Seeking Alpha

Tesla Motors (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk is out with a blog post defending the range performance of the...

Tesla Motors (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk is out with a blog post defending the range performance of the Model S. After putting out a combative series of tweets on the test drive of a Model S detailed in the New York Times, Musk goes even further with detailed charts and accusations of the objectivity of the NYT reporter. "When the facts didn’t suit his opinion, he simply changed the facts."
Comments (30)
  • Larry Smith
    , contributor
    Comments (2481) | Send Message
     
    We should believe him because he of course is unbiased.

     

    Pay $100,000 for the car, follow instructions to the letter, don't take a wrong turn or a small side trip, make sure the car is completely charged and the weather not too cold or you may run out of juice. No thanks!
    14 Feb 2013, 09:32 AM Reply Like
  • GaltMachine
    , contributor
    Comments (1135) | Send Message
     
    Don't run the heater or the AC, don't drive too fast, don't run the radio, don't accelerate too quickly, don't overcharge the battery, plan your stops exactly and you'll do just fine :)

     

    All that for a $100k and you get to save the world as well.

     

    Who wouldn't sign up for that?
    14 Feb 2013, 09:54 AM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (3985) | Send Message
     
    Perhaps you should update your perspective by checking the vehicle's logs, engadget writes (http://engt.co/UjcHFl) :

     

    " However, after Tesla's litigious run-in with Top Gear, the company keeps detailed vehicle data logs to ensure it gets a fair deal in reviews. Now, Tesla (and SpaceX) CEO Elon Musk has posted the data that, he says, proves Broder wasn't being fair.

     

    Musk accuses Broder of pulling the plug on a recharge with just 32 miles range in the tank, despite planning a route of 61 miles "in obvious violation of common sense." He also says the reviewer drove past a public charge station, despite repeated warnings that it was running low, drove the car around at 81mph and "deliberately stopped charging" after shorter and shorter times.

     

    Musk finishes by saying that the company was wrong to offer Broder access to the vehicle, as it was "unaware of his outright disdain for electric cars" and asks the New York Times to investigate the review. "
    14 Feb 2013, 11:49 AM Reply Like
  • R0ll1ngSt0ne
    , contributor
    Comments (8) | Send Message
     
    I think you are missing the point. The issues is not that he run heater or was speeding. He LIED about what he did during the review. He deliberately undercharged the car. Can you blame a GAS car for dying on you if you only fuel it half-way for a 400 mile trip, then refuse to fill up even though the gauge says you are running on vapors? How is this different? If a gas car runs out of fuel- it's driver is an idiot. If electric car- batteries are at fault?
    14 Feb 2013, 12:05 PM Reply Like
  • Cassina Tarsia
    , contributor
    Comments (641) | Send Message
     
    Larry Smith ... logs don't lie ... Try a little common sense!!! Do the same stunt with a gas car - even a "cheap" one - and you'll end up in worse shape ... and probably sooner. Get over it ...
    14 Feb 2013, 12:12 PM Reply Like
  • cvmiller85
    , contributor
    Comments (9) | Send Message
     
    He didnt have to follow the instructions to the letter. What he did need to do was use common sense, and know that if he does not charge the car enough, it will not go as far as it would on a full charge. He also shouldn't have deliberately lied about numerous details about his trip. Its false reporting and he should be fired regardless.
    14 Feb 2013, 12:13 PM Reply Like
  • Randy Carlson
    , contributor
    Comments (1270) | Send Message
     
    Larry,
    Look at the data. There are two secrets to operating an electric car: You gotta plug it in. And, you gotta charge it up.

     

    From the car log data, it is very clear that Mr. Broder ignored Secret #2. Repeatedly.

