We here at DailyXY like the Tesla Model S (and the Roadster). Our own Brendan McAleer reviewed it and was a big fan. Car and Driver had a pretty good in depth examination of the Model S, in case you don’t buy into hype. So, what’s the problem?
On the 8th, the New York Times (also know as the most important newspaper on this contient) ran a review of the Model S entitled “Stalled Out On Tesla’s Electric Highway” with this picture:
Reviewer John M. Broder claims that his experience was less than optimal: his car just wouldn’t charge properly as lost miles quickly:
“I began following Tesla’s range-maximization guidelines, which meant dispensing with such battery-draining amenities as warming the cabin and keeping up with traffic. I turned the climate control to low — the temperature was still in the 30s — and planted myself in the far right lane with the cruise control set at 54 miles per hour (the speed limit is 65).”
After the review hit, shares of Tesla took a dive, prompting CEO Elon Musk to hit back, arguing that the batteries never ran out, that Broder lied about his speeds, that he purposely ran the heater to drain the batteries, and even that he drove around a parking lot in an attempt to drain the car’s battery.
Atlantic Wire has found some of Musk’s allegations to be less than convincing; for example, Broder claims he was merely circling the parking lot in an attempt to find a charging station.
Wired also took issue with a few of Musk’s arguments, especially this:
“Tesla also claims that the State of Charge indicator never reached zero. But Elon Musk didn’t need to delve deep into the car’s logs to determine that. The Model S is incapable of reaching a zero charge. The controllers connected to the lithium-ion battery packs won’t let the charge be completely depleted as that would “brick” the battery, rendering it useless. There always has to be some kind of energy stored in the packs to avoid damaging the battery.”
Meanwhile, the New York Time’s public editor, Margaret Sullivan, is looking into the matter, though she rejects Musk’s most tinfoil hatted assertation, that Broder faked his piece in order to stabotage the electric car industry.
Finally, Broder has responded to Musk with a point-by-point rebuttal.