After Tesla Stalls, Musk Calls NY Times Report A Fake

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
after tesla stalls musk calls ny times report a fake

Tow truck delivers Model S to charging station

New York Times reporter John Broder told a harrowing story of a test drive from Delaware to Connecticut in a Tesla-supplied Model S. Broder wanted to review both the car and Tesla’s Supercharger stations along I95. The drive ended on a flatbed truck with a Model S that had run out of juice. The story landed Broder on Elon Musk’s shitlist.

“NYTimes article about Tesla range in cold is fake. Vehicle logs tell true story that he didn’t actually charge to max & took a long detour,” Musk tweeted, and the Tweet was re-tweeted more than a thousand times.

New York Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy told Reuters that the article about Broder’s test drive “was completely factual, describing the trip in detail exactly as it occurred. Any suggestion that the account was ‘fake’ is, of course, flatly untrue.”

The report, which is required reading for both EV lovers and haters, is big on suspense. After an uneventful drive from Washington D C, it gets interesting after a 49 minute stop at the first Supercharger. Only after turning the heat to low, and later to off, Broder limps into the next Supercharger station with “Recharge Now” flashing in red.

Broder is going north, and it is getting cold. The Model S does not like it. After a night parked in Connecticut, two thirds of the available range are gone. Even after an emergency charge on the way, the battery is exhausted and the car shuts down. A tow truck is called. There are problems getting the car on the flatbed because an “electrically actuated parking brake would not release without battery power.”

Broder documents everything in great detail, along with many calls to Tesla, all the way up to Tesla’s chief technology officer, J B Straubel.

The New York Times spokeswoman said Broder “followed the instructions he was given in multiple conversations with Tesla personnel,” and “there was no unreported detour,” as Musk claims.

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  • Sbunny8 Sbunny8 on Feb 15, 2013

    If you ride a bus for ten miles, you better plan on waiting a while at the station to catch the right bus back home. If you pedal a bicycle for 10 miles you better think about how tired you will feel before you have to pedal 10 miles back. If you ride a motorcycle 10 miles you better think about whether it will be too cold or rainy for you to safely ride 10 miles back. Similar planning applies to EVs. It seems to me that we have gotten spoiled by the idea that we should be able to go anywhere on a whim and get there at 75mph. If that's your reference point, you probably shouldn't buy an EV. But if you are used to things like buses, taxis, trains, bicycles, motorcycles, and you consider an EV in that context, you can think about the advantages and disadvantages and decide if it works for your situation. If, like me, you almost never drive more than 40 miles in one day, and you're willing to make other arrangements on those rare occasions that you need to go farther, such as taking the bus or renting an ICE car, then an EV might work for you.

  • ToolGuy Last picture: Labeling the accelerator as "play" and the brake pedal as "pause" might be cute, but it feels wrong. It feels wrong because it is wrong, and it is wrong because Calculus.Sidebar: I have some in-laws who engage the accelerator and brake on a binary on/off all-in basis. So annoying as a passenger.Drive smoothly out there. 🙂
  • Johnny ringo It's an interesting vehicle, I'd like to see VW offer the two row Buzz in the states also.
  • Chuck Norton And guys are having wide spread issues with the 10 speed transmission with the HP numbers out of the factory......
  • Zerofoo "Hyundais just got better and better during the 1990s, though, and memories of those shoddy Excels faded."Never. A friend had an early 90s Hyundai Excel as his college beater. One day he decided that the last tank of gas he bought was worth more than the car. He drove it to empty and then he and his fraternity brothers pushed it into the woods and left it there.
  • Kwik_Shift There are no new Renegades for sale within my geographic circle of up to 85 kms. Looks like the artificial shortage game. They bring one in, 10 buyers line up for it, $10,000 over MSRP. Yeah. Like with a lot of new cars.