Print 99 comment(s) - last by Schrag4.. on Feb 19 at 2:35 PM

The driving logs disprove many of Broder's claims

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has fulfilled his promise to provide the driving logs from the recent Model S test drive by The New York Times -- and it looks like John Broder has some explaining to do.

Broder, the NYT staff writer that took a Tesla Model S for a test trip up the east coast this winter, published a final article that details a failed trip and the many troubles the car gave him along the way.

However, Musk became suspicious of Broder's claims when so many other journalists had made similar or more tasking trips in the Model S.

"To date, hundreds of journalists have test driven the Model S in every scenario you can imagine," said Musk. "The car has been driven through Death Valley (the hottest place on Earth) in the middle of summer and on a track of pure ice in a Minnesota winter. It has traveled over 600 miles in a day from the snowcapped peaks of Tahoe to Los Angeles, which made the very first use of the Supercharger network, and moreover by no lesser person than another reporter from The New York Times. Yet, somehow John Broder 'discovered' a problem and was unavoidably left stranded on the road. Or was he?"

Musk dug up the driving logs from Broder's trip, and earlier this week, he said he would share these discoveries after claiming that Broder had "faked" his article. Now, Musk has come equipped with the goods and it's not looking good for Broder.

Musk first addressed Broder's claim that the Model S ran completely out of energy and required a flatbed truck to tow it in Connecticut. Musk said the car never, at any time, ran out of energy.

Broder's article also mentioned that the Model S fell short of its projected range "on the final leg" of the trip, which was 61 miles total. On his final charge before embarking on this last leg of 61 miles, the logs show that Broder disconnected the charge cable when the range display showed only 32 miles. However, despite not fully charging the car, it managed to travel 51 miles -- and still wasn't completely out of charge when the flatbed truck was called for a tow. Also, during that last leg of the trip, Broder drive right past another charging station where he could have given the Model S another boost. But Musk said Broder "constructed a no-win scenario for any vehicle, electric or gasoline."

Musk also said that Broder never set the cruise control to 54 MPH or drove at 45 MPH, as stated in the article. Instead, he drove at speeds of 65-81 MPH for a majority of the trip.

He also had the cabin temperature at 72 degrees, and when he mentioned turning it down in the article, he had actually turned it up to 74 degrees.

Musk further noted that Broder's charge time on the second stop was 47 minutes, and not 58 minutes as stated in the article's graphic. If Broder didn't turn off the Supercharger at 47 minutes and went for the full 58, it would have been "virtually impossible" for him to run out of energy so quickly.

Speaking of charging, the driving logs also showed that Broder recharged the car to 90 percent on his first stop, to 72 percent on the second Supercharge and to 28 percent on the last leg -- signficantly cutting charging times at each stop.

Finally, Musk's driving logs from the Model S show that Broder had taken a long detour in Manhattan, and upon reaching Milford, Connecticut (where the range display said 0 miles), he drove the car in circles in a for over a half mile in a tiny parking lot. The Model S wouldn't give in and die, so Broder finally took it to the charging station.

Musk added that Broder was biased against electric vehicles from the start, and had set out to make the Model S fail before even receiving the car.

"When the facts didn’t suit his opinion, he simply changed the facts," said Musk. "Our request of The New York Times is simple and fair: please investigate this article and determine the truth. You are a news organization where that principle is of paramount importance and what is at stake for sustainable transport is simply too important to the world to ignore."

Broder, who had his article published last week, was given a Model S sedan with an EPA rated 265-mile estimated range with an 85-kilowatt battery pack. He traveled 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, Broder said the car even needed to be towed in Branford because the battery drained much sooner than anticipated.

Let's see what Broder has to say now.

Source: Tesla Motors

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By Keeir on 2/14/2013 3:01:54 PM , Rating: 2
What assurances do we have these logs are legit?


On one hand you have Elon Musk who has a financial interest in his company defending his product.

On the other you have a newpaper with a financial interest in writing the most shocking story possible. One which has had multiple issues in the recent history with fact checking its reporters stories.

