Tesla hit with £1.8m fine for exaggerating EV range

Tesla has been fined ₩2.85bn (£1.84m) by South Korean regulators for exaggerated claims over the range of its electric vehicles.

The car firm, which is headed by Elon Musk, claims that its Model S can drive up to 360 miles between charges.

According to the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC), Tesla had been exaggerating the “driving ranges of its cars on a single charge, their fuel cost-effectiveness compared to gasoline vehicles as well as the performance of its Superchargers” on its official local website from August 2019 until recently.

The KFTC also added that driving ranges for Tesla EVs could plummet by as much as 50 per cent in cold temperatures.

Some studies have shown that in extremely low temperatures, the likes of which were recently experienced in the US (around -20°C), Tesla vehicles could lose up to 50 per cent of their range from an equivalently charged battery.

Even temperatures as high as 5°C have been shown to have a significant negative impact on the battery, with ranges of the Model 3 dropping by around one-seventh.

Last year, a South Korean consumer group called Citizens United for Consumer Sovereignty said the driving range of most EVs drops by up to 40 per cent in cold temperatures when batteries need to be heated. It found that Tesla vehicles often suffered the most in this regard.

In recent results, Tesla showed that it had delivered a record 1.3m vehicles last year, 40 per cent more than in 2021.

However, that figure missed Wall Street forecasts by around 430,000 deliveries for the period.

Tesla stock also saw broad selloffs last year - including many millions of shares by Musk himself - that has seen its share price fall dramatically by 65 per cent since early 2022.

The company is scheduled to announce financial results for the fourth quarter of 2022 and the year as a whole on 25 January 2023.

In April 2022, Musk promised that Tesla would have a “dedicated robotaxi” available as soon as 2024 which would have no steering wheel or pedals.

The firm has also had to contend with a raft of negative headlines associated with Musk after he decided to purchase Twitter last year following a protracted legal battle.

At the end of December, he promised to step down as CEO from the social media firm once a suitable replacement has been found.

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