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View Diary: Anti-electric car NYT reviewer LIES about Tesla Model S performance. (Update x2) (567 comments)

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  •  The jury is still out on this one (13+ / 0-)

    The claim made in the diary headline cannot be substantiated. I've been following this story all day. At first I was inclined to believe Musk. Now, it appears that a lot of what he wrote in his response piece, including the charts and graphs, was either a misinterpretation or a  misrepresentation. Not defending the NYT reporter. Just saying we should be cautious until all the facts are in.

    Jalopnik has been on this all day:

    http://jalopnik.com/...

    And this piece from The Atlantic describes how Musk screwed up his data:

    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/...

    I happen to believe in the Tesla, myself. But it appears that the reporter had a legit problem with the one he drove. Not sure if it was because of his malfeasance, his ignorance, or a problem with the vehicle. As I said above, the jury is still out on this one.

    "I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's." - William Blake

    by Tod Westlake on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 02:02:05 PM PST

    •  The first comment on the Atlantic story... (33+ / 0-)

      ...sums it up nicely.

      From commenter arnoldgovernator:

      Here's the most important data point: Musk says Broder unplugged the charger after charging to a range of 32 miles and then drove off for the final segment of his trip which spanned 61 miles. The car made it 51 miles. If Broder can't contest that, there isn't much use quibbling over Musk's other accusations.
      •  We'll see (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shotput8

        I just think it's hyperbole to call the guy a liar if we haven't heard the response and reviewed all the facts. But, hey, it gets you the top of the rec list, right?

        "I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's." - William Blake

        by Tod Westlake on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 02:13:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I suppose we could all hold off (10+ / 0-)

          commenting on anything at all until it's gone through three levels of appeals, but if we did that we would have to shut down daily kos.

          This isn't a court of law. People are allowed to evaluate what they see and decide who they trust more. Eventually I imagine this will be worked out in court, given the damage done to Tesla's brand as a result of that article.

          •  Liars are common (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nosleep4u, ferg, Laconic Lib, nymosyn, Mathazar

            I am fucking tired of being polite about the liars and paranoids who dominate much of our culture's conversations. The notion that Musk faked the car's logs is paranoid. The car's logs clearly show that on numerous points the NYT writer is a liar.

            Look, if we can call "game over" on the liars and paranoids it's game over for the Republicans. And also for some unfortunate people among the Democrats, and among the writers for our few remaining somewhat-liberal newspapers. These aren't people we should coddle, even if they do live in our camp.

            Truth! And be damned if you stand against it.

          •  Spare me your sarcasm (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Hey338Too, NYFM, Cobbler, earicicle

            If the headline had been, "Tesla CEO Says NYT Writer Lied About Test Drive," it would have been accurate. But instead we get -- IN ALL CAPS NO LESS -- that the NYT writer is a proven LIAR.

            We don't know that he's lying. This is more than likely operator error or some other misunderstanding. For fuck sake, read what the tow truck driver had to say about the incident. The car was dead, and Broder actually seemed distressed about this. I prefer to wait and see what shakes out over the next few days before I publicly accuse someone of lying. But, hey, that's me.

            And please remind me not to rely on your critical thinking skills if we ever find ourselves in a life-and-death situation.

            "I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's." - William Blake

            by Tod Westlake on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 06:45:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Did you read Broder's first article? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PatriciaVa, NYFM, Wolf10

        He charged t for an hour or so.  Tesla's people told him that it was safe to go.  They said that the range would increase as the battery warmed up.  They were wrong.  

        Broder talked about how the charger was near a "breakfast club", apparently a dodge to the no-smoking rule, a members-only restaurant for smokers.  Ugh.  Between sitting in 10 degree air and in there, I'd probably bundle up.

        Battery range is a function of charge and temperature.  Tesla has been mostly selling in California where they don't get very cold nights.  So they did not correctly estimate how the battery would work.

        •  But 74 degrees? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bronte17

          The vehicle started out heated to above a reasonable temperature.

          68F which equates exactly to 20C is a well known figure to anyone who has developed their own film. It's the standard used by all manufacturers as the nominal temperature for black and white processing. Why was it chosen? Because it was the normal room temperature.

          So this guy goes out on a very cold day, presumably bundled up against the outside conditions and gets in a car which he proceeds to heat up to above a reasonable standard, then while "trying to balance" the temperature/remaining distance, turns the heat UP further? At what point did he start stripping off those outer layers because he was too warm in this mini oven?

