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German Environmental Minister Returns Tesla Model S Because It Lacked Enough Range

Range anxiety is still a very real barrier to EVs.

While range anxiety is becoming less and less of an issue with each new and refreshed electric car that hits the market, it’s still a factor in the struggle for EVs to gain any significant market share. A perfect example of that comes from German EV proponent Johannes Remmel, who recently returned his Tesla Model S because the limited range reportedly wasn’t able to meet his needs.

Remmel, a member of Germany’s Green Party and the environment minister for North Rhein-Westphalia, wanted to see if he could realistically daily-drive an EV. He chose a Tesla Model S as his test car. The report from Automotive News does not specify which Model S he drove, but it does say it had a certified 500 kilometer (311 mile) range. Based on that, our best guess is that it was a 100D, or possibly a P 100D.

After 43 trips in the EV, however, he brought it back. In an internal memo obtained under Germany’s Freedom of Information Act, one of Remmel’s senior aides told one of the state’s fleet managers that the Model S was “ill suited” for everyday use on official business due to real-life range falling short of expectations. The memo went on to say the Tesla couldn’t even go 400 kilometers on a charge, which means they couldn’t take a trip farther than 150 km before they had to turn around and head back. The aide noted that “the style of driving has to be adjusted to an extreme degree to the charge status of the battery.”

To add insult to injury, Remmel’s aide also criticized the refinement of the electric luxury car. “When it comes to comfort as well as the ability to perform work, the rear bank of seats leave much to be desired for a sedan of its class,” the aide wrote.

Naturally, this problem could be solved with a more fleshed-out charging network in Germany, especially one of Tesla Superchargers. Elon Musk recently tweeted that “major increases” in the charger network in urban areas here in the States will be happening over the next several months. Perhaps this report, combined with Germany’s push for EVs, will prompt Tesla to beef up their European charging networks as well.