South Korea fines Tesla for not disclosing impact of cold on driving range
Tesla has been issued with a 2.85 billion won fine from South Korea’s antitrust regulator over allegedly misleading consumers by not telling them about the shorter driving range of its electric vehicles (EVs) in colder temperatures.
The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) said that 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 South Korean website since August 2019 until recently.
According to the KFTC, the driving range of Tesla’s EVs drop by 50.5% in lower temperatures, in comparison to how they are advertised online.
Tesla could not be immediately reached for comment.
As it stands, Tesla provides winter driving tips on its website, including pre-conditioning vehicles with external power sources, and using its Energy app to monitor energy consumption but fails to mention the loss of driving range in temperatures lower than 0 degrees.
In 2021, Citizens United for Consumer Sovereignty, a South Korean consumer group, said (citing data from the country’s environment ministry) that most EVs driving range’s drop by up to 40% in the cold when batteries need to be heated, with Tesla suffering the most.
In other news, and despite the known drop in driving range in colder climates, electric vehicles still prove to be extremely popular in Norway, where four out of five vehicles sold in 2022 were battery-powered, and most of them were Teslas. Norway has also achieved the world’s highest proportion of electric vehicles.
Subscribe to our Editor's weekly newsletter