In response to bad NYT review, a Tesla Road Trip

mage: Lauren Goode, WSJ, via Twitter.

A group of Tesla Model S owners set out Saturday to re-create John Broder's ill-fated review test-drive of the Tesla Model S. One of the participants set up Tesla telemetry and Twitter integration, to live-tweet data during the drive.

In case you missed the drama earlier this week: John Broder at the New York Times test-drove the Tesla S; it fell short of expectations. Tesla CEO Elon Musk slammed Broder's review as fake, effectively saying the reviewer was lying; Broder replied to the charges in detail here.

While Tesla didn't appear to have coordinated the Tesla Road Trip stunt, they are understandably happy about its findings.

A Tesla Owner's Club forum post is here. Follow the live-tweets from the now-concluded ride at @TeslaRoadTrip or by searching hashtag #TeslaRoadTrip.

CNN also re-enacted Broder's test drive, and posted video.

In the Tesla forums, and elsewhere much nastiness directed personally at Mr. Broder.

Avid fans of the brand have suggested that his name become a verb: "to purposely or with willful ignorance run down the battery pack of an electric vehicle to the point that it no longer moves the vehicle. Note: This is an extreme form of turtling an electric vehicle that is either a planned act or involves extreme negligence or outright idiocy to accomplish."


    1. couple of them in my ‘hood now and if i didnt already own a leaf and a plug-in prius i’d pick one up (if i had the means :)

  1. involves extreme negligence or outright idiocy to accomplish.

    They don’t deal with the average auto driver do they…

    Common sense things like oil changes and tire pressure are about as foreign to some drivers as gasoline is to the Model S.

    1. I referenced having to top up my tires during our recent cold snap and was met with blank stares from everyone in the group I was with. Had to explain that tire pressure drops in the cold. More blank stares. The fact that I knew this info, and that I thought it was important to act on it, were both equally unfathomable.

      1. It’s like when I walk past a late 90’s early 2000 Ford Explorer and see that there is a solid 4 inch contact patch for the tire because it is so low….all those roll overs weren’t just because of faulty Firestone tires me thinks.

  2. Their video of finding the Superchargers actually supports Broder’s claim that they are rather non-descript, unlighted, and could easily be missed on the first pass through by someone who’d never used them before.

    1. Here’s what’s bothering me about the whole thing, though: why didn’t Broder park the car, walk into the service station, and ask someone there about the chargers?

      1. It was cold and the place isn’t that big. He found it within a couple minutes. Also, they’d revoke your man card for stopping to ask for directions.

        1. That’s ridiculous. Look at the video. It wouldn’t take anyone over half a mile of driving in circles in that lot to find that. Broder deliberately tried to make the car fail. This is now proven without a doubt. What oil company do you work for, Eric?

          1. “Mr. bcsizemo, the logs clearly show that you spent 10 minutes and drove over a 1/2 mile in a parking lot, would you care to explain that to the court?”

            -My wife didn’t like any of the spots I passed….

          2. Well maybe not everyone on the jury would convict him. I mean OJ got off. But certainly the vast majority would after seeing this video and looking at the mountain of other inconsistencies in his story verses the computer car logs. And even if we give him every single benefit of the doubt and just say it was just a whole bunch of “user errors” to not charge the car to maximum, to turn the heat up instead of down, to drive at 81 mph, to blindly miss the clearly lit Superchargers again and again and again. If we say that, then, at the very least, he is one of the most incompetent reporters ever and certainly not fit to work at a major publication. Of course I’m not saying that. To me and many others it seems Broder’s actions were completely intentional and quite malicious against an excellent green car that works just as promised and beyond.

          3. “Wow, indeed! 40 posts, all very aggressively in support of the Tesla. 0 posts about anything else…”

            Boingboing draws a lot of tech nerds, it’s not surprising that there are going to be people with strong opinions on this dustup. Besides, you don’t have to be a Tesla/Musk fanboy to have some amount of disdain for the state of journalism.

          4. Nope, not a plant but definitely a fan of the car and seeing the NYT put out an article that was so full of lies against an excellent green product really does bother me. And, though, this has been annoyingly time consuming, I think it really is important to get the simple facts out there. They really can’t be disputed. The Tesla can easily make the drive between the Superchargers, traveling above the speed limit with the heat on in cold weather and arrive with about 30 miles to spare. It is a simple fact that has now been proven many times since the chargers went up almost 2 months ago. This “reporter” has been the only one who couldn’t seem to manage it. Not at all suspicious!

          5. @disqus_MDHrGeeDCx:disqus Yes, I agree that the trip is possible as you outlined. I don’t think anybody says it isn’t. Even the NYT journalist.

    2. I must give you credit for so many wrong facts in so few sentences. Did you actually watch the video? It is hard not to actually crash into the Superchargers when you come into the lot. The Tesla Navigation system is actually saying they are right there on the right. The parking lot is BRIGHTLY lit. Broder had just used identical chargers at the start of his trip so he knew exactly what they looked like. He also didn’t miss them on just the first past like you wrote. According to the computer data logs he drove past them again and again at least 6 times. But, of course, he wasn’t just driving in circles trying to get the battery to flatline. Perish the thought. If you still trust this man please send me all your money immediately and I promise to double it overnight!

        1. I appreciate the civil response, Eric. Everyone has the right to disagree with each other. But it does amaze me when people say they disagree about simple facts. So what fact do you disagree with? – The fact that he saw the Superchargers before so he knew exactly what he was looking for? The fact that the parking lot was brightly lit when he said it was dim? The fact that he didn’t just miss them on the first pass but at least 6 times? I really am curious. Thanks.

          1. I will concede the point that he did use the Supercharger in DE, so he did know what they generally look like. However, this is the first time he’d used the chargers in CT. So it’s not unreasonable that he’d be looking for them especially if he happened to drive past them.

            However, I do not agree with you that many of the positions taken by Tesla are “facts”.

            Here, specifically, that he drove around in circles pointlessly trying to kill the car before it reached the Supercharging station.

            At this point, Tesla has refused Wired’s (and others’) requests to release the raw logs. Tesla has released its interpretation and it hasn’t convinced me, or many others, that it conclusively proves the allegations Musk makes.

