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The NYT's John Broder takes Tesla's (TSLA) Model S up and down the East Coast from Washington on...

The NYT's John Broder takes Tesla's (TSLA) Model S up and down the East Coast from Washington on Interstate 95, where the company has installed Supercharger stations 200 miles apart. Things start dandily enough, but then the weather cools, and Broder has to endure freezing feet and white knuckles because he has to turn the heating off to preserve power. Eventually, he needs a tow truck to pick him up because the car runs out of juice.
Comments (182)
  • That is a shame. But for driving around town, they can work really well. And, for a car that can fit the kids in the back, they are so so so fast. And it is more fun to spend money on speeding tickets than on gasoline.
    10 Feb 2013, 08:06 AM Reply Like
  • The shame is they are wasting my Money on this folly.
    10 Feb 2013, 08:15 AM Reply Like
  • Okay, that I agree with too. This is a fun toy but it is ridiculous that the taxpayer is footing the bill.
    10 Feb 2013, 08:17 AM Reply Like
  • The cost of innovation, remember the space program
    10 Feb 2013, 08:32 AM Reply Like
  • The space program benefited everyone. This only benefits Musk and a few upper middle incomers looking for a new toy.
    10 Feb 2013, 09:40 AM Reply Like
  • the postal service brings benefit to me. so does social security and medicare. i can't think of anything of practical value the space program brought to me. if it's brought something to you please share it with us.
    10 Feb 2013, 10:40 AM Reply Like
  • Do you ever use satellites? For television or telephone service? GPS?


    I am not even going to go into the indirect benefits, from materials to computing to fuels etc.
    10 Feb 2013, 10:50 AM Reply Like
  • When my tax dollars are no longer defending oil production I'll agree that your tax dollars shouldn't have supported my car.
    10 Feb 2013, 11:14 AM Reply Like
  • That's like saying the space program only benefited a few astronauts.
    10 Feb 2013, 11:14 AM Reply Like
  • LOL @icandoitdon you are on a computer... Ha... computers would have come around, yes, but the effect the space program had on advancing them is.. out of this world.


    Plastics... Did you check the weather this week? That's because of the space program.

    10 Feb 2013, 11:26 AM Reply Like
  • It's a $400m LOAN guys! One that is being repaid ahead of schedule with interest...not to be confused with the BAILOUT of tens of billions EACH that the fat cat auto makers got for being totally asleep on the new technology front. GM only made the Volt because they saw what Tesla was doing...Volt sales are up 300% over last year....when we are all driving electric cars in 5 years you can thank Tesla and the DOE loan they got to start up.
    10 Feb 2013, 03:11 PM Reply Like
  • Ugh...stop being so short sighted...ALL new cutting edge tech is expensive...what if we didn't build cellphones or laptops because the first few models cost many thousands of dollars in today's money? Space exploration and satellites, the Internet, the microwave, etc, etc are all government funded creations that now benefit our lives so much that we can't think of life without them...the long range EV is slightly expensive time these costs will drop as they did with cellphones and laptops.


    Eventually we will all be driving around in EV's powered by solar on our homes...wait and see how Elon's two companies Tesla and Solar City start working together to make this happen in a BIG way...exciting times ahead.
    10 Feb 2013, 03:22 PM Reply Like
  • "That is a shame. But for driving around town, they can work really well..."


    They work fine on the front nine.


    You can have them. Why do I have to pay for them?


    To save dolphins?
    10 Feb 2013, 04:00 PM Reply Like
  • AAA?


    Waitin' and I'm not a patient man.
    10 Feb 2013, 04:17 PM Reply Like
  • Still waitin'...


    (insider tip)


    "third term."


    Green energy is green because...


    the bloom is off this rose, I'ts now all about becoming the next Nobel Peace Prize winner...didn't
    Arafat win it? No, that can't be right...
    10 Feb 2013, 07:05 PM Reply Like
  • They are not wasting any of my money. Tesla got a loan from the Gvt. but they pay it back. The banks are wasting our money by not paying back the stimulus money and by the FED creating money out of thin air.... Tesla should be praised for being innovative, being a US company with vision and the gut to realize their dream..May be they will need charging station every 150 miles rather than two hundred to take care of warming their car in cold winter, therefore it was not a good idea to take off on a trip on such a cold winter day. The fault is on the driver, not Tesla. We are at the beginning of a new electric era and we need to wait a few years before the new infra sructure of charger is up to the need of every day driving in any weather condition. Have common sense, but don't blame it on Tesla....WILL YOU!
    10 Feb 2013, 07:53 PM Reply Like
  • I totally am not with Chris Jr. on this one.




    Driving around town is a dream...but why do we drive...'cause we ..."


    ...need permission from Mr. DeMuth.


    "'cous we can.."


    Vroom, vrooom...


    (sorry sir, Ms Obama would object)




    I was just...EPA'n....(OK, why ya trin' huffin and puffin')
    10 Feb 2013, 08:11 PM Reply Like
  • Nuclear missile defense. You probably rely on that more than you realize.
    10 Feb 2013, 10:44 PM Reply Like
  • And now the rest of the story...


    The link below is about the line of credit from the John DOE...



    The link below is about their financial condition...

    11 Feb 2013, 09:21 AM Reply Like
  • It was a $465m loan that Musk renegotiated last fall. That may not make it non-performing, but it is close. In addition, the loan had a ten year payback (before reneg) on a product program that will be good for five years. What kind of business sense does that make? At the same time the US essentially has controlling interest (w/ Canada & UAW) in General Motors who has done an infinite amount of research in this field and produced an EV in the 1990's. What sense does it make for the US to fund two competing companies?
    11 Feb 2013, 05:11 PM Reply Like
  • You miss the point. Lithium batteries (actually all batteries) perform very poorly in cold weather. The Tesla store near me says that the cold weather degradation is negligible. That simply does not jive with engineering data on lithium batteries. John Broder's experience is what the engineering data tell us will be the common experience in cold weather. EV's simply will not work well in the north, where three fourths of the car buying public lives. That makes Tesla a niche car for the south, southwest, possibly the Pacific Northwest. Maybe that is why GM first marketed their EV1 there?
    11 Feb 2013, 05:18 PM Reply Like
  • " EV's simply will not work well in the north, where three fourths of the car buying public lives."


    How does that jive with that fact that well over 70% of the commuting public travel less than 60 miles to work?


    Perhaps you want to restate that to read: "EVs with less than Tesla's range of 200 miles will not work well in the north for commuters who need to travel over 70 miles each way to work."


    I think we can agree that changes the trajectory of your comment significantly.
    11 Feb 2013, 05:35 PM Reply Like
  • Excellent points, Mr Funk...I made this point in another TESLA thread, with someone responding with a link to the company...I click the link and read that winter conditions had a nominal effect on the vehicle, especially the use of the heater unit...
    11 Feb 2013, 07:23 PM Reply Like
  • KMI, the comment was the regional restriction of the vehicle and you introduce a new complete new subject!?
    11 Feb 2013, 07:25 PM Reply Like
  • Don't take my word for it. If you go to the Tesla web site and use their own range calculator putting in 65 mph speed limit and 32 degrees outdoor temperature (the lowest they allow), the 60 kWh battery pack will give you 167 miles. If you are in 10 degree weather you may well half that (80 miles) which puts you perilously close to not making it home on your regular commute (cold performance is not linear). This is exactly the situation John Broder found himself in. Someday when charging plugs are everywhere that will help the situation, but for the near future you better have a winter vehicle as back-up (not all that unusual in the north country for sports car lovers).
    12 Feb 2013, 07:47 PM Reply Like
  • " What sense does it make for the US to fund two competing companies? "


    Lots of sense and the US Defense department does it ALL THE TIME:


    I was involved in a program in which three major contractors competed, each using a different design concept.


    It is a great idea for the US government to sponsor and support competing ideas. That's basically what the SBIR (Small Business Innovative Research) program is about.
    12 Feb 2013, 08:21 PM Reply Like
  • There was a few things that this author could have done to extend the range.
    First when he knew was going on a long range trip, he should have charged it in range mode. 240's is NOT range mode, that's standard mode for a complete charge.
    Secondly, when he stopped at night, he really should have charged the EV. He would have actually gained miles even if using a 110 over night, even in low temp conditions.
    Third, he started a drive with 25 some miles and ONLY waited an hour. That shouldn't have happened, if you don't do it in a normal car, don't do it in an EV. At most after an hour at the other station he would have 39 miles left total. That's not enough- bad planning. on his part and that was exasperated by a poor decision from the second point.
    Fourth, he was driving a performance version, it comes stock with the the 21s. As any engineer will tell you, larger tires = higher rolling resistance.
    Fifth, why didn't he stop at the Tesla service or show room in NJ or NYC to get a quick charge?
    Sixth- it's dependent of driving, but the performance allows more energy draw- don't know his acceleration driving habits, but that could be a potential issue
    Seventh, the climate control was bad advice, better advice should have been use the heated seats instead.


    Not making excuses, just alot of things don't really pass the a sanity test if you look at them critically. I would go as far as to say the author wanted it to fail on the highway, because you really don't do such things, one or two things could have been recoverable, but there's too many red flags. Also a drive without a hitch does not make a good story, a drive with freezing, uncomfortable, running out of juice does make a good story


    I personally have driven my Model S in the dead of winter too and have no problem driving and passing people on 295 going the speed of traffic (speed limit is 65 mph and everyone knows the speed is typically higher than the speed limit) and obtaining 0.29-0.30 kwhr/mile even with the 21 inch rims and the heater on.