     

    On the day of Mr. Broder's adventure, the Model S he was driving was certainly not the only car between D.C. and Norwich that ended up on a flatbed. But it probably was the only one that got there on purpose.
    14 Feb 2013, 01:12 PM Reply Like
  • Barb Z
    , contributor
    Comments (27) | Send Message
     
    Apparently around 20,000 suckers have signed up so far. Or are they?
    14 Feb 2013, 01:19 PM Reply Like
  • viktorobert
    , contributor
    Comments (98) | Send Message
     
    If you don't fill the tank or battery and run out of gas or charge it is not the fault of the car its is the fault of the driver.
    14 Feb 2013, 02:09 PM Reply Like
  • viktorobert
    , contributor
    Comments (98) | Send Message
     
    Did you even read the logs? Stop talking your stupid.
    14 Feb 2013, 02:10 PM Reply Like
  • Samuel H
    , contributor
    Comments (395) | Send Message
     
    It's not about what he said he did. It's the fact that he didn't do what he said he did. He lied. The Tesla Model S can easily do a road trip (not any luxury sports car's forte) with the Superchargers and some common sense. CNN just completed a road trip on the same route and had no problems. Real owners are not stupid. They know what their car can and can't do. When the Supercharger network becomes more expansive, more road trips will be made possible.

     

    Sure you can drive fast if you want. You can run the radio. You can launch yourself up that interstate ramp. You'll just have to charge up sooner. An why is their an aversion to planning? Is it not sensible to plan any long road trip to avoid potential problems?
    15 Feb 2013, 02:02 PM Reply Like
  • Samuel H
    , contributor
    Comments (395) | Send Message
     
    The point is you can do whatever you feel like within reason. It is unreasonable to not fully charge the vehicle when that is precisely what will take you to your destination.
    15 Feb 2013, 02:04 PM Reply Like
  • SoldHigh
    , contributor
    Comments (1003) | Send Message
     
    Add a gas engine to the car and it'll be fixed.
    14 Feb 2013, 09:34 AM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (7634) | Send Message
     
    Broder failed to put more than 28% of charge into the car, then he ran out of power. Gee, I wonder why? Come on people, stop trying to spin this, they guy obviously wanted to run out and be stranded, and Musk has the proof.
    14 Feb 2013, 09:40 AM Reply Like
  • 123man
    , contributor
    Comments (1040) | Send Message
     
    Try putting in just enough gas to get to the next gas station that lets say is 50 miles away and then take a side trip to see a snow bunny - run out - probably - and as usual it will be the fault of the ICE car - but we won't read about it in the NYT
    14 Feb 2013, 09:44 AM Reply Like
  • GBH.et
    , contributor
    Comments (20) | Send Message
     
    It is not a range problem--it is a fill-up problem.
    14 Feb 2013, 09:51 AM Reply Like
  • George McDermand
    , contributor
    Comments (49) | Send Message
     
    I have read the log's on the Tesla site. The car exceeded it's design parameters. It seems the reporter did not operate the vehicle properly. My only question is did the NYT deliver an unbiased test? And if not why not and to who's benefit?
    14 Feb 2013, 09:51 AM Reply Like
  • Zelaza
    , contributor
    Comments (629) | Send Message
     
    " The car exceeded it's design parameters. "

     

    Yes. Broder exceeded the Tesla recommended maximum of 55 mph on a major highway with a 65 mph limit. Nothing wrong with limiting an essentially brand new $100,000 performance car to 55 mph.
    14 Feb 2013, 10:21 AM Reply Like
  • AlexiaEP
    , contributor
    Comments (1076) | Send Message
     
    Typical of you to ignore the premise to suit your dislike. Are you related to Broder?

     

    This journalist's 'review' was for a very specific topic...use of SuperCharger stations. His own words in his opening 'rebuttal'.

