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(TreeHugger)   NYT Reporter: "The new Tesla sedan doesn't come close to stated range in cold conditions. It had to be towed home." Tesla CEO: "Guess what? Our car logged your GPS & battery data, and it says you're full of shiat." Watt now?   (treehugger.com) divider line 272
    More: Plug, NYT, Model S, Elon Musk, Motor Trend  
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22682 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Feb 2013 at 11:45 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-12 02:37:19 AM  

TwowheelinTim: At the very least, you should realize there are plenty of vehicles still on the road the without any sort of computer.


To be fair, On-Board Diagnostics (ODB-II specifically) has been a requirement for all cars since 1996. Most cars since about 1987 had ODB-I systems onboard. So yeah, while there's a number of 25+ year old cars on the road, they're pretty rare these days. I'd wager that at least 90% of road going cars have computers.

Many cars since 2005 have "black-boxes" in their too, especially Toyota cars and trucks. Look in your owners manual for a page that says something like "in the event of a serious crash or death, the manufacturer and/or insurance agency can take data from the data recorder without consent." In my Toyota Tacoma, it records the final few minutes of speed, throttle position, brake position, gear, RPM's, steering wheel angle, ABS activation, and even stability control gyroscope data before an airbag deployment
 
2013-02-12 02:38:44 AM  

mikaloyd: So there you go. Tesla tells whoppers just as good as the NYT


That's an idiotic thing to say.  Wanting to take advantage of free marketing, which is what top gear is good for, does not mean that Tesla's people are lying.

And you picked the wrong case to let your idiocy flag fly, because top gear was caught red-handed in lying about Tesla's range. Although they showed Top Gear's people pushing the Tesla out of the track, insinuating that it ran out of juice, when Tesla's people called shenanigans on the whole deal, BBC's people were quick to state that "[a]t no time did we claim that the cars ran out of charge"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/dec/24/jeremy-clarkson-top-gear -t esla-electric-car

So, yeah.  Top Gear really lied about the thing and Tesla got burned.
 
2013-02-12 02:40:48 AM  

SevenizGud: 1. Tesla's logs prove that they recorded the towing as if it was driving.
2. Reporter produces paperwork regarding having to call someone.
3. The tow guy corroborates the reporter's story.
4. Bankrupty.


5. SevenizGud wakes up, needs to take a cold shower.
 
2013-02-12 02:42:12 AM  
After the reporter was accused of lying, the NYT said the article was "completely factual, describing the trip in detail exactly as it occurred. Any suggestion that the account was 'fake' is, of course, flatly untrue." Assuming they didn't just ask the author "did you lie," then they must have proof to counter Tesla's claims, whether it's their own GPS logger, cellular location tracker, a dash cam, or some other objective evidence as the basis for their statement. Given how cheap these devices are, they may be standard equipment for car reviewers, the way audio recorders are used in many verbal interviews, for reporters to refer back to when writing a story.
 
2013-02-12 02:50:52 AM  

T Baggins: After the reporter was accused of lying, the NYT said the article was "completely factual, describing the trip in detail exactly as it occurred. Any suggestion that the account was 'fake' is, of course, flatly untrue." Assuming they didn't just ask the author "did you lie," then they must have proof to counter Tesla's claims, whether it's their own GPS logger, cellular location tracker, a dash cam, or some other objective evidence as the basis for their statement. Given how cheap these devices are, they may be standard equipment for car reviewers, the way audio recorders are used in many verbal interviews, for reporters to refer back to when writing a story.


Obviously that's what the NYT, or any paper, is expected to say at the start of this sort of scandal.  They wouldn't simply admit that it would be possible they might have lying shills within their ranks, churning falsified reports paid by the highest bidders.  They will obviously completely refuse this is possible.  Later, if their reporter is honest or is able to weasel himself out of the tight spot then their life goes on as usual, but if their reporter is found to be at fault then they simply say "oops, our bad. never gonna happen again, we promise" and quickly go on with their lives.  So, they have absolutely nothing to lose in stating publicly that they don't lie and all their staff are perfectly impartial and somehow rigorous scientists who systematically employ the scientific method with a religious fervor, including the food reviewers.
 
