Which automaker will be the first to achieve EV range parity with Tesla? That’s the million dollar question that no one’s been able to answer. For now, we can cross Porsche off the list. The EPA recently rated the 2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo at a measly 201 miles per charge. That figure is no doubt incredibly embarrassing for the company, as they previously stated the Taycan would boast a significantly longer range.
To make matters worse, the Taycan is officially the least efficient EV in EPA history. At 69 combined MPGe, it trails even ancient EVs like the GM EV1, which obtained an 85 MPGe figure. That’s with a 93 kWh battery pack. Porsche will equip a 79 kWh pack on the Taycan 4S, which starts at around $104,000. By contrast, the Tesla Model S starts at $79,000 and comes with a 100 kWh battery pack able to last for an EPA rated 373 miles.
To be fair to Porsche, demand is high, and the company has officially sold 10,000 of its 30,000 pre-orders. The caveat is that those figures are global. Additionally, production will be limited to 40,000 units per year. And it’s unclear if Porsche will prioritize certain markets once it’s able to produce as many Taycans as they possibly can.
Porsche can at least console itself with the fact that critics loved the Taycan. Car And Driver called it “pure Porsche” and Doug DeMuro thinks it’s the best Porsche currently on the market. The Taycan also boasts a significantly higher quality interior than the Model S and driving dynamics are said to be superior as well. Porsche also placed fourth in Consumer Reports’ 2019 reliability survey while Tesla stayed about mid-pack.
The reality is that battery technology is still in its infancy period for the vast majority of automakers. Some automakers, like General Motors and Hyundai, managed to create semi-reasonably priced EVs with about 250 miles of range. Luxury automakers like Audi, Mercedes, and Porsche barely cleared 200 miles. Others aren’t even in the game yet. The Taycan’s disappointing range is the latest evidence of Tesla’s EV supremacy. Tesla’s production capacity is also the best in the industry. The company plans to build 500,000 vehicles per year at their upcoming Berlin Gigafactory. And their California operations already outmatch everyone else.
Don’t hold your breath waiting for another automaker to reach EV parity with Tesla. At this rate, it’ll be quite a while before that happens.
Perhaps the shorts should focus on Volkswagen AG’s stock–they are betting the farm on what seems to be underwhelming EV capabilities.
How did it work out for you when your parents forced you to do something you did not want to do?
Substitute parents for government and VW for you.
Essentially,The government is forcing VW to build electric cars.
They have to get their engineers excited so they design yet another VW Bus concept and most likely another Beetle and Thing concept too but at the end of the day, the engineers are still being forced to eat their Brussel sprouts.
I found it alarming when Elon made his funding secured 420 tweet and could not authenticate it that VW Management allegedly called Elon and said “Hey, We can do that.” Desperation…
Beyond the stringent CO2 targets that are basically mandating BEV products, the German government is also pushing the OEMs to develop and deploy fast charging stations, which will further raise costs and hinder earnings. Angela Merkel’s stated goal is 1,000,000 charging stations by 2030, and the expectation is that automakers will be primary drivers for delivering against that target. Unlike the rise of ICE vehicles, where oil companies invested in the refueling infrastructure to support product demand (market driven, not government driven), much of the cost and development burden now falls on the increasingly beleaguered German OEMs, as well as taxpayers who are ultimately on the hook for the government subsidies.
The government (several governments actually – EU, US, China, amongst others) is pushing emissions-free cars, but they are just giving a nudge to boost the timetable of something that would be happening anyway. Once the infrastructure is in place, consumers in non-rural areas will want electric cars anyway ubecause they are better. By and large, EVs offer faster acceleration, a lower center of gravity for better ride and handling, better space efficiency, lower noise level, the convenience of mostly one-pedal driving, better outward visibility, less maintenance (goodbye oil changes), the option to refuel at home, conveniences such as remote warm-up/cool down and “dog mode”, and vastly better reliability (generally lacking a transmission, radiator, exhaust system, fuel injectors, head gaskets, an ignition system, timing belts, and other service pain points). EVs with two or more motors essentially have two complete propulsion systems to keep going; if the front motor fails, the rear motor will still power the car. Even without the urging of governments worldwide, the internal-combustion engine would go the way of the cathode-ray tube and incandescent light bulb; it would just take a few years longer.