          2. But Eric, it is a fact the Broder did drive around in circles a bunch of times right past the chargers just like Tesla said – Broder fully admitted it himself. He doesn’t dispute Tesla’s computer logs at all on this point. So it happened. It’s a fact. And all I have been saying is that it would be virtually impossible to miss the chargers that many times in that brightly lit lot. And you still think it is reasonable to say he didn’t see them?

            Also it was not ‘pointless’ to try and kill the battery if he wanted a sensational EV Fail story to help his oil buddies and get that picture of the Tesla on the back of a tow truck.

            You also didn’t respond to the fact the the parking lot is brightly lit while Broder claims it was dim. How was Broder not lying about that?

            Tesla releasing the raw data would be useless as the NYT does not, in any way, dispute the accuracy of the logs. They dispute the interpretation of the logs. And even as of this morning the NYT  have admitted: “Mr. Broder left himself open to valid criticism by taking what seem to be casual and imprecise notes along the journey” They’re still trying to hold on by their fingernails over there but it’s a start.  This guy has just been caught in so many lies at this point.

            Finally, if you look at the responses and likes here, it would seem that the vast majority of people see Broder for the liar that he is.

    3. Those chargers are definitely easy to spot–IF you know in advance what to look for.  I didn’t, and I’ve got to admit that on first seeing them in the video I had no clue.  They definitely weren’t eye-catching, and I probably would have subconsciously taken them for air/water stations.  The kicker is, they do say TESLA right on them–but they say so on the other side!  I can certainly believe making a couple of turns around that lot before figuring it out.  After reading last week about 83% of radiologists being unable to see the image of gorilla intentionally but plainly placed in a lung scan, I’m more of a believer than ever that our brains have a remarkable ability to simply tune out what we aren’t looking for.  Once you’ve seen those white towers, however, you should probably be able to spot them again.  I don’t know whether that applies to Broder.

      1. Broder DID see the chargers before. His article clearly states that he had just come from another Supercharger area so he definitely knew in advance exactly what they looked like and what to look for. And since he has admitted to circling the parking lot, he would have seen the big red Tesla logo the very first time he came around the other side. Instead he just kept going around and around for over half a mile and claimed not to be able to spot them. The navigation system would also have been saying “Your destination is on the right” just like it was saying in the video. You realize that many, many Tesla drivers have done this exact same drive every day since the Superchargers were installed almost 2 months ago and none have said they were the least bit hard to find including CNN and the 7 Tesla drivers that just successfully completed the same trip to prove that Broder was not being honest. (By the way, no other Tesla drivers have come forward to say they couldn’t make the cold weather drive. In fact those that did come forward say they made it with about 30 miles to spare) It certainly is hard to imagine why Broder would circle so many times if he wasn’t trying to flatline the battery. And, remember  this is only one of many suspicious inconsistencies in his story.

  3. The club should stage a rally, slowly milling about a small parking lot pretending to be looking for a charge.

    1. Looking forward to some designer leaving a prototype Tesla 4 in the parking lot of a bar with the keys in the ignition.

  4. That’s the thing: Tesla owners are into it, and they have a really active community. If you’re plugged in to the community, you know how to get from A to B without such drama. Their fanboy/girl behavior is well-earned and understandable — it’s a community in the best senses of the word.

  5.  It’s great to be enthusiastic about your car.

    When your enthusiasm spills over into backing a smear campaign against someone who gave your car a negative review, that’s getting into problematic territory.

    I mean really, the poor schmuck drives around a rest stop for a few minutes trying to find an unlit charger in the dark, and suddenly half the internet is acting like this is proof he’s taking bribes from oil companies.

    1. I think it’s mostly about the schmuk deliberately filling half the “tank”/battery and then expecting it to perform like a full one.

      1.  The trouble is, there’s not really any evidence for that.  I’ve read the review, Musk’s rebuttal, and Broder’s response.

        There’s a difference between being a somewhat careless driver and being a fraudulent journalist.  This leap from “Broder should’ve been more careful” to “Broder is a fraud” absent any evidence is what bothers me about the whole thing.  The rest area is the most glaring example, but there’s plenty of other examples where Musk’s analysis of the logs just doesn’t hold water.

        1. I’m not saying Broder is an outright fraud, but you have to admit his experience was, in many ways, a sort of “perfect storm”. Coming after the hit-job from Top Gear which (coincidentally?) ended with the same scenario, it’s understandable how it’d make Tesla people kinda twitchy. Also, the NYT (like most of traditional media) has been going through a credibility crisis for the last 15 years and there is no end in sight, making people more sceptical than they might otherwise be. A “careless” car reviewer, in this case, is doing no favour to that particular fight, btw.

        2. He took action A and said that he took action B.  That’s fraudulent.

          If he had said he took action A even when action B was prescribed, and if action A had ended up with the car on a tow truck, he could claim that he used the car as most people use cars, and this is what happened.

          Instead, he fraudulently claimed he followed action B when he did not, and that action B would result in what he reported.

        3. “The trouble is, there’s not really any evidence for that.”

          There’s no “evidence” of malice, but he certainly went out of his way to avoid charging it fully at every stop.

          1. Do you have any comment on his claims that each one of these decisions was under direct instruction from Tesla employees on the phone, who he has *named* explicitly?

             Every complaint about his decisions to leave early duck this point?

          2. None of his reported claims or advice from employees involved not charging the car, though. If true, they effed up in saying he could ~probably~ make it on what he had, but there was a ton of operator failure here.

          3. to CW:

            “They told me that the loss of battery power when parked overnight could be restored by properly “conditioning” the battery, a half-hour process, which I undertook by sitting in the car with the heat on low, as they instructed. That proved ineffective; the conditioning process actually reduced the range by 24 percent (to 19 miles, from 25 miles).It was also Tesla that told me that an hour of charging (at a lower power level) at a public utility in Norwich, Conn., would give me adequate range to reach the Supercharger 61 miles away, even though the car’s range estimator read 32 miles – because, again, I was told that moderate-speed driving would “restore” the battery power lost overnight. That also proved overly optimistic, as I ran out of power about 14 miles shy of the Milford Supercharger and about five miles from the public charging station in East Haven that I was trying to reach.To reiterate: Tesla personnel told me over the phone that they were able to monitor the state of the battery. It was they who cleared me to leave Norwich after an hour of charging.”