          (PS yes I am a Brit so I suppose I have an unreasonable expectation that shops and car interiors will not be heated to sauna temperatures in cold weather or chilled to mimic a freezer in the height of summer.)

          "Who stood against President Obama in 2012?" - The trivia question nobody can answer.

          by Lib Dem FoP on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 03:44:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not relevant, really (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Alice in Florida, Hey338Too

            He turned down the heat later.  But that all happened on the first day, when he was running out of juice en route to Milford.  He made it to Milford.

            The real "event" was that the battery just failed to work well when the temperature went down to 10F.  Tesla didn't know how to deal with that and their people gave him bad advice over the phone.

            •  Running out of juice en route to Milford? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              catwho, Nailbanger, polecat

              Yet there is a EV charge station in Westport at the train station.  It's right off I-95.  if he was low on juice he could have easily charged there, gotten a coffee near by and waited indoors.

              Just saying.

              Frankly I think the guy rigged the drive to make it fail, regardless of temperatures.  What kind of fucking moron drives THROUGH Manhattan as opposed to AROUND it?

              This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

              by DisNoir36 on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 05:48:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It was a 2-mile detour (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                NYFM

                He had to drive through Manhattan.  You obviously don't know the route.  Rather than take the George Washington Bridge and drive through Manhattan on I-95 near 168th St., he took the Lincoln Tunnel and drove up the West Sdie/Henry Hudson to I-95.  A whopping two miles farther.  Slightly slower driving, most likely, which would have meant lower wind resistance too.

                But he made it to Milford.  That was not what caused the controversy.  He ran out of juice on the return trip, when the battery lost most of its charge overnight and wouldn't take a new charge (only 5% in an hour on a Level 2).

                •  You obviously don't have a fucking clue (0+ / 0-)

                  I drive that route quite often.  Only a fucking idiot would take the tunnel or even the GWB for that matter.

                  As for the controversy, the whole trip was bullshit.  CNN did the same test drive, drove AROUND NYC and made it to Milford with 70 miles to spare and to Boston with no problem.

                  This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

                  by DisNoir36 on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 04:42:44 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Actually (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NYFM

            Broder never says that he set the heat to any particular temperature.  He said he set it to "low," which is more likely a fan setting than a temperature.

            And Americans don't drive around bundled up.  That's why cars have heaters.  Your suppositions about what he was wearing are, quite frankly, stupid.

            And 74 is a perfectly reasonable temperature to heat a car to.

            "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

            by Old Left Good Left on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 05:41:31 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  This car is not your typical SUV (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Nailbanger, Lib Dem FoP

              with all the TVs and creature comforts on demand. Not at this point in time.

              And most remarkable is the fact that this Broder fellow is suppose to be a car guy... a knowledgeable tool kind of fellow. But, he has zero sense for adjusting himself to adequately respond when problems crop up. He's a real princess or that's how I read it with all his whining.

              When the mileage was very low in an electric car... what did he do? He turned up the heat because he was cold in 30 degree weather inside a car. That is a HUGE tell regarding his ability to be judge and jury on any kind of equipment.


              One may live without bread, but not without roses.
              ~Jean Richepin
              Bread & Roses

              by bronte17 on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 07:05:59 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Uhhh... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                NYFM

                It's a $100,000 luxury car.  I think it has a heater, and that heater is supposed to work.

                And, you misrepresent what he did.  He turned the heat down.

                "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

                by Old Left Good Left on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 07:32:14 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  eventually (0+ / 0-)

                  He had the heat fairly high for most of the trip.
                  And the heat did work
                  but in an electric car using the heat is going to eat into the range.

                  On his northbound trip he went 206 miles on a 90% charge. It's EPA rated for 265 miles on a 100% charge

                  If you aren't outraged, you are an idiot

                  by indefinitelee on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 07:45:14 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  No one said it wasn't luxurious (0+ / 0-)

                  Different cars have different "bells and whistles" to appeal to different people.

                  My point about the "creature comfort" was Broder putting demands on the car without meeting the needs of the car for sufficient fuel.

                  And if you are going to drive a $100,000 car... you damn well better "gas" it up enough to get to your destination. Broder cheap-assed this Tesla and repeatedly provided insufficient fuel... he only gave it 28% on the final leg. He had a $100,000 car and he only filled it up to 1/4 tank.

                  A $100,000 car and he cheaps out on the fuel. And had the nerve to push the car to the extremes without fueling it.

