsense.

jamilworm | January 12, 2020

Re:Fish - First of all, I don't think anybody limits charging to only 75%, so that is a nonsensical comment intentionally meant to mislead. The lowest I have heard of is 80%, and many people charge to 90%.

I drive 75-80 mph most of the time (pretty much always in good weather) and my actual range is about 93% of the rated range. So that might give an idea of how much the high speed driving affects range.

DirkFirkin | January 13, 2020

@ Rehutton777:
Loss of 100% is nothing left. I think you mean 50%...

gmr6415 | January 13, 2020

@jamilworm, For almost the first year of ownership I charged to 75% and then didn't charge again until below 30%. Those were Jeff Dahn's initial best practice recommendations although they have modified those recommendations slightly.

I work at home, my commute is from the coffee pot to my macadamia orchard (our property) and most of my daily driving is local. I was plugging in roughly every 5 days or so.

I went to charging to 85%, so I only have to plug in about once a week...long story with a lot of variables on why I only plug in as infrequently as possible.

I'm waiting for Tesla to develop EV farm tractors and mowers;-) I'd love a Tesla ATVs.

FISHEV | January 13, 2020

" I don't think anybody limits charging to only 75%"

If they charge to 85% and don't discharge below 10%, their effective capacity is 75%. Effective range would be 75% of Rated Range. Then another 20-30% duration for Winter. Charging above 85% on the road at fast chargers can take a long time so effective range for travel is similar.

jallred | January 13, 2020

It’s intuitive that 300 miles of range would mean that it is wise to “fuel” up before you get to less than 30 miles left. Wives have been telling husbands this for decades. A quarter tank means time to go to nearest gas station. But we never deducted that from our range.

andy.connor.e | January 13, 2020

The illusive fear of different.

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi | January 13, 2020

jallred, right on. That exactly what I do in my ICE SUV. As soon as I get to quarter it's time to fill up. I guess that is why I have never ran out off gas on the road. I did the same with Tesla , made a mark in my head to never go below 10% without means to charge right away. Problem solved and no range anxiety.

andy.connor.e | January 13, 2020

Theres something relatively unknown about ICE vehicles as well. Its very good practice to let the gas tank get extremely low every now and then so that sediment does not build up at the bottom of your tank. I've known some people who have never let their tank get below 50%, and on the occasional long drive their tank gets near 1/8th of a tank left, the engine sounds like its not getting fuel. Kind of like when your lawnmower starts to run out. So its the opposite with EVs. Dont let it get too low too often. Its really not that hard if you have charging at home. Different mentality. If you could fill your gas tank from your garage, people would realize quickly that having such a large gas tank is only necessary about 1-2% of the year. Even then, half the gas tank size would be sufficient due to the prevalence of gas stations, the infrequency of long drives, and the available range of the vehicle.

I know for a fact i would make out just fine with half the gasoline capacity i have now, with insignificant differences.

rehutton777 | January 13, 2020

DirkFirkin: "@ Rehutton777: Loss of 100% is nothing left. I think you mean 50%..."

It wasn't me that said it, it was FISHEV. Quote: ".... that will give them a range 75% less than EPA Rated Range. Colder weather operations, 40F and down, will take another 25% of range. Going over 60 mph starts to eat into overall range." If you start off with "75% less", then take away another 25%, you pretty much do have ZERO left. Fish just doesn't understand numbers.

Bighorn | January 13, 2020

In days of yore, who besides folks with just $2 in their pocket would let their gas gauge get below 1/8?

andy.connor.e | January 13, 2020

Before i graduated college, it was rare that i had half a tank at any given time.

jamilworm | January 13, 2020

I've only run out of gas twice, the first time was in my Dad's Explorer where the gas gauge was broken. We would use the odometer to decide when to fill up and I think he told me the range would be about 300 miles but I thought he said 400 and ran out of gas on the freeway.

