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NY Times' Broder Responds To Tesla's Elon Musk 609

DocJohn writes "NY Times' John Broder responded to Elon Musk's blog entry. Accused of driving around a parking lot for no reason, for instance, Broder notes he was simply looking for the poorly marked charging station. Worst of all, much of Broder's behavior can be attributed directly to advice he received from Tesla representatives — something Musk fails to mention."
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NY Times' Broder Responds To Tesla's Elon Musk

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 14, 2013 @11:17PM (#42905611)

    There is another reporter duplicating this exact run.
    Open the window and turn up the heater. Drive in circles in a parking lot.
    Use the advise from Tesla motors in an odd way to maximize drain.
    I await the other reporters story not this con job.

  • A couple of points (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 14, 2013 @11:17PM (#42905613)

    A charging station he had previously been to...which makes his claim seem pretty suspect to me.

    Also, Musk did say this: "The final leg of his trip was 61 miles and yet he disconnected the charge cable when the range display stated 32 miles. He did so expressly against the advice of Tesla personnel and in obvious violation of common sense."

    That was the most damning accusation, and on that note, Musk refutes the claim that he was told by Tesla employees to act as he did.

  • Re:Nope (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 14, 2013 @11:27PM (#42905713)
    Maybe because they're not yet ready for prime time? Seemed to me the biggest problem in the article was the battery charge dropping overnight in the cold weather. Elon Musk forgot to rebut that. Maybe if global warming is real, that won't be a problem. Eventually. Oh, and an hour and a half to refuel at supercharged station? I can't be the only one who sees a problem with that.
  • come on... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by apcullen ( 2504324 ) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @11:28PM (#42905727)
    They clocked the speed he was driving at because the tires were a different size? There's some mysterious huge downhill on the new jersey turnpike that caused him to hit 80 despite setting his cruise control to 54? Really? Is that the best he can come up with?

    The model S may or may not be a good car. It sure seems like it's a pain to charge up on long trips. But this guy Broder sounds like he's full of it.
  • by pikine ( 771084 ) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @11:43PM (#42905835) Journal
    The log does show that rated range remaining dropped at the 400 mile mark very sharply. I wonder what happened. Did Broder just park the car and leave it on overnight? The battery charge did drain quite a bit without making any distance. Since the log's x-axis is distance based, it doesn't show how fast the battery charge is used up while the car is not moving.
  • Re:Nope (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DCFusor ( 1763438 ) on Friday February 15, 2013 @12:32AM (#42906161) Homepage
    I don't think mine sucks. I love it. Chevy Volt. Has a fanboy webpage, not GM sponsored. We talk about the others, many of us either wish we had a Tesla - or DO. Funny thing - the least little thing wrong with any of our cars gets discussed. And we here almost nothing bad about Tesla, even though we're not his fan-group. What cold hard facts? People who, unlike this reporter, have some brains, and enough money to buy an electric almost universally love them. I prefer the mixed-hybrid Volt, as it can be an only car even if you do like to take long trips, and don't want to wait for even a super-charger to fill it back up. Guess what Bob Lutz (the guy who influenced GM to make the Volt) says? They'd never have made this great car if Elon hadn't prodded them in the ass with his.
  • by hrvatska ( 790627 ) on Friday February 15, 2013 @12:37AM (#42906171)
    Is there anyone outside of Tesla that can independently verify that the logs actually recorded what Musk says they recorded? Why is there an automatic assumption by some that what Musk is publishing is what the logs actually recorded? How would we know if Musk is falsifying what's in the logs?
  • by Rockoon ( 1252108 ) on Friday February 15, 2013 @12:49AM (#42906261)
    By "screwing up" do you mean that they told this reporter that even though the display range said 32 miles, they told him it would go the 61 miles planned?

    This is not the kind of thing that is a "screw up" -- this is the kind of thing that someone would claim to have happened while lying his ass off.