                  Thankfully, the car was smarter than Broder and when it finally said enough is enough since you won't provide me with fuel... I'm shutting down before you permanently fuck up the battery.


                  One may live without bread, but not without roses.
                  ~Jean Richepin
                  Bread & Roses

                  by bronte17 on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 08:33:00 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Low is an actual setting in the Model S (0+ / 0-)

              It is below 63F.  High is above 89F.  Actual settings for the car.  I just fiddled with the remote app on ours to check them rather than walked into the garage and check.

              The temperature really isn't the issue anyhow.  It was just another data point. Probably the weakest data point too.

        •  Our high today in SF east bay was 72; my (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NYFM

          sympathies go out to much of the rest of the country. The rest of me will stay here.

          The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

          by Wolf10 on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 05:57:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  That's what I was thinking. nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NYFM
    •  I think this article brings to light (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shotput8, NYFM, Cobbler, earicicle

      the real issues that still exist with electric cars. A drive from Washington to New York should be uneventful - well, as uneventful as any drive up I-95 can be.

      I want to like the Tesla. It looks good. The costs of ownership are great. But it's still not a road trip car. Even if he made it in time to all of the superchargers, you're still looking at an hour to recharge. It's an improvement, but people aren't going to be buying electric cars en masse until recharging them is as easy, fast and convenient as filling up a gas tank.

      "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

      by yg17 on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 02:50:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  sorry, but no (13+ / 0-)

        if you want to write a piece about how waiting for the car to charge sucked, you can write a piece about that, and i'd probably understand your point.

        but intentionally not charging the car enough and then complaining when it doesn't drive you where you want to go? that's just stupid. you might as well complain you can't drive from new york to LA on a tank of gas.

      •  getting the convenience of gasoline is not easy (7+ / 0-)

        A gallon of gas is roughly equivalent to 36.6 KWH.   If that pipe going from the pump to your car is carrying  5 gal/min, that's equivalent to a 10 MW + power line:  
        36.6 KWH / gal  * 300 gal/hour = 10980 KW
        A gas engine is about 1/3 as efficient as an electric system, but it's hard to beat gasoline for storage efficiency and speed of recharge.  
        So I don't use the Leaf for everything - hauling lots of stuff or going a longer distance means that I use the pickup.   But I'm buying a lot less gas than I used to, and the Leaf is quite a nice car - uncannily quiet, comfortable, and it has great acceleration if I need it.
        My strategy was to lease it - I got a very good deal from Nissan, and in 2 years I can see how the state of the art has changed and choose my next step accordingly.
        It's a step.

      •  I toyed with the idea of renting a Leaf (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NYFM

        ...and taking a weekend roadtrip with my daughter for demo purposes.  Probably suburban DC to suburban NYC.  

        With planning charging stops and maintaining some range in case of traffic jams, it would not be a trivial undertaking.  

    •  Sadly, the jury is going to stay out in this case (0+ / 0-)

      The only way it could have been otherwise is if the vehicle had been trucked from wherever the reporter gave up/stalled/whatever to an independent engineering organization, such as UL or TUV.

      Another idea would be to collect several randomly selected Teslas to duplicate the trip in similarly cold conditions with such an engineering firm in charge.  

    •  Musk goes too far (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Just Bob, NYFM

      I'm a big fan of Tesla, but I think Elon Musk goes too far in his response.  Broder may have embellished a little on the speed he was (not) going, but he did in fact have to take measures most of us wouldn't want to in order to make it from one supercharger to the next.  

      The one thing that is clear is that Broder ran out of charge on purpose.  He can write about charging taking too long, but it's not fair to not charge the car enough to get where he needs to go and then complain that it doesn't get there.

      You have the power to change America. Yes We Can. Yes We Did. Yes We Will.

      by CA Pol Junkie on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 05:51:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Has anybody considered the fact that (0+ / 0-)

      maybe electric cars have trouble in cold weather? Anyone who has ever lived in a cold climate has had that morning where the car wouldn't start because the cold battery couldn't even provide the spark to start a gas-powered car...and once it did start, you had to run the engine for several minutes (I'm guessing to warm up the battery). I remember always having jumper cables when I lived up north, and not seeing them used so much around here.

      From all reports the Tesla has no trouble at all in California...maybe the lesson is that there's a difference in climate between the Northeast and the far West? Maybe the reporter exaggerated a little, but it is beyond dispute that cold weather is rough on batteries, and running a Tesla is probably the most demanding test of a battery there is.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 08:39:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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