            What is unclear about this? Is he just lying? He names names.

          4. Not ducking the point at all. Since he has been caught in numerous lies it is logical to assume that his lies include what Tesla told him to do. Few believe Tesla would have given him the okay to charge up to only half the miles he needed. There are no other Tesla owners who have reported ever receiving this advice – quite the opposite. “Charge to Max Range on any road trip!” Musk, in fact, has said that Broder blatantly disregarded Tesla phone instructions multiple times. So again, if he lied about his speed, lied about the chargers being in a dimly lit parking lot why wouldn’t he lie about Tesla instructions?

          5. Joshua, you say Broder names names but then you post a quote from the article that proves that he completely and deliberately AVOIDS naming names. I mean you do realize “Tesla Personel” is not a name, right?. “They” is also not a name. This is exactly what Broder counts on – people like you with very low reading comprehension and logic skills who are easily confused and manipulated. 

        4. There are multiple places in the logs that show Broder was definitely lying. One simple one is that the logs clearly show that he went 81 MPH and absolutely drove at an average speed much higher than he claimed. He was caught in a lie there pure and simple – and an important one too. That along with the Supercharger area video and the many other inconsistencies push it all well into the area of fraud. One mistake or two but not this mountain of errors or perfect storm as Toyg put it. The vast majority of people just aren’t buying it.

          1. I thought the bit where he said that he set the cruise control to 54 mph, then the company pulled out evidence showing that’s not right and he manages a “well, *about* 54mph” was quite interesting.

            I actually always assumed that car companies would have telemetry on their review cars (selling a car is risky enough without not knowing what reviewers did with it) but it seems to have taken him by surprise.

          2.  Take a closer look at the logs, Phil.  There’s a momentary spike at 81 mph during a period where Broder is averaging about 65.  Generally, though, the logs show Broder going five to ten miles an hour faster than he claimed.

            When he said he was doing 54 he was averaging 60, for example, and when he said he was going 45 he was in the low 50s.  Musk has a right to be annoyed at that.  All of his more serious charges, however, are based on some pretty weak conjectures, ones that require you to ignore Broder’s conversations with various named Tesla employees.  At least one is contradicted by the logs themselves — Broder did in fact turn down the heat when he claimed to have, Musk got the mileage wrong and consequently highlighted the wrong moment in the graph — and another is contradicted by the flat bed truck driver, who verified Broder’s account of the car being unresponsive.

            What’s funny about all of this is that my initial reaction to Broder’s review was that his impatience came back to bite him in the ass, and that the whole thing could’ve avoided if he’d given the car more time to charge.

          3. The point I was making and which we both agree is that Broder lied about his average speed by a significant amount which is a huge misrepresentation – aka lie. If we are saying that 81 mph was only for a short period, fine but you actually reminded me of more lies around this fact. Broder’s 81 mph excuse was “It must have been a hill.” But there were no hills on that route and regenerative braking would make the unintended speed up impossible anyway. So, like most liars, when caught in a lie, he just told another lie.  He also lied about the parking lot being poorly lit and the chargers being hard to find. Please watch the video to see how ridiculous that statement is. When someone is caught, in a lie, or in this case, multiple lies, why would you then believe anything he says about anything including his calls to customer service?” Has the expression been changed to ‘Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me again -and again and again as much as you want!’? Broder said: “They told me to stop charging early!” That’s ridiculous. Tesla would never tell a regular customer, let alone someone that was reviewing the car for the world to see, not to put enough miles into the car to get to a known destination. Considering all of the above, I don’t think Broder was impatient, he just wanted to make the car to fail to create a sensationalistic, salacious story and please his buddies in the oil industry which is his normal beat.

    2. And it’s OK to be UNenthusiastic about a car for idiosyncratic reasons – “I took it offroad and it got immediately stuck” but he was REVIEWING it.You have to present all your facts so that others can evaluate it for themselves on the evidence you garnered. Otherwise you can get “I just don’t like pink and the seats felt ‘funny’.”

      I remember when Andy Rooney did a review on Rain-X and almost killed them because he was going for humor and never quite understood what the product was. Ancient Greeks understood; “Boys throw rocks at frogs in jest. The frogs, however, die, in earnest.”

    3. Well, the thing that tickled my attention bone is this.  He’s an ex-oil journo.  He’s now writing a motor review.  He’s experienced.  He knows therefore that the audience will rapidly duckduckgo him and know all.  He knows the smarter people in that subset will scratch their heads and say ‘hey, duh, ain’t it funny how he did that, then does this, and dun wrote that”.

      So unless the guy is a total, total IQ curve lower standard deviation individual, or unless he was engaged in adventurous leisuretime pharmaceuticals, we’re running out of options as to why what happened came about.

      I’m not advancing any options.  But when you get caught sniffing the Queen’s knickers, you better have a clear, lucid and convincing explanation.

      1. You actually seem to be injecting a lot of personal opinion, feeling, conjecture, and then claiming there is only one option. (You say you aren’t drawing any conclusions, but sometimes saying so is just cover.)

        1. Well, an implication isn’t a claim.  I didn’t claim there is only one option.  I persuaded you to infer that – which is influencing, not claiming, and it seems to have worked rather well (*chuffed with self*).
          My personal opinion, which is my concluding point, is that the Broder is not a whiter than white journalist in this little skit.  I can’t accept that he’s a total idiot, therefore he has some knowledge that he declines to share.  What it is, I don’t know.  Maybe he thought he needed to make a talking piece of his next article.  Maybe Tesla paid him to do it.  Maybe his old oil buddies put him up to it (although crass and obvious, it’s not beyond them).

          1. Yeah, you didn’t “influence” me in any way: it’s clear you made up your mind to believe in a conspiracy and to villify someone with very little rational basis and are poorly trying to couch this in a lame, “Hey, I’m not saying this is what is going on, but it’s the only logical thing that could be going on” when that is far from the case to an actual rational person.

