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Musk said he'll publish the driving log soon

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is ready to take The New York Times head-on over a "fake" review of the auto company's Model S sedan.

John Broder, a staff writer at The New York Times, recently tested out Tesla's Model S sedan on a road trip along the east coast. However, Broder’s final, published review spilled details of a failed trip and the many troubles the car gave him along the way.

The Model S sedan has an EPA rated 265-mile estimated range with an 85-kilowatt battery pack. This was the model provided to Broder for his road trip, and while other Model S testers were able to achieve about 300 miles under perfect conditions, Broder reported that the east coast's cold winter temperatures had severely depleted his charge on multiple occasions -- and bad advice from Tesla employees along the way only made matters worse. The car even eventually had to be towed.

Tesla Model S being loaded onto a flatbed after running out of "juice" [Image Souce: NYT]

Broder's report, released just last week, detailed a trip from the Washington area in Maryland to Norwich, Connecticut, with many stops in between including Newark, Delaware; New York City; Milford, Connecticut; Branford, Connecticut and Groton, Connecticut.

During his trip, Broder mentioned many instances where the battery suddenly depleted quickly and he had to call Tesla for assistance on how to maximize range between charging stops (which were about 200 miles apart from one another or less during the trip). He said he received different advice from different Tesla employees, and even bad advice from one that said to sit in the car for half an hour with the heat on a low setting in order to warm the battery after it depleted from an overnight stay in Groton.

At one point, the car even needed to be towed in Branford because the battery drained much sooner than anticipated.

When Broder published the article about his trip, Musk posted the following tweet:

Musk investigated the accusations by referring to the diagnostic data logged into the car from the actual journey. He discovered that the report wasn't entirely accurate, citing the car's data that suggests Broder was driving too fast at times, took a detour that he never mentioned in the article, and didn't charge the car completely.

Musk accused Broder of not following the car's instructions, which he was briefed on before the trip. The New York Times claimed he did.

“Our reporter followed the instructions he was given in multiple conversations with Tesla personnel,” The New York Times said in a statement. “He described the entire drive in the story; there was no unreported detour. And he was never told to plug the car in overnight in cold weather, despite repeated contact with Tesla.”

Musk said he would publish the driving log from the trip soon to prove that Broder lied in his report.

This isn't the first time Musk has gone after those who gave his company's vehicles poor reviews. In March 2011, Tesla's Roadster made an appearance on the UK car show "Top Gear," where the car overheated, had brake issues and had a range of only 55 miles on track conditions. Tesla sued BBC for libel and malicious falsehood, but an English court threw it out stating that the estimated ranges are always affected by driving conditions and that there was no basis for libel claim.

Sources: Bloomberg, The New York Times

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RE: Well -
By Mint on 2/13/2013 7:07:28 AM , Rating: 3
Now ofcourse, that's ad absurdum, but the problem still stands. If it takes a minute instead of a second, the powerplant doesn't blow untill the 181th car, but at the same time it's just as likely you'll get 180+ cars charging in a minute as it is getting 4 cars charging just a second.
No, the problem does not still stand. The second argument is just as absurd.

Your 1GW powerplant is about 1/1000th of the nation's capacity, so we'll divide the nation's light-duty driving (2.6 trillion VMT) by 1000. Let's pretend 50% of that instantly went to electric, so we're looking at 1.3 billion electric miles per year driven by the people served by the powerplant in your example.

EVs get 3-5 miles per kWh, so even taking the lowest efficiency, we'd only need 430 GWh of energy per year. That's less than 5% or this power plant's annual production. And guess what: far more capacity than that sits idle at night due to the demand curve, ripe for usage by EVs.

The overload scenario you drew up is absurd. 1.3 billion miles * 3kWh/mile = 430 GWh = 5 million charges per year of the 85kWh EV you speak of. Assuming they are all 1 minute-charges, that's 9.5 per minute. Plug this into a Poisson distribution, and you find the chance that 181 or more cars simultaneously ultra-quick-charge in the same minute is 10^-160, or <10^-154 per year:*24*60*Sur...
That's astronomically rare. In fact, even more so.

If you waited the age of the universe, you'd still only have a 1 in 10,000 chance of ever seeing 50 cars simultaneously doing 1 min quick charging, let alone 181. Moreover, most charging will be done at night over many hours, and even 5-min charging times are fast enough.

The reality is that we already have all the generating capacity we need for EVs. That's not the problem. It's one of cost reduction.
I'm no scientist but even i can see elecricity isn't a mass adoption option untill we find a way to store high densities for long periods of time without significant leakageNo, you most certainly are not. Leakage isn't a problem either (Li-ion leak a couple percent per month).

RE: Well -
By Mint on 2/13/2013 5:38:24 PM , Rating: 2
(small goof: "1.3 billion miles * 3kWh/mile" was supposed to be "1.3 billion miles / 3 miles/kWh", but all the other numbers stay the same)

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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