    That being said, If I was Tesla I would put a charging station in the middle of New Jersey to easy the range anxiety, in either Mercer, Burlington, or Middlesex county. They should overlap more.
    10 Feb 2013, 08:17 AM Reply Like
  • "just alot of things don't really pass the a sanity test"


    Dude, buying a tesla in the first place doesn't really pass the sanity test.


    10 Feb 2013, 08:41 AM Reply Like
  • Dan Fichana:
    Wow. It's the driver's fault for not devoting a comparable amount of time "planning" this test drive as NASA did on the Apollo 11 mission or Eisenhower spent on the Normandy invasion.
    Did you not read the part where this driver was constantly on the phone to Tesla and they (mis)advised him what to do?
    Did you not read the part where the brakes lock when power is almost out, there is no emergency release, and the car has to be put on a flatbed? It seems that the Tesla design is such that when electric energy is almost out the car turns into a two ton ROCK.
    This story is already old and I've forgotten some of the details, but it's interesting how some will blame the driver and not the car's inherent limitations.
    10 Feb 2013, 08:55 AM Reply Like
  • This is equivalent to starting a long trip in an ICE without enough fuel and then not gassing it up when the opportunity arises. It's almost as if he planned this trip to fail....
    10 Feb 2013, 09:36 AM Reply Like
  • zelaza
    It is the liberal dogma to blame others for the failings of their misguided policies and favorite pet projects.
    It's all Bush's fault.
    10 Feb 2013, 10:29 AM Reply Like
  • " This is equivalent to starting a long trip in an ICE without enough fuel and then not gassing it up when the opportunity arises. "


    NO, It is not.
    I've started many long distance trips with less than a quarter tankful of gas, stopped to fill up in less than 5 or 10 minutes, and continued for another 400 miles. With the current gas station infrastructure it is reasonable to assert that (except for special cases) there is no range limit on ICEs.
    Not so with even the long range Tesla BEV. Even with the envisioned infrastructure of Superchargers every 100 to 150 miles, a long trip in a Tesla has the potential to be a LOOONG Trip. First, if you are unfortunate to own and drive the 40kWh model you can't use superchargers and, therefore, spend hours recharging. With the 60 kWh model you would have to stop at every supercharger station along the route. Even with the 85 kWh model you would probably have to stop at every supercharger station for fear of having happen to you what happened to Broder. By the way, the cost of retrieval after running out of battery power must be huge; especially that flatbed tow truck.


    " It's almost as if he planned this trip to fail.... "
    The Tesla appears to be a good car, even a great car. But to assert ulterior motives to anyone raising legitimate question about Tesla only blemishes ... Tesla.
    10 Feb 2013, 10:40 AM Reply Like
  • I hardly think Tesla is a failure based on the above article. Hundreds of industries in the last 120 years have come become what they are today with gov't assistance. Railroads, computers (NASA), oil, fracking, agriculture to name a few. We may not approve all the time but it has benefitted many in our society. There are failures as well.
    10 Feb 2013, 10:45 AM Reply Like
  • I think the layman investor/tax payer fails to understand that innovation is the application of technology at the edge of what is comfortable. Innovation comes from the combination of success AND failure. This experience is important in highlighting the shortcomings of the current system for long range cold weather travel. It does not suddenly invalidate the investment or the future of the technology any more so than the icing of plane wings invalidated commercial flight.
    10 Feb 2013, 11:48 AM Reply Like
  • It really does not take a rocket scientist to know if you are going to charge and take a long trip to put the car in Range mode for charging".


    It is at least partially the drivers fault . I ask the questions:


    Why did he NOT charge in range mode? When you plug it in it gives you an option- he had to select non- range mode.
    Why did he NOT spend the 15 seconds at his hotel to plug it in?
    Why did he NOT charge at a non fast charger in NJ and take a bathroom break? There's plenty of free, public ones in NJ. Wall greens, ikea, and even a pizza shop, just off the top of my head. He WAS on the NJ turnpike so he had to pass the Ikea in Elizabeth
    Why did he only wait 1 hr for it to charge to gain a marginal amount of miles, and not enough miles to make it to the fast charge station?
    Why did they not advise him to stop at the Tesla store for a quick charge or gain some mileage?


    Those are all questions that must be answered, and you can't blame a car for the inactivity or ignorance of an individual.


    More or less what this author did was comparable to "last gas station for 50 miles" stops at that gas station and puts 1 gallon in and the complains when he doesn't have enough gas
    10 Feb 2013, 02:01 PM Reply Like
  • As the GP says.


    Got in the car, drove to destination.


    Doesn't make a good story, so they picked the weak point of electric vehicles and told that story instead. They would have pushed it till it failed in order to get that story. Everyone already knows the weak point of EVs, so it's a cheap shot.
    10 Feb 2013, 03:24 PM Reply Like
  • I disagee McHattle. Tesla cars are awesome!
    10 Feb 2013, 07:59 PM Reply Like
  • I agree, they're looking for any excuse to get consumers worried. Its a cheap shot indeed.
    10 Feb 2013, 08:49 PM Reply Like
  • Tack is close. Model S stands for subsidy but unless you're tied into the regime is stands for sucker.


    (second thoughts)


    Tack is right.
    10 Feb 2013, 08:49 AM Reply Like
  • I like the article it sound like they have a long way to go before people drive 95 down to Fl.
    10 Feb 2013, 08:58 AM Reply Like
  • I can do stupid things to a gas powered vehicle to encourage its untimely demise too.


    This is asinine.
    10 Feb 2013, 09:02 AM Reply Like
  • True, but it's so much easier to be asinine with an electric car...
    10 Feb 2013, 09:20 AM Reply Like
  • Of course it is: you haven't had decades of learning experiences operating one like you do with fuel.
    10 Feb 2013, 09:25 AM Reply Like
  • The EV is older than the ICE...
    10 Feb 2013, 10:30 AM Reply Like
  • The EV has only enjoyed any serious investment over the last 5 years...wait until the next five years ;-)
    Ignorant people keep bringing up the "taxpayers money" issue...wrong Tesla has a loan that they are ahead of schedule on paying back...the taxpayers will make money after Tesla pays off it's loan with interest...try again.
    10 Feb 2013, 02:43 PM Reply Like
  • I think you're correct. A lot of the "bugs" will be worked out during the next 5 years, which is when I will consider buying one.
    10 Feb 2013, 11:20 PM Reply Like
  • Teddy, please give us all the juicy details how much money the tax slaves will make off Telsa?
    11 Feb 2013, 09:23 AM Reply Like
  • Sure glad the taxpayers are providing more largess so millionaires can buy this toy.....and we wonder why nation is going broke.
    10 Feb 2013, 09:07 AM Reply Like
  • Mr Jensen, the taxslaves will be repaid with their next production design called, The Telsa Grid....
    10 Feb 2013, 10:29 AM Reply Like
  • Hey, Bret, try running your ICE car when the oil runs out ... or gasoline becomes $10/gal. after a skirmish in the middle east! There is a reason why the government is trying to change the status quo and bring in a new way to run our cars - if you are smart you don't wait for the end times before changing what you are doing when you can see a disaster approaching if you don't do anything. Sure, once the crisis comes innovation will be there, but by then it will be far more painful and expensive.


    By the way, our country is already broke - it's better to at least try to help with something that could jump-start our economy now than wait for it to grind to a total halt without a way to move our vehicles.
    10 Feb 2013, 06:02 PM Reply Like
  • Ms Flight, if you are dependent on the government you will lose your independence...


    One day, July the 4th will be called, Dependent Day...
    11 Feb 2013, 09:26 AM Reply Like
  • Blue ... there is a difference between being dependent (where you can never break free) and receiving a nudge to help start something revolutionary that can propel you into a new place, that will allow you by then to be independent of the government.


    With the way that the "free enterprise" system is now - with the super-large corporations controlling so much of the money and power, about the only way that a new energy structure can get a foothold is by the government giving that nudge, and then getting out of the way to allow the successful company to move forward.


    The only other option, as I see it, is to wait for the present oil/gasoline structure to collapse as it gradually - or suddenly - falls from lack of supply or embargo or some calamity. Is that what you want? There needs to be some flexibility here.
    11 Feb 2013, 10:53 AM Reply Like
  • Ms Flight, we built this nation without any or all assistance from Big Brother (sorry, for not being neutral gender) and now IT is needed for a revolution!


    Most of the "super-large" corporation where not hear 100 years ago, nor 50 years either...Just allow free enterprise an environment to grow without restrictions and you will see innovations and $50 light bulbs...


    BTW, Ms Fight, we are in a new era of record goo production, either domestically and or world wide...


    EEK, Peak EV is here...
    11 Feb 2013, 12:28 PM Reply Like
  • Blue, again I have to remind you that while our nation was built without government assistance, it sometimes becomes necessary for a government to step in when a crisis looms that is too big for the present "super-large" corporations to handle, such as protecting ourselves in a war, or as it appears in the present sense, when we are running out of oil and the big oil companies have too much to lose or are too inflexible to change. Without some incentives nothing will happen. In the case of Tesla they only took a loan, which they have already paid off - early. So, what's the big deal? Are you also against SpaceX which has just sent up the first privately made space capsule to the International Space Station, not once but twice? Oh well, what can I say ...
    11 Feb 2013, 03:12 PM Reply Like
  • Ms Flight, all in might, tar and feather, what crisis do you echo...