2013-02-12 02:52:01 AM  

spmkk: ly, you're probably right. Not because they should -- we're farking bonkers to live in a place with distances as great as ours and be fighting so hard for a REDUCTION in energy density -- but because we can all feel more smug and less guilty when the smokestacks are somewhere beyond city limits...as far away from our consciences as the landfills that will receive hundreds of millions of expired batteries. Progress.


Yeah, I doubt this. Most manufacturers that have electric car or hybrid batteries offer a couple hundred dollar bounty for old batteries (when the unit fails, there's typically many usable cells left in the battery for re-use and resale). The battery pack label on the Prius even points this out.

The plants that recycle NiMH hybrid car batteries are already equipped to deal with Li-Ion batteries. And the battery recycling & shipping is paid for by the auto manufacturers. Heck, nearly 100% of the components of the electric cars Li-Ion batteries are recyclable.
 
2013-02-12 02:54:24 AM  

mikaloyd: RandomRandom: mikaloyd: Tesla and lawsuits just seem to fit together.
Why the hate?

A day in court is worth two in  hell.


FTFY
 
2013-02-12 02:57:46 AM  
Elon Musk - coolest name ever?
 
2013-02-12 03:01:30 AM  

spmkk: RandomRandom: "That and he hates the fact that electric cars are definitely, positively, absolutely going to replace gas cars, though certainly not in his lifetime."


Sadly, you're probably right. Not because they should -- we're farking bonkers to live in a place with distances as great as ours and be fighting so hard for a REDUCTION in energy density -- but because we can all feel more smug and less guilty when the smokestacks are somewhere beyond city limits...as far away from our consciences as the landfills that will receive hundreds of millions of expired batteries. Progress.


First Litium Ion Batteries can be recycled
http://auto.howstuffworks.com/can-electric-car-batteries-be-recycled. h tm">http://auto.howstuffworks.com/can-electric-car-batteries-be-recyc led.h tm
Tesla Motors already has a contract with Toxco to recycle them.

Secondly, the technology is already available to be transitioned to a "diffuse energy" and localized storage format that can be hubbed around cities or localized for rural areas, and once the transition is completed, we will no longer have smokestack driven powerplants.
Electric driven cars will have an cost of operation MPGE of about $0.85 once the complete infrastructure change neccessary takes place, and around $2.25 MPGE during the current and transition period. Of course this will vary with sourcing, as a full charge in the Pacific Northwest would be about $6 dollars for a full charge while on the east coast it could be as high as $22.00 for 260 miles of driving.

However the expense of delivering electricity vs actual gasoline is no contest in terms of reliability, cost and ease/safety of delivery.
 
2013-02-12 03:03:23 AM  

spmkk: Sadly, you're probably right. Not because they should -- we're farking bonkers to live in a place with distances as great as ours and be fighting so hard for a REDUCTION in energy density -- but because we can all feel more smug and less guilty when the smokestacks are somewhere beyond city limits...as far away from our consciences as the landfills that will receive hundreds of millions of expired batteries. Progress.


No, I think the public will push gasoline engined cars to the side, not government.

Lithium air batteries designed for rapid charging will probably be close to gasoline equivalents.   With lithium air, the cathode uses ambient air, greatly increasing energy density.   Perhaps not quite the density of hydrocarbons, but close enough, with far greater reliability and far less pollution.  Lithium air is not here yet, but there's so much money invested in their development it's hard to bet against.  When it's ready, it should deliver the death blow to the gasoline vehicle.

Even though a lot of the electricity to power these cars will come from coal, it's a lot easier to scrub and monitor a few hundred power plants than a few hundred million tail pipes.  Old batteries?  Just like now, core charges and recycling.  Given the size and cost of main propulsion batteries, no one is going to be tossing them in a a landfill, even if they did, lithium isn't nearly as nasty as lead acid.

What will really sell the public is abundant, fast fueling locations, fueling at home, and the the far greater reliability of electric cars.  I couldn't begin to list all the components that can fail on an internal combustion vehicle that aren't even present on a fully electric vehicle.  Tires and brakes, that will be the maintenance for electrics.  Unless a repair shop is doing tires and brakes, they'll be out of business.

Still, I agree that the current lithium battery formulations aren't dense enough for electric to take over, yet.
 
