• Feb 15, 2013
Following a major dust-up between The New York Times and electric carmaker Tesla Motors, many are left wondering who to believe.

Times reporter John M. Broder claims his Model S test vehicle ran out of battery range while he attempted a trip along Tesla's East Coast Supercharger network. Tesla's CEO Elon Musk called the article a "fake," and published data logs that appear to refute Broder's account. Broder, however, says the data doesn't tell the full story.

While the two parties duke it out, CNNMoney's Peter Valdes-Dapena took to the streets in a Model S tester of his own on Thursday. Valdes-Dapena followed a similar route to Broder, driving the all-electric luxury sports car from D.C. to Boston, while making stops at Tesla's strategically placed Supercharger stations along the way.

Tesla Supercharger Network

"The most scary part of the trip: the 200 miles between charging stations in Newark, Del., and Milford, Conn.," admitted Valdes-Dapena in his article. He reports setting his cruise control between 60 and 65 miles per hour and his climate to 72 degrees, in an effort to conserve energy. But even after extending his route some 30 miles and running into traffic, Valdes-Dapena said he realized he had more than enough juice to finish the journey. "Not only did I have enough battery range left, I had plenty. I had at least 40 miles...left to play with," said Valdes-Dapena.

For those looking to point to the CNNMoney report as definitive evidence that Broder lied, Valdes-Dapena cautions that it was 10 degrees warmer on the day of his trip and that he completed the trek in a single day, as opposed to Broder's overnight excursion in colder conditions. Further, Broder admits to not fully recharging the car, on advice from Tesla personnel.

Still, it's hard to argue with this: "In the end, I made it--and it wasn't that hard."

[Source: CNNMoney] TRANSLOGIC Editor Adam Morath appeared on HuffPost Live to discuss the article:



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  • 93 Comments
      joynerz
      • 2 Days Ago
      That is one of the most practical answers to battery cars. Until then, it's going to be hybrid cars at best as a practical vehicle.
      joynerz
      • 2 Days Ago
      I'm sorry you had to run the risk of losing your home in order to save on the cost of gasoline.
      jimofil
      • 2 Days Ago
      From my standpoint, the biggest problem with electric cars is the recharging time. How long did it take to recharge the car each time it had to "refuel.?"
        hdprent
        • 2 Days Ago
        @jimofil
        Recharge time at Tesla recharge station 1/2 hour for about 150 miles and a little over an hour to full charge when empty. Top off of course will vary. I don't think Tesla was designed for cross country driving but its great for normal weekly driving. Drive it up to 300 miles during day, plug it in at night and have full charge in morning. I think it is a great car.
      ElectricXebra5
      • 2 Days Ago
      IT IS EASY... Stop Driving Gas Powered Cars!!! I paid less then $29,000 for my Electric Car! The average person drives less then 29 miles a day. So buy an Electric Car! We can recharge new Batteries up to 200,000 miles on an Electric Car without just throwing the batteries away! (9000 cycles on some new electric cars) Batteries can also be recycled! Electric cars can also be recharged from the heat from the Sun...They are called "Solar Panels" You can get enough energy from the New "Roof Tile" Solar Panels These will not only Power All of the Electric needs of your home but also power your electric car and then have enough energy left over to sell back to the Electric Co... This is happening right now!
        • 2 Days Ago
        @ElectricXebra5
        People didn't want to get rid of horses either. Some just won't face reality. We also now have electric lights so we don't have to retire when the sun goes down or put up with the smell of the kerosene lantern. The electric car is here to stay. Maybe not in its present form, it's still in the model T stage, but will only improve. So some of you just keep playing like Don Quiote.
        joynerz
        • 2 Days Ago
        @ElectricXebra5
        I disagree with your optimism. 1. The electric car's range is always going to be a problem since there are going to be times when you have to make that additional trip across town just beyond the car's range. That happens with me pretty often. 2. It's not sensible to carry around several hundred pounds of dead weight when the batteries have expired and this is in the case of the hybrids which increases cost of gas versus performance. When the partially discharged batteries require more dependence on the gas engine to propel the car, the gas mileage advantage is going to lost. The total-electric is even worse. I see a surge in the tow-truck industry if we were forced, for some reason, to go to total-electric cars. Perhaps someone should be working on a truck-mounted generator for going around and quick-charging cars whose batteries have expired. Hopefully, the car is not left in a dangerous stranded situation, say, in the middle of traffic. Maybe the electric cars should be equipped with a reinforced rear bumper for pushing it off the street and hooks on the front for the tow vehicle to do a quick hookup. 3. Have you checked the efficiency of roof-mounted solar chargers? The surface area of a car's roof will allow recharging on only a small scale, far less than is needed to recharge what was spent getting to work on, say, a 20-mile run. It would take several days of direct sunlight to recharge the amount used. Solar panel technology is still well short of what you're suggesting for most areas of the U.S. I think we are headed in the right direction, but it's going to take a lot more money to develop truly efficient battery and solar technology.
      CMC
      • 2 Days Ago
      So Broder doesn't charge the battery then claims the car can't make the distance; isn't that like driving a regular car from point "A" to point "B" on half a tank then claiming the car can't go as far on a tank of gas as claimed. It seems the media always has an agenda, and lies and deception are the means to their end.
      rkeeeballs
      • 2 Days Ago
      ...Well, there ya go !
      Stan
      • 2 Days Ago
      The model S is either a $60,000 or a $90,000 car. Why would anyone want to spend this much and get a car with drama. I really don't want a car that can onl;y go so far and 10 degrees in temp will make that much difference. Let's face it Electric cars are still not practical and cost too much as a useless status symbol.
        joynerz
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Stan
        Well, we can wait on global warming to have a positive effect on the electric car's range. ;)
      • 2 Days Ago
      The thing is that electric cars are the answer to our automotive needs. To begin with: there is only one moving part!! The rotor! No fuel pump, valves, camshaft, pistons, water pump, crankshaft, etc. Nor is there a radiator or exhaust system. Plus no noise. In time the battery issues will be addressed and we will all be driving elevators on the street.
      jhebbeln
      • 2 Days Ago
      I'm very warey of NY Times reporters, many seem to have hidden agendas. The reporters comments that he was not aware that cold temps lower the output of batteries is inane. Anyone who operates a vehicle in the northern US knows this as fact. Also starting a long trip with a less than fully charged battery is going off "Half-cocked", which pertty much sums up his reporting skills.
      • 2 Days Ago
      This vehicle is a nice idea untill you come to the price.. The average person cannot afford a $50,000 car plain and simple. I have solar electric, solar hot water and heat with wood.. I belive in alternative energy when it makes sense. The cost of this vehicle and the limitations are too much. There is hardly a time when i am not carrying something in my car or truck. Most important is animal carriers as i do animal rescue and transports from the looks of this car there is little or no room for a payload.
      sandi
      • 2 Days Ago
      How long were the recharge stops.
      mociambz
      • 2 Days Ago
      my electric GEM car can go 25 miles and only cost 6k
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