    My dear, you must leave the old Arabia Oil embargo days, as the hills of North Dakota and Texas are bubbling with millions of barrels of oil...


    Can you not see, that most 98% of government programs are a failure.


    BTW, can you produce a link that Herr Musk pay-off the loan?
    11 Feb 2013, 07:15 PM Reply Like
  • I have to admit that here I was mistaken - repayments began in December ... I just looked it up ... but they are to be repaid early. At least they are going to be repaid as long as the company remains successful, which for the time being looks as if it will. And a new technology is being developed which otherwise would not have been; and it could serve our country well in the future when oil becomes scarce.
    12 Feb 2013, 06:08 PM Reply Like


    might want to check yer premises...


    Lefty oil-haters are just precious. I'd love to see any of them try to live in a world that never had it.
    12 Feb 2013, 06:22 PM Reply Like
  • Thank you kindly, Ms Flight!
    12 Feb 2013, 06:49 PM Reply Like
  • 48,
    Wanting to change from an existing fuel source doesn't mean we intend to erase the past. It's no secret that oil use came with a huge negative burden attached, trying to lessen that burden seems to be a sensible goal.
    13 Feb 2013, 08:49 AM Reply Like
  • OK, first of all it is not our money it is our grandchildren's money. Why not worry about how this electricity gets to you. Presently most of our electricity comes from burning coal. I live in Memphis, one day I walked down to the edge of the River and was overwhelmed by how much kinetic energy is passing by untapped. Twenty four/ seven good weather/bad the River keeps on moving. Unfortunately it seems we are tied to long-term contracts for coal to make electricity. Today we are driving cars and worrying about CO2. We might want to worry about the oil we are taking out of the ground. This oil has lubricating properties and in the light of plate tectonics in the earth we may well be doing irrepairable harm. Now I am addicted to oil and electricity. I refuse to stay at home in the dark worrrying about these problems but someone should be thinking about them. The science seems doable but the red tape is overwhelming. I suspect that hydrogen is the long term answer, but it seems everyone is afraid of the Hindenburg. The answer to our fiscal woes still are wound around Science, and we think we cannot afford the answers. The truth is we cannot afford not to seek answers to these problems. Misguided priorities notwithstanding we continue to give tax breaks to sports franchises and penalize building of schools and infrastructure. That is enough of Sunday morning sermonizing.
    10 Feb 2013, 09:17 AM Reply Like
  • Coal use in the US is dropping and is under 40%, so "most" of our electricity does not come from burning coal, and if you are so inclined you can put up solar panels on your roof and get most of your electricity from the sun. Your choice.
    10 Feb 2013, 09:38 AM Reply Like
  • Poker an,
    Love your comment,!


    We can curse the dark, or lite candle.


    Elon is the new Steve Jobs! What don 't you understand?
    10 Feb 2013, 09:53 AM Reply Like
  • " Coal use in the US is dropping and is under 40%, so "most" of our electricity does not come from burning coal, ... "


    Here are the numbers:
    Coal 42%
    Natural Gas 25%
    Nuclear 19%
    Hydropower 8%
    Other Renewable 5%
    ...... Biomass 1.38%
    ...... Geothermal 0.41%
    ...... Solar 0.04% <<< VERY IMPRESSIVE AMOUNT :-)
    ...... Wind 2.92%
    Petroleum 1%
    Other Gases < 1%


    So, and by far, coal is the biggest source of electricity, and dwarfs the other sources.


    " if you are so inclined you can put up solar panels on your roof and get most of your electricity from the sun. "
    Except at night, or, if you are in New England today, have two feet of snow on your ($10,000 - $20,000) solar panels.
    10 Feb 2013, 10:03 AM Reply Like
  • Pokeman, the answer is cave condos....
    10 Feb 2013, 10:15 AM Reply Like
  • Thats 2011 data. Coal usage declined in 2012, as natural gas usage surged. Natural gas and coal produced the same share of electricity in the US in month of April 2012(although coal did produce more electricity than ng over the full year), and with the low price of nat gas, and the EPA regulations on coal, US coal usage will continue to decline in the coming years. That split now is probably closer to 35% coal 32% ng, but we'll have to wait for 2012 data.

    10 Feb 2013, 12:08 PM Reply Like
  • No system is static. Take a look at the derivative. The flat numbers paint a different picture than the moving numbers.



    Coal generation dropped 19% in a single year. Not because the US is lacking in coal (it has more than anywhere else in the world). This has more to do with coal based energy projects having recouped their costs and nearing the end of the useful life-cycle.
    10 Feb 2013, 12:16 PM Reply Like
  • Zelaza, thank you for those numbers. And injecting some fact into the discussion.
    10 Feb 2013, 12:47 PM Reply Like
  • Easier to better filter the emissions from a few stationary and remotely located power plants over hundreds of millions of mobile ICE vehicles polluting our most densely populated areas.
    Coal use is on the decline in nearly EVERY nation (yes even India and China as a % of the total grid).
    Solar and other renewables make massive leaps forward every year..the trend is clear for those we can see. Not overnight but inevitable nonetheless...our grid gets cleaner and thus so do our EV's.
    Deep drilling tech (one good thing about the oil industry) is making geothermal energy more feasible...this and tidal would be the best form of renewable energy because it is constant and unlimited...not intermittent like wind and solar...the breakthroughs will be made...EV's put us on the right track to use a cleaner grid...the ICE will never put us on the right track.
    10 Feb 2013, 03:30 PM Reply Like
  • What happened to the development of clean coal?
    10 Feb 2013, 08:18 PM Reply Like
  • Would it be fair to call you, Teddy The Green?


    With the exception of damns, redoables are economic failures; much the same with leftwing economic science...
    11 Feb 2013, 09:32 AM Reply Like
  • Kilt by your president, Mr Liu...
    11 Feb 2013, 09:33 AM Reply Like
  • Spot on css...this is a pathetic smear job for the shorts and to sell a few papers...only a moron could have the issues this guy did...he wanted to fail to sell his story
    11 Feb 2013, 10:47 AM Reply Like
  • The constant refrain for those whom are critical - your short, your short...


    It for a parrot ?
    11 Feb 2013, 12:33 PM Reply Like
  • >>>
    only a moron could have the issues this guy did


    Before you label every potentially undecided customer like that,
    you ought to read that other people are having issues with
    the Model S that go beyond temperature changes:





    "We drive to Dubuque, Iowa ... another point on our trip where I had figured we would stop to charge for 2-3 hours. Eric had talked to the service center at the Chevrolet dealership who had indicated it would be fine to charge there for a few hours. We found the Chevrolet, plugged in, no problem. Obstacle 3 -- Their charger is only 15amps and less than 200 volts... We were only getting about 6mph of charge. At that rate it was going to take all night.


    "I quickly found a Nissan dealership in the area and we headed over there to try our luck. Their charger was outside, covered in icicles, clearly not having been used in a while. Although hesitant, they were willing to help us out and they moved some vehicles out of the way, so we could park by the charger.


    "Unfortunately, when we put the adapter on the charger, it wouldn't fit. It was about 1-2mm short of latching and without latching the electrons won't flow. Obstacle 4. We tried to enlist some of the techs to help us force it on there, but they were unable.


    "They shrugged their shoulders stating it was probably the wrong adapter, even though it had worked at the other Nissan dealership a few hours beforehand. I chalked it up to the fact that it was still barely over zero degrees outside and their charger was sitting outside in ice. Nevertheless, it wasn't going to work...."


    I suspect some hardcore EVangelicals will try to convince me
    that somehow, *I JUST DON'T GET IT* -- but I *DO* get it. These vehicles are not ready for prime time.
    12 Feb 2013, 08:44 PM Reply Like
  • They are ready for prime time, they may not be ready for specific long range trips, which are rare. Prime time means daily use, since that is less than 40 miles a day for most people, an EV works quite well. As the charge network continues to expand, as is happening, the utility of existing EV's expands as well.
    13 Feb 2013, 08:52 AM Reply Like
  • As long as heat and a/c work - otherwise it's a little before it's time.
    I'm glad to see the technology developing - but right now it's an expensive 3rd car.
    13 Feb 2013, 09:32 AM Reply Like
  • Don't tell the people who are using it as their main vehicle....
    14 Feb 2013, 09:21 AM Reply Like
  • After dozens upon dozens of rave reviews, after getting Motor Trend's Car of the Year, after building one of the highest performing production sedans in the world, after achieving a five star safety rating in all categories, after selling EVs at 400 per week (full production capacity) and maintaining a 15,000 person waiting list at $5000 a pop, after moving rapidly toward profitability in 2Q13, and after indicating that DoE loans will be repaid in the coming two years, the shorts and naysayers have finally found one negative article and have latched on to it like a drowning man grabs a straw. The reporter pushed the Model S to fail so he'd have a story and he succeeded. The shorts and naysayers respond with glee. Tesla will have the last laugh.
    10 Feb 2013, 09:22 AM Reply Like
  • Rational, you are quite the euphoric...Nothing goes wrong, everything works out according to plans...


    The company is giving 100 shares and a Blackberry with each purchase..
    10 Feb 2013, 10:26 AM Reply Like
  • "The reporter pushed the Model S to fail..."


