I love Elon Musk!
I love the fact that in the face of a thousands of naysayers, he proved that electric cars are powerful machines capable of transitioning us away from the antiquated internal combustion engine, and in a way that doesn't cut corners and leave drivers without anything they couldn't get with a traditional internal combustion vehicle.
You see, in the early days of Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA), the anti-EV brigade and all its knuckle-dragging minions who, to this day continue to rave about the invention of fire and the wheel, did everything possible to discredit Musk, Tesla and its electric offerings.
But no matter how hard they huffed and puffed, they couldn't blow the house down. And today, with its Model S blowing the doors off of nearly every new vehicle technology we've seen in the past eighty years, Musk is getting the last laugh.
Of course, that doesn't mean detractors of the electric vehicle won't continue their devious efforts. In fact, last week, New York Times writer John Broder published a ridiculous hack piece on Tesla, complete with lies, misinformation and an agenda that was anything but honest.
Thankfully, Musk called out this charlatan journalist, and even published a piece that proves Broder fabricated some of his claims.
In his rebuttal, Musk writes. . .
After a negative experience several years ago with Top Gear, a popular automotive show, where they pretended that our car ran out of energy and had to be pushed back to the garage, we always carefully data log media drives. While the vast majority of journalists are honest, some believe the facts shouldn’t get in the way of a salacious story. In the case of Top Gear, they had literally written the script before they even received the car (we happened to find a copy of the script on a table while the car was being “tested”). Our car never even had a chance.
The logs show again that our Model S never had a chance with John Broder. In the case with Top Gear, their legal defense was that they never actually said it broke down, they just implied that it could and then filmed themselves pushing what viewers did not realize was a perfectly functional car. In Mr. Broder’s case, he simply did not accurately capture what happened and worked very hard to force our car to stop running.
Here is a summary of the key facts:
As the State of Charge log shows, the Model S battery never ran out of energy at any time, including when Broder called the flatbed truck.
The final leg of his trip was 61 miles and yet he disconnected the charge cable when the range display stated 32 miles. He did so expressly against the advice of Tesla personnel and in obvious violation of common sense.
In his article, Broder claims that “the car fell short of its projected range on the final leg.” Then he bizarrely states that the screen showed “Est. remaining range: 32 miles” and the car traveled “51 miles," contradicting his own statement (see images below). The car actually did an admirable job exceeding its projected range. Had he not insisted on doing a nonstop 61-mile trip while staring at a screen that estimated half that range, all would have been well. He constructed a no-win scenario for any vehicle, electric or gasoline.
On that leg, he drove right past a public charge station while the car repeatedly warned him that it was very low on range.
Cruise control was never set to 54 mph as claimed in the article, nor did he limp along at 45 mph. Broder in fact drove at speeds from 65 mph to 81 mph for a majority of the trip and at an average cabin temperature setting of 72 F.
At the point in time that he claims to have turned the temperature down, he in fact turned the temperature up to 74 F.
The charge time on his second stop was 47 mins, going from -5 miles (reserve power) to 209 miles of Ideal or 185 miles of EPA Rated Range, not 58 mins as stated in the graphic attached to his article. Had Broder not deliberately turned off the Supercharger at 47 mins and actually spent 58 mins Supercharging, it would have been virtually impossible to run out of energy for the remainder of his stated journey.
For his first recharge, he charged the car to 90%. During the second Supercharge, despite almost running out of energy on the prior leg, he deliberately stopped charging at 72%. On the third leg, where he claimed the car ran out of energy, he stopped charging at 28%. Despite narrowly making each leg, he charged less and less each time. Why would anyone do that?
The above helps explain a unique peculiarity at the end of the second leg of Broder’s trip. When he first reached our Milford, Connecticut Supercharger, having driven the car hard and after taking an unplanned detour through downtown Manhattan to give his brother a ride, the display said "0 miles remaining." Instead of plugging in the car, he drove in circles for over half a mile in a tiny, 100-space parking lot. When the Model S valiantly refused to die, he eventually plugged it in. On the later legs, it is clear Broder was determined not to be foiled again.
You can read the entire piece, with all the relevant graphs and charts here.