Consumer Reports: Tesla is ‘absolutely the leader’ in electric cars

As legacy automakers introduce new electric vehicles to market, consumers win. More EV choices for car buyers is certainly better for the end consumer — and the environment. It's no wonder Consumer Reports is celebrating new EV entrants from the likes of "Audi, Jaguar, and Porsche... Hyundai and Kia, and upcoming models from BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen, Volvo, and Ford’s Mustang Mach-E."

Above: Tesla Model 3 (Image: Tesla)

Yes, more automakers introducing EVs provides more viable options. But there's a catch. Legacy automakers are having trouble keeping up with Tesla. “They are absolutely the leader,” says Jake Fisher, senior director of automotive testing at Consumer Reports (CR). “Through the years, they’ve made multiple changes to their motors and batteries and other things under the skin of their vehicles. This is a continual thing that they do.”

"Tesla’s competitors are coming close to matching the capacity of its battery packs, but they’re falling short of translating that into better range. The Audi E-Tron comes with a 95-kWh battery pack, close to the 100-kWh pack in the long-range version of the Tesla Model X. But the E-tron’s 204 miles of range is only 62 percent of the range of the similarly sized Model X (328 miles). The Porsche Taycan comes with a 93-kWh battery pack but manages only 201 miles of range, compared with 373 for the 100-kWh version of the Model S," adds CR. And Elon Musk recently tweeted that Tesla's long range plus Model S now has an EPA-rated range above 390 miles.

Above: Consumer Reports recently used a Tesla Model 3 to demonstrate the benefits of going electric (YouTube: Consumer Reports)

“They’re able to get more miles out of each kilowatt-hour,” says Sam Abuelsamid, an automotive technology analyst with Navigant in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “They have shown the way for EVs.” He notes that the company is using software that maximizes energy regeneration and minimizes battery drain. It's no wonder Model 3 recently won CR's “Top Pick” designation as the best electric car.

According to CR, "It’s not just that Tesla is making good, energy-dense batteries. They are also maximizing efficiency through aerodynamics, reducing weight, and refining equipment. They’re even using a different kind of chip that maximizes the transfer of energy within their vehicles’ electrical systems. It all adds up to lower energy consumption and less charging for consumers."

Above: Tesla's Model X (Image: Tesla)

And don't forget Tesla's vast, proprietary Supercharger network. CR concludes, "Tesla continues to focus on reducing range anxiety, even as competitors emphasize other driving attributes. And it underscores that the appeal of its cars is based on more than the brand’s cachet or the charisma of CEO Elon Musk."


Source: Consumer Reports