2013-02-12 03:16:42 AM  

RandomRandom: debug: You mean the ones that make no mention whatsoever of remote activation and collection ability? What exactly am I looking for there?

Posted this earlier in the thread.

"Tesla data logging is only turned on with explicit written permission from customers, but after Top Gear BS, we always keep it on for media. "
http://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/301053361157988352


Exactly.  That makes no mention of remote activation or of remote data collection.  They turn it on before giving the car over to the media and collect the data after it is returned.
 
2013-02-12 03:17:50 AM  

maggoo: So, yeah.  Top Gear really lied about the thing and Tesla got burned.


No, they didn't really lie.
http://transmission.blogs.topgear.com/2011/04/02/tesla-vs-top-gear-a nd y-wilman-on-our-current-legal-action/
 
2013-02-12 03:18:18 AM  

T Baggins: was "completely factual, describing the trip in detail exactly as it occurred. Any suggestion that the account was 'fake' is, of course, flatly untrue." Assuming they didn't just ask the author "did you lie," then they must have proof to counter Tesla's claims, whether it's their own GPS logger, cellular location tracker, a dash cam, or some other objective evidence as the basis for their statement. Given how cheap these devices are, they may be standard equipment for car reviewers, the way audio recorders are used in many verbal interviews, for reporters to refer back to when writing a story.


Lets say Tesla is right, the reporter's left out a significant detour. What's the reporter's response?

A good reporter who is self assured would immediately admit an innocent omission and move on.  A reporter with an ego problem might get pissed off, deny everything and hope that Tesla's only proof is a data log.  A log that came from Tesla, a log that the reporter can deny is accurate.  It's a he said, they said.

How would the NYT brass know for sure that their reporter is telling the truth?  Pull his cell phone records?  Most cell phone providers are not in the employee tracking business, it's unlikely they'd do anything without a subpoena.

Which is why Tesla needs to hire some private investigators to acquire surveillance camera footage from the detour route.  Convenience stores, banks, highway cams.  Local PI's often have the ability to get that sort of thing, but the video usually rolls over after a week or so, they have to act fast.  If Tesla can catch the reporter in an outright lie, the NYT will almost have to fire the guy.
 
2013-02-12 03:19:34 AM  
RandomRandom don't forget that they are still working to couple supercapacitors into the power distribution systems in future electric battery drive trains, and once they do, accelleration for the LI power discharge systems will become as predictable as the steady travel rates for electric cars currently.
Accelleration is what drops the 300 mile range to ~260 miles. With supercapicitors, they can increase power density and distribute energy smoothly from battery to drive train without compromising performance.

Here is a good update about supercapacitor energy storage density and expected increases in production and uses with other battery technology.
http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/122763-graphene-supercapacitors-ar e -20-times-as-powerful-can-be-made-with-a-dvd-burner">http://www.extre metech.com/extreme/122763-graphene-supercapacitors-are -20-times-as-powerful-can-be-made-with-a-dvd-burner
 
2013-02-12 03:23:26 AM  

Oldiron_79: Popcorn Johnny: Lsherm: I do have to say, I have a 2006 Infiniti G35 sedan and the EPA estimates were a little low.  It was listed at 17/22 and I get about 23 on the highway.  They've only dropped about .2 mpg over the years, but the car has 140,000 miles on it, so that's expected.  When the AWD kicks in it can really hurt the mileage so it's good it doesn't snow much around here.

What's strange is that it seems that every car I've had with a huge motor and low mileage estimates does better while fuel efficient vehicles do worse than the EPA numbers.

The EPA doesnt actually test vehicles these days they just apply a math formula based on weight and hp. Anyways the formula consistantly over estimates mileage for small vehicles andunderestimates mileage for large vehicles because it doesnt account for the fact that volume increases by the cube area increases by the square, so it does not take aerodynamics in to account at all.


My 2012 Miata is getting slightly better than expected mileage.  The estimate is 22 city, 28 highway, 25 combined.  I'm getting 27.2 combined.  Not bad at all.  Most of my driving is my morning and evening commute,  which is on the highway but has the typical rush hour traffic that makes it more like combined driving.
 
