South Korea’s antitrust regulator will impose a $2.2 million ( 2.85 billion won on Tesla. It is about the automaker not revealing the shorter driving range numbers in low temperatures. According to the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC), Tesla exaggerated 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 since August 2019 until recently.
The driving range of Tesla vehicles tends to plunge in cold weather by up to 50.5%. It is a substantial percentage, almost more than half of the actual range. The same is not reflected in how the automaker shows to its customers on the official website. On its website, Tesla provides winter driving tips, such as pre-conditioning vehicles with external power sources, and using its updated Energy app to monitor energy consumption, but it does not mention the loss of driving range in sub-zero temperatures.
South Korea to impose a $2.2 million fine on Tesla, $TSLA, for failing to tell customers about the shorter driving range of its EVs in low temperatures,
— unusual_whales (@unusual_whales) January 3, 2023
In 2021, Citizens United for Consumer Sovereignty, a South Korean consumer group, said the driving range of most EVs dropped by up to 40% in cold temperatures when batteries need to be heated, with Tesla suffering the most, citing data from the country’s environment ministry. Last year, the KFTC fined German carmaker Mercedes-Benz and its Korean unit 20.2 billion won for false advertising tied to gas emissions of its diesel passenger vehicles.
EVs in lower temperatures
The challenge for electric vehicle performance in extreme temperatures is widely known, though EVs are popular in markets like Norway, where four out of five vehicles sold last year were battery-powered, led by Tesla. A 2020 study of 4,200 connected EVs of all makes by Canada-based telematics provider Geotab found that most models had a similar drop in range in cold weather, primarily because the battery is also used to heat the car for the driver and passengers.
At just above 20 degrees Celsius, the average EV outperformed its stated range, but at minus 15 degrees the average EV had only 54% of its rated range, the study found. Based on data from South Korea’s environment ministry, a local consumer group claimed in 2021 that the ranges of most EVs drop by up to 40 percent in cold weather. Tesla’s vehicles saw the biggest drop, according to Citizens United for Consumer Sovereignty. While the fine is a relatively small one, it’s more bad news for Tesla. The company said on Monday that it set a new quarterly record for EV deliveries in the last three months of 2022 with more than 405,000 (an increase of nearly 97,000 compared with a year earlier). However, analysts expected Tesla to deliver 418,000 EVs last quarter.