Elon Musk reportedly gave the order himself for the displays in Teslas to present overly optimistic estimates of driving range

Elon Musk sitting in the a passenger seat of a black Tesla with a white interior while wearing a black suit and tie.
Elon Musk gave the order himself for Teslas to present overly optimistic estimates of driving range, report says.REUTERS/Tingshu Wang
  • Elon Musk decided to have Teslas display overly optimistic range estimates, Reuters reported.

  • The carmaker has intentionally exaggerated the range of its EVs, a source told the publication.

  • Tesla even created a team to address owner complaints about inaccurate ranges, Reuters said.

Elon Musk gave Tesla workers the order to present overly optimistic driving ranges for the company's electric cars, according to a recent report from Reuters.

Tesla's range meters in its cars have been providing owners with longer estimates than the EVs can realistically travel without needing a charge, the publication reported on Thursday. The company has been exaggerating the ranges for its vehicles since before Tesla even began selling its Model 3 in 2017 Reuters reported, citing a source with knowledge of the issue.

"Elon wanted to show good range numbers when fully charged," the source, who had knowledge of Musk's involvement, told the publication.

"When you buy a car off the lot seeing 350-mile, 400-mile range, it makes you feel good," they added, according to Reuters.

The company was able to present a more "rosy" view of the ranges for its lineup of EVs by coding the more optimistic range results into the software for the range estimates on the vehicles dashboard, the source told Reuters. And in order to keep drivers from running out of a charge at an inconvenient location, the company designed the system so that the dashboard would show a more accurate driving range after the vehicle's charge dropped below 50%, the source told the news outlet.

The publication was unable to verify whether the company still provides overly optimistic ranges. Though it cited several testers who found inconsistencies between the company's advertised ranges and their own testing of its range. An EV's range can be impacted by extreme temperatures, as well as the owner's driving habits.

Musk and a spokesperson for Tesla did not respond to a request for comment ahead of publication.

The publication also reported that Tesla made a team to address concerns from owners about their driving ranges. The "Diversion Team" was instructed to cancel owners' appointments at its service centers related to driving range concerns.

It's not the first time that Tesla's advertised range for its cars has been called into question. Earlier this year, South Korea fined the automaker for exaggerating the range for its EVs, forcing Musk and executives to issue a statement that said Tesla had engaged in "false/exaggerated advertising," Reuters reported.

Range anxiety has been identified as a key hurdle to mass EV adoption and Tesla owners aren't immune. Several Tesla owners previously told Insider that they struggled with concerns about getting stranded with the EV when the first switched from a gas-powered vehicle to an electric one.

"There's been times when I've gotten home with only about 2 or 3% to spare," Nick Caraciolo, a Model 3 owner, said regarding his battery life. "300 miles of range can quickly become 100 miles of range if you're speeding or it's hot outside or too cold. It can be very deceptive and gas-powered car can seem more accurate in that way."

Though, many Tesla owners say range anxiety was a short-lived concern that they were able to overcome after they became better acquainted with their vehicle's capabilities. Tesla has an internal navigation system that will alert drivers to which charging sites will be most efficient and which ones are busy — and it's a favorite feature with owners. Tesla drivers also have a major advantage when it comes to using the company's network of Superchargers, which is larger and viewed as more reliable than other charging systems.

Read Reuters' full story on its website.

Read the original article on Business Insider