          2. There is a huge rational basis to believe Broder is a liar who was trying to get a picture of the car on the back of a tow truck to anyone with a moderately functioning brain. First off – Broder lied – plain and simple. He said a parking lot was dimly lit when video clearly proves it was brightly lit. That was his excuse for driving past the easy-to-spot supercharger at least 6 times. That, coupled with all his exposed incorrect speed readings, temperature readings, deliberately charging to half the miles needed for part of the trip, his history of anti-EV articles and his cozy relationship with the oil industry makes it very hard to believe anything else. But okay, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and say he is just one of the dumbest people ever to get behind the wheel of an automobile. Then he still has no place working at a major newspaper. Of course the main point in all of this, that the NYT has clearly admitted and many others have proved – There is absolutely nothing wrong with the Tesla or its Supercharging network.

          3.  I”m nearly with you, and mentally stuttered for a minute while I digested that.

            An implication stops short of a claim, in that you kind of want to make a claim, but lack the requisite support and evidence to properly convince yourself, or you are attempting to lead someone into thinking a certain way without overtly saying what you want them to think.

            So I don’t *claim* the guy’s a fraud, because, in my fair and balanced way, I have a residual concern that there is some other unknown option out there – like he was drunk, or had a momentary lapse of reason, or got served divorce papers that day, I don’t know.

            But it’s not unreasonable to conjecture that he was screwing around with the car to generate a bad score.  The flaw there is that someone, maybe him, maybe not, signed the TESLA agreement about data monitoring.  If he signed it, then it’s reasonable to assume he was screwing around, or something massively distracted him.

            Because I don’t have enough information, and it’s not discoverable, to resolve those various threads of thought, I’m left with an implication.

            Which would indeed be weaselly, were it not presented in a soft and sugary package of persuasion.

            Anyhows, the guy’s article is messing with the rep of one of the technologies that might save us all from poisoning ourselves, and on behalf of my kids, that’s enough for me to get mad enough to imply things about him.

  6. This has zero to do with the Car or Oil.. I wonder who was supposed to release their results last week… that or just amazing timing.. either way there is no reason not to just check..

  7. I’m a subcontractor for a multi-national pharma company. Every site has at east two chargers for EV vehicles, however that’s the only place I’ve actually seen them. If I purchased a plug in car, (I’m assuming they retrofit your house for you in some capacity) with the advertised range and recharge time, I wouldn’t be able to visit Boston without stopping to charge once at least, but most likely twice (given the traffic on 95). Or go to my friend’s cabin in PA for the weekend.  Until they find a way to have a battery exchange these vehicles won’t be feasible for a majority of people. Even a battery exchange would be an undertaking because I’d venture to guess a battery would have to weigh in at 150lbs minimum.

    Also what good is a vehicle that forces you to monitor your heat usage on a cold day, A/C on hot, or asks you to accelerate and slow to boost the regenerative brakes? Imagine a blizzard scenario where your normal 15 mile – 30 min commute now snarls into a 3 hrs ordeal….1000s of EV vehicles dead on the side of the road, all needing tows instead of a can of fuel.

    I’m a steward of the environment. Our reliance on fossil fuels is troublesome, however unless we put a “3rd rail” onto roadways I’m not sure if strictly EV will work. Cars like the Volt seem to be more effective, however realistically it’s going to have to be a different source of energy that changes the game. Once they figure out how to stabilize hydrogen fuel cells, the game changer will have arrived.

    In regards to the NYT expose and related backlash. The guy gave the vehicle a real world test and found some process gaps. Early adopters will always feel the positives outshine the negatives, because they don’t want to be seen as suckers gulping snake oil. I suppose if you can swing 100K for this machine you can afford to belong to zipcar or rent a gas vehicle as the need arises but it really defeats the point. That being said, if anyone at Tesla would like for me to do an extensive test, I’d be more than happy to oblige.

    1. Here, here. I find very little discord between Broder and Musk’s take (while I find Musk’s “use of data” absurdly unscientific and bombastically rhetorical), and no matter what… Musk doesn’t seem to be disputing:

      1. You may have to drive without the use of heating
      2. You may have to drive speeds that in some areas would be considered by most as hazardous, imprudent, or at least more taxing on your driving and psyche
      3. Conditioning and battery drain issues can arise that require constant vigilance, possibly substantial diagnostic or repair/”conditioning” time
      4. Charging needs and times are potentially variable based on a number of conditions, including temperature
      5. The tech support you receive when in need may be highly variable and counter-productive

      None of which affords the sort of reliability most New Englanders, and I’m sure many others, demand from their vehicle.

      (Claiming CNN reproduced the test when the weather is much warmer is also unscientific and rhetorical. No, they performed another test under better conditions that went without error. You cannot claim that of all similar road tests under any and all circumstances will go as well.)

      1. Sorry but your thinking is riddled with holes. These Superchargers have been up and running for almost 2 months and have been used by many Tesla owners everyday driving the same route in cold weather, above the speed limit, with plenty of heat and have reported no problems. The 7 Teslas that recorded their trip yesterday drove in the cold, at good speed, with the heat in the 70s and arrived with about 30 miles to spare proving they could go even faster or drive in even colder weather and still have plenty of power to make it. Teslas have been selling very well for over 3 years in challenging climates like Colorado, Canada, Sweden and Norway precisely because the batteries work so well in very cold weather. They are not driving around with no heat in Denmark. Now which is more scientific, to believe one reporter’s story that has been shown to be full of lies or the real world experiences of hundreds of other actual Tesla owners? The trouble seems to be that Broder has successfully confused you, as was his intention. He’s made you think that you need to make all these calls to tech support when no one else who does the route needs to. In fact every one of the “problems” Broder encountered would have been solved by just one thing – “Charge the battery to Max for a road trip”. If you take the time to read the article carefully, you will see this is true.

        1. You seem to ignore that: 

          1. Musk didn’t dispute the need for tech support or the need to drive without heat or the need to drive at 45 mph.
          2. That I live in the area — and know the difference between the cold of this weekend and during Broders test (fairly significant)
          3. Selling “well” in any area for Tesla means 10 or more. I do not know how frequently they are used, what frequency they drive in truly extreme conditions, or what ranges they drive, but even if I did… selling “well” would require hundreds of Model S’s in these areas to represent a sample great enough and to outweigh this one negative story. 

