Elon Musk personally directed Tesla engineers to programme vehicles to give rosy range projections when the company was marketing its Roadster and Model S cars about a decade ago, Reuters reported last week. The agency also reported for the first time on a Tesla unit set up expressly to cancel appointments made by owners wanting their cars checked because their battery range was underperforming expectations, sometimes by as much as half. That Teslas don’t go as far on a single charge as their range meters or manufacturers say they do isn’t new. The company was fined this year in South Korea for delivering as little as half the advertised range, especially in cold weather. But the Musk-mandated rosy range forecasts and the appointment cancellation unit haven’t been reported before. Staff at the unit were apparently told they saved the company $1,000 for every cancellation. Ford, Chevrolet and Hyundai give more conservative range estimates. One survey found actual range in a Hyundai Kona to be longer than advertised.
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