There are a number of theories out there for this. It’s undoubtedly a combination of factors. One is that the Germans have been initially conservative with how much buffer they leave in their batteries (unused portion). It’s higher than in Teslas, which has the benefit of more experience in utilizing a higher portion without impacting battery life significantly. The Audi eTron and the Mercedes EQC both arrived with underwhelming range too, for this reason. Audi announced just the other day that they were extending the etron’s range by 8% through a OTA software update.
Another significant negative factor for the Taycan are its very wide tires, which impact aerodynamics and rolling resistance. While the Tesla Model S was designed to be a long-range sedan with excellent performance, it wasn’t designed to achieve the ultimate in handling at the expense of efficiency. These two cars aren’t truly in the same class.
The Taycan is also very heavy (5132lbs), more than the bigger Model S.
And Tesla’s electronics and motors are universally considered to be the most efficient. And Tesla is constantly tweaking them with updates, that increase efficiency, range and performance.
But, yes, this really is disappointing. Tesla is coming out with a new version of the Model S next year (Plaid) that will be both faster than the Taycan and get solidly over 400 miles of range, or twice as much.
I don’t think this will affect Taycan sales as its much less likely to be in a one-car household than a Tesla.
It’s as disappointing as it is extraordinary.
Porsche was, and, (I gather) still is an engineering consultancy business, surely meaning a whopping agglomeration of the best engineering expertise. Surely such an outfit has to be looking forward, and that being so, were they really so far behind for electric tech? I’m intrigued by your first para: how conservative is conservative here, that is, do the Germans judge it by, say, 70% charge in minus huge temps as a baseline, and Tesla not? What do those US EPA ratings mean here, and what’s the actual experience of Teslarites in practice? In other words, is the difference truly so stark, or is it measurement baselines?
I ask this stuff not out of some anti-Tesla bias, but genuine curiosity (not to say tech ignorance). I’ll admit that I look at a bunch of the Tesla-ish ideas now appearing in ordinary ICE stuff (the multi-screen things, for eg), and knowing that the Tesla bits are uniquely theirs and driven by one computer, I do wonder how the ordinary stuff’s proprietary bits will last, but also now wonder if that integration factor in a Tesla’s set-up affects the range issue in the Tesla’s favor.
> I don’t think this will affect Taycan sales as its much less likely to be in a one-car household than a Tesla.
This last point is an important one I was going to point out too. The Taycan doesn’t need superb range because (a) there’s likely to be another car – probably a crossover or family/long trip oriented car – in the garage, and (b) the Taycan is capable of charging faster than any other available car, Tesla included. As of now though, there are few of those super-fast charging stations available, and the unavailability of Tesla’s Supercharger network works against Porsche and all other non-Tesla brands too. The media continues to underestimate the advantage the Superchargers will give Tesla in the EV wars; the one-two punch of longer range and thousands more places to refuel make Tesla the least disruptive-to-established-routines entry into EV ownership.
Interesting. Not apples to apples, but I have seen some fallout in lawn equipment with EGO batteries having a high failure rate after two years, which is suspected to be caused in part by their 1 hour quick charging. Most competitors charge in around 3 hours.
I don’t think that would be the case with Tesla, as their battery longevity seems to be exceeding expectations. Nobody but Tesla probably knows how many failures they’ve had, but it doesn’t seem to be an issue in the EV forums.
Yikes, I have three EGo batteries (7.5, 5, and 2.5) and a fast charger I use to power my mower, leaf blower, and trimmer, with no issues thus far. Hope it stays that way; the self-powered mower is about 3 years old and is spectacular – I’ve called it the Tesla of lawn mowers. The blower is great too except for the missing inhale function; the trimmer is too long and lacks a sidewalk-edging feature.
While infrastructure issues are currently a downside to electric car ownership, it works in your favor for lawn gear. Swapping batteries is much easier than toting a 2 gallon gasoline jug to the gas station and carefully pouring it in, and your mower storage nook likely already has the necessary power feed (120V/15A a.k.a Level 1 will suffice).
Hyundai claim just short of 500km for their Ionic EV and its signifigantly cheaper than a Tesla still around 80K in NZ pesos which will buy me an awful lot of diesel and RUCs.
The mainstreaming of EV’s seems almost inevitable, but this car is yet another plaything for the wealthy in southern climes that also have two ICE vehicles in the garage.
Its the the norm that new tech trickles down slowly to ordinary tech (and an average salaryman’s price point), and EV’s are still in the slow lane in this regard.
