The Environmental Protection Agency has finally published its range estimate for Porsche’s first electric car, and it’s particularly lower than most people expected. The EPA says the Taycan Turbo — the $150,900 dual-motor version with 616 horsepower — will only be able to travel around 201 miles on a full battery. The figure is much lower than the 280-mile estimate Porsche received from European regulators earlier this year, which the company has touted since the Taycan’s unveiling in September.
That’s on par with the EPA range estimate for the Audi E-Tron (204 miles), but notably less than that of the Nissan Leaf (226 miles in the version with the 62kWh battery pack), the Jaguar I-Pace (234 miles), Chevy Bolt (259 miles), and even the cheapest Tesla Model 3s (220 miles for the Standard Range version, 250 for Standard Range Plus), despite having a bigger battery pack than all of those vehicles. And it’s a far cry from what Tesla offers with its more expensive models, which are considered to be more direct competition to the Taycan. Tesla’s top-spec Model S now comes with 373 miles of range, while the Model X can top out at 328 miles.
The range figure is “lower than what we were anticipating,” a spokesperson for Porsche tells The Verge, “but it is what it is.”
As Justin Westbrook points out over at Jalopnik, Porsche has also published results from a separate independent test that produced a range much closer to the 280-mile European estimate. Porsche tells The Verge it didn’t have this independent test performed in response to the EPA estimate, though. “Porsche is a car manufacturer and we frequently pay third party companies to test our cars in many, many, many, metrics,” the spokesperson said.
I spent about five to six hours driving the Taycan Turbo last month outside Los Angeles, California, and while I can’t offer a ton of perspective on the range from one drive, I can say the car showed me a roughly 240-mile estimate with the battery charged to 99 percent at the beginning of the day. It seemed like that figure was holding up to be pretty accurate across the day of driving, but I ultimately only used a little less than 80 percent of the battery when all was said and done.
Porsche was never really going to match, let alone beat, the bountiful range that Tesla offers in its vehicles, especially with the company’s first electric car. The German automaker even made explicit choices with the car that prohibit the Taycan from getting more out of its battery pack, like having the car coast when the driver lifts off the throttle instead of automatically spinning the electric motors backward to recover energy. This technique, known as regenerative braking, is something other automakers use to varying degrees in their electric cars to help make sure there’s enough battery to get a driver where they want to go. And while there is an option to turn on regenerative braking in the Taycan, it’s still not nearly as aggressive as in some other EVs.
But regardless of what the Taycan Turbo’s real-world range is, the newly announced EPA estimate is a number that will follow the car around. Not only will it appear in the marketing and at dealerships, but it will also likely become fodder for other automakers that want to prop up their own EVs as having an advantage over Porsche’s. The Taycan is undoubtedly an impressive electric car, and its launch has mostly gone well for Porsche. The Taycan Turbo’s EPA range estimate is one of the first real blemishes to emerge.