The "smoking" gun in this situation would be that the Reporter himself claimed the Model S went 51 miles when it read 32 miles of range. The Reporter himself claimed to set out on a 60+ mile journey with 32 miles of reported range. The -only- way this makes sense is if the reporter ment "72" miles instead of 32. But he hasn't declared his own mistake yet.

By Reclaimer77 on 2/14/2013 3:32:24 PM , Rating: 1
If they wanted to shock someone, a story about EV's being less practical than ICE's isn't what I would call shocking. Especially given the weather conditions.

I'm not saying the logs are faked. I just thought someone should point out the possibility. I saw everyone here taking the logs for granted, so I figured I would be "that guy" again and use the dreaded 'critical thinking'.

Musk seems to be nitpicking, big time. He's basically accusing the guy of not doing every single thing possible to baby the car. Including bashing someone for not documenting the use of cabin heaters? Who does that? I can't recall the CEO of another car company lambasting the media because they didn't hypermile their vehicle. Which is what Musk is pretty much saying with all this "you didn't hypermile the car so it looked better than it did"

I'm in heaven either way on this. If Musk wins, FINALLY the credibility of the so-called "media" gets questioned by a few more people than the same "right wingers". If Musk loses, that's strike three in his attempt to sue his way to favorable reviews. If indeed this ends up in court. Which I believe would be a huge mistake.

By ChronoReverse on 2/14/2013 4:11:06 PM , Rating: 3
No that's not it at all.

You're reading this through some sort of weird lens here.

Musk is not nitpicking that by driving at 74 instead of 72 the car lost range, but that the reporter is [b]outright lying[/b]. The reporter claimed he was forced to turn down the temperature but he had actually increased it.

The other thing is that the reporter is either an idiot or outright sabotaging. How else do you explain trying to do a 61 mile leg when the display says 32 miles left? How else do you explain doing small loops for half a mile in a parking lot?

By Reclaimer77 on 2/14/2013 4:20:46 PM , Rating: 2
How else do you explain doing small loops for half a mile in a parking lot?

It's fun?

I do that all the time in my car. Impreza doughnuts ftw! Then I go and gas up, which takes 3 minutes tops. It the Tesla can't do the same, it's inferior clearly.

The reporter claimed he was forced to turn down the temperature but he had actually increased it.

Who cares? Why is the environmental controls a factor here (rhetorical, I know why)? They aren't in EVERY OTHER car article/review.

See what Musk is doing here? By going after the media and breaking down this stuff into such detail, he's actually further informing the general public about just how many pitfalls and inconveniences are involved with owning his product. Good going!

You're reading this through some sort of weird lens here.

Well that's my prerogative, buster! :)

By NellyFromMA on 2/14/2013 4:48:35 PM , Rating: 2
Can't help but agree that when I started reading this, I was like 'go Tesla' until indirectly, what I learned was that what required of the user to properly use there vehicle is silly and it kind of highlights how the target demographic is completely misaligned with the price tag.

What's worse, it seems terribly inconvenient. Getting people to pay a premium for cons in nearly every other way other than feeling 'good' is strange. How 'good' can an owner feel about themself when they just spent 3 times more tthan he needed to achieve 'economic' results.

Honda Fit sucks, but it seems to be infinitely more economical and reliable than the Tesla's overall. Not as stylish, but I mean they aren't buying the Tesla for style right? Oh wait, they are, just not body style, more like 'cool points'.

If the internal cabin temp has to be adjusted to accomodate for battery temps, holy crap thats awful.

Yes, the guy who wrote the article is clearly scummy. He could have at least fulfilled his end of the deal and then told the attrocious story through the eyes of someone who did their best and hated the car anyways.

The only winners here are the people who didn't buy a Tesla it seems.

By Reclaimer77 on 2/14/2013 6:22:12 PM , Rating: 2
Good stuff. Hard to argue with that.

"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Most Popular Articles5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
No More Turtlenecks - Try Snakables
September 19, 2016, 7:44 AM
ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment in Children: Problem or Paranoia?
September 19, 2016, 5:30 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM
Automaker Porsche may expand range of Panamera Coupe design.
September 18, 2016, 11:00 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki