Tesla has reduced the range estimates for two Model Y vehicles, the Model Y Long Range and the Model Y Performance, by six percent, bringing the range of the Model Y Long Range down to 310 miles from 330 miles and the Model Y Performance to 285 miles from 303 miles. The Model Y Rear-Wheel Drive was not affected and retains its 260-mile range rating.
There’s no official reason why Tesla lowered the range estimates, but it’s long been something of an open secret in the industry that the company tends to exaggerate these metrics. South Korea recently fined Tesla for just that reason. There have also been accusations that Tesla manipulates range-related service complaints.
In other words, the company likely made this move so its range estimates more accurately reflect reality and not some pie-in-the-sky thinking. The old estimates assumed perfect weather conditions with a perfect driver operating the vehicle with maximum efficiency. In the real world, that’s very rarely the case.
The EPA acknowledges that pristine driving conditions will very rarely match up to real-life variables and works with manufacturers to voluntarily lower the range estimate to better match driver expectations. It looks like Tesla went in the other direction.
Even Tesla’s algorithms acknowledge these inaccuracies. If you fully charge a Model Y and set a destination that’s 260 miles away, the navigation algorithm will automatically route you through a Supercharger, as indicated by Electrek. If the range was truly, say, 330 miles, it wouldn’t have to do that.
For now, these changes only apply to the Long Range and Performance Model Y releases. We don’t know if Tesla’s other vehicles will get revised range estimates. The company doesn’t have a PR/communications department, so there’s not really anyone to reach out to for more information.