The base Porsche Taycan's EPA range numbers are super-easy to beat
Once again, independent testing proves the EPA's estimates are extremely conservative.
Steven EwingFormer managing editor
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.
Look, we all know the adage "your mileage may vary." But as it relates to the Porsche Taycan's official EPA range estimates, there's a pretty consistent trend. Time and time again, real-world testing proves the Taycan has no trouble exceeding its EPA range estimates. It was true when I took a Taycan Turbo on a road trip in early 2020, and I found similar success last weekend while range-testing the brand-new base, rear-wheel-drive Taycan -- you know, the pink one.
According to the EPA, whose numbers hit Porsche's US consumer site this week, the 2021 Taycan with its standard 79.2-kilowatt-hour battery will do 200 miles on a charge. Opt for the 93.4-kWh Performance Battery Plus and that range increases to 225 miles. Me? With the more powerful PBP setup, averaging battery usage over the course of four separate runs, I saw roughly 280 miles. That's a big difference.
My test car was the same German-spec Taycan I drove earlier this year, with that awesome pink-over-purple (sorry, Frozen-Berry-over-Blackberry) color scheme and those hideous but aerodynamic 19-inch wheels. I kept the Taycan in its standard drive setting the whole time, and varied between 60 and 85 mph on the freeway, depending on traffic. I also ran the air conditioning on auto, set to a breezy 70 degrees. (I like you guys, but not to sweat-my-ass-off-in-a-Porsche-press-car levels.)
2021 Porsche Taycan is a good-driving EV in an awesome pink wrapper
My test largely took place on the 10 freeway heading in and out of Los Angeles, with a detour up the 62 highway toward Joshua Tree to see fellow editor Emme Hall's new desert compound and her rad, off-road Miata. All told, I climbed from sea level up to about 3,500 feet of elevation.
Because of the elevation differences, I decided to break the trip into four test sections: two on flat stretches of the 10 and two on the uphill and downhill sections of the 62. At the end of each section, I recorded the number of miles driven and percentage of battery remaining on the Taycan's display. For the sake of verification, each time I plugged in the Taycan to charge, I checked the car's displayed battery percentage against the number on the charger itself, since a vehicle's onboard readout can sometimes be an estimate. The figures matched every time.
Over the four individual test periods, I compared the total percentage of battery used to the number of miles covered. A simple math equation allowed me to see what that sort of observed range would equate to over the course of a full battery cycle, and the average of those four test runs came out to an even 280 miles.
Oh, and before you light up my inbox with emails pointing out that even the 280-mile figure pales in comparison to what a Tesla Model S offers, two things: (1) I know; and (2) I'd rather drive and own a Taycan than a Tesla any day.
Why the common discrepancy? "The Taycan was designed to operate in the real world over a variety of environmental conditions and driving behavior," a Porsche spokesperson told me. "As far as the conservative-ness of the range, the Taycan was subjected to the two-cycle test which requires a 'correction' factor, that reduces on-paper range."
I've driven every version of the Taycan now, and every time, it's exceeded the EPA estimates. Yeah, sure, your mileage may vary, but with the Porsche Taycan, you can pretty safely assume it'll go above and beyond every time.
Watch this: 2021 Porsche Taycan RWD: What's not to like?