The salaryman needs something more than a Nissan Leaf, and something that does not ring the register at the same price as his first house.
Ford’s Mach E, apparently supported enthusiastically by its manufacturer (try to find a low volume Chevy Bolt on a dealer lot, and stress about parts and service when it is revised or cancelled), seems close to being that car, but range is still anxiety producing.
I could put an EV in my garage, I have ICE vehicles for the occasional all day road trip, but the ICE needs to meet at least my daily needs on one charge. The Mach E probably isn’t there.
Not only do I need to stop at three destinations around town, I then need to drive 55 minutes to the next town, stop at a few places, and then drive home.
Drive home in the dark, the cold, the snow, with lights, heater and wipers on, two hours to drive a 55 minute trip.
Consumer Reports has a discussion on their website that suggests if you drive 80 miles a day, you need 160 miles of range if you deal with the cold. And, I think this fails to address the added stress of weather induced crawling traffic and the need for lights, wipers and heat. And, your stereo to keep you sane and get weather info when your cell service is between towers in a semi-rural area.
Heat is also a problem, an article in Wired suggests optimal battery temperature range is 60-80 degrees F. Try crawling out of Houston, Jacksonville or New Orleans on a hurricane evacuation route with the AC on.
A 400 mile range car would probably do it, but this does not seem likely to trickle down to a mass market price point anytime soon.
All these companies simply forget that building a EV is a different game. Tesla started out as a EV maker and tech company, and doesn’t have the dead weight of traditional cars and customers dragging them down. Building a EV takes a fresh approach , clean sheets and lots of guts. And humor. And a charismatic CEO.
Sorry, never mind the range – can anyone explain how the “turbo” works on an electric motor, or does it have a range-extender with a turbo ?
There is no Turbo in the Turbo. Turbo in this case means high performance version. To separate itself from the base model.
Porsche taking a page out of the GM playbook. Sounds cool!
But does it drink Turbo-Rocket Fluid?
I’ve not given these much attention, but I’m one of those Porsche luddites who only considers the best Porsches lightweight rear engined air cooled 2-door sports cars with manual everything. So saying it’s the best Porsche you can buy today, pardon me, isn’t that impressive since most of the lineup are glorified VW SUVs, and the 911 keeps getting numbed with each successive update since the 996.
On the complimentary side of things, this is what the Panamara should have looked like from the beginning, the front end design is a little ugly and the fender seams doubling as extractors looks a little amateurish in a 24 hours of lemons kind of way, but the body shape is very attractive, to the point it truly looks like a 4-door 911. The 5 spoke wheels on the white one with the color coordinated rim is beyond garish though, I’m sure Kardiashian types will order that one up, the other wheels are significantly better looking.
If the tires are a major factor in its range I don’t see that as anomaly. High performance ICE cars lose range in exchange for performance as well, it’s just what is to be expected in the high performance segment, EVs don’t defy the physics ICE cars are bound to. So much of the emphasis of EV performance has been in straight line brute force acceleration with crazy 0-60 times, like Muscle cars of yore, and while the battery packs do have the inherent benefit of producing a very low center of gravity and neutral weight distribution, pushing 5,000lbs around a curvy road, track or autocross still requires extra grip for maximum performance, and this is exactly what Porsche of all companies should offer. They’re actually trying to preserve the brand legacy they’re known for, rather than make a carbon copy of Tesla everyone else is.
And I’ll also say this is why it’s enthusiasts that tend to decry range and charge times. Yeah, in a regular commuter like a Model 3 range anxiety is something most owners overcome since their driving style is the same as it would be in a Camry, but for those who want outright performance at the cost of efficiency, knowing you have a maximum of 200 miles in range only *if* you don’t drive your sports car like a sports car, that irrational range anxiety becomes pretty rational.
knowing you have a maximum of 200 miles in range only *if* you don’t drive your sports car like a sports car, that irrational range anxiety becomes pretty rational.
It’s a relevant point. It will be easy to run out of range in this car at or before 100 miles, with spirited driving and/or in cold temperatures.
It’s important to remember that while an EV is intrinsically more efficient, the impact of factors that reduce efficiency, such as high speeds, will affect it disproportionally more. It’s one of the realities of EVs.
A 2020 Porsche 911 is rated at 20 mpg combined. With a 17 gal tank, that’s a 340 mile range. It would be very difficult (if not almost impossible) to cut that in half by driving fast.