2013-02-12 03:25:34 AM  
-Cost to fuel my 05 Toyota Tacoma 15,000 miles annually (18 mpg @ $3.50 a gallon) = $2,916 ($243 a month)

-Cost to fuel my 12 Nissan Leaf 15,000 miles annually (3.5 miles per kWh @ $0.08 a kWh) = $342 ($29 a month)

Even when I factor in the $199 a month lease for the Leaf, I still come out ahead - plus the fact that I'm driving a brand spank'n new car. If gas prices bump back up to $4 a gallon, I'll be coming out way ahead by driving the electric Leaf. Considering the average American is spending $368 on gasoline a month (May 2011), financially it's kinda stupid not to have one electric car in the household .
 
2013-02-12 03:26:07 AM  

Oldiron_79: Tesla has every reason to lie, NYT has none, guess which Im gonna believe.Or are you libs just gonna label the NYT a conservative rag now?


Scandals sell newspapers.  They are a dying industry that needs every little bit of a boost to keep going.  They have every reason in the world to lie, and their history proves that have no ethical issues with doing so.
 
2013-02-12 03:28:28 AM  

RandomRandom: Which is why Tesla needs to hire some private investigators to acquire surveillance camera footage from the detour route.  Convenience stores, banks, highway cams.  Local PI's often have the ability to get that sort of thing, but the video usually rolls over after a week or so, they have to act fast.  If Tesla can catch the reporter in an outright lie, the NYT will almost have to fire the guy.


All assuming, of course, that Tesla is telling the truth.

Which is a heck of an assumption to make as a layman with absolutely zero knowledge of the matter beyond biased claims from both sides.
 
2013-02-12 03:32:08 AM  

Klopfer: No, they didn't really lie.
http://transmission.blogs.topgear.com/2011/04/02/tesla-vs-top-gear-a nd y-wilman-on-our-current-legal-action/


Yeah, they pretty much did lie, though not with words, with visuals.  There were extra careful that way.  In truth, most gasoline powered cars wouldn't get 10 MPG on their test track, the supercars they test probably get half of that or less.  Supercars probably wouldn't go many more miles on the test track than the Tesla Roadster would have achieved, had they, as they very clearly implied, actually tested it to loss of power.

Tesla probably shouldn't have sued, but Top Gear lost one hell of a lot of esteem from that sham.  I still watch from time to time, but now firmly for entertainment purposes.  I don't believe a damn thing they say, or show, especially after learning how Ferrari provides specially tuned race cars with race rubber for their tests.

Top Gear has never mentioned a thing about this dirty business, yet they have the journalistic imperative to call out Tesla?  They're a bunch of farking hypocrites.

http://jalopnik.com/5760248/how-ferrari-spins
 
2013-02-12 03:41:53 AM  

MrSteve007: -Cost to fuel my 05 Toyota Tacoma 15,000 miles annually (18 mpg @ $3.50 a gallon) = $2,916 ($243 a month)

-Cost to fuel my 12 Nissan Leaf 15,000 miles annually (3.5 miles per kWh @ $0.08 a kWh) = $342 ($29 a month)

Even when I factor in the $199 a month lease for the Leaf, I still come out ahead - plus the fact that I'm driving a brand spank'n new car. If gas prices bump back up to $4 a gallon, I'll be coming out way ahead by driving the electric Leaf. Considering the average American is spending $368 on gasoline a month (May 2011), financially it's kinda stupid not to have one electric car in the household .


That's 2.98 gallons per household, per day. I'm sorry, but that's just not a believable figure as an *average* for every household in the country. Even if you assume the average fuel economy is just 15 mpg, that's an *average* of 44.7 miles driving per household, per day, every single day of the month. (16,327 miles per year, and that's even with the probably-low 15 mpg assumption; assume a more realistic 20mpg and you're up to 21,769 miles per year.) It just sounds nonsensical, as an average.

And comparing to my own personal experience, it's far more than double what my own household (two full-time working adults and one four year old child) drives.

Plus you're not accounting for the difference in costs of the vehicles other than gas/power and initial purchase price. The Leaf's only been available for two years: you literally have zero idea what the running costs will be next year, let alone a few years down the road.

