Tesla vs The New York Times

signs saying No Parking except for electric vehicles, reserved for Tesla Vehicle Chargin

Reserved Parking Signs for Tesla Vehicle Charging at Milford, CT Rest Area

Over the past few days, I have been watching the war of words erupt between New York Times writer John Broder and Elon Musk, CEO & founder of Tesla Motors, over Broder’s recent failed test drive of the Tesla Model S all electric sedan from Washington D.C. to Boston using Tesla’s new Super Charger Network along I-95.

I first saw these new Tesla Super Charger stations at our favorite Green Rest Area in Milford, CT on a trip back from New York just after Christmas this winter.  My opinion on these and their location is fodder for another blog post sometime.

The really short version is that Mr. Broder attempted to drive of the Tesla Model S from Washington to Boston, but he never completed the trip.  He then published a scathing report in the New York Times entitled Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway a week ago.  Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, exchanged some tweets with Mr. Broder and then posted a blog post rebuttal entitled A Most Peculiar Test Drive complete with data from the test drive that makes it look like Mr. Broder staged the whole thing to intentionally fail.

Besides being a huge fan of electric vehicles (hybrid, plug-in hybrids and all electric vehicles), what attracts me to this story is the use of data logging and what it can do to support the truth and debunk lies.  I revel in looking at the data logs from Tesla that shows things like Mr. Broder driving around stopping and starting for about five minutes and a half mile after exiting the freeway before pulling into the premium parking spot for the Super Chargers shown here in this picture I took.

2 Tesla Super Charging hookups at a rest area with the gas pumps in the background and solar panels above the pumpsBest 2 parking spaces at Milford, CT rest area reserved for Tesla Super Charging Stations

Best 2 parking spaces at Milford, CT rest area reserved for Tesla Super Charging Stations

Here are just two sample graphs of the data from Tesla’s rebuttal of the story.  Read the full report and let us know what you think really happened here in the comments.

chart showing deceleration from highway followed by back and forth driving in a small parking lot

Graph from Tesla’s Logging of Broder’s Test Drive

chart showing Broder drove the Tesla Model S above 60 mph for most of the drive even going as fast as 80 mph

Chart from Tesla’s logging of Broder’s Test Drive showing his speed at various points on the trip

If Tesla, or any other EV maker wants a test drive from an honest, but enthusiastic energy geek/green car lover, by all means contact me.

Happy Greening!
Jon

p.s. Peter Valdes-Dapena just reported on his successful Test drive: DC to Boston in a Tesla Model S where he finished with juice to spare.  I do wonder what the difference in temperature between the two drives were it was in the past week or so and it is still winter.

p.p.s. The cycle continues.  John Broder’s rebuttal to the rebuttal That Tesla Data: What It Says and What It Doesn’t.  This is starting to feel like the Tea Party rebuttal to the GOP rebuttal of President Obama’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday.

p.p.p.s. Margaret Sulivan, the public editor for the NYTimes, responds with her report Problems With Precision and Judgment, but Not Integrity, in Tesla Test on Broder’s article basically saying that Broder made some errors in judgement, but was not out to get Tesla or the EV.

p.p.p.p.s. The Rocky Mountain Institute posted a very important reminder to all of us about EVs: most trips are less than 10 miles and the average distance traveled by car in a day is 29 miles.   Going the Distance: Range Anxiety Overlooks EVs’ Sweet Spot



Comments

  1. I hope they contact you! I’d love to hear what you have to say about driving a Tesla.

  2. What a great, thoughtful post! I just showed this to my husband as he has been begging for an electric car to be our next. Really interesting…

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