We first noticed this effect on hybrid Prius mileage 20 years ago. When you are spending much less energy per mile in the drivetrain, the other energy variables like how you drive it, aerodynamics, tire losses, HVAC, etc., which stay the same start to matter.
A good gas-electric hybrid drivetrain is maybe 1.5x more energy efficient than an ordinary gas car, and we started seeing these effects. An EV drivetrain is 3 to 5x more energy efficient, so they matter even more.
Matt Farah of “The Smoking Tire” wrung a Taycan up in the So Cal mountains. He said that he used 40% of the battery charge in 17 miles! Wow! That’s not normal use but it is surprising. I saw a test of the Tesla Model S with the high out put set up and it ran the battery down really quickly also.
The energy density of today’s batteries is drastically lower than that of gasoline. It’s only because electric motors are so efficient (95%) that EVs work at all.
EV’s are at their greatest advantage over ICE cars in city traffic. And at their biggest disadvantage in sustained high-power demand situations. I am a bit concerned that some folks may not be happy with their EVs in some applications. Towing is another.
yes, range anxiety is going to be an issue here. matt farrah loved the way it handles and was gushing while driving it. he actually stopped commenting at times during his road test because the car “demands focus” towards the end he casually mentions that he burned up 40% of the battery doing 20 minutes of canyon carving.
this is also going to be a problem with the cybertruck. what’s the range going to be while pulling a camper?
The most “surprising” thing about this news is that Porsche was supposedly surprised by it. Just like the new Explorer not doing as well as expected on the IIHS crash test, one would presume that the manufacturers know EXACTLY how and what is tested and could pre-replicate (is that a word?) the test to be sure of getting what they wanted/needed. If these are truly surprises it’s probably time to make some personnel changes.
I doubt it’ll make any difference whatsoever to any buyer, if 30k are signed up and they can build 40k a year they’ll be fine assuming it performs as advertised. With fast chargers going up around the world (more in other places than the US) and at dealerships, let alone the obvious aspect of home charging, it won’t even inconvenience anyone really. And if the range is an issue, the owner will just take one of the other (likely larger) vehicles on that trip instead, I’ll bet some reservation holders have at least one Tesla in the fleet already, not to mention various gas powered vehicles.
Semi-related: With normal mpg ratings, the EPA doesn’t do the test, they just publish the test criteria and manufacturers self-test. Every once in a while they do get tested for verification purposes which is when embarrassing foibles appear (Ford C-Max, Hyundai, a couple of others over the years). On an E-MPG test does the EPA actually do the testing or is it like the regular one where the manufacturer does it and submits the findings?
Pre-replicate? You mean “simulate”?
(Finding fault with others is fun!)
On a somewhat related note, the new, 2020 Mini Cooper SE (i.e., EV) has a US range of a whole 110 miles.
I wonder if, since the Mini is a BMW product, they’re using the i3’s drivetrain and that one only goes a similar 100 EV miles (with an additional 100 if you get the optional ICE ‘extender’).
Yes it does use the i3 drive train. Both are essentially city cars.
I am pleased that these things are failing to do what was promised or anticipated or hoped or whatever.
It will be resolved long after I am dead but as a contrarian I’d buy Exxon or Saudi Armco and short Tesla or Ford.
It’s called learning about new technology. Never been done before so sometimes you get surprises. We learn and move forward. Called progress. Remember that?
Mike – well yes, of course. But it is not progress when it is forced by or coerced under government tax policy. Government neither supplemented nor encouraged Thomas Edison, the Wrights or Henry Ford. Nor did a government do so for Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Jeff Bezos.
On its own the electrification of transportation can not work. With government supplementing “progress” maybe it can get to somewhat sustainable. Otherwise for creative progress, leave it to the marketplace.
The same free marketplace that brought us drastically safer, cleaner and more efficient ICE cars, right? Thank goodness the government had nothing to with all of that, other than subsidizing the petroleum industry to the tune of billions of dollars per year.
Paul – The US federal government allows generous income tax allowances for those who purchase new electric cars. No such tax incentive exists for competing ICE car owners.
Some state governments do the same.
The US federal government and all state governments collect a tax from drivers of ICE vehicles when they are fueled. This taxation does not apply to electric cars.
