It seems every time a legacy automaker announces an upcoming EV to rival Tesla, there are promises of huge range. Well, maybe not huge, but impressive or, at the very least, acceptable.

At this point, Tesla has more than proven that over 300 miles of range is possible. In fact, the Silicon Valley automaker is now fast-approaching 400 miles, with talk of vehicles coming to market in the near future with 500 miles of range or more.

Meanwhile, legacy automakers advertise solid range numbers early on, and/or promote numbers secured from other range-testing cycles. Sadly, when the official EPA numbers come in, these automakers not only fall short, but do so miserably.

The most recent example is the Porsche Taycan, with its disappointing 201 miles of range. Prior to that, the Audi e-tron came to market with a paltry 204 miles. The Jaguar I-Pace fared a bit better at 234, and an upcoming update will unlock some 8 percent more, moving the Jag up to ~253 miles. The e-tron gets a software upgrade to increase range as well, but we don't have official numbers on the new EPA figure.

It's also important to note that this isn't just about range, but efficiency as well. The Taycan's combined MPGe comes in at just 69, which is the lowest number of any electric car on the market today. The Model 3 is the most efficient EV you can buy, at 141 MPGe.

As Ford comes to market soon with its Mustang Mach-E, it's promising 300 miles of range. However, to achieve that number will require a whopping 99-kWh battery pack, meaning efficiency is an issue. Nonetheless, we hope the EPA agrees with Ford's estimate, but we'll have to wait and see.

Video Description via Sean Mitchell (All Things EV) on YouTube:

Are legacy automaker's EVs officially screwed?

EPA range for the Porsche Turbo was released yesterday. It comes in at 201 miles (323 km).

This was quite a surprise to many of us who talk about the EV market because Porsche had been guiding toward a range closer to 300 miles.

This makes me incredibly concerned for legacy auto because they have yet to produce a vehicle that is competitive to Tesla’s range. And we all know that in December 2019 EV range is king.

Before I go into why traditional auto could be screwed, I want to preface this video by stating things:

As I stated in my Audi e-tron video, 200 miles is sufficient for most people’s daily commutes.
I really love the offerings of most EVs on the market currently.

I’ve had a chance to review most of them this year. They all have their place in the market but when you look at how many years they’ve had to develop a viable market product, how far non-Tesla EVs go on a single charge, and their respective miles per kWh, it’s difficult for me to not see them as a middle school track team team up against a Olympians.

This is particularly true for the Taycan Turbo - Porsche’s performance Taycan. The starting price for the Taycan Turbo is nearly $151,000. For this price Porsche should have had zeros issues addressing both a competitive range and performance. You might be thinking about the Taycan’s 800v architecture that allows for high performance but it does not dismiss the fact that 201 miles is the baseline. The range will be significantly less than the 201 miles when pushing the vehicle hard, which means charging sooner.

This is not just a high-end performance EV problem though. I’m seeing this across the board with legacy automakers:

Audi e-tron: 204 and a 95 kWh pack, or 2.14 mi/kwh
Porsche Taycan Turbo: 201, 93 kWh pack, or 2.2 mi/kwh
Jaguar I-Pace: 234 with a 90 kWh pack, or 2.6 mi/kwh
Ford Mach-E: *300 (unofficial) with a 99 kWh pack, or 3.03 mi/kwh
Volvo Polestar 2: *275 (unofficial) with a 78 kWh, or 3.52 mi/kWh
Nissan Leaf: 226, 62 kwh, 3.65 mi/kwh
Mercedes EQC: *293 (unofficial) with a 80 kWh pack, or 3.7 mi/kwh
Chevy Bolt: 259 and a 60 kWh pack, or 4.31 mi/kwh

*One interesting side note is, as far as I can tell, they are all using LG Chem batteries.

No EV that is in production to date has managed to surpass the 2012 Model S 85 kWh battery range of 265 miles.

Tesla’s dominance can be further seen when you line up their top end range and performance vehicles with their competitors:

*A point worth mentioning is that Tesla is expected to introduce their next generation batteries at their upcoming battery and powertrain investor day early 2020. This is very likely to further the gap.

Why are legacy automakers SO far behind. Two reasons:

They were slow to start their EV development. Elon said it best during a recent speech
They’re not developing their own cells. Mark Ellis from Sandy Munro’s team explains it this way.

My advice to legacy automakers:

While tripping down on future battery R&D and producing their own battery cells, they need to find a way to license out Tesla’s older battery tech to shorten the immediate distance that exists. Because right now legacy automakers are being lapped several times over in the metaphorical track meet.

Though this could be seen as empowering the market leader, the question they should be asking themselves is: can they afford not to license out Tesla’s tech?

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