The debate over the supposed or real autonomy of electric cars continues to rage, and it is often fueled by the manufacturers themselves, as much as by standards (EPA, WLTP …) which the general public does not understand much.

Thus, in the high-end, it seems established that the Tesla are the cars offering the greatest radius of action with a load. It is true that with an announced autonomy of 610 kilometers according to the WLTP standard for the Model S Large Autonomy, the American manufacturer does not fear many people for the moment. We also know that Porsche has been criticized for the insufficient autonomy of its Taycan Turbo S, this time officially measured at 324 kilometers (201 miles) according to the American EPA standard.

Problem: in all these figures we tend to compare cabbage and carrots, and end up mixing everything. Let's try to see it a little more clearly. You must know for example – and this is a fundamental point – that the American EPA standard, which has the reputation of being the closest to reality, and which is decreed by the Environment Protection Agency, does not test all cars. So the EPA actually tested the Porsche Taycan Turbo earlier this year, but did not test the latest version of the Tesla Model S. Therefore, Tesla’s EPA autonomy figures as you see it displayed on the manufacturer’s site are provided by… Tesla. This obviously does not mean that they are false or untruthful, but that the supposed differences with other brands may not be so significant.

Only 16 kilometers of autonomy difference between the Tesla Model S and the Porsche Taycan Turbo S

This is what a very detailed comparative test by Car and Driver demonstrated recently. The American media took to the roads of California last February the same day under the same conditions a Tesla Model S Raven and a Porsche Taycan Turbo S for a thorough test covering many criteria, including performance, and above all, autonomy. Their results are far from the official figures:

"Even more surprising, the Porsche held up well in our 120 km / h autonomy test. While the EPA claims that there is a difference of 215 km of autonomy between the two, by extrapolating from our 160 km journey, the difference in the real world amounts to 16 km in favor of the You're here. "

Car and Driver adds that the charging speed of the Taycan also works in its favor:

"The Taycan also won the other speed (charge) test, with its ever higher charge rate allowing it to charge faster. The Tesla Supercharger network may have more stations, but it also has more users, and Tesla owners have had to wait long lines just to connect during peak hours. At the Electrify America outpost where we recharged the Porsche, another 15 outlets remained unused during the time we were there. "

In “real life”, that of everyday drivers who use their car under normal conditions (120 km / h is already a good average), the Taycan Turbo S therefore gives the Tesla only 16 kilometers of autonomy Model S. It can make the difference at the end of the day, but it's not it's not abysmal. Another American site, InsideEVs, which specializes in electro-mobility and which is rather reputed to be very “pro-tesla”, covered 411 kilometers during a test in rather unfavorable climatic conditions (rain, wind, cold). 256 miles) on a single charge with the Taycan Turbo.

However, we are talking here about the more powerful versions of the two cars, with less autonomy, because power is generally found at the expense of range. But the situation changes, because in the meantime a new version of the Taycan, the 4S, has arrived on the market (108,000 euros). And the first essays have just been published, again by American media. Road and Track traveled 469 kilometers (292 miles) under normal conditions, on road and highway, with air conditioning and the cool seats activated, while its colleague Autoblog reached 482 kilometers (300 miles), both in one charge obviously.

So certainly, in terms of radius of action and know-how in battery management, the advantage remains with Tesla, but it is tiny in reality, and we know from experience that the announced autonomy of cars from the Californian brand is often very optimistic compared to that noted by its users on a daily basis. Which apparently isn't the case for Porsche. It could even be the opposite. We will be able to verify this on paper during a test of the Taycan scheduled for the end of May if the Covid-19 does not do anything again by then.