February 18 Weekly Open Thread: More Electric Car Whining
The automotive world is slowly accepting electric cars and the like. But there is controversy of late. It seems that a test drive of a Tesla went wrong... that it didn't meet the advertised claims of its parent company.
Or did it fail? There are two sides to this story, and Tesla has a great argument.
Rather than me trying to retell the story, here it is from Wikipedia:
"On 8th February 2013, the New York Times published a review, written by John Broder, about the real possibility of a Tesla Model S making a trip between Washington, D.C. and Boston using Tesla's Supercharger network, which only has two stations in the East Coast. In this review Broder made a variety of negative claims about the limitations of batteries during cold weather, and the separation between Tesla's charging stations, that resulted in finishing the trip with the Model S carried by a flatbed truck to the Milford station in Connecticut.
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk responded in a blog on Tesla's website,
publishing logs of the charge levels and driving speed that contradicted
Broder's account on several factual details.
Musk implied that Broder's behaviour in charging and driving the car
forced the car to fail. Broder replied to Musk's criticism in a blog
post. In the middle of the controversy, a reporter from CNN
recreated Mr. Broder's trip, and he was able to make it with battery
capacity still left. However, there were two key differences with CNN's
test from the one from the New York Times. The weather was about 10 °F
warmer, and the reporter did the trip in one day; the reviewer from the
Times split it into two."
The Related Articles section at the bottom here makes for great reading, by the way. The first article, "A Most Peculiar Test Drive," gives Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk's rebuttal to the story.
The Tesla Model S deserves a post of its own. But basically, it is an all-new car which has received many top awards. It is built in the former New United Motor Manufacturing Incorporated (NUMMI) plant just outside of San Francisco, and yours truly has received a personal invitation to tour there some day. I can't wait!
Sadly, this isn't the first time Tesla has had a dispute with the media. They sued Top Gear over a similar story, but the BBC's show is known for being scripted, and their "review" was judged as entertainment.
So does this little war of words affect your beliefs in electric cars either positively or negatively (No puns intended there)? Is it just biased journalism? Or does Tesla have a good case for rebuttal? Either way, I don't think this story is over quite yet.
And of course, this is the place to discuss anything else even slightly automotive-related that we might get a charge out of (OK, pun intended there).
--That Car Guy (Chuck)
Image Credit: Our superb Tesla S image is from NationalGeographic.com.