Broder had several phone conversations with Tesla throughout his trip, but Tesla said those were not recorded. Musk called Broder last Friday, before the article appeared online, to offer regrets that his test drive ran into problems.
Musk, in a blistering response to the article, published a lengthy blog post titled "A Most Peculiar Test Drive" based on detailed data from the Model S's onboard computer. Musk wrote that Broder never ran out of battery power during the drive and kept the heat on even after being warned it would drain the battery.
But Musk said in his blog that Tesla's highest per capita sales are in Norway, where "customers drive our car during Arctic winters in permanent midnight," and Switzerland, "high among the snowy Alps."
Battery researchers have warned that consumers who live in colder climates are likely to see reduced driving range because using the heater in the interior cabin draws power sometimes as much as 25 percent from the battery. In a May 2012 blog post, Tesla wrote that in very cold operating conditions drivers could see a 10 to 15 percent reduction in range.
that need to be explained by Broder. Why did he not charge fully? Maybe the guy was stupid. But there was the 65 mile range loss overnight. Elon didn't address that. It took Tesla three days to produce the logs. Do they prove that Broder set out from the beginning to torch Tesla? No. The longer Elon keeps fighting, the more hollow the victory."
"Mr. Musk not only apologized, he said the charging stations should be 60 miles closer together and offered me a second test drive when additional stations were built," wrote Broder.
As surprised as many onlookers were to see the contretemps between the CEO and the country's best known newspaper, Ben Kallo, a Robert W. Baird analyst who covers Tesla, said Thursday that the stakes are enormous.
Tesla's new Model S sedan at Tesla headquarters in Palo alto, Calif. Friday, July 13, 2012. The media were given an opportunity to test drive the new electric luxury car. (Patrick Tehan/Staff)An escalating battle between Tesla Motors (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk and The New York Times reached a fever pitch Thursday, with both camps offering new details of the now infamous East Coast road trip that is raising serious questions about the ballyhooed Model S sedan. to Connecticut in a Tesla Model S that he says ended with the electric vehicle being loaded onto a flatbed truck. Broder reported that the car's range plummeted in the cold weather, forcing him to turn down the heat and slow down, but even that did not keep the car from running out of juice.
Tuesday: Musk tells Fox Business Network that the Times set out to write a negative article and "gain a picture of a Model S on a flatbed truck."
Monday: Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk attacks Broder on Twitter, saying "NYTimes article about Tesla range in cold is fake. Vehicle logs tell true story that he didn't actually charge to max took long detour."
"I don't think the rebuttal was as robust as it could have been," said Sexton. "There's no question that there are discrepancies Air Max Thea Ootd
Batteries are complex systems that convert stored chemical energy into electricity, and electric vehicle Nike Air Max Tavas Leather Night Maroon researchers say advances often involve trade offs: Improving range may result in skyrocketing costs, or a shorter battery life.
Tesla's communications team originally pitched the road trip idea to the Times' auto section to showcase the company's newly installed Supercharger stations on the East Coast.
Some electric vehicle advocates predict the back and forth will not change many opinions. While Tesla's devoted fans feel vindicated by the points made in Musk's blog post, mainstream consumers who are skeptical of electric vehicles are not likely to run out to reserve a Model S anytime soon.
Sunday: John Broder's story about his botched East Coast road trip in Tesla's all electric Model S sedan is published Nike Thea Gray
Broder filed a sharp rebuttal of his own Thursday in "Wheels," the newspaper's automotive blog.
"The final leg of his trip was 61 miles, and yet he disconnected the charge cable when the range display stated 32 miles," wrote Musk. "He did so expressly against the advice of Tesla personnel and in obvious violation of common sense."
The acrimonious back and forth appears far from over. Margaret Sullivan, The New York Times' public editor, has also gotten involved, and said she has tried to reach Musk directly.
battle escalates Thursday with dueling blog posts
in The New York Times.
The dispute comes at a critical time, as the Palo Alto company ramps up production of the Model S and prepares for next week's quarterly earnings call with Wall Street analysts.
Chelsea Sexton, an electric vehicle marketing expert, notes that Musk's response to the Times article, while detailed, does not comment on one of the most troubling parts of Broder's story: Why the Model S lost 65 miles of charge when it was parked overnight.
"Tesla has worked very hard to overcome concerns Air Max Thea 2015 Womens
about range anxiety," Kallo said, referring to perceptions that electric cars can't travel far enough between charges. "They are going hard and fast over this. They don't want any perception that if I live in Minnesota, I can't own a Model S."
"The car's display screen said the car was shutting down, and it did," he wrote. "The car did not have enough power to move, or even enough to release the electrically operated parking brake. The tow truck driver was on the phone with Tesla's New York service manager, Adam Williams, for 15 or 20 minutes as he was trying to move the car onto a flatbed truck."
"I hope to post again Friday with some conclusions but for now, based on a day's reporting, I will say this much: I reject Mr. Musk's central contention that Mr. Broder's Sunday piece was faked in order to sabotage the Model S or the electric car industry," wrote Sullivan.
Musk, in his defense of the Model S's performance, said Broder took a detour through downtown Manhattan to give his brother a ride, drove the car in circles in a small parking lot and didn't allow the vehicle to fully charge. He challenged the Times to "investigate the article and determine the truth."
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