A high-efficiency gas vehicle based on proven technology, at this stage in the game, makes far more sense than a hybrid or EV for the average consumer. And most importantly, one that cuts out the weight -- because it's not gas versus electric that saves money. They both have to do the same amount of work. Cutting down vehicle weight is what really saves money, because that is what really saves money. Our daily driver vehicle weighs less than half the bloated "Leaf" (which should be called the Tree Trunk, because it weighs almost exactly the same as any other typical Japanese car on the road.)
 
2013-02-12 03:42:27 AM  

Klopfer: No, they didn't really lie.
http://transmission.blogs.topgear.com/2011/04/02/tesla-vs-top-gear-a nd y-wilman-on-our-current-legal-action/


One can lie without using words.

"We never said that the Tesla was completely immobilized as a result of the motor overheating. We said the car had "reduced power". This was true."
www.autoobserver.com

Hey Chums, this car is in reduced power mode while it cools down. Let's show all 4 of us having to push it over to a 110v plug be recharged for eleventy hours, to pretend what electric car drivers will end up have to do if they run out of juice. But the kicker is, we won't tell anyone that we're actually pretending that the car broke down.
 
2013-02-12 03:42:37 AM  

gweilo8888: All assuming, of course, that Tesla is telling the truth.

Which is a heck of an assumption to make as a layman with absolutely zero knowledge of the matter beyond biased claims from both sides.


No, I don't think it's a wild assumption at all.

Logically, it doesn't make any sense for Tesla to lie.  The downsides are far greater than the upsides.  They don't know what tracking gear the journalist had with him, cameras, etc.  Not to mention this is the New York farking Times.  In that part of the country, they have a lot of feet on the ground, a lot of contacts.  It would be far too easy for Tesla to be caught in a lie.

On the other hand, the journalist might feel he could get away with the lie.  It will be his word versus Tesla's tracking information.  Unless Tesla can come up with some outside corroboration, it could stay that way.  The journalist would have a decent chance of getting away with it.  If his article was a sham job, or just very lazy, he could have adequate motivation to lie.

The other possibility is that they're both, mostly telling the truth.  The journalist did make a detour, but it wasn't all that significant.  A lie by omission, yes, but not a long enough detour to keep the car from reaching the next charging station.  This is probably the most likely end game, but the other possibility is too much fun to ignore.
 
2013-02-12 03:45:44 AM  

RandomRandom: Yeah, they pretty much did lie, though not with words, with visuals.  There were extra careful that way.  In truth, most gasoline powered cars wouldn't get 10 MPG on their test track, the supercars they test probably get half of that or less.  Supercars probably wouldn't go many more miles on the test track than the Tesla Roadster would have achieved, had they, as they very clearly implied, actually tested it to loss of power.

Tesla probably shouldn't have sued, but Top Gear lost one hell of a lot of esteem from that sham.  I still watch from time to time, but now firmly for entertainment purposes.  I don't believe a damn thing they say, or show, especially after learning how Ferrari provides specially tuned race cars with race rubber for their tests.

Top Gear has never mentioned a thing about this dirty business, yet they have the journalistic imperative to call out Tesla?  They're a bunch of farking hypocrites.

http://jalopnik.com/5760248/how-ferrari-spins


Top Gear has never (since their new format started) even come close to claiming to be journalistic. They are and clearly emphasise the fact that they are for entertainment and nothing more. Show me an episode where they *don't* call whatever supercar they're driving the "best they've ever driven" or some other similar hyperbole, for example.

And other supercars don't claim to do anything except go fast. Tesla does. Tesla claims the range as a major selling point for their vehicles; Top Gear would be amiss to simply ignore that.
 
2013-02-12 03:47:57 AM  

RandomRandom: Logically, it doesn't make any sense for Tesla to lie.  The downsides are far greater than the upsides.  They don't know what tracking gear the journalist had with him, cameras, etc.  Not to mention this is the New York farking Times.  In that part of the country, they have a lot of feet on the ground, a lot of contacts.  It would be far too easy for Tesla to be caught in a lie.

On the other hand, the journalist might feel he could get away with the lie.  It will be his word versus Tesla's tracking information.  Unless Tesla can come up with some outside corroboration, it could stay that way.  The journalist would have a decent chance of getting away with it.  If his article was a sham job, or just very lazy, he could have adequate motivation to lie.