          You are introducing nonsense claiming these cars/batteries work very well in extreme cold. Tesla warns all over the place that extreme cold can cause problems.

          1. Again you don’t seem to have the capacity to fully comprehend the data here. 
            1. Musk clearly refuted Broders lies about his speed. The logs show Broder’s average speed was in the 70s and he reached 81 mph so the fact that he may have briefly drove at 45 is meaningless. I would hope you have a least some understanding of the significance of average speed over momentary speed on power consumption. The car has more than enough range to make the trip traveling above the speed limit, with the heat on in very cold temps. Musk has never indicated people need to drive 45 to accomplish this trip – that is a lie. No one else making this Supercharger trip has had to do this as I clearly stated before. Musk is much too smart to have installed Superchargers that are too far apart to be reached by its customers.
            2. I’ve lived in much colder areas than you do. Areas where even ICE cars need to have their batteries heated, so I seem to be more qualified there too.
            3. So, if there are 40 Teslas out there, running great in extremely cold weather for over 3 years in Colorado, Canada, Norway and Sweden (as shown by the many on-line articles and posts on the Tesla forums over the years) and CNN did the drive with no problem on Thursday and 7 Tesla owners did it on Saturday with no problem, you’re saying that one review, full of lies proven by computer car logs, still outweighs all of these positive facts. Wow. You are truly one of the most amazing scientific minds of the 21st century! 
            No one is arguing that temperature can slightly affect Tesla battery range, but not enough to make the Supercharger trip in any way difficult or uncomfortable. Please reread your own posts again to get an idea of the true meaning of “nonsense”.

    2. Chauncey, you’re illustrating a common problem that most people in the US have. They buy “the thing” (in this case, cars) for the exception cases. Most people (95%) drive 40 miles or fewer a day. So, to say that an electric car with the range of some of them, even in the winter would be an insufficient daily driver for most people isn’t correct. But, the problem is for most people, “what do you do for the exceptions?”.

      For example, my dad owns a pickup as his daily driver even though he really only uses the storage features a few times a year. It’d be much more efficient and cost effective for him to get a smaller, cheaper, higher MPG car, but the hassle for him, living out in the burbs to get a rental car is so high that the trade off isn’t worth it to him. 

      But, if he lived in a place w/ car sharing (like Zipcar, Enterprise Car Share, Hertz On Demand, Car2Go, City Car Share, iGo, etc) then you can have easy and cheap access to a second car that can act as your “exception case” car. Need to haul something large, get a cargo van. Need to haul 6 people, get a passenger van. Want something for a long trip? Get a Prius or Mazda3. Got a hot date? Get a Mini or BMW.

      I’ve been a “car sharer” since 2004 and we’ve been a single car family since 2008 and it’s been fantastic. We’ve saved a ton of money and hassle. If you live in a place where things are walkable or you have decent public transit and car sharing, and don’t have to drive to work, car sharing can make a lot of sense as a primary car.

      My wife and I now have a BMW ActiveE, which is her daily driver on her 89 mile round trip commute. BMW advertises as getting 100 miles, but she’s only ever been able to get in the high 80s. And while we estimated a 20% range decrease in the winter, that was off the 100 mile advertised range. On very cold days, she gets in the high 50s.

      So, in regards to these reproductions of the NYT test drive, I think that you’d have to try to match the conditions, both the temperature and the over night stopping w/ the cold soak of the battery. 

      Driving an EV totally takes getting used to. You become a bit of a power scavenger. If I had been that reporter, I totally would have charged the car over night off a regular outlet. You’d be able to keep the battery warm and gain some miles in the process.

      The super chargers are a great idea for Tesla, especially since the battery capacities are so high. The ActiveE takes 4 – 5 hours to charge off a level 2 charger and 24ish hours to fully charge off a regular outlet.

      Temperature has a high impact in EV range. We see this in all electric cars. Today, when it was 17 degrees F out and on a holiday, so traffic was very light, my wife was able to only get 2.2 miles / kWh. Her daily commute is 89 miles and she can trickle charge for free at work or pay for a level 2 charger. Based on that efficiency though, she can’t pick up enough miles during the day to make it home, so she moves the car in the afternoon to the paid level 2 charger so that she can get enough range and also pre-condition the battery and warm up the cabin for the ride home. If we had a Model S, she could make the commute to work, even with a 40% range penalty and it would be fine.

      The ActiveE is a great car (when it works; it’s a field trial car and has had a lot of problems) and it drives amazingly if you want it to. I think that once most people drive an electric car and get used to it, they won’t really enjoy going back to gas. It’s so much quieter and smoother.

      My wife is now unwilling to drive a car in which she can’t use the climate controls. It’s kind of ridiculous the things that people on the ActiveE forum report doing in order to avoid it, like using an electric blanket plugged into the cigarette lighter. OEMs need to be honest and forthcoming about EV performance, including real world range in suboptimal conditions in order for people to get more comfortable with them. If we had been told that we could expect such reducedWe’re looking forward to checking out the smaller Tesla due out in 2015 / 2016. We’ll also evaluate the BMW i3.

  8. With the ‘your holding it wrong’ style negative campaigns and their ironic effect of banding fans and fanning communities; I would be willing to entertain the notion that Tesla organized the negative reviews.

  9. I think “brodering” should have a broader and more applicable definition: to purposefully misuse an object (or a system) to failure with the intent of giving it a bad report.

    1. I was thinking:

      To Broder – To wilfully and defiantly issue false or misleading statements in plain contradiction of openly available or obtainable factual evidence, whilst standing on the apparent last stepping stone across the river of your career, but secretly having an invisible magic flying device to prevent any actual damage occurring to you

  10. To me, this whole fiasco appears to be the double rainbow version of “Christ, what an asshole!”

    What DOES this all mean? It means that no matter how many assholes are involved, most people will always choose one of them to back.

  11. CNN re-enacted his test drive? Or drove between the same end points without an overnight stop or any other variables that harsh the Tesla vibe?

