Tesla v Times cage match 2

The Mustang guy tipped me off to a Wired article, Tesla Releases Driving Logs Contradicting NYT’s Scathing Review of Model S :

Data released by Tesla Motors late Wednesday night directly contradicts a damning review of the automaker’s Model S sedan by The New York Times.

The Tesla data, pulled directly from the electric sedan’s on-board computer, claims that New York Times reporter John M. Broder never completely ran out of energy during his extended drive of the Model S, despite his account to the contrary. …

According to Tesla, Broder was given explicit instructions for his drive: Keep the speed at 55 mph and turn down the climate control. Broder claims to have set the cruise control at 54 mph, and at one point he writes that he “limped along at about 45 miles per hour.” However, the logs released by Tesla show that he drove at speeds ranging from 65 to 81 mph, and kept the interior temperature at 72 degrees, increasing it to 74 degrees at one point.

Tesla’s data claims that Broder never completely charged the Model S during three separate charging sessions, including one charge before the final leg of his trip, when Broder disconnected the charger with an indicated range of 32 miles, despite planning to drive 61 miles. Additionally, Broder claims to have charged for 58 minutes during the second leg of his trip, although Tesla’s data alleges it was only connected to the Supercharger for 47 minutes.

While driving on the highway, Broder says the Model S sedan’s display informed him that it was about to shut the car down. “I was able to coast down an exit ramp in Branford, Conn., before the car made good on its threat,” Broder describes in his story.

According to Tesla, the Model S never shut down as was implied by Broder – he simply pulled over. Tesla claims its “State of Charge” data log shows that the battery never ran out of energy at any point during his trip.

Have to run to a meeting, but curiouser and curiouser.

Update: At My Husband’s Electric Car, Deborah links to Elon Musk’s blog post, A Most Peculiar Test Drive. Musk continues with his counteroffensive:

After a negative experience several years ago with Top Gear, a popular automotive show, where they pretended that our car ran out of energy and had to be pushed back to the garage, we always carefully data log media drives. While the vast majority of journalists are honest, some believe the facts shouldn’t get in the way of a salacious story. In the case of Top Gear, they had literally written the script before they even received the car (we happened to find a copy of the script on a table while the car was being “tested”). Our car never even had a chance.

The logs show again that our Model S never had a chance with John Broder. In the case with Top Gear, their legal defense was that they never actually said it broke down, they just implied that it could and then filmed themselves pushing what viewers did not realize was a perfectly functional car. In Mr. Broder’s case, he simply did not accurately capture what happened and worked very hard to force our car to stop running.

I’m as skeptical as anyone about electric vehicles being more than a niche solution. I think EV manufacturers have to be better than traditional car manufacturers to make their mark. I thought Musk was making a mistake in the tone he took to challenge the Times report but at this point I’d say the Model S logs make Broder’s reporting look sloppy if not intentionally misleading. Somehow he and the Times have to prove that Tesla’s logs are wrong.

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2 responses to “Tesla v Times cage match 2”

  1. artappraise says :

    Broder responds Feb. 14, 6:10 pm:

    http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/14/that-tesla-data-what-it-says-and-what-it-doesnt/

    Note there are currently 183 comments….

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