    Ah, no. He drove it like a normal person would drive a car with an ICE, expecting to reach his destination in comfort, and in a timely manner. In fact, he took many EXTRA precautions particular to EVs, and he STILL had a bad experience. Simple conclusion: Tesla is just not ready for prime time. Doesn't mean it won't be at some point in the future, but not yet.
    10 Feb 2013, 10:57 AM Reply Like
  • The vehicle told him he had 90 miles of range remaining. Twice the 46 miles he needed to travel. He gets up in the morning, and now the car reports 72% less range. An experienced e-vehicle owner knows never to trust the vehicles range figure. But than an experienced e-vehicle owner would also know to always stay at an e-vehicle friendly motel.


    You can't trust any e-vehicles range indicator because the discharge rate is dependent on more factors than just distance. Things like temperature, whether its night or day, or if its raining affect range. In this situation, the car was just sitting there and it reported a loss of 72% in range. On top of this, really hot and cold temperatures also affect the batteries charge acceptance.


    My guess is that 'charge anxiety' increases as some non-linear function of the vehicles range. If you need to regularly drive distances in excess of something like 70% of the vehicles range you will probably always be looking at the range indicator. On top of this, the larger the number of deep discharges, the less the life of the battery pack.


    It's a nice vehicle, but it is certainly not going to replace the ICE for most people with the state of current battery technology. I wonder what is going to happen to the company when the waiting list is exhausted? Long term survival depends on a willingness of people to switch from ICE to e-vehicles.


    Reliability is a big issue. If you were driving your family on a lonely inter-state and adverse weather hit, what kind of vehicle would you want to be driving?
    10 Feb 2013, 11:44 AM Reply Like
  • Sorry Charles, but I have to disagree with your conclusion. Tesla Model S is ready for prime time, but not for people who are unwilling or unable to understand its idiosyncrasies or differences from ICE cars. The Model S that I own is by far the best car that I have ever driven - learn how to work with electricity and it works for you. Do a little planning and very little if anything will go wrong. In the early days of ICE cars gasoline stations were not as close as they are now and you had to do a little planning then, too, but somehow they survived. Electric infrastructure is in its early stages; after a little while it will be as easy - and certainly cheaper than the ICE counterparts to run.
    10 Feb 2013, 12:48 PM Reply Like
  • The car may be ready for prime time...but the people are not.


    I say...give it a chance. If it has real value to mankind, we will adopt it.


    And this from someone who uses a sundial to tell time......grin
    10 Feb 2013, 01:07 PM Reply Like
  • Thank you, you tell him!!!!
    10 Feb 2013, 08:57 PM Reply Like
  • >>>
    The vehicle told him he had 90 miles of range remaining. Twice the 46 miles he needed to travel. He gets up in the morning, and now the car reports 72% less range.


    Did I just read that right? The car lost 72% of its remaining range
    overnight? 90 - (90*72%) = 25.2 miles of range. How reliable is this technology? My old Hyundai didn't just lose 72% of its gas overnight....


    An experienced e-vehicle owner knows never to trust the vehicle's range figure.


    In other words, an experienced EV owner has been STRANDED enough times to realize he might need an extension cord that runs from his house to his destination? Didn't Fred Flintsone have one of those?


    This is a damning confession about this cutting edge technology. Those of us who are still addicted to oil don't sit around wondering if our gas gauge is betraying us....
    11 Feb 2013, 06:37 AM Reply Like
  • Actually, I had an 83 pickup that was only right when the tank was full. Not sure if that counts.
    11 Feb 2013, 08:22 AM Reply Like
  • >>>
    Actually, I had an 83 pickup that was only right when the tank was full. Not sure if that counts.


    Well, everyone's input counts in this matter, I think...


    I suspect it would cost a modest amount to fix your gas gauge. Jalopnik, in its article on "bricking," suggested that a new Tesla battery would cost upwards of $30,000 plus installation.
    12 Feb 2013, 05:30 AM Reply Like
  • Pushin Too Hard On Me - The Seeds

    13 Feb 2013, 02:26 PM Reply Like
  • Lack of reliable heat is a pretty big issue. I like the idea but it has to be your 3rd car in a 2 person household.
    10 Feb 2013, 09:48 AM Reply Like
  • Agreed rungrandpa, having a heater here on the "Least Coast" is a good idea....grin


    Musk fan here, at least for the stocks if not the products.


    As the article says, " needs some work".
    10 Feb 2013, 10:14 AM Reply Like
  • The car has a heater that works quite well. It does help if you actually charge the battery fully, sort of like how a gas car works better if you put gas in it....
    11 Feb 2013, 07:42 PM Reply Like
  • "...sort of like how a gas car works better if you put gas in it..."


    Yes, but there is NO ICE car that tells you your range is 80 miles when you go to bed at night and 15 miles when you wake up. This is the core of the problem anywhere away from the subtropics.
    12 Feb 2013, 07:03 AM Reply Like
  • No that was only part of the problem. I'll explain it simply. In the cold the reported voltage of the pack drops. As you use the car the pack warms up somewhat and the reported voltage will climb back up, and hence the charge indicator will increase as well. Yes there is some energy lost overnight due to some pack heating and vampire loads in the car, Tesla is working on a software update to reduce those losses. However the bottom line is that this trip could have been completed successfully by properly charging the car. People who actually own them are quite aware of this and don't encounter the problem that the reporter had. You need to ask yourself why is it that the people who bought these cars love them, as do most reporters. This event was noteworthy because it was an outlier.
    12 Feb 2013, 08:19 AM Reply Like
  • Has anyone done or know what the average distance between Gas stations is. i.e. between the points used in this test?
    You can imagine the number would be a lot less than 200 miles so this artificial test is not reality if more "pumping stations" are added for electric vehicles. That is the reality.
    I am not a Tesla owner or driver, just a wannabe-Trader trying to make some money in the market.
    fwiw: TSLA posted a red inverted hammer on Friday so expect some downside in the stock. Due to this story or the NYT article?
    Don't know, but the run-up in the stock price did not make sense either.
    How far down? How about 5-7% from Friday's Close or about the $37'ish area to start.
    10 Feb 2013, 10:11 AM Reply Like
  • As predicted, TSLA fell to $37.50 then spent most of the day around the $38 area. Now that the TSLA Ceo has come out swinging, expect a gradual stepping down to the $34 - $36'ish area next.
    12 Feb 2013, 02:37 AM Reply Like
  • I am a Model S owner since about two weeks ago and have visited the RT 95 Super Charging stations at Milton CT twice (very nice rest stops by the way). There is no doubt that trips in the 200 mile range (particularly in the cold) require prior planning. The Telsa guys in CA need to give S owners (and auto writers) better advice about battery impact during cold driving conditions (such as do not park the car overnight without it being plugged in!).


    Driving the car is a dream, and this is by far and away the best car I have ever owned (including Audi/ MB/ Porsche). However, I am a pioneer when it comes to long distant driving (for now). When going on longer trips you need to plan more time and ensure you know where charging options exist. The fun part is every time we stop to charge the car we always end up talking about the car with admirers and the time flies by.
    10 Feb 2013, 10:11 AM Reply Like
  • "The fun part is every time we stop to charge the car we always end up talking about the car with admirers and the time flies by. "


    yes nothing like talking with admirers every 200 miles about the fun time owning no driving no sorry charging your Model S, yes its sounds wonderfully time consuming
    10 Feb 2013, 10:41 AM Reply Like
  • Good comment "pioneer", and good luck with your new car. Sincerely.
    10 Feb 2013, 10:41 AM Reply Like
  • And, you meet such swell folks sitting for an hour at most NJ Turnpike rest stops, too. It's probably especially fun late at night.


    (Maybe, the Model S should come equipped with a complementary Glock.)
    10 Feb 2013, 10:53 AM Reply Like
  • >>The fun part is every time we stop to charge the car we always end up talking about the car with admirers and the time flies by.


    hahaha..that was so funny. They should also put these charging stations close to theme parks, movie theatres, bowling alleys etc so time can really fly while charging your car.
    10 Feb 2013, 05:41 PM Reply Like
  • Begs the question, why wasn't the Model S charged over night? EV basics 101! Was Mr. Broder looking for failure?
    10 Feb 2013, 10:11 AM Reply Like
  • Sure he does. Wonder who he's working for? hmmmmmmm!!!!
    10 Feb 2013, 09:04 PM Reply Like
  • In a world were you get into your car, turn the key and drive this $100K car is a pipe dream wrapped in a package of unreliability, but requiring 1 hr to charge up every 200 miles or less is a serial killer for 99% of its potential market.
    10 Feb 2013, 10:37 AM Reply Like
  • Sorry Enigma but 95% of people drive less than 50 miles per day so 95% of the time 95% of the people will be recharging at home overnight while they sleep at insanely cheap off peak power rates.
    For the few times the average Joe does drive over 200 miles in ONE day (maybe three or four times per year) there is the free supercharger network. 200 miles = nearly 3.5 hrs of driving...I don't know about you but even in an ICE car after that much driving I want to stop and take a break, eat/drink something, use the bathroom, etc. This usually takes about 25-30mins so is a perfect time to supercharge (you can get 150 miles of charging done in 30 mins so not sure where the "hour wait" you claim comes from?


    Again more claims from the ignorant who know nothing about how easy driving the Tesla really is if you bother to do a bit of homework and have a brain.
    10 Feb 2013, 02:38 PM Reply Like
  • Now available from Smart Car, is their new EV with a 79 mile range and priced after the rebate $18k....


    Just think, fuel payback in just nine or eight years!
    11 Feb 2013, 09:38 AM Reply Like
  • "Just think, fuel payback in just nine or eight years!"