    Lack of a removable battery/limited charging functionality — in an iDevice, bad, but in a Tesla – good.
    Inability to use it how you want — in an Apple product, bad, but in a Tesla, good.
    Proprietary ecosystem and undisclosed data logging — in an Apple product, bad, but in a Tesla, good.
    Mercurial CEO who trashes critics — If Apple has one, bad, but for Tesla, good.

    1. Technically, the battery is removable. Better Place-style swapping was designed into it.

      Consumer location data is not logged. If you want to borrow an over $100,000 limited edition Signature series sedan, however, you have to agree to the terms of use, which include that vehicle telematics track location and usage.

    2. tl;dr version: You think luxury cars *are just like* smartphones and mp3 players, and should be judged by exactly the same criteria.

    3. To compare a smart phone battery and a car battery seems… well… stupid.  I suppose if they can get an iphone to go 0-60 in under 5 seconds, I would rethink my assessment of your assessment.

      1. You know you set yourself up there don’t you? 
        Sit in any car that can do 0-60 in under 5 seconds…with an iPhone in your pocket…there you go. Or build a sling shot for your iPhone and get a radar gun to check the speed.  Maybe stick the iPhone inside a pumpkin canon…

        1. Obviously we’re talking about the iPhone providing the force of acceleration, here.  Do the accelerometers work in reverse?

          1. Obviously I was being a wise ass…

            Comparing expected behavior, CEO reactions and freedom to use either device is not a bad comparison.  Yes both products serve very different purposes but the point of the comment above is to illustrate that when Apple does “Action A/B/C” it’s seen as bad by some BB’ers but when Tesla behaves in the same manner they are given a pass.  

            I think the poster is merely pointing out the possible double standard set forth by some in the BB community for two companies. 

            Either way the electric car has a ways to go before it’s genuinely practical for most folks.
            The idea is awesome.  Charge car at home in garage.  Drive during day.  Save gas money. Clean up local air quality. Park and charge again that night.  There are so many perks to this design but the implementation, costs, longevity are still a ways off. I feel range extender hyrbrids like the Volt offer the best alternative at this point.  I’m excited to see what the future holds for electric cars.  ^_^

    4.  because being righteous about corporate advertising and marketing is far more important then assisting the technological revolutions which will prevent us from choking to death in our own filth.

      1. don’t care how you spin it, that’s still creepy.  you are however, the first Tesla acolyte here to admit that the cause of your argument is not objectivity.  which is refreshing, because everyone else is in denial.

        1. Depends on how you look at it.  I don’t think it’s creepy at all from the perspective that “Despite the NYT review the car is perfectly useable for the trip in question”, which is perfectly consistent with chris coreline’s sentiment.

          It’s a pretty ambiguous situation.  There’s no clear set of facts, here.  “everyone else is in denial” is, I think, overstating things in such a situation.

          1. I don’t mean in denial of the facts.  They are ambiguous.  

            What Mr. Coreline suggested is that smearing a journalist is part of “assisting a technological revolution.”  That’s the creepy part.  I support Tesla.  Should I hold my nose and start hating on Broder too?

          2. I think it is totally fair to loudly call out a proven liar that tries to mislead people and hurt a fledgling green company. The NYT has admitted that Broder got his facts wrong and that the article deserves massive criticism  Reporting incorrect facts makes them lies. Broder also said that a brightly lit parking lot was dimly lit. Proven by video. Taken with all the other wrong facts, I think that clearly shows malice. But even if we give Broder the benefit of thew doubt and simply say he just happens to be one of the dumbest guys on the planet for making all those errors of judgement and incorrect data reports, then he still has no place working at a major newspaper.

  12. Countering dis/misinformation is one thing, but I can’t see having that kind of money to drop on a car and still being defensive about anything.

  13. None of these trips involved overnight stops without plugging the car in did they? I know the CNN trip didn’t. If he hadn’t stopped he probably would have made it. Also they should change the charging system so when it’s says charge complete it should actually be complete. 

    1. “None of these trips involved overnight stops without plugging the car in did they?”

      Why? That would be stupid.

      1. Because this is one of the circumstances that people are claiming they are “recreating” but are not.

        Tesla doesn’t claim that it is stupid to not be able to charge the car overnight when not in use and still expect the batteries to hold a charge. That’s the point of reviewing the SuperCharger system — can the car get from a to b only using the SuperCharger infrastructure. What is stupid about that?

        Are you trying to cheer for them and be a fanboy, or are you trying to make it completely and totally undesirable because you are telling me I have to charge it everyday whether or not I drive it and that I am stupid if I don’t?

        1. If you want to go on a long drive and avoid the supercharging stations, that’s the other option. 

          Regardless, If Tesla’s learned anything from this, I’m sure they’ll learn from this and make the stations “easier to see” (involving whatever) and someone mentioned in another comment thread that they’re opening up more of the supercharge stations, so perhaps it’ll be a moot point. (Also, I hope they have some of the people not working the phones anymore.)

          “are you trying to make it completely and totally undesirable because you are telling me I have to charge it everyday whether or not I drive it and that I am stupid if I don’t”If you don’t want to give it adequate charge in between stops, yes, a current gen EV might not be desirable to you for longer road trips.

          1. Or… if you live in an area where major storms occur and you could be without power for a day or more, you can assure yourself that there is no way in hell this could be a reliable car.

            You are the only person claiming that the car can’t sit overnight and retain a reasonable charge. Not charging overnight isn’t stupid — claiming you are supporting the company by calling people stupid for not sleeping in a rest area or driving all night or making sure they are always home and have electricity available whenever the car isn’t in use is stupid.

            I would hope you would learn the lesson that blind attacks against people that go above and beyond the attacks of the owner of the company (which are themselves already histrionic and senseless) don’t help the company.

            This has little to do with charging between stops: Broder slept overnight and in the morning the charge was considerably less than when he went to bed. Your claim is that he is stupid for sleeping without it being charged. Your claim seems to be: the Tesla S is not reliable unless always tethered to electricicty when not in use. That’s a horrible, horrible claim — far worse than anything Broder said.

