Tesla Fined by South Korea for Exaggerating Cold Weather Range

Essay by Eric Worrall

Who could have guessed battery performance would plummet in cold weather?

Tesla fined $2.2M for exaggerating driving range of its vehicles: report

South Korea fine comes as Tesla stock continues to plunge

By Greg Norman FOXBusiness

Tesla is facing a new $2.2 million fine for apparently misleading consumers about the range of its vehicles in cold weather, a report says. 

South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission alleged Tuesday that the electric automakerexaggerated 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 Korean website from mid-2019 until recently, according to Reuters. 

The actual driving range of Tesla vehicles drops in cold weather by up to 50.5% compared to what was being advertised online, Reuters also reported, citing the Korean agency. 

Read more: https://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/tesla-fined-2-2m-exaggerating-driving-range-vehicles-report

Elon Musk hasn’t been having a good time lately, he has earned the dubious distinction of being the first man to ever lose $200 billion.

I visited South Korea once in winter, temperatures in Seoul were mostly in the low 30s – so not bone chilling cold, but I was glad I packed my hat and gloves. Up in the mountains of course it gets a lot colder. Both North and South Korea have plenty of mountains.

Cold weather can also permanently damage EV batteries. If you own an EV, my understanding is somewhere in the fine print you’ll see a warning to park indoors at night in winter, or at least keep the vehicle plugged in.

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Ben Vorlich
January 3, 2023 10:34 pm

When I was a teenager in the early 1960s the Korean War had been over barely a decade sand photos of conditions in winter involving quite a lot of snow made regular appearances in cinema and magazines.
That inspired me to buy one of these from a military surplus store.
I don’t know if it was genuine Chinese but did a good job of protecting against Scottish winter weather.
The south off South Korea is about the same latitude as Virginia

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
January 4, 2023 5:40 am

I visited South Korea in December once and was totally unprepared for the cold. I came to appreciate hot pot but could have used one of those hats.

Joe Shaw
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
January 4, 2023 5:25 pm

South Korea spans about the same latitude range as Virginia but does not have the equivalent of the Gulf Stream transporting heat to the area.

As it happens Pyongyang and Washington DC are at almost exactly the same latitude.

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
January 4, 2023 9:24 pm

Now do Paris vs. NY!

Peta of Newark
January 4, 2023 2:11 am

Batteries are living things. Regard them as such, treat and respect them as such and they will return that respect. They will regard you similarly
But they’re like elephants, (all animals really, not just heffalumps) mistreat them even just once and they **never** forget nor do they forgive.

It is why the UK is gonna fare very badly with EVs, nobody here has a clue about batteries
It comes from the fact that, as I discovered via a renewable enrgy forum (now defunct) (car type) batteries in the UK always cost twice as much as they do in Europe

It’s because UK folks have no empathy and routinely destroy them.
How manufacturers get round the notion that they’re making/selling crap by giving 3, 4 or 5 year warranties on car batteries.
End result being that when A UK Person buys a battery, they are effectively buying two batteries – manufactureres have come to learn that the original will be destroyed inside 2 or 3 years. Every Single Time
So you get a spare when you buy the new one – of course the spare does not come with a warranty nor does it extend the original warranty

Of course, ask the breakdown service providers, the killer in the UK is Cold Weather

and folks never never ever learn

My anecdote concerns a Ford 550 backhoe loader that my late brother bought – its battery was date-coded June ’82 and I came to be its keeper in ’88
It started first time every time, no heater plugs or ‘Aero Start’ and made a lovely snow-plough on occasions.
Perfect until my nephew ## borrowed the machine to help his mother landscape her garden in 2013
He left the ignition switched on for about a fortnight until I discovered it.
The battery was fugged

## What hope is there? That guy (age 25 at the time) was an apprentice car and motor vehicle mechanic.
and patently, a fully qualified climate scientist to boot

Reply to  Peta of Newark
January 4, 2023 3:08 am

” ….. Every. Single. Time.”
Well, not exactly.
My Mercedes still has the same battery that it was supplied with 16 years ago.
Yes, I know, German, but supplied in Scotland.

Reply to  Oldseadog
January 4, 2023 5:38 am

Same here. Just replaced the OEM battery on my Mazda CX5 after 7 years of service – and it probably had some legs in it then.

It had been abused a little – left it connected during an extended overseas trip – flat as the proverbial on return, but a few hours charge got it working. Sat out in the winters…..

Reply to  Oldseadog
January 4, 2023 5:43 am

I’d count my blessing and make a battery replacement plan.

michael hart
Reply to  Oldseadog
January 4, 2023 11:22 am

Every time I have to replace a bicycle inner tube I now always pick the one made in Germany. They seem to use something like real rubber.
The ones made in China seem more like plastic and are annoyingly inferior.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
January 4, 2023 6:31 am

Batteries are living things”

My iPhone begs to differ. It’s dead.