    The short-sightedness of that comment is evident in that it was levied against the Toyota Prius as well, and the fact that car has done a remarkable job of maintaining its value far better than pretty much all its competition.


    As in, intelligent investors look at re-sale value too, among multiple parameters of value assessment, not just fuel 'payback'.
    11 Feb 2013, 04:46 PM Reply Like
  • I wonder how many "horseless buggies" ran out of fuel in the early days of the automobile before the appropriate infrastructure was built up.
    10 Feb 2013, 11:08 AM Reply Like
  • With the horseless buggy, one could just pull over into the nearest field, spend a quiet hour while re-fueling, and then proceed.....grin


    Sorry to say I never owned a horseless buggy. And will probably never own an EV. (too old now) Stuck in the middle with my damn combustion engined vehicle....yet still strangely happy. LOL
    10 Feb 2013, 11:18 AM Reply Like
  • Um, "horseless buggy" = car. So you are stuck with your horseless buggy.
    11 Feb 2013, 07:44 PM Reply Like
  • So many contributors seem to have a visceral hatred for innovation. None of our great modern technologies started off perfect.
    10 Feb 2013, 11:23 AM Reply Like
  • Actually, orange tan, I don't think any of us hate innovation - in fact, we like it.


    What we really resent is fake innovation: changing something for the worse and telling me its better.


    Were you around in the 1980s when new coke came out? It was overly sweet and lacked the flavourful punch of the classic recipe and it was eventually pulled.


    Electric cars are the new coke of personal transportation.


    10 Feb 2013, 04:46 PM Reply Like
  • I read this article yesterday (Saturday) and was struck by the fact that this person did not do his homework prior to his trip ... and especially during his trip. When you are driving an electric Tesla Model S you need to know that the battery needs to be kept warm at night and cool during the day, and that uses power to do this. Anyone who owns a Model S, as I do, knows this ... he was just loaned the car, cold, and didn't know anything about it. Furthermore, on the last night he had only 40 some miles to go (if my memory serves me correctly), but 89 miles indicated on his projected mile indicator - he chose to stay somewhere without charging - when it was 20 degrees at night - and the next morning he had too little charge to go the 40 some miles. Surprise, surprise ... he should have known better. He could have either driven the 40 miles that night or found somewhere where he would have been able to plug it in to charge it ... that is what you do with an electric car.


    There was nothing wrong with the car - it was, rather, someone who didn't understand how to alter his driving habits with the new electric technology.
    10 Feb 2013, 11:36 AM Reply Like
  • If you need to do all that just to drive a damn car, then this aint ready for prime time in any stretch of imagination.
    10 Feb 2013, 05:44 PM Reply Like
  • Spy ... just common sense ...
    11 Feb 2013, 11:01 AM Reply Like
  • That eliminates at least 1/5 of the motoring public...
    11 Feb 2013, 12:35 PM Reply Like
  • And a good number of people in this comment section as well apparently who think fully charging an EV is too difficult to comprehend.
    11 Feb 2013, 07:46 PM Reply Like
  • --> Zelaza
    Thanks for posting the link regarding electricity generation. The data you quoted was from two years ago (2011), however. There was a link with the data on that page with more current usage (2012). What's interesting is that coal is now 36%, a 13% drop in just one year (it dropped 6% the year before). Petroleum has dropped 23% and Nat Gas has increased 26% !! At the same time, wind has increased 14% and Solar/PV has increased 149% !. The trend is clear.
    10 Feb 2013, 11:53 AM Reply Like
  • --> jerrycalpha:


    " The data you quoted was from two years ago (2011), however .."
    Not to nitpick, but the data from 2011 is, today, only one year old.


    " and Solar/PV has increased 149% ".
    Wow! Solar has gone from 0.04% all the way to 0.1%. Yes, the trend is clear!


    " and Nat Gas has increased 26% !! "
    Wooppee! From this site: , we learn that when natural gas is burned it produces ONLY 117,000 pounds of CO2 per billion btu compared to 208,000 pounds of CO2 per billion btu when burning coal. An improvement, but still a lot of CO2 produced. Yes, I know, some of the other really, really bad pollutants are very dramatically reduced, still the CO2 overwhelms; as the chemistry requires.
    10 Feb 2013, 12:41 PM Reply Like
  • Those who fight the production and use of natural gas instead of coal because it produces "a lot of CO2" are making the perfect the enemy of the good. We have a resource (gas) which we can produce cheaply and safely which results in HALF the CO2 of coal. Anyone who opposes this transition is blinded by ideology to the very practical benefits of a clean, cheap source of energy.
    11 Feb 2013, 08:16 AM Reply Like
  • Mr Smith, have you ever wondered why God gave us all that coal ?


    It is certainly not to make enviro statements...
    11 Feb 2013, 09:42 AM Reply Like
  • Typical Zelaza tactic, post outdated information then try to change the subject when faced with current facts. The real comparison of course is that NG powered EV's are far cleaner than ICE vehicles.
    11 Feb 2013, 07:48 PM Reply Like
  • Yeah, god gave us that coal.... I see you'll be having rational arguments for ... let's see,,,,,,,anything?
    12 Feb 2013, 08:50 AM Reply Like
  • JRP3 writes:
    " Typical Zelaza tactic, post outdated information then try to change the subject when faced with current facts. "
    Thanks JRP3 for recognizing that I, in fact, try to find and present actual data and information rather than continually insulting from the hip. With regard to the data about energy sources used to generate electricity, I went to the US government site and posted their latest data for the complete year 2011. I didn't click on a small link that provided monthly data (incomplete, not yet for the full 2012) because I'm not writing a thesis (been there, done that almost 40 years ago) and even the latest monthly data makes my point. JRP3, your mind and attitude seems to be too narrow and laser focused to see the bigger picture and understand other people's legitimate issues.


    " The real comparison of course is that NG powered EV's are far cleaner than ICE vehicles. "
    I certainly know and understand that natural gas burns cleaner than coal and that EVs using that electricity are cleaner than ICE vehicles. However, an increasing amount of natural gas is being extracted by a method called ... let me try and recall ... oh, yes ... fracking. And my understanding is that fracking may introduce undesirable contaminants into our water supply. This site:
    whose credibility and agenda I don't know, discusses the issue somewhat. Care to comment?
    Oh, and notice that I am, again, providing a reference source for my remark.
    12 Feb 2013, 10:05 AM Reply Like
  • Z-man, always the best place to find data, non-profits - supported with funding by governmental units world wide...


    Your link did not comment one word about the bird shredders, did it ?


    No problem, you are allowed to shred birds because it is done in a green and friendly manner...
    12 Feb 2013, 10:27 AM Reply Like
  • Zelaza,
    Again you change topic. Yes fracking is a concern, no doubt, but to stay on topic you are trying to compare emissions impacts between ICE's and EV's. Do you have any data at all that fracking impacts, which are also used in oil extraction by the way, significantly change the emissions profile of EV's as compared to ICE's?
    13 Feb 2013, 09:00 AM Reply Like
  • it seems to me the naysayers have it wrong. these problems are small potatoes in the long run. they will be worked out in time as technology continues to improve and the market for the car slowly expands. the rich man's toy today will become the common man's tool tomorrow....that's the lesson of technological progress.


    life-altering inventions of the past were often doubted. so it was with gas-powered autos, electricity, indoor plumbing, television and even the internet, all of which were predicted failures by many who should have known better (with the possible exception of indoor plumbing). even when louis pasture urged physicians and surgeons to wash their hands and boil their surgical instruments to prevent bacterial infection he was viewed as a fringe lunatic by the medical establishment.


    as far as spending public money on private enterprise is concerned, what are you crying about? wal mart won't put a store in any locale that doesn't offer tax benefits to subsidize development. any manufacturer of widgets will demand the same. how about your (not mine) beloved sports teams who demand public financing for their private use stadiums under threat to move the franchise if denied? rarely do public votes on such issues go against the home team.


    to the naysayers: remove the blinders.
    10 Feb 2013, 12:05 PM Reply Like
  • So a "care and proper usage" training program should come with each car? Clearly it's not a perfect science at this juncture.
    10 Feb 2013, 12:12 PM Reply Like
  • --> Zelaza
    The trend with coal vs. nat gas IS clear. Thanks for posting the link to the site where I learned a couple of things:
    "Natural gas emits virtually no particulates into the atmosphere: in fact, emissions of particulates from natural gas combustion are 90 percent lower than from the combustion of oil, and 99 percent lower than burning coal. Thus increased natural gas use in place of other dirtier hydrocarbons can help to reduce particulate emissions in the U.S"


    "Combustion of natural gas, used in the generation of electricity, industrial boilers, and other applications, emits lower levels of NOx, CO2, and particulate emissions, and virtually no SO2 and mercury emissions."
    Here's one for you:
    For example: "The electricity generation process produces less than 100 pounds of pollutants for electric cars compared to 3000 pounds for ICE vehicles."


