The New York Times' John Broder has responded to Tesla CEO Elon Musk's allegations that he faked his review of the Model S.
In his article, Broder says the car was delivered to him with no "detailed instructions on maximizing the driving range, the impact of cold weather on battery strength or how to get the most out of the Superchargers or the publicly available lower-power charging ports along the route."
Broder says he wasn't informed to take certain actions until three hours into the trip, when things started to go wrong. During this time, he says he made a phone call to a Tesla representative who told him to turn off the cruise control and alternately slow down and speed up to take advantage of regenerative braking. He goes on to say this information was later contradicted by other Tesla personnel because it actually has a negative impact on range.
On the second morning of his test drive, Broder says he called Tesla for advice because his estimated range had suddenly dropped overnight. During this phone call, Broder claims Tesla spokeswoman Christina Ra and Tesla product planner Ted Merendino told him he could restore the lost range by conditioning the battery. However, once the half-hour process was complete, the car's range dropped from 25 miles (40 km) to 19 miles (30 km).
In defense of Musk's allegation that he stopped charging the vehicle with an estimated range of 32 miles (51 km) when he needed to travel 61 miles (98 km), Broder says Tesla personal told him he only needed to recharge the vehicle for an hour because driving at a moderate speed would "restore" the battery power lost overnight. As he contends, that advice proved "overly optimistic" as he ran out of power 14 miles (22 km) short of the Milford Supercharger.
Counter to allegations that he "drove in circles for over half a mile in a tiny 100-space parking lot," Broder says he was driving around the Milford service plaza trying to find a poorly marked Tesla Supercharger in the dark. This sounds plausible as Jalopnik, The Atlantic and others have used Google Maps to determine that one missed turn in the plaza could easily contribute to a half mile trip in search of a charger.
In response to Musk's claim that the "Model S' battery never ran out of energy at any time, including when Broder called the flatbed truck," Broder writes that the dashboard told him the car was shutting down and it eventually did. He goes on to say the Model S didn't have enough power to move or even release the electronic parking brake. Musk's claim may technically be correct, but it's slightly disingenuous as a spokesperson for the towing company, that retrieved the car, confirmed it didn't have enough power to move or release the parking brake.
While Broder recalls setting the cruise control at roughly 54 mph (87 km/h), he can't explain why Tesla logs show him traveling at nearly 60 mph (97 km) for approximately 100 miles (161 km). He also cannot explain why Tesla's data do not show him limping along at 45 mph (72 km/h). However, Broder suggests this could have something to do with the fact that the test car was equipped with 19-inch wheels and all-season tires and not the usual 21-inch wheels with summer tires.
As for why he stopped charging the vehicle at 28% during the last stop, Broder contends that was what Tesla officials instructed him to do.
Broder's full response can be found at the source link below, so check it out and let us know what you think.