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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

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By michael67 on 2/14/2013 3:32:15 PM , Rating: 2
The Tesla's are pretty popular here in Norway, as they are taxed very low.

But anyone that can afford a Model S can afford a second car for road trips.

I drive a Think City from and to work every day 77km/48mile to and from work, where i charge my car for free.
(I have 0 driving cost)

But for long trips i still have a GS450h, and if i did not have that one i would have gotten me something like a second hand Toyota Camry, as a second car for long road trips.

Anyone that can afford a $100K EV can afford a second car, new or used.

And for me, a 265mile/425km drive range is good for all my driving except for holidays trips, and we most of the time take the plane for those.

For me our Think City is good for 99.5% of my trips, and that one whit its aging battery only has a range of 120km/75miles.

Me and the rest of the family (sisters of my wife, there husbands and there and our kids, 9 drivers) own 3 Think City's that we use as we need.

I don't get why EVs getting a beating on there short range, as most people drive less then 50km/30miles a day 99% of the time.

Are EV for every one, hell no, but if you fall in a certain group EV could be a nice alternative.

For me a single or two person inline car would be perfect, don't need a 4 seat car to get me to and from work.

I would like something like the Renault Twizy, but then with a 100% closed cabin, as i don't wane drive with thick outdoor winter clothes all the time when its winter, or getting wet when it rains.

Don't need a lot of comfort but more then the Twizy offers.

Think that small EV, or 500cc vehicles like the Twizy (but wit more comfort) are the future, as we don't need big 4x4's whit V8's to go to work alone, as petrol is just getting to expensive to waste on those guzzlers.

By NellyFromMA on 2/14/2013 3:56:49 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for sharing your experience. I've actually been very open minded towards EVs but this article in particular indirectly highlighted a cruel reality in the current state of the tech, at least how it is applied in the Tesla models.

I've never heard of Think City, probably because it doesn't have a presence in the USA (does it?).

I'll look into that. Certainly if one brand performs poorly, it isn't indicitive of the technology as a whole showing no promise. However, I thought Tesla was one of the top-performers in this area. If so, that's not saying much IMO.

I'll look into Think City. Thanks again for sharing.

By Reclaimer77 on 2/14/2013 4:55:13 PM , Rating: 2
I'll look into Think City.

Look into your own personal jaws-o-life as well. Cause if anything bigger than a squirrel hits that thing, you're a dead man.

By NellyFromMA on 2/15/2013 2:24:08 PM , Rating: 2
lol didn't mean for purchase. Just in general. I take it the thing resembles a "Smart" car going by your comment.

By Reclaimer77 on 2/15/2013 2:45:52 PM , Rating: 2
lol ah ok. Well scale is kind of hard to judge with pics, but this thing makes the Smart look like a luxury liner.

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