    10 Feb 2013, 01:13 PM Reply Like
  • --> jerrycalpha


    I went to the site you mention and this is what they write:
    "... Furthermore, in a study conducted by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, electric powered cars were significantly cleaner over the course of 100,000 miles than ICE cars. The electricity generation process produces less than 100 pounds of pollutants for electric cars compared to 3000 pounds for ICE vehicles."
    Well Jerry, there is something terribly wrong with these numbers. A high mileage ICE car getting 30 mpg would consume 3000 gallons of gas to travel 100,000 miles. Burning a gallon of gas produces close to 20 pounds of CO2 (actually, 19# and easy enough to show.) So, that ICE should produce about 60,000# of pollutants (if you include CO2) and not the measly 3000# stated. Unless I totally misunderstand what they are doing or saying, I'de say that this EV fan site has credibility issues. The claim of only 100# of pollutants for the generation for 30,000 kWh (to travel 100,000 miles @ 3 miles/kWh) also seems highly dubious; but I don't really know and don't feel like running the numbers. OK, unless their calculation is based on non-fuel burning electrical generation; so this would be a totally mixed up and meaningless comparison.
    10 Feb 2013, 02:35 PM Reply Like
  • Don't really know and don't feel like running the numbers.
    Wow thanks for the insight.
    Any credible non-biased study has put the EV at over 50% less emissions than an average ICE vehicle even if powered from 100% coal...but we know the US grid is only 40% coal so start there as your worst case. Renewable energy Gen + EV = 0 emissions best case...rare but growing exponentially with companies like Tesla and Solar City.
    The ICE will never have this best simply wastes valuable finite resources that we could be using to make recyclable materials (ie plastics)...when we burn fossil fuels we waste them FOREVER...a slap in the face to future generations
    10 Feb 2013, 03:41 PM Reply Like
  • I am a retire college instructor and own a Tesla Model S and have PV panels. Have not had a bill for electric since. Just plug the Tesla in every night. Tesla has a loan from the DOE and is ahead of schedule on payments. The taxpayer is not footing the bill. Planning your trips is the same as gassing up your ICE. I have no regrets on getting the Tesla.
    10 Feb 2013, 01:49 PM Reply Like
  • Exactly now have no utility bill AND no gas bill...this is the future for all wise enough to see that we are only at the very beginning right less than 4 years this will be the affordable norm for anyone who wants it.
    10 Feb 2013, 02:59 PM Reply Like
  • Another attempt to smear Tesla by the now desperate shorts.
    95% of all people drive less than 50 miles per day on average.
    Tesla is a brand new company who has JUST produced its first car from the ground up. They have EIGHT of their planned THREE HUNDRED supercharging stations in place right now. Give them some think it's easy building the first new major auto company in 75 years and not using traditional fuels to power the car?
    Tesla was silly not to have educated this reporter on how to properly use the car on long distance trips. Had he simply plugged in the car overnight at a 240v outlet (which will cost motels/shopping malls/ restaurants/ etc only a few hundred dollars to install - so will pop up very quickly as EV's get more popular.)...had he done this instead of losing mileage in the cold without plugging in he would have woken up to a near full battery instead of a near dead one....Tesla's motto has always always been "Plug it in whenever you can!"...even a standard 110v plug and an extension cord could have made this trip an easy success. Instead he looked for failure.


    Again Tesla should have explained all this to the reporter, they certainly do with every new owner..a delivery specialist usually spends a least a few hours with the new owner going over all the details of how to best operate and maintain your car.
    They are incredibly busy I guess they assumed this reporter might have read up on the $95,000 car he was about to drive..or at least checked out the very simple to use "How far can I go" page on Tesla's website. That clearly shows effects of temperature, etc on range.
    Bottom line is that anyone who knows anything about how EV's work would have done this trip easily and without issue. A total newbie to EV's and one who bothers to do no research should be expected to have issues. This would be similar to someone not understanding how an ICE engine works and running it without oil..or putting diesel in the car instead of gas...people who are ignorant about the very basic operations of ANY vehicle are going to struggle..and they have been with the ICE for many years as well...its not that different. One thing is for sure if he did the same trip over would go perfectly, because now he knows...just like the ignorant ICE owner learns never to put diesel in his gas car again! It's a tough learning curve for those who go in blind...but a very small minority go in this way...but a little practice makes perfect.
    Bottom line is that for 95% of people a Tesla would serve their daily driving needs very easily. Most people only travel 200+ miles in one day a few times a year. If you are someone who travels very long distances very frequently..well you are in the 5% of people who do so perhaps wait until the supercharging and 240v charging networks are a little more developed (two years max).


    Tesla's next car...the Gen III will have a 200 mile range with supercharging for around $35,000 in early then the supercharging network will be fully developed and long range driving issues will be gone. For those who know and understand the basics these issues are gone already with a tiny bit of planning....some ignorant people however expect everything to be spoon fed to them like babies...if that's who you are then wait for Gen III....if you actually have a brain then buy a Tesla now.
    10 Feb 2013, 02:16 PM Reply Like
  • One thing to remember is that the Tesla can plug into a very large selection of places along many routes in the US - they can plug into many motel, hotel or RV stops as since the Tesla uses a NEMA -1450 plug there are thousands of them around the country and they will be in many areas where there are no Tesla superchargers. So, if you have a problem between stops find out where you can use the alternate chargers and do it overnight (for instance) if you need to. May sometimes not fit your perceived itinerary, but it beats setting on the side of the road without power and getting cold and desperate.
    10 Feb 2013, 02:45 PM Reply Like
  • Let me know when the over-priced car has a gas engine.


    There, fixed it.
    10 Feb 2013, 02:50 PM Reply Like
  • You can't fix stupid.... Yeah, I am going to leave a battery powered car overnight in the cold without plugging it in?


    Unfortunately John Broder acts just like 90% of American consumers. Too "special" to have to alter their behavior and then gripe when everything isn't perfect.


    Grow up John, and learn how to use your car before setting off on a trip like this. This piece belongs on FoxNews.


    The simple truth is that we will not be driving ICE cars forever. It is not sustainable.
    10 Feb 2013, 03:30 PM Reply Like
  • The only reason the taxpayer is subsidizing Tesla is because of the political opposition to a carbon tax, which would be a much more sensible way to allocate the costs of climate change to those who cause it. My guess is that most people complaining about Tesla subsidies also don't want a carbon tax. Or if those people are in the US they may conveniently choose not to 'believe' that gasoline powered cars cause more climate change than electric ones. So we're left with an inefficient incentive, targeted tax subsidies that can be manipulated by those with the most lobbyists.
    10 Feb 2013, 04:11 PM Reply Like
  • As to the DOE loan issue - what is about the word "loan" that people do not understand - Tesla got a "loan", not a gift - I for one, am happy to have been a part of making that "loan" so that a new cleaner technology might evolve - short sighted people forget that President Carter saw the energy issue coming and did something about it, and folks also forget that President Reagan came along and undid ALL of what Carter started and in addition to that, spent us into oblivion, actually starting the government credit card abuse so prevalent today - and who was Reagan a spokesman for before politics? - why GE mega corporation of course - any question who he was supportive of and beholden to - Tesla may have a few problems to work out, but just as the suitcase phone evolved into the brick phone and the brick phone into the Iphone, so Tesla products will evolve into something new and better -
    10 Feb 2013, 04:38 PM Reply Like
  • 123, why are the greens supporting one of the 1%ers ?


    What about us poor 99%ers, workings slobs?


    What we need is a massed produced EV, called the VolkVoltWagen!
    11 Feb 2013, 09:50 AM Reply Like
  • Yes we do blue...glad to have you on board now...I knew you would see the light eventually when it comes to EV' can thank Tesla for the Volt (Bob Lutz admitted that)...Volt sales up 300% in 2012 and growing exponentially...Gen III will give you 200+ miles of range with free supercharging for your long distance which you rarely do (be honest how often are you going more than 200 miles in ONE day? Hmm?) all for around $35,000...with about $12,000 worth of petrol/maintainence savings built in over the life of this car it really costs $23,000 and will outperform every ICE in its class in terms of acceleration, safety, storage space, and probably sheer beauty as well (as all of Tesla's current cars do).
    You will get your VolksVoltWagen...probably about 7-10 years earlier than you would have had Tesla not awoken the giants of the auto industry into actually doing something about the electric car.
    Wait and see...everyone will give Tesla credit in the end for showing the way forward...GM already has.
    11 Feb 2013, 11:04 AM Reply Like
  • Teddy, the only EV that I can afford is the SMART EV...


    Frankly, rather than a credit, there should be a debit - a bourgeoisie luxury tax...
    11 Feb 2013, 12:40 PM Reply Like
  • Read "Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers" and you will have a better perspective. It is extremely difficult to have this kind of technology ready for the masses from the get go. Tesla's approach here makes sense - get the early adopters help pay for the transition which means finding early adopters with money. The cool thing is that the Model S is targeted at a market and built in a manner that there really isn't a BEV cost premium - rather a BEV trade-off. The convenience of no gas station trips vs. the ability to top off in 10 minutes pretty much anywhere. Extra incentives, in the form of the $7,500 tax credit and the DOE loan, will help spur innovation in the United States instead of letting yet another industry grow up in other parts of the world. This will help pave the way for mass market BEV's that would be affordable as well as make a huge dent in our foreign oil purchases.
    11 Feb 2013, 03:53 PM Reply Like
  • “It takes more planning than a typical gasoline car, no way around it."


    Oh really? The completely disruptive automobile technology might take some getting used to? Well count me out then! I've got to question the timing of this article with earnings released Monday afternoon.
    This is ridiculous. Tesla is still creating the infrastructure to support road trips. In the meanwhile, use your car for committing to work and generally making performance BMW and Mercedes owners want to jump off a bridge. If you're spending $85-$100k on a luxury performance machine than you own another car. Use the other car to get across country until the infrastructure is fully built.
    10 Feb 2013, 08:00 PM Reply Like
  • Certainly there is an issue when fuel pumps outnumber EV charging stations.