    Do you even listen to yourself?
  • by craighansen ( 744648 ) on Friday February 15, 2013 @12:51AM (#42906277) Journal

    This overnight loss of range had been previously reported by Consumer Reports, and Tesla reportedly told them the same story- that the range will recover as driving is resumed and the batteries are warmed up. This was also in the vicinity of the Milford supercharging station. []

    "The night before my voyage back to work, I had 88 miles left, according to the car's computation. I knew that would be cutting it pretty close, so I planned on a 30-minute supercharging session in Milford to gain some juice and added peace of mind. But while parked outside my house overnight, the temperature dipped and so did the indicated range, which now read only 58 miles. (Yes, a little range anxiety began to set in.) How can 30 miles evaporate just like that? According to Tesla, the car's computer takes into account the freezing temperature and readjusts the remaining range. The company also said that, upon restarting, the battery warms up and the computer once again updates the range. I didn't notice it adding miles to the range but the range remained steady for most of my 28-mile drive back to the supercharger. I connected to the charger with 50 miles on the meter and after 30 minutes, I was back to 150 miles—more than ample range to get back to our East Haddam test track."

  • by fnj ( 64210 ) on Friday February 15, 2013 @03:06AM (#42907209)

    Try harder. Nobody likes a pedantic ass. Technically correct or not.

    Telling people they are ignorant yahoo buffoons is not pedantic. It may be rude.

  • by whois ( 27479 ) on Friday February 15, 2013 @03:13AM (#42907247) Homepage

    I knew enough about Tesla cars, or so I thought. I always figured they were impractical for me because their price puts them at a sole-car position for a person, and for long trips there was nothing that could be done about not being able to reach places > 300 miles away.

    The scandal actually gave me a second or third look at them and let me see that the supercharger network is coming along. I also thought that the supercharger network was dumb, reasoning that I wouldn't want to wait 50 minutes to recharge my car in the middle of a trip. The article made me rethink that as well. On a drive of >300 miles I almost always stop somewhere for lunch. Basically the cars range just enforces a break every few hundred miles.. not that bad a thing.

    There are still problems unspoken by this article. What if multiple cars are ahead of you and it takes 2 hours to charge? You can't really plan those delays into a trip, not a business one at least.

    I'm still a big fan of the Chevy Volt for being 100% electric, with the backup gas engine if needed. And it doesn't look completely ridiculous like the nissan leaf, nor does it require new infrastructure like the Tesla.

  • by Loki_1929 ( 550940 ) on Friday February 15, 2013 @03:43AM (#42907381) Journal

    Tesla has the benefit of being the first ones out there with a real EV that works, so they have an opportunity to set the standard. They need to put as much as they possibly can into getting supercharging stations at every rest stop, restaurant, and hotel in and around population centers. You're going to spend 45 minutes eating at Denny's (or wherever) anyway. If you can plug in your Tesla and charge to nearly full while you do it? That's brilliant.

    Once they have critical mass of infrastructure in place, they can charge a very small licensing fee to other EV manufacturers for the interface technology and set the major standard for the next couple decades while practically printing money along the way.

    As for the Volt, it can't be "100% electric" if it has a gasoline engine. Just like the Prius and others, it's an EV until it isn't. That entire time, it's an overcomplicated bit of machinery trying to be all things to all people. I just hope Tesla manages to get their next model out soon since it's targeting under $30,000 with specs comparable to the Model S. That, I think, is where they have the opportunity to get huge.

  • by hattig ( 47930 ) on Friday February 15, 2013 @06:23AM (#42908101) Journal

    You do know that by "monitoring" they mean "recording", and by "may be" they mean "100% will be". Even small companies can afford a call recording system for their support lines. It would be remiss of Tesla not to record calls, particularly after enabling all the stats logging in the car for media reviews.

    Yes, the ball is back in Musk's court, and we will now find out if they record their support calls. We will also hopefully find out where that charge went overnight.

  • by Coisiche ( 2000870 ) on Friday February 15, 2013 @12:22PM (#42911341)

    Male motoring reporters don't like electric cars. Simple fact.

    In the UK Top Gear program, the only presenter ever to make a grudging positive comment about an electric vehicle is James May, nicknamed Captain Slow by the others. I suspect there might be an agenda at work there.

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker