Tesla driver says car refused to start. It still had enough charge

@jamescharleslol/TikTok sheilaf2002/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘Those numbers don’t seem to add up’: Tesla driver says car lied about charge amount

‘So why are you telling me that I have 30 extra miles?’


Braden Bjella


While Tesla drivers may enjoy the technology and ease of charging their vehicles provide, they’ve also reported a host of issues utilizing their vehicles in everyday life.

For example, one Tesla Cybertruck owner went viral after claiming their vehicle broke down four times after just a few months of ownership. Another claimed that his car’s touchscreen broke after sending the vehicle through a car wash, and a further user alleged that their Tesla’s self-driving feature almost drove them into a cop car.

While some issues with Tesla vehicles can be ascribed to driver error, others are directly the fault of the manufacturer. According to a December 2023 article from Reuters, Tesla knew that some parts on its vehicles were flawed or prone to failure; still, they often blamed the drivers for the issue rather than the car itself.

Now, another Tesla driver has sparked discussion after citing an issue with the car’s expected range.

How Accurate is a Tesla’s Expected Range?

In a video with over 4.8 million views as of Saturday, TikTok user and YouTuber James Charles (@jamescharleslol) explains why he “f***ing hate[s] Tesla.”

According to Charles, his car claimed to have 165 miles of range. On his current journey, there are only 131 miles left to his destination. However, while it may initially appear that Charles has enough miles to reach where he’s going, the car claims that this isn’t actually the case.

“There’s 34 miles that should be left in the f***ing battery by the time we arrive home,” he explains. “Well, nope, that’s funny. It says we need to charge to reach the destination—because if we don’t, we’re going to get home with negative 9%.”

This discrepancy visibly infuriates Charles.

“Maybe I’m f***ing missing something, but those numbers don’t seem to add up,” he states. “And clearly, the car is able to calculate what the actual charge is. So why are you telling me that I have 30 extra miles?”

What Can Affect a Tesla’s Range?

According to Tesla, the expected range of a car can be impacted by a host of factors. While the vehicle may say that a car has a certain number of miles left, the range can be affected by high driving speeds, cold temperatures, stop-and-go traffic, and more.

Other driver decisions can also influence range. For example, Car and Driver performed a test in which they sought to determine how using the air conditioning in a Tesla affected the range of the car. 

Depending on what climate control settings were used, they found the car’s expected range to drop anywhere between 34 and 61 miles. 

This may explain Charles’ experience, as he writes in a comment responding to whether he had the A/C on, “Of course I f***ing do it’s hot outside.”

@jamescharleslol THE MATH IS NOT ADDING UP @𝗘𝗟𝗢𝗡 𝗠𝗨𝗦𝗞 ♬ original sound – James Charles

What the Internet Says

Commenters were quick to share their own Tesla gripes or other reasons why the expected range might be different from what the car actually requires.

“It’s not that he’s upset on how long he has left- he’s mad it isn’t calculating right,” explained a user. “The car should account for AC.”

“Over time batteries degrade and so does their capacity to hold the charge accurately. Since your Tesla is older it requires more to work to do less,” shared another.

“You need to consider traffic light wait times,” noted a third.

The Daily Dot reached out to Charles via press email.

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