    That's about the limit of the issue outlined in this market current. If we could transpose every fossil fuel station with charging stations and vice versa it would make for a far more interesting discussion vis a vis viability of the technology, I suspect.
    11 Feb 2013, 04:51 PM Reply Like
  • You need to remember that 99% of all EV charging will be done at home. We'll never need anywhere near as many EV charging stations as gas stations.
    11 Feb 2013, 07:52 PM Reply Like
  • @JRP3: There is an argument to be made that you'd actually spend less time filling up a Tesla in those 99% cases than gas cars do at gas stations. It takes me 5 seconds to plug in my car as I leave my garage, but I figure it took me at least 5 minutes to fill up my previous gas car in the cold and wind, plus the time it took me to drive to the station. Figure 2 fillups a month (those with really long commutes or guzzlers may fill up even more) and that is 2 hours a year wasted, not to mention the price of the gas itself. Personally, I like to avoid the gas station as much as I can. Some of these commenters must have a more positive view of stations or perhaps have a crush on the attendent?
    12 Feb 2013, 07:32 PM Reply Like
  • The EV charging stations will become a center of crime as crims will retort, hand it over or I will plug you...
    13 Feb 2013, 09:12 AM Reply Like
  • "hand it over or I will plug you..."


    13 Feb 2013, 09:31 AM Reply Like
  • If you're upset about government spending, don't look at the company (Tesla Motors) that is paying back the INVESTMENT loan early, providing thousands of good paying American jobs and developing technology that helps us move away from CO2 generating fossil fuels. You would be much better off looking at the investment banks that took hundreds of billions of dollars in bailouts then paid their lobbiests to water-down and eliminate meaningful reforms. They were too big too fail in 2008. Now they are even bigger. Talk about moral hazard!
    10 Feb 2013, 08:09 PM Reply Like
  • Jack, you forgot the CONgress, Bushneck Jr, Billy "Hope" Clinton, HUD, and Barry "the" Frankk....


    As always, just blame the bankers, as they are on the corner of every street...
    11 Feb 2013, 09:56 AM Reply Like
  • Teslas are all the rage in Silicon Valley right now. You see them everywhere. I've driven the coupe as well as the Model S and I am not ashamed to admit that I'm impressed. It's a solid product. With a bit more fine tuning, I feel the overarching concept is poised to be the next evolutionary phase of transportation for us.
    11 Feb 2013, 01:32 AM Reply Like
  • That's good to hear tock172. I can't wait to see my first one on the road over here in Philly. I did see a Karma, but they are built right down the road. Neat looking car, but too short of range for me. I almost purchased a Volt, but found out it is FWD. No thanks. Then I looked at a leaf, FWD too! What is wrong with people! Then I found Tesla. Gotta save up for that one...
    11 Feb 2013, 08:22 AM Reply Like
  • There is nothing like RWD. That's why I drive a BMW. 50/50 weight distribution, front engine, RWD. The finer things in life.
    14 Feb 2013, 01:59 AM Reply Like
  • A New York Times journalist ended up stranded after attempting a road trip in a Tesla Model S on a 30 degree day. He was attempting a trip from New York City to Boston using the new Superchargers in Milford, CT and Newark, DE.


    He didn't follow the proper procedures of preheating the car and battery while it was charging which reduced his range. He also did not drive the speed limit which reduced his range even further.


    The Superchargers are free, so if he could have enjoyed a relaxing drive from New York to Boston, but I don't think he wanted that. Nice drives don't sell papers.


    There have been several who have posted of their successful road trips. The best of which is highlighted by a fan-made Tesla commercial called "Gallons of Light".
    11 Feb 2013, 01:19 PM Reply Like
  • In my opinion, a lot of potential EV drivers will simply not have the foresight or the opportunity to optimize their cars for every single trip. Sometimes they'll just forget to plug in the engine overnight, and sometimes they'll get called out for an emergency and they won't be able to leave the car plugged in. I read the article and it seems like Broder wasn't trying to attack the car.


    Did anyone read about the drive on the west coast earlier this year? Is there a link to that road trip? If THAT was a hatchet job too, you might have a more legitimate complaint. But it seems that the first drive was uneventful...


    Elon Musk has made a car that only works under optimum lab conditions....
    12 Feb 2013, 05:39 AM Reply Like
  • Actual EV drivers seem to love their cars. Apparently they do have the ability to plug their cars in and not drive beyond their range.


    Elon Musk has made a car that works perfectly in many real world conditions when used as designed. No ICE works well if you fail to put gas in it.
    12 Feb 2013, 08:24 AM Reply Like
  • @blunderbuss Comments such as yours ('only works under optimum lab conditions') are one of the reasons I bought my Model S. I'm a technology early adopter, and I figure I have a lot more tolerance for things not working exactly correctly than the average person. The problem for naysayers with Tesla is, the car just works too well. I personally expected there to be a lot more issues with the car. Not to say things couldn't improve, but I think we can all agree that for day to day driving around town, there are no range issues with the Model S. You can use climate control, destroy 'Vettes off the line at lights, speed around at 90 mph on the freeway, you're all good. The last area (other than price) that naysayers have to comment on is distance driving--the maybe 5% use case for most people, and that window is fast closing with the growth of the supercharger network. But at the moment, I think the JB Straubel quote from the original story is correct. The cars require a bit more planning for distance driving, and no doubt there is more Tesla can do to help people. For instance, the computer could have done a better job of factoring in the initial cold battery temp and projected what the range might be once the battery warmed (rather than drop it and raise it as much as it did). The good news, those types of changes are easy to push in firmware updates. That said, it is hard to completely idiot proof anything since idiots are so ingenious. People still burn up their gas cars by running them even after their oil light comes on. People still die by carbon monoxide poisoning by running their car with the tailpipe covered by snow (tragically, multiple people in this past storm). Should these people know better? Should the car stop itself when it detects an overheating engine or high levels of carbon monoxide? Probably yes in both cases. Tesla's don't have to worry about either of those cases, but yes, you have to plan a bit more before driving long distances. I'll take that tradeoff.
    12 Feb 2013, 07:58 PM Reply Like
  • I appreciate the feedback, Mr. Pace, and it's good of you to be an "early adopter" of new technologies. I think a lot of potential car buyers will simply avoid this car because they don't look at anything other than car payments.


    However, there are other issues to be raised -- namely, the universality of the chargers.


    This link goes to a blog by a self-proclaimed Tesla owner who tries to make a road trip in 16 hours and encounters unexpected difficulties -- among other things, he simply cannot "plug in" his Tesla anywhere because (i) the amperage is too low and (ii) his charger doesn't fit the outlets.



    I agree that people misuse technology all the time, often with fatal results. That goes for ICEs too, as you mention. (Have they NEVER heard of carbon monoxide poisoning?)
    14 Feb 2013, 02:59 AM Reply Like
  • "Nice drives don't sell papers."


    It is difficult to buy the NY Times as the NP boxes are no longer filled in SF.


    On the other hand, what would be the purpose of Broder's slamming Tesla.


    Appears not to be to his career advantages ,,,
    15 Feb 2013, 06:25 AM Reply Like
  • I wouldn't beat this car/company up too much. There are always going to be a few real world kinks to work out when you install never before used type of motor propulsion in a region; this is a perfect opportunity to discover what these issues are. Cold weather power issues, parking brake release, etc., as long as there is commitment to resolve these issues, are things that can be addressed and corrected over time. Think of all the issues gasoline vehicles must have had back in the early 20th century.


    On the other hand, I invite the bears and pessimists to keep shorting and selling this stock; it creates a great entry point for me to buy more stock!
    11 Feb 2013, 01:59 PM Reply Like
  • Musk now calling Broder a liar on Twitter...
    11 Feb 2013, 02:48 PM Reply Like
  • If Broder can produce the person who gave him a flatbed tow, that would go a long way to proving he was telling the truth.


    I wonder if the (TSLA) employees he named in the story were disciplined or fired...
    14 Feb 2013, 10:55 AM Reply Like
  • There was a photo of the "Brick-lin" (anyone remember that one?) being winched off the flatbed at the charging station as part of the story. Tough to refute that one. Now Broder may have faked the whole thing to make a "huge" profit shorting the stock, but I doubt it. Generally, reporters can't afford margin accounts.
    14 Feb 2013, 11:15 AM Reply Like
  • >>>
    There was a photo of the "Brick-lin" (anyone remember that one?) ...


    I had completely forgotten about the SV-1 Bricklin. Fortunately, the "interwebs" have not.



    And to think we've gotten this far into the mess of the Model S's battery life without even once touching on its still-outstanding debt and its shocking gross margins...
    15 Feb 2013, 06:14 AM Reply Like
  • There are issues with BEVs right now. Yes, yes there are many issues with Model S's. So? Will it stop Tesla from being able to sell each and every Model S they can produce in 2013 and 2014? No. Because nearly every one of these early adopters have the desire and the ability to learn to use the Model S. It is a remarkable product. No, for road trips over 100 miles, it is not as convenient nor as care free as an ICE car. These early adopters know this and are willing to buy them anyways. The Model S represents the best of the BEVs on the market today and we need these early adopters in order to pave the way for the infrastructure to make BEVs as carefree as ICE cars. One day, with the negatives of burning gasoline from geo-political, environmental, and ultimately economic reasons, I believe EVs and specifically BEVs will end up taking over. For many people, that day is not today, that day is not even through 2016. But the question for investors is whether or not Tesla can find enough early adopters to buy the Model S and the Model X and I believe they can. As the infrastructure, the education of the public, and the cars themselves improve, then Tesla will be well positioned to take advantage of the coming age. We will one day wonder at the fact that we willingly exposed ourselves to gasoline vapors and carbon monoxide in order to travel from one place to another.