The market has been artificially influenced by governments to favor the electric vehicles. But for these financial incentives (not to mention lane usage incentives with which I am unfamiliar in practice), would the electrics compete as well in a free market?
constellation: As of Jan 1, Teslas no longer qualify for the federal EV tax credit, which is available to all manufacturers for their first 200k cars. GM’s credits will be ending/reducing soon too. This credit was created by out government to reduce CO emissions. It’s available to any manufacturer. And its cost is a drop in the ocean compared to the two trillion we’ve spent in Afghanistan and the six trillion spent in Iraq, and the trillion in additional debt as a result of the 2017 tax cut, and so on. You can disagree with it, but it was created by our democratically-elected government.
The state tax credits/incentives, which are invariably smaller, were also created for similar reasons.
As to incentives for ICE car buyers, the average incentives on them are about $4k or so, by the manufacturers, to stimulate demand. Tesla has no such incentives; they’re sold for full price. So currently ICE cars have generally more incentives available to make them more affordable than Teslas, which are the dominant EV on the market.
As to the gas tax, several states have already compensated for that by various means. The amount saved by an EV owner on gas tax is quite insignificant compared to the savings from fueling their cars with significantly cheaper electricity.
To answer your question: Tesla’s already reduced ($1750) tax credit runs out Dec. 31. Yet Tesla just announced a price increase effective Jan 1. That means a Tesla Model 3 will be $2250 more expensive as of Jan 1. Does that move suggest that Tesla is seeing any reduction in demand due to the tax credit disappearing. Quite the opposite.
I don’t want to comment on the schemes you have in the US as I am not entirely familiar with them but, from the other side of the pond, the whole thing (that is, “our” enlightened ruling classes’ approach) looks like a purely political shtick, totally devoid of any real-life considerations. Here in Austria we are likely to have a coalition between the ÖVP and the Green Party which, in US terms, would be akin to RINOs and the Ocasio-Cortez faction of the Democrats forming your next administration. Absurd but real. The Greens call for a ban on _all_ ICE by 2030 even though we do not, and not likely to have, anything like the infrastructure needed if that were to work. In the meantime they will set some kind of CO2 tax and introduce a number of measures which I can only call a form of property devaluation or even theft. No sane alternatives (e.g., nuclear power stations, alternative, CO2-neutral fuels) are offered. Germany is ahead of us in this respect but then under Merkel that country seems to have decided to commit nationcide, so there. Everyone with half a brain should be FOR keeping the environment as clean as possible but to me the current green hysteria and the attendant pro-EV regulation we see is yet another attempt to get Marxism in through the back door.
The only thing governments are truly mandating is the reduction of carbon emissions.
Industry is free to compete as to how to achieve that reduction, and EV systems are currently the most successful technology for light duty vehicles to emerge from the free marketplace. Fuel cells may turn out to be an option for certain kinds of heavier vehicles like shipping, freight trains.
Never underestimate the genius of American capitalism when it’s given a clear goal to strive for. 🙂
If I recall correctly GM, Ford and Chrysler fought safety and especially emissions mandates tooth and nail. And then the Japanese showed us how it could be done. And in the past 50 years has relegated the domestics to the back seat.
Go ahead and buy Exxon stock. Lots of folks have lost their money investing in the past.
Sandy Munro speculated in a recent interview that the best option for traditional car makers could be to license Tesla’s ‘previous generation’ technologies, while they work on developing more competitive systems of their own.
Tesla could also potentially make a lot of money with that scenario, while saving their newest battery tech for themselves.
So much for that vaunted German engineering. Bwaaahaahaaaa!
Why hasn’t anyone done work on promoting a replaceable standardized battery pack that would fit a particular class of vehicles?
You drive in, pay a fee, your depleted battery is removed and a fully charged battery is automatically installed by the car itself in minutes with human supervision and you continue on your way? Your depleted battery is charged and then rented by the next user. No more range anxiety and you can grab a coke and watch the process in action
Tesla demonstrated that in 2013. A Model S drove in, tools came up thru the floor to unscrew and drop the pack, a fresh pack was likewise installed and 90 seconds after arrival it drove off.
I think the problem is with ownership. We don’t have a business model for removing and replacing a battery pack worth many thousands of dollars.
Well Renault in Europe and other markets offers something which is vaguely like this, namely you lease the battery from them so that you never have to worry about it dying on you. Of course, that means that a Renault EV would only make sense if you cover certain mileage per year.