The other possibility is that they're both, mostly telling the truth.  The journalist did make a detour, but it wasn't all that significant.  A lie by omission, yes, but not a long enough detour to keep the car from reaching the next charging station.  This is probably the most likely end game, but the other possibility is too much fun to ignore.


How does the journalist stand to profit from the lie? Opportunity isn't proof; you need motive. Without it, it makes no more sense to suggest the NYT are lying than it does to suggest Tesla are. Tesla at least stand to profit out of a lie, because if they can successfully lie and squash evidence to the contrary, they potentially sell more cars. What does the NYT stand to gain from lying?
 
2013-02-12 03:55:55 AM  

gweilo8888: RandomRandom: Logically, it doesn't make any sense for Tesla to lie.  The downsides are far greater than the upsides.  They don't know what tracking gear the journalist had with him, cameras, etc.  Not to mention this is the New York farking Times.  In that part of the country, they have a lot of feet on the ground, a lot of contacts.  It would be far too easy for Tesla to be caught in a lie.

On the other hand, the journalist might feel he could get away with the lie.  It will be his word versus Tesla's tracking information.  Unless Tesla can come up with some outside corroboration, it could stay that way.  The journalist would have a decent chance of getting away with it.  If his article was a sham job, or just very lazy, he could have adequate motivation to lie.

The other possibility is that they're both, mostly telling the truth.  The journalist did make a detour, but it wasn't all that significant.  A lie by omission, yes, but not a long enough detour to keep the car from reaching the next charging station.  This is probably the most likely end game, but the other possibility is too much fun to ignore.

How does the journalist stand to profit from the lie? Opportunity isn't proof; you need motive. Without it, it makes no more sense to suggest the NYT are lying than it does to suggest Tesla are. Tesla at least stand to profit out of a lie, because if they can successfully lie and squash evidence to the contrary, they potentially sell more cars. What does the NYT stand to gain from lying?


Really? You can't imagine any way that a journalist would get more publicity from a story of "look at these crazy terrible electric cars! I got stranded in the cold!!" than "I was the 2000th person to write an article about how I drove a Tesla and it was cool"?
 
2013-02-12 04:01:43 AM  

gweilo8888: Top Gear has never (since their new format started) even come close to claiming to be journalistic. They are and clearly emphasise the fact that they are for entertainment and nothing more. Show me an episode where they *don't* call whatever supercar they're driving the "best they've ever driven" or some other similar hyperbole, for example.

And other supercars don't claim to do anything except go fast. Tesla does. Tesla claims the range as a major selling point for their vehicles; Top Gear would be amiss to simply ignore that.


That's not true.  The top gear boys put on their journalistic hat to test products they want to slam, then put on their entertainment hat to show off products they lust after.  I can guarantee you that a lot of their viewers see them as a journalistic car show with an entertainment flair.

I'm not saying they should have ignored the Tesla's range, I'm saying they should have treated the Tesla roadster no differently than than they would have a gasoline powered car.  There are certainly some gasoline cars they've tested that couldn't get 55 miles on their race track without running out of gas.

If they were really concerned about range, there is absolutely no excuse for their fabricating power outages for both the Tesla and the Nissan electric.  WTF?  Funny because electric?  I really don't get it.  Could you imagine what would happen had they staged such a thing with a Ferrari?   They'd never have another Ferrari on their show, ever.

If they're just "entertainers", why did they even feel the need to test the range?  They're not journalists, why test?  Well, they didn't test, but they pretended to.  That's why I say the top gear boys like having it both ways.  Sometimes they're journalists, sometimes entertainers.  You're right of course, they're entertainers, full stop.  It's just unfortunate that much of their audience doesn't realize this.
 
2013-02-12 04:03:51 AM  

gweilo8888: That's 2.98 gallons per household, per day. I'm sorry, but that's just not a believable figure as an *average* for every household in the country. Even if you assume the average fuel economy is just 15 mpg, that's an *average* of 44.7 miles driving per household, per day, every single day of the month. (16,327 miles per year, and that's even with the probably-low 15 mpg assumption; assume a more realistic 20mpg and you're up to 21,769 miles per year.) It just sounds nonsensical, as an average.


There's your gut feeling, and then there are the facts: here's 2012 stats from the US Government - released a week ago . . .

