I wager that New York Times reporter John Broder didn’t see this coming. A few years ago, BBC’s Top Gear program ran a segment on the Tesla Roadster, the all-electric company’s first car. I enjoy the show thoroughly, so it was a bit of a surprise that the crew had such trouble with it, including running out of juice well before the advertised range and the car breaking entirely, unable to operate. Back in the shop, Tesla discovered that the show had no such issues and had, in fact, scripted the entire disaster. Not only did a court case follow, but Tesla began to log the telemetry of the vehicles they sent out for review. When the Times published Broder’s negative review of the car, featuring a picture of the car being pulled onto a flatbed tow truck, Tesla was more than a little skeptical. Then they pulled out the logs… and the results weren’t pretty.
Elon Musk, who runs Tesla, has a hard road ahead of him (no pun intended) in promoting his high-dollar electric cars and accompanying Supercharger stations, which are proprietary to those cars, bringing them to full capacity in an hour. The Times piece was designed to highlight advancements in those Superchargers, the two of which are well within range of New York City. But as Broder reports, he ran out of juice several times, to the point of the car being inoperable (sound familiar?) and driving in a frigid cabin after having to shut off climate controls to conserve energy.
But, the data suggests otherwise. Musk stastes that the battery never came close to empty and that at one point, Broder ran the car around in circles to bring the range indicator down further. Broder also charged the car less and less with each stop for no discernible reason. When Broder suggests that Tesla told him to turn down the climate controls, he turned them up. When he suggests the car had to be driven slower, the telemetry shows he was going 10-15mph faster than his claims. All of this is on top of the barbed prose that Musk throttles at Broder’s report, which you can read below.
You don’t mess with the Musk.
Source: Tesla Motors