Roger Collier
Reply to  Peta of Newark
January 4, 2023 2:23 pm

Total nonsense! Brits are no worse than anyone else at maintaining car batteries.

It doesnot add up
January 4, 2023 2:22 am

It’s been chilly in the New Year


Even more so in the North, and China. How do you protect EVs in minus 40?

Reply to  It doesnot add up
January 4, 2023 5:28 am

You huddle round the lithium fire…

Reply to  It doesnot add up
January 4, 2023 5:44 am

Keep them inside.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Scissor
January 4, 2023 7:24 am

Which will become “outside” after the lithium fire.

Roger Collier
Reply to  It doesnot add up
January 4, 2023 2:07 pm

C or F?

Reply to  Roger Collier
January 4, 2023 5:21 pm

At -40, C or F doesn’t really matter very much.

Ron Long
January 4, 2023 4:00 am

Sure, but the performance of those mystical storage batteries for usable electricity when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow will not follow the same laws of physics and chemistry, so they will function perfectly. Wait for it. Don’t wait for it.

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  Ron Long
January 4, 2023 12:10 pm

I always love it when then advocates go on and on about the coming battery tech.
I always suggest they wake us up when the magic batteries are actually available
For now, they are akin to fusion

January 4, 2023 4:42 am

Only one electric vehicle has proved itself fit for purpose: the humble milk float.

When I was a teen I did a milk round to earn some pocket money and I got to have a go at driving one at a heady 12mph. They were ideal for early morning deliveries being very quiet etc and recharged overnight at the depot.

Reply to  strativarius
January 4, 2023 5:48 am

i would add the golf cart to your list !

Reply to  Hysteria
January 4, 2023 5:52 am

OK, so that’s two….

Reply to  Hysteria
January 5, 2023 1:05 am

golf carts are normally ICE. they just have a cunning autostart linked to the throttle.

January 4, 2023 5:41 am

Based on inside information from electrical engineers currently working on 2026 model EV programs: They are very worried about customer acceptance of the EVs they are designing. Trust me that engineers are traditionally over-optimistic about new vehicles they are designing (at least since the 1970s in my experience). So this EV pessimism is unprecedented — of course not talked about at work when management is around.

EPA attacking private companies through their CO2 emissions
Mandatory CAFE fuel economy of 49 mpg for 2026 models, with $150 fines for each MPG over the limit x the number of vehicles involved. The fine could approach $4000 for each 24 mpg fuel economy 2026 ICE pickup truck, unless an equal number of “high mileage” EVs are sold (expensive, inconvenient vehicles that few customers want).

I used to work in that industry for 27 years:
The electrical engineers currently working on 2026 model EVs fear most potential customers will dislike and/or reject the new EV technology. The current pessimism about future products is unprecedented in the past 50 years.

Already known EV disadvantages:
EV high cost versus ICE
EV very inconvenient “re-fueling” versus ICE
EVs unpredictable movements of percentage charge gauge.
EV expected reduction of range in cold weather

Recent cold weather testing in Northern Minnesota revealed the cold weather range reduction problem was worse than expected.

Some EVs lost 50% or more of their range in extremely cold MN weather. Engineers were not expecting over a -30% to -40% loss of range.

Here’s is my explanation of a potential -65% range
reduction in very cold weather:
Hypothetical range with full charge = 100% (theoretical range)
Charge to 80%, not 100%, to preserve batteries = 80% of range
Discharge to 10%, not zero, to preserve batteries = 70% of range
Extreme cold weather range reduction of up to -50% = 35% of range,
meaning a loss of a total of -65% (100% – 35%) of range to preserve the batteries and drive in extremely cold weather.

Engineers started their EVs and drove off immediately. They did not wait for the car interiors to warm up while they waited indoors in a heated home. The word on the street from the engineers was: ‘My wife could never tolerate getting into a car that was so cold inside’.

The engineers never drove far enough to need a recharge while on the road in that very cold weather. So trying to keep the EV interior warm, while getting an outdoors recharge, was not part of the test.

The bottom lines that we can add severe range reduction in very cold weather to the usual list of EVs faults.

The two BEST days in an EV owner’s life, I predict:
(1) The day he buys his EV, and
(2) The day he sells his EV

So that’s another EV problem.

I thought you might be interested in these tidbits from an electrical engineer who recently retired from working on an EV program. He claims the engineers still at work pretend everything is okay, to avoid upsetting their management, so only a few of the bigwigs are informed (such as the Toyota CEO) and most of them are not willing to speak out in public. They are informed and keep quiet. Most bigwigs seem clueless about how bad EVs are relative to their price, but some are learning:

Top Auto-Executives Appear to Be Cooling off on the Idea of EV Adoption (motorbiscuit.com)

Reply to  Richard Greene
January 4, 2023 6:37 am

To me, the answer to all the BS about the CO2 being harmful, etc. is to get rid of the EPA and relegate the government back to doing what the Constitution allows it to do without all the mincing of words therein. That would solve a lot of the confusion, fed via the MSM propagandists, to the public regarding the reality of CO2 which is that without CO2 none of us would be alive.
Simple, really.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Richard Greene
January 4, 2023 8:52 am

As you say Aiko Toyoda of Toyota has spoken out about EVs in the past.