          2. “if you live in an area where major storms occur and you could be without power for a day or more, you can assure yourself that there is no way in hell this could be a reliable car.”

            From a former Floridian, I agree.

            “You are the only person claiming that the car can’t sit overnight and retain a reasonable charge. ”

            I’m saying that he had more than enough opportunities for slow charge if he wanted a “real world” experience without effecting the article he always wanted to write.

            “Your claim seems to be: the Tesla S is not reliable unless always tethered to electricicty when not in use. ”

            He was a dimbulb about charging and seemingly refused to keep the car at decent levels of charge. You need to keep road-trip fuel at proper levels with ICEs as well.

          3. You’re specifically claiming it’s stupid to stop overnight. You also seem to be claiming that it is possible to stop overnight with proper charging. If these other testers are properly charging, why aren’t they also stopping overnight? Why would it be stupid to do so?

            I would very much separate the issue of full recharges from the battery dissipating greatly overnight.

            As many can attest, in New England you may be without power for 2-3 days or even longer: I think it’s perfectly sound to want to know — would my car still be driveable at that point? How far?It’s odd that Musk and you and Phill1 and every other Tesla fanboy is taking this so far: when I originally read the Broder story, my only conclusion was: it’s manageable but very unsound for anyone to rely on a Tesla S in an extreme weather environment without having other primary cars and the means to take care of the S and demanding of themselves constant vigilance and concern for the environment that they don’t mind freezing, and sitting around waiting, and hunting for charging stations. It more or less seems you agree with that, but you and others would have me think that someone attempted to kill the families of Tesla car owners or something.

          4. You’re specifically claiming it’s stupid to stop overnight. You also seem to be claiming that it is possible to stop overnight with proper charging. If these other testers are properly charging, why aren’t they also stopping overnight? Why would it be stupid to do so?

            Because of how electric vehicles work.

            Are the wonderful magic devices that take care of everyone’s needs?  No, but no one is claiming that they are.

            You’ve come up with a bunch of great reasons not to buy one.  Great.  So don’t buy one.  That doesn’t change the fact that they work the way they work and that involves losing charge if unplugged overnight in the cold.

            In other words, if you’re test-driving an EV, YES it’s stupid to leave it unplugged overnight.  This means it is not the ideal vehicle for all purposes.  Again, no one is claiming that it is.  I can’t understand why you seem shocked by this.

            Pickup trucks are also not ideal vehicles for roadtrips, just FYI.

          5. wysinwyg (sorry to reply here, we’ve broken the nesting limit): you are saying something that no one, not Broder, not Musk, not anyone supporting Tesla is saying, and you are saying something that is far worse than anything Broder wrote:You are saying the Tesla S can’t operate without charging overnight. This goes against all the specs, all the literature, everything that Musk wants me to believe.You seem to be a supporter however. Elon would not be happy with you for saying that his car is useless if not left charging overnight. You do know this, no?

          6. You seem to be a supporter however. Elon would not be happy with you for saying that his car is useless if not left charging overnight. You do know this, no?

            Holy shit are you ever obnoxious.

            In answer to your question:
            It’s not always terrible to leave the car uncharged overnight but it is highly recommended that you don’t do that.

            Have you ever run out of gas before in an a car with an internal combustion engine?  it’s perfectly possible to do but it’s not recommended because it isn’t very good for the car.  Similarly, you can drive on dirty oil or with a full air filter.  All these things will decrease the performance of the car and may lead to long-term wear or damage — but they nonetheless do not prevent you from otherwise using the car.

            Similarly, leaving the car unplugged overnight is not a great idea.  It’s possible and you may get away with it, but it’s not something you should do with an electric car.

            Why are you getting so defensive?  You’re apparently the one with a huge hateon for Elon Musk and the Tesla.  I have pretty much no opinion either way, I just found it annoying the way you left like eight huge paragraphs saying the same thing in this obnoxious “gotcha” tone.

          7. wysinwyg, you seem to miss that this is exactly my point. Broder was guided and instructed by Tesla PR so to say that they didn’t know that he was driving overnight with a stop that would occur is nonsense — Musk made sure to jump all over him about the “unplanned detour.” So, yes, I know that Tesla says: this is best practices but it’s not necessary. And I also know that they knew what Broder was doing.If the conclusion is, it’s highly risky if you don’t plug it in overnight in cold temperatures, it is not a very suitable car. But Elon Musk would have you believe they have solved every problem for all circumstances, and that any subsequent problems must be driver error and/or massive conspiracy to damage EV. Which is just nonsense.As someone else mentioned, if the advice was: you should always do x, y, and z and/or risk being stranded and/or we really don’t think the risk makes it suitable for such driving, then I’m fine with that. Musk would never say that however. And yet he (and/or his PR) approved a test where they knew the person was only going to use SuperChargers and that he was going to rest up overnight. In other words, they set the test up to have the results that it did.Additionally, I see no reason why a “road test” should be an idealized scenario where the tester performs all maintenance perfectly — it should be like an attentive but average driver. If Tesla wants to say, no one who can’t be attentive enough to plug it in whenever it is not in use shouldn’t but it, fine. But Tesla doesn’t want to say that. Your examples of running out of gas, or a dirty air filter, etc… They would never happen with a new, properly running gas-powered car. Or if they did, the reviewer would absolutely lambast the car. Parking the car overnight while you rest without a proper electrical outlet is something I expect from something I rely; if that can’t be accomplished, then I want to know about it and I want the car company to properly say that. Not go on personal attacks.Nope, I don’t personally like Musk, but I love Tesla as a company. But neither will have any impact or affect on my life (for some time at least) so I don’t generally afford them much thought at all. I happen to think they come off extremely badly in this case, but nothing about it changed my previous, present, or future opinions of the man, the company, or their products. My opinions of their fans has changed though… and I do enjoy debating with people that I think are making unsupported, illogical, emotional arguments.