    I believe the NYT article is drive-by journalism with the intent of driving page views above journalistic integrity. An unfortunate situation. Certainly a large number of people run out of gas every year. Obviously those people could have taken steps to avoid running out of gas. Given the 90 years of infrastructure build-up and the maturation of ICE vehicles, it makes little sense that so many people still run out of gas. But they do. Obviously the big tradeoff for BEV's right now is being able to obtain energy while sitting at home vs. the ability to add energy to the vehicle pretty much at will within 10 minutes at upwards to 20 times the cost. For lots of people, being able to obtain energy at home would be a far greater convenience 355+ or so days a year than the ability to fully re-fuel in 10 minutes. If you are not one of those people, then there are still plenty of products you can purchase. Don't worry - there are plenty of ICE products you can buy for now.
    11 Feb 2013, 03:53 PM Reply Like
  • The infrastructure of the US was built without government subsidy - think again - the railroads were built by private capital and slave labor but only after the government "gave" the rail barons all the land for free, after which they capitalized and became mega rail barons - the farmers in the mid west got their start how - land give aways by the government (which they confiscated from the indians) - why be so disingenious - the real reason many of the commentors are upset is that either they are short Tesla or simply short sighted - either way they are on the short end of the stick - holding on for dear life - I am not a millionaire and will have to finance 70% of my Model S, which I will get a "loan" for, and I will payoff that loan off through savings on fuel and electricity (solar) and Tesla stock value increase plus low interest rates (all government subsidies according to the above) - and as electricity goes up, my saving will continue to rise, and as fuel prices go up my savings will continue to rise - a friend of mine bought a Leaf 2 years ago, now 30,000 plus miles later, never broke down or stranded (simple minded planning - not genius), put solar on his home, got rid of natural gas (went all electric) - now has no utility bills, no car fuel bills and smiles as he drives past the many gas stations lined up with ICE cars loading up on carbon laden fuel - it may not be the future but it could be -
    12 Feb 2013, 11:12 AM Reply Like
  • 123, said "but only after the government "gave" the rail barons all the land for free"


    But the Feds gave just about everyone free land, just ax the Okies...


    BTW, 123, are we better off due to our national rail system ?


    Just think of the one that the Feds run, never made any money in over forty years....I wonder who are really the Robber Barons?
    12 Feb 2013, 11:26 AM Reply Like


    this makes for illuminating reading too... EV's may be fun, they may be cool, but what they're not right now is reliable transportation over any real distance during real winter.
    12 Feb 2013, 06:24 PM Reply Like
  • Pretty scary story.
    Maybe Elon can prove that Regina Gasser is lying by tapping into the log of her $100,000 Model S?
    12 Feb 2013, 06:53 PM Reply Like
  • It was an ill advised trip to take at the current level of charging points, some of which weren't functioning or accessible. No one is pretending you can do any trip easily in an EV right now. What is obvious is that for most people who own them EV's work exactly as needed.
    13 Feb 2013, 09:05 AM Reply Like
  • Unfortunately, Tesla discussions seem to have gotten as "religious" as those for Apple, Sirius, anything that compares OS's or mobile phones.


    Tesla is simply not "there" yet for a lot of situations. Including the INEVITABLE "I forgot to plug it in last night". Gasoline doesn't disappear out of my ICE overnight. People make mistakes, so this *is* a "legitimate" issue.


    But it *is* there for a number of situations. It will require a bit of change in user behavior, but that's not wildly unusual for new technologies. It has some advantages and some disadvantages. Very few people drive beyond the range of the car for their total daily commute, even if you gotta run the heater/AC on high. Won't meet every situation, but it will meet most.


    It doesn't need to cover every single situation that an ICE Accord/Camry do, in order to be a positive contribution to energy independence. There is no silver bullet for that. Are those of you gleefully pointing out the lack of away-from-home charging infrastructure equally gleeful about the lack of stations for cars that might run on natgas? Why the hyperventilating over ubiquitous charging stations so early in the technology? Sheesh.
    12 Feb 2013, 07:49 PM Reply Like
  • blue ice - the government gave everyone stolen land, yet where would we be today without that program (which didn't require printing money) - The rail system can move mass amounts of goods much more inexpensively that can 18 wheelers - so yes - and when there were not 18 wheelers even more so - the discussion is about government assistance to move a technology or industry forward - had the same amount of effort and money been put into clean energy from Carter's time until now then we would more than likely be talking about EV's in the past tense, as in already here and proven, much as we think of cell phones today - but the "POWERS" that be didn't want that yet, they couldn't harness it and charge us painfully for it, so here we are - I started a solar company in the 80's only to have Reagan come along and kill the technology by pulling the funding, but he did manage to spend trillion anyway, starting the government credit card evolution - if you haven't already, watch "who killed the electric car" to get some idea of who is really behind the anti-Tesla mentality - it took Elon Musk using billions of his own money and a small "loan" from the government to restart this technology, in an "All American" way - I personally will supportive of that effort - it is good for the American worker it is good for the country and it is good for the globe -
    13 Feb 2013, 10:39 AM Reply Like
  • 123, you forgot to give Raygun credit for the peace dividend...


    Who kilt the electric car, it was a clear case of caracide, it killed itself...


    " had the same amount of effort and money been put into clean energy from Carter's time until now then we would more than likely be talking about EV's in the past tense, as in already here and proven"


    We did and it was called the John DOE or the Department of Energy...The only difference between death and government is, the latter takes a long time...
    13 Feb 2013, 02:35 PM Reply Like
  • I think the question in this discussion: did Broder's article increase circulation; or exhibit the New York Times's significance in the evolution of American culture.
    14 Feb 2013, 04:34 AM Reply Like
  • Broder lier, lier pants on fire.


    Tesla Driving Logs Contradict New York Times Claims
    BY DAMON LAVRINC02.14.13
    14 Feb 2013, 06:27 AM Reply Like
  • Mr Liu, I am sure that the reporter is most certainly an Enviro supporter and was looking forward to filing a positive article...
    14 Feb 2013, 11:00 AM Reply Like
  • blue ice - Obviously you have not watch the film or checked your facts - an older couple who spent their life working on battery technology and worked with GM on batteries for the EV-1, where co-opted by a major oil company into a partnership to "develop" better battery technology, the later owning 51% of their venture, and then the 51%er shut em down - the EV-1 had about the same range as the Leaf does today, and was adopted early on by the "greenies" who took off their oil stained glasses and could see the benefit - if you can manage finding the Tesla site at least read the 2/13 blog on the strange ride taken by Mr. Broder, complete with actual logs of his trip - of course you can make the case that the information recorded was tainted or should be classified - FYI - after GM collected 1 billion dollars (thats GM not Tesla), after many of the drivers of the EV-1 wanted to purchase and retain their EV-1's , GM collected ALL of them and CRUSHED them - now why do suppose that is - because they had wonderful, new, proprietary technology that they didn't want anyone to see - don't think so, because their new EV hybrid is called a Volt and according to you and other well informed naysayers, Volts just don't cut it -
    14 Feb 2013, 10:32 AM Reply Like
  • EV-1 were last century right?
    14 Feb 2013, 11:00 AM Reply Like
  • 123, I have read about it...It is full of distortions and lies...


    " the EV-1 had about the same range as the Leaf does today, and was adopted early on by the "greenies" who took off their oil stained glasses and could see the benefit -"


    Hell, 123, you can convert your current vehicle to an EV by simply watching a You-Tube video...


    BTW, did not the oil industry issue a Fatawa on the elderly couple ?


    I know, the oil companies also bought out all of those 100 MPG carburetors, as well...


    What is going to drive EV sales, will be six to seven dollar per gallon petrol and until then once the hard core market has been satisfied there will be no one left...


    You need a payback in about five years, or all the EV's will be referred to as "Old Sparky."
    14 Feb 2013, 11:14 AM Reply Like
  • It is a shame that Broder can't write a proper article.
    14 Feb 2013, 02:44 PM Reply Like
  • A Consumerist article:



    Consumer Report gave the vehicle high marks...I have a high regard for them....
    15 Feb 2013, 10:17 AM Reply Like
  • Another solar installation at my home - return of $500 - 600 per month when considering no electric bill and a credit from $150 - 350 per month from SCE - my solar was expensive, today only 24 month later I could install an equivalent system for less than I spent with NO rebate or tax credit and SCE prices continue to rise - statements made "increase of solar from .04% to .10% (roughly 150% increase - I'de say not bad given the obstacles and roadblocks) can compare to what is going on in congress, complain about the problems and roadblock all efforts to improve things - my Tesla S (to be delivered in April) will undoubtedly require a little brain retraining, same thing happened when I first got a computer, but pretty sure I can handle it - comments made earlier about extracting so much from beneath the surface that "we" may be causing tragedies like the sunamis and earthquakes - yes, the earth takes care of itself, IT RE-ADJUSTS, leaving human s to fend - my children don't really see the importance of taking steps now, they are young, I hope to change that by example, for my grand childrens sake -
    8 Jun 2013, 09:13 AM Reply Like
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