"The average U.S. household spent $2,912 on gasoline in 2012, which amounts just less than 4 percent of their pre-tax income, according to research released Monday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That's the highest percentage in three decades." Link

Since average gas prices were down in 2012 vs. the peak of 2011, $242 a month in gas makes sense. It's also more than what I pay for an electric car lease and electricity to fuel it, combined.

gweilo8888: Plus you're not accounting for the difference in costs of the vehicles other than gas/power and initial purchase price. The Leaf's only been available for two years: you literally have zero idea what the running costs will be next year, let alone a few years down the road.


Ummm, yeah, I do. I'll just pay for electricity to fuel it, and for insurance. All service and parts are covered under warranty during the lease period. I won't be paying a cent more. At the end of the lease, I'll either give it back, or if the rates are reasonable, lease a new one. I could buy out the end of the lease, but considering the 2013 models are much improved, I consider this car a fun start into driving an electric car.

On the other hand, since my truck now has 150,000 miles, I know over the past year I've paid some $3,000 in service and maintenance (replacing oil 3 times, replacing trans fluid, replacing coolant, replacing front and rear diff oil, replacing transfer case fluid - plus paying for one repair on the transmission). At minimum, the truck will face replacement of the tires ($1,000), 3 oil changes ($40 each), and brake fluid change (approx. $120)  in the coming 15,000 miles.

gweilo8888: Our daily driver vehicle weighs less than half the bloated "Leaf" (which should be called the Tree Trunk, because it weighs almost exactly the same as any other typical Japanese car on the road.)


Wow, really? Your car weighs less than half of 3,354 lbs? Is your daily driver an Ariel Atom?
 
2013-02-12 04:07:18 AM  

gweilo8888: How does the journalist stand to profit from the lie? Opportunity isn't proof; you need motive. Without it, it makes no more sense to suggest the NYT are lying than it does to suggest Tesla are. Tesla at least stand to profit out of a lie, because if they can successfully lie and squash evidence to the contrary, they potentially sell more cars. What does the NYT stand to gain from lying?


No, I don't think the NYT is lying, not on purpose.

Their journalist though?  I wouldn't be so sure.  A single journalist who has written an article he knows the facts don't support?  Yes, he'd have one hell of a motive to lie.  Maybe he was lazy, or maybe as Gdiguy suggests, he purposefully wrote a hit piece to raise his profile.

The most likely explanation is that he took a small, undocumented detour that didn't impact his ability to reach the next charging station.  So a little lie by omission by him and no lie at all by Tesla.  That's probably how this ends, but maybe not.  If there's a big lie here, it's probably by the journalist.
 
2013-02-12 04:09:14 AM  

Mi-5: Top Gear definitely rigged that test to make the Tesla look bad for several reasons:

2. It didn't have a lick of British technology, so they had to trash it


Other than being assembled on a glider which was designed, engineered, and built in England.
 
2013-02-12 04:14:28 AM  

FarkinNortherner: Other than being assembled on a glider which was designed, engineered, and built in England.


That tells you just how much Clarkson hates electric cars.  He slammed it even though the chassis was built in the UK.  He loves every contemporary car built in the UK, and even most of the older, complete crap.

/Clarkson needn't worry.  As a 52 year old guy that looks 67, he's never going to live the 15 years it will take for electric cars to displace gas.
//15 years best case, 25 outside
///Self driving cars, yeah, he might live to see those.
 
2013-02-12 04:16:20 AM  

RandomRandom: Tesla probably shouldn't have sued


Tesla definitely shouldn't have sued. In arguably the most litigant friendly libel environments in the world they were laughed out of court. Twice.
 
2013-02-12 04:20:55 AM  

ameeriklane: I read the NYT article. What I don't get is why the author didn't just stop at a conventional electric car charging station. Those are all over the place (well, compared to Tesla's own ever few hundred miles). I assume the Tesla also has an adapter for the standard electric car chargers.


On the Roadster you have to buy a special charger (about £2000) to use fast charging points. Otherwise you have to use standard mains (a day to charge) or a Tesla charging station (an hour to 80%).

Friend of mine has a Roadster. Awesome acceleration. Cramped, uncomfortable and flimsy.
 