“The current business model of the car industry is going to collapse” if the industry shifts to EVs too quickly.

“Japan (for one) would run out of electricity in the summer if all cars are running on electric power”

“infrastructure to support a 100% EV fleet could cost Japan 14 trillion – 35 trillion yen or $135 billion to $358 billion”

“Most electricity is from coal and natural gas anyway” “The more EVs we build the worse carbon dioxide gets. When politicians are out there saying ‘let’s get rid of all cars using gasoline’, do they understand this?”


Tom Johnson
January 4, 2023 6:51 am

One quickly learns after moving from the North into Texas that car battery life drops from a lifetime of 7-10 years in the North, to 3-4 years in south Texas. It’s important to note, though, that even though it’s the heat that kills the battery, it doesn’t usually show its approaching death until it gets cold. A ‘rule of thumb’ we often use in the auto industry is that chemical reactions generally double for 20-degree F increase and halve for similar decrease. This goes for batteries, corrosion, chemical additives, and many other processes, all else being equal.

AGW is Not Science
January 4, 2023 7:22 am

I translate the last sentence as “risk burning your garage (and maybe your house if attached or in close proximity) down or risk serious damage to your very expensive battery pack.”

What great decisions to have to make!

AGW is Not Science
January 4, 2023 7:32 am

And so it begins.

“Early adopters” of EVs (spelled “suckers”) will soon discover the stark reality of the poor REAL WORLD “range” of their EVs vs. the “advertised” fictional range calculated under conditions with little connection to the real world.

January 4, 2023 7:51 am

“he has earned the dubious distinction of being the first man to ever lose $200 billion.”

And yet even with that loss dropped to only the second wealthiest person in the world. Perspective.

January 4, 2023 7:59 am

People only learn from their mistakes.

January 4, 2023 8:20 am

Even if EVs were 10% as efficient and convenient as ICE vehicles, there isn’t enough charging infrastructure or battery natural resources to replace huge numbers – this virtue signalling fad will die and with it, another piece of the green blob con

Andy Pattullo
January 4, 2023 8:54 am

Teslas are perfect for green photo-ops and bonfires, just not for transportation.

Pat from Kerbob
January 4, 2023 12:07 pm

I’m from the canadian prairie so am used to cold but I felt chilled to the bone in seoul in December one year
I figured it’s because humidity is so high

Edward Katz
January 4, 2023 6:15 pm

If these EVs experience a range drop when the temperatures are still in the 30s and above freezing, can you imagine what that reduction would be in areas like the southern Canadian Prairie provinces or the upper tier of the US from Montana eastward across the upper Midwest as far as New England? That battery will have to work extra hard not only to power the vehicle but also to provide heat for the passengers and to defrost the windows. And what if the car is carrying more than a single occupant? Won’t that deplete the battery reserves even further? So anyone not minding to recharge their EV more than once daily shouldn’t find all of the above an inconvenience.

Reply to  Edward Katz
January 5, 2023 6:13 pm

Those eastern liberal voters who put Dem politicians in office and push this crap often don’t even own cars (city dwellers) and use public transportation subsidized by fuel taxes and if they do own cars, don’t ever need to drive more than a couple of hundred miles to get where they are going to vacation, Ex. NY to Cape Cod.

Otherwise they FLY.

In the west I drive 200 miles to my mountain cabin. Living in Las Vegas a mountain cabin on Mt. Charleston 40 miles away is too expensive for me. BUT200 miles from LV to Cedar mountain is only 3 hours depending or road construction or winter weather conditions. Interstate speed limits are 75 in NV and 80 in Utah but only 55 in the Virgin River Gorge which is a windy stretch but almost no one goes under 70 through there.

Of course most western states became states after the federal government decided to keep MOST of the land. 80% of Nevada is federal controlled. In NY it is 0.8%. Therefore, traveling from town to town is WAY farther out west. Even Utah is 63.9% federal so we are lucky some old ranchers got possession of 10 to 15 full sections on Cedar Mt. in southern Utah for ranching, not just federal leases, actual ownership, so that land could be used for personal homes.

While writing this, sitting in my cabin in front of a nice fire, our power went out. No problem for us, the generator kicked on and powered the house up in about 15 seconds, BUT the primary reason I have a generator is because the forest service will not let the power co-op run a second high tension line to provide redundancy. It is snowing a steady 1 inch an hour, has been for 10 hours or so, and supposed to go another 10 or so hours before it lets up at 5 tomorrow morning. We will be close to 80% of the “normal” maximum snow water equivalent water content in the snow. The maximum usually occurs 3 months from now. A good water year so far and I am thankful for all the global warming the Pineapple Express has given us so far this year.

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