Elon Musk posted data from the now infamous Tesla Model S drive by New York Times writer John Broder and it’s not looking good for Broder. In Broder’s review of the vehicle, he claimed that the range dropped drastically during his drive because of the cold and that he was eventually left stranded when the car ran out of juice. The vehicle’s logs tell a different story.
Along with an impressive number of charts and graphs and maps, Musk lays out his case and shows that numerous statements in Broder’s review are inaccurate. The whole reason they’ve got all this data is because of an incident with Top Gear UK in which similar claims of reduced range were made about their vehicles. Since then, any time a journalist has a Tesla, the log is on and recording their every move.
The log shows that, in the case of Broder, the Tesla Model S never actually ran out of energy and could have kept going even as it was loaded onto a truck. It also contradicts claims in his review that he reduced the cabin temperature until his fingers were frigid and drove slowly as cars rushed past him on the highway.
Cruise control was never set to 54 mph as claimed in the article, nor did he limp along at 45 mph. Broder in fact drove at speeds from 65 mph to 81 mph for a majority of the trip and at an average cabin temperature setting of 72 F. At the point in time that he claims to have turned the temperature down, he in fact turned the temperature up to 74 F.
Data also shows that he didn’t charge the Tesla Model S for as long as claimed, nor did he stop at charging stations along the way that could have given the car a boost if it was as low as Broder stated. Instead, he kept on going, and even added an unscheduled parking lot tour where he apparently drove in circles for a bit.
It’s hard to argue with raw data, but that’s exactly what the New York Times is going to have to do if they choose to stand behind the original review. Musk ends his post by requesting that the New York Times investigate what really happened and determine the truth of the matter.
It’s your move, New York Times, better make it a good one.
Nicole Wakelin fell in love with cars as a teenager when she got to go for a ride in a Ferrari. It was red and it was fast and that was all that mattered. Game over. She considers things a bit more carefully now, but still has a weakness for fast, beautiful cars. When not drooling over cars, Nicole writes for Wired’s GeekMom.