          8. Tweedle is not obnoxious, he is just very, very stupid. The vast majority of people here and everywhere else can clearly see that the Tesla can easily do the same exact trip – including the overnight part with many miles to spare. The vast majority also clearly see that Broder lied and got caught not just by Musk’s computer logs, but also by the video that clearly shows a brightly lit parking lot that Broder described as dimly lit. Musk’s attacks were not blind but completely justified. So much so that the NYT has admitted their article was riddled with flaws and deserved the massive criticism that it is still receiving. Tweedle, the people here are just too smart for you (and probably most other places too) Why not try the Fox News Channel site? I’m sure your brilliant thinking will be welcomed there with open arms.

          9. Tweedle your muddy thinking once again proves you a fool. When the power goes out, the gas pumps go out. They use electricity to pump the gas into your car. Get it? No gas. But people with electric cars wake up with a full tank every day. They are topping off every day which would be incredibly inconvenient in any ICE car. So if the power goes out, it will be the EV owners who most likely will have the most fuel until the power comes back. Also many Tesla owners have solar cells at home to charge their cars and drive on pure sunlight. A power outage makes no difference tro them at all. (Hope you read this too CW) See how just thinking things through, just a little, might not make you look like such an inept oil company troll? By the way, you can finally buy that color TV now, I think they worked the bugs out.

          10. And to be clear: you clearly have shifted the goalposts. The Tesla Car Club people did fill up at available SuperCharger stations, but you are claiming that it would be stupid for them to stop overnight and rest at an area where they wouldn’t be able to charge (implying that the battery will dissipate overnight).

            You now seem to claim that you aren’t claiming this, but are claiming that as long as you fill up at the SuperCharger stations, you could stop overnight… but for some reason, CNN and the Tesla Car Club folks didn’t do this. Why not? What about the meaning of “recreate” are Tesla fans failing to comprehend?

            I’m still left with the question: does the battery dissipate overnight or when resting for several hours, particularly in cold weather, or not — and who’s stupid?

          11. “(implying that the battery will dissipate overnight).”I didn’t say anything of the sort. His avoiding non-supercharger opportunities was to cut down on the time it takes to charge, so assumedly he had all night and plenty of stop-overs where he could have topped it back up.

      2. Thanks for saying exactly why Tesla has a problem here. If making an overnight stop on a long journey, or parking overnight anywhere you can’t plug in the car are “stupid”, then this is not the right car for most people.

        1. It’s stupid if you don’t plan on or have time for “fillups” at any of the other stops.

          “this is not the right car for most people.”

          Probably not, if they aren’t planners or forget to charge their cellphone on a regular basis. I feel the reporter could have done more and framed the article better, but you do have to be a little less absentminded and handle things differently than you do with non-EVs. Ultimately I don’t think I’m entirely arguing with you here, I think I’m more offended at the sloppy journalism (and much less impatient from Musk’s obviously biased defenses) than the idea that Tesla isn’t entirely ready for the long haul.

          1. Again, you are attesting to CNN and the Tesla Car Club people doing it correctly so why are they skipping a major step in the recreation and avoiding the possibility of the battery dissipating some charge overnight?

            And why are you claiming it would be stupid for people who are acting properly to do such a thing? Because that’s what you said.

          2. “so why are they skipping a major step in the recreation and avoiding the possibility of the battery dissipating some charge overnight?”

            People ~can~ do it, but planning ahead is part of any “road trip”.

            The issue was not “the battery dissipating some charge overnight” (you’re the only person pushing that bizarre angle), the issue was the guy refusing to take the opportunities available to recharge his car fully, whether it was overnight or at supercharging stations.

          3. I see innumerable people questioning these recreations here and elsewhere: “Wait, they did it overnight? Wasn’t it like 15 degrees warmer?” Etc. The battery dissipating overnight is crucial and makes stopping overnight critical to any “recreation.”

          4. Planning ahead is important, sure. But driving all night with a team of car club members is also not real world, very reasonable, or remotely comparable to the event they are attempting to “recreate.”

            Many people are going to want to stop and rest for the night. Testing the feasibility of that is what I want from a review. I do not want a bunch of Tesla junkies absolutely maximizing performance and creating a little club experience that doesn’t mirror real world use.

  14. Most people seem to be ignoring the main problem identified in the review. If the car is left uncharged overnight in the cold, then the battery charge drops.

    Most of the review was about trying to use only the supercharge stations, to see whether or not they allowed a more ‘traditional’ use of the car, without needing overnight 8-hour charges.

    This is why the car was unplugged after a short charge. The guy called Tesla and this was what they asked for.

    I suspect both the reviewer and the CEO are arseholes. Both are exaggerating their cases. The A/C temperature was turned down low, but it occurred a few miles after the CEO claims in the data record. Likewise, the speed is a bit higher than the reviewer says, but still quite low and he wasn’t caning it at 81MPH like the CEO says. The reviewer took a 2 mile detour, but the CEO has him joyriding around downtown manhattan.

    BTW, Tesla lost their lawsuit against Top Gear. The TV show did nothing wrong. They’d driven the car, checked the range calculations with Tesla themselves, wrote a review and set up a scripted session to video the car being pushed as an end-of-review joke. It’s not like they wrote the script before they’d even driven the car.

    1. EVs will behave just like any other electrics when left out in the cold over night in below freezing weather. At least they can precondition the battery to bring it up to an efficient temperature when connected to a high power charging station. Perhaps some can also do that when connected to a regular outlet. If not, they should.

      An EV needs to be treated like a combination car and consume electronic device, as that’s what they are. And if you own one, you learn that pretty quickly :)The biggest thing that I’ve learned as an EV driver is that OEMs need to be much more honest about efficiency and range w/ EVs. There can be much less margin for error and the “refueling” process takes a lot longer than stopping for gas. But there are many benefits. If your daily driving allows, you never have to stop for fuel; you just charge at the various locations you go to. There are an increasing number of charging stations popping up, and I think it’s great.I also applaud Tesla for the SuperCharger network. It’d be awesome if they licensed the tech to other OEMs and you could purchase a membership to the network or something.And at least Tesla has an expected range calculator on their site and in their stores that will show you the impact of temperature, speed, and other variables while driving.

    2. Actually, they DID write the script before they’d even driven the car. And that was on of the main reasons the suit was thrown out–Top Gear was ruled to be a scripted entertainment program and thus not required to be accurate.

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