There was another time in a different car where I was just stupid and waited until the last minute to stop for gas, and the car literally ran out of gas as I was pulling into the gas station and I coasted up to the pump.

jamilworm | January 13, 2020

"If they charge to 85% and don't discharge below 10%, their effective capacity is 75%. "

Not really. If you went on a long drive and then reached 10% when you were 20 miles from home, you wouldn't just stop and call roadside assistance. You would keep driving and make it home just fine. You may not need that 10% most of the time, but your effective capacity is still all the way down to 0 because it's there if you need it.

andy.connor.e | January 14, 2020

I think the point is that when you are long distance traveling, you are going to stop and charge when it gets down to a certain point. Like a gasoline car people typically dont let it go lower than 1/4 tank, which is an effective "range" of only 75% of its maximum.

kevin_rf | January 14, 2020

Bighorn, having coasted into my fair share of gas station, hold my beer...

The flashing light means start looking for a cheap gas station, even if you have to drive another 50 miles.

Bighorn | January 14, 2020

And how far did you fill it? ;)

majassow | January 14, 2020

In an ICE, I always took it to the flashing light, and filled all the way. That means fewer stops at fuel pumps. Now with my Tesla, the only time I stop at a gas station is to fill my RV, Truck, or generator. And it kills me a little to do even that.

Joshan | January 14, 2020

could be worse, you could have an I-Pace.

My friends boss bought the I-pace, with heat on she can’t even get 100 city miles on a single charge

She’s currently trying to return it, fighting with the dealer.

kevin_rf | January 14, 2020

Bighorn, till it leaves a puddle.

Probably can count on one hand the number of times I didn't fill an ICE until the pump clicked. And most of those where low on gas and the place was highway robbery.... So just enough to move on down the road to a real gas station. There are a couple of those traps in PA that I refuse to stop at.

ADinM3 | January 14, 2020

Driving around town is never a problem as the car is always charged with tons of margin. Interstate driving is not a problem as the SC stops are obvious.

For me, the most problematic scenario is when charging and estimating range at a destination that does not have a clear charging option. For example, staying 3 days in Gatlinburg at a bed and breakfast driving all over the park but hoping you don't need to drive out of the way back out to Pigeon Forge and charge for maybe a few hours. This is a common problem at many National Parks.

lbowroom | January 14, 2020

But fish knows people who get more like 1000 miles of range at 100 mph in the snow with I-pace, Porsche, and e-tron since they all under rate their range to please their customers.

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi | January 15, 2020

Haha Murky sea troll clams a lot of stuff and most of it is untrue

FISHEV | January 15, 2020

"It’s intuitive that 300 miles of range would mean that it is wise to “fuel” up before you get to less than 30 miles left."

A bit different as with the EV, the 75% of battery capacity as day to day range is to preserve the battery life on the ICE it has no such consequence. To use your gas analogy it means fuel up before 60 miles left and effectively shortens the range. Sure we can go below 10% capacity but it is going to damage the battery. That consideration doesn't exist in ICE cars. All about learning to drive an EV.

fbasciano | January 16, 2020

Each of us seems to use the car under different circumstances. The key appears to be the the way you want to, or need to use the vehicular. Use Instrumentation available with the car to understand the car’s needs under various driving conditions and respond accordingly..

I live in a smaller urban environment and for the most part charge to 70%. The car is plugged in and builds to maintain this charge when not or in use or at home. I work at home. In the summer, spring, and fall my consumption is around the 180 KWh range. In the colder weather and snow the consumption goes to the 275 range with preheating etc.. This is of no real effect as the car still functions well when rhe battery is down to 40 or 50%.

When I travel I use this and current data (along with travel. Apps outside and within the car) to estimate charging requirements. The Tesla supercharging and other power sources seem to look after those needs. We traveling I tend to charge to 90% max with o 20% buffer at the bottom. I have charged to 100% when the supercharger ahead showed that it was not working.

The car tells me all that I need to know about consumption and will tell me when it is time to stop and charge.

Bighorn | January 16, 2020

Putting sludge through a fuel pump is bad form and a damaging consequence of running on empty.