     

    It was long ago admitted to Broder (and the world) that the distance between the two SuperCharger stations he would be using was further than Tesla would like, and further than Tesla intends it to be going forward. Because of that, Broder was given three instructions so that he could complete the trip successfully between the two stations:

     

    1) fully charge the car at station #1
    2) don't take any detours
    3) drive the speed limit

     

    It seems that once he had that information, the information that would allow him to easily do the trip in comfort and thus the article on how the SuperCharger stations work, he decided not to follow any of them and make sure to get himself stranded so he could get that sensational picture of the Model S being loaded on a flatbed.

     

    When he left from his hotel he knew he couldn't make it and rather than go back to the SuperCharger to top off and make sure that he could make it - remember, the article was suppose to be about using SuperCharger stations for long distance trips - he decided to carry on, knowing full well he'd run out of charge before reaching his destination.

     

    If you think that's a fair assessment of the car's ability to do long distances using the SuperCharger stations, then we all know your opinion on the topic carries as much weight as a feather.
    14 Feb 2013, 11:25 AM Reply Like
  • viktorobert
    , contributor
    Comments (98) | Send Message
     
    It was a range test not a performance test. Any car will use more energy the faster it goes.
    14 Feb 2013, 02:11 PM Reply Like
  • Dan Fichana
    , contributor
    Comments (1818) | Send Message
     
    I knew there was something off with the NYT article. It just seemed like Broder was intentionally making errors that an EV driver, or any driver for that matter would not do.

     

    I do like how he was circling around the charge station for half a mile with 0 charge. To me that screams of his intent to have the car stop- the charging stations are unique so its not likely that he was trying to find a spot.

     

    Interesting about the cabin temperature and speed too which goes against Broders original claim.

     

    It now comes down to who do you believe a reporter whose actions in an EV border on EV driving incompetence through his own admitted actions OR data from data logger.
    14 Feb 2013, 09:54 AM Reply Like
  • u1tnt
    , contributor
    Comments (5) | Send Message
     
    The tesla data-logger results are very intriguing. When I first read the NYT article i felt that the reporter had done some dumb things most probably just out of ignorance, but now it is clear he had other motives. His editor must be questioning the journalistic integrity of Broder at this point.
    14 Feb 2013, 12:14 PM Reply Like
  • Cassina Tarsia
    , contributor
    Comments (641) | Send Message
     
    If you read what Elon Musk just wrote and study the charts that accompanied the logs from the car that Broder drove, one cannot come to any other conclusion than the writer (Broder) was deliberately trying to make the car self-destruct ... and when he couldn't do that he finally called a tow truck and made it look like it had ... which it actually had not! What a set-up!

     

    And I think, in point of fact, any Model S owner could have seen through the glitches in the NYT story ... time and again it went against my own experience with the car, as well as just plain common sense. For instance, if it's going to be a long way between charging station, fill your "tank" up all the way at each charging station ... which he did not. Even if you overlook this one obvious glitch, if you are running out of "gas" you can stop anywhere there is a place to "tank-up", which there were many ... and he didn't do that either.

     

    Now that we have the actual logs from the car itself, that should speak volumes about what really happened. At this point it is up to the New York Times to come out with a retraction and an apology - and possibly firing of the writer himself for what he did ... if not more. If it doesn't do that, then Tesla may have no other alternative than to take legal action to remedy the obvious attempt to tear down the reputation of the Model S, Tesla and electric vehicles in general.
    14 Feb 2013, 11:53 AM Reply Like
  • 123man
    , contributor
    Comments (1040) | Send Message
     
    What I appreciate about Broder's article was the fact that he put the car on a flatbed truck and photographed it - perfect - I ordered a Red Model S performance just like the one in the article and this gave me the opportunity to see the real deal - beautiful - thanks John -
    14 Feb 2013, 11:59 AM Reply Like
  • m1weiss
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
     
    I am a 59 year old attorney who hopes to one day own the Tesla Model S in my retirement and have TSLA as an investment for the long-term and has read Elon Musk's above blog and reviewed the mileage logs for John Broder's ride which are therein. It appears that Mr. Broder's aricle, "A Range Estimate Misses The Mark", is deceptive and unethical, written to express his pre-determined bias against electric vehicles and that he took despicable actions in his purported test drivevto arrive at a foregone negatve conclusion. I would urge those who are interested in the Tesla Model S and the company to read Elon Musk's blog for themselves as well as recent articles that have appeared in the Wall Street Journal and Automotive magazines.
    14 Feb 2013, 12:06 PM Reply Like
  • rodschrock
    , contributor
    Comments (9) | Send Message
     
    Read the Tesla blog. It outlines the facts rather objectively. Draw your own conclusions after absorbing the facts.

