The Environmental Protection Agency denied Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s claim that the agency made a mistake in its test of the Model S sedan, which resulted in a lower range than Musk thought was deserved.
In an earnings call this week, Musk claimed that the Tesla Model S Long Range should be the first electric vehicle to sport a 400-mile range, and that the EPA’s 391-mile rating was the result of a snafu. Musk said someone had left the keys in the vehicle and the door open overnight, causing the Model S to enter into a “waiting for driver” mode that depleted 2 percent of the vehicle’s battery. This resulted in the slightly less than 400-mile range.
Not so, said the EPA. “We can confirm that EPA tested the vehicle properly, the door was closed, and we are happy to discuss any technical issues with Tesla, as we do routinely with all automakers,” an EPA spokesperson said in a statement to The Verge.
Here’s what Musk said during the earnings call:
On other technology fronts, we increased the range of model S and X yet again, this time to 391 miles for Model S and 351 miles for Model X. Actually, we said that, actually, the model — the real Model S range is 400 miles, but when we did the last EPA test, unfortunately, [EPA] left the car door open and the keys in the car, so the car – and it did this overnight.
And so the car actually went into waiting for driver mode and lost 2% of its range. And as a result, it had a 391 test. As soon as the EPA reopens for testing, we will redo the test, and we’re actually confident that we will achieve a 400-mile-or-greater range with the Model S. But to be clear, the Model S, for the past two months — the true range of the Model S for the past two months has been 400 miles.
A spokesperson for Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Update May 1st, 5:20pm ET: Updated to include Musk’s comments from the earnings call