     

    My conclusion: the reporter intentionally tried to cause range failure for the Tesla. After failing at his initial two attempts, he simply left the charging station with half the range needed to get to his final destination, where the Tesla outperformed its range indication and nearly made it anyway!

     

    Presuming the facts are true and if Tesla did not lie itself or implement faulty range tracking software (range tracking is relatively straight forward computer code), the car's range appears quite near its actual claims...
    14 Feb 2013, 12:09 PM Reply Like
  • JosePelon
    , contributor
    Comments (8) | Send Message
     
    When you open up the charge port you have the option to select standard or range mode for charging. To select standard (80% full charge)when going on a long trip is a bad choice. The range mode 98% or full charge would have been a better choice. Perhaps that full charge would allow to get to the destination with the heat on?
    14 Feb 2013, 12:11 PM Reply Like
  • Tony DeMaria
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
     
    NYT has demonstrated a clear record of publishing completely false stories over the past decade. Does it display an anti-capitalism bent? Or is it what used to be called yellow-dog journalism, or maybe just allowing reporters free reign to sensationalize without regard to the truth?
    14 Feb 2013, 12:14 PM Reply Like
  • juicejack
    , contributor
    Comments (87) | Send Message
     
    Follow the money and you'll find the reason for the story. Bad press drives the price of stock down! There are financiers who like that, and make fortunes on it.

     

    Secondly, how much advertising do the auto makers and gasoline companies do in the NYT? How much do the ev makers and electric power companies spend?

     

    Are you as shocked as I am that the Times would be against anything challenging their advertisers?

     

    The problem with "common sense" is that there's so little of it.
    14 Feb 2013, 01:52 PM Reply Like
  • tech01x
    , contributor
    Comments (662) | Send Message
     
    If you drive a BMW M5 at 85 mph, you will get less range than if you drove at 55 mph. If you were trying to push the range, you will have failed if you were going at 85 mph. How are is that to understand for so many you?

     

    Further, the NYT writer decided to *not* stop at any number of EV charging stations he passed. There are lots and lots of them his route. The only reason to not stop at a gas station when you are running low on gas is if you have an agenda.

     

    He also didn't plug in at night, which is something that BEV's can do that gasoline powered cars cannot. You cannot fuel up your car at the hotel, or in your own garage.

     

    Of course he could have cranked the heat to 80 degrees. Of course he could have driven 85 mph the whole way. However, if he does that, then he'd have to plug into a EV charging station along the way - the superchargers at the moment are too far apart to be able to do that on a cold day. Does that mean there aren't enough people to buy 50k-60k Teslas in 2013/14? I don't think so... I think people buying BEV's at this stage of the game understand the product. As the tradeoffs with BEV's become more and more favorable for BEV's (widespread fast charging, larger disparity between electricty and gasoline costs, larger capacity and lower cost battery packs, etc.) then TSLA will be well positioned to be a major factor - and will have the brand equity, the technical know-how, and the operation to be a new major force in the American automobile industry.
    14 Feb 2013, 02:45 PM Reply Like
DJIA (DIA) S&P 500 (SPY)
ETF Tools
Find the right ETFs for your portfolio:
Seeking Alpha's new ETF Hub
ETF Investment Guide:
Table of Contents | One Page Summary
Read about different ETF Asset Classes:
ETF Selector

Next headline on your portfolio:

|