2013-02-12 04:30:39 AM  

RandomRandom: He loves every contemporary car built in the UK, and even most of the older, complete crap.


You say that, but he constantly refers in disparaging terms to the "footballers'" "Cheshire" Bentley Continental and Range Rover Sport, assembled in Crewe and Solihull respectively and, at least in the case of the Conti, an almost universally lauded car.

I think the reality is that, while he mocks American cars and electric cars with a particular passion, Clarkson hates everything (with the possible exception of Margaret Thatcher). Top Gear isn't a car show, it's light entertainment presented by someone playing a right wing blowhard. It used to be a car show, but it used to have 17 viewers, six of whom couldn't work out how to retune for the snooker on BBC1.
 
2013-02-12 04:32:30 AM  

FarkinNortherner: Tesla definitely shouldn't have sued. In arguably the most litigant friendly libel environments in the world they were laughed out of court. Twice.


You're right about the litigation environment, the UK libel laws are an abomination.

That's probably why Tesla sued, and had Top Gear actually said in words what their visuals implied, I expect Tesla would have won.
 
2013-02-12 04:33:08 AM  

Mi-5: Top Gear definitely rigged that test to make the Tesla look bad for several reasons:

1.  It's an American car, so they have to trash it
2.  It didn't have a lick of British technology, so they had to trash it


Apart from the Lotus chassis and suspension, you mean. The Lotus-from-Hethel-in-Norfolk-which-is-in-the-UK-dammit chassis and suspension.
 
2013-02-12 04:33:55 AM  
Before this thread I never realized that there were people who took Top Gear seriously.
 
2013-02-12 04:33:58 AM  

orbister: Friend of mine has a Roadster. Awesome acceleration. Cramped, uncomfortable and flimsy.


Horrible car in almost every respect. Buy an Elise. Cramped, uncomfortable and flimsy, but there's some luggage space and you don't need the services of an EEng grad if (when) it breaks down.

Anybody driven an S? The fit and finish of the dealership examples is absolutely abysmal, I can only assume that the carpets are 'fitted' as part of a rehabilitation program for the blind, but reports of the driving experience seem positive?
 
2013-02-12 04:34:15 AM  

orbister: On the Roadster you have to buy a special charger (about £2000) to use fast charging points. Otherwise you have to use standard mains (a day to charge) or a Tesla charging station (an hour to 80%).


Electric cars charge like this (give or take a little, depending on model):

Level 1= 110v wall outlets: 4 miles, per hour of charge

Level 2= 220v outlets: 12 or 20 miles, per hour of charge. This depends on the size of the car's onboard charge controller, either 3.3KW or 6.6KW - Tesla has a "dual" 220v outlet solution that does 40 miles, per hour of charging.

Level 3= 480v commercial stations: 80 miles in 25 minutes of charging.

Tesla's "Supercharger"= 150 miles with 30 minutes of charging
 
2013-02-12 04:37:29 AM  

swahnhennessy: Before this thread I never realized that there were people who took Top Gear seriously.


Top Gear is Fair and Balanced!
 
2013-02-12 04:43:22 AM  

FarkinNortherner: I think the reality is that, while he mocks American cars and electric cars with a particular passion, Clarkson hates everything (with the possible exception of Margaret Thatcher).


You're not wrong about his general derision for all things.  Still, he does act the journalists when it suits him.

I wouldn't say Clarkson is playing a Stephen Colbert-like character.  Colbert plays his opposite and plays him well over the top.  Based on Clarkson's many public escapades, his TV version seems to be little more than an amped up (coked up?) version of the real Jeremy Clarkson.
 
2013-02-12 04:44:18 AM  

RandomRandom: I'm not saying they should have ignored the Tesla's range, I'm saying they should have treated the Tesla roadster no differently than than they would have a gasoline powered car.  There are certainly some gasoline cars they've tested that couldn't get 55 miles on their race track without running out of gas.


I don't watch Top gear any more, but I remember that when they reviewed the Bugatti Veyron they pointed out that at top speed it has a pathetic range - something like 20 miles.
 
2013-02-12 04:47:23 AM  

gweilo8888: RandomRandom: Yeah, they pretty much did lie, though not with words, with visuals.  There were extra careful that way.  In truth, most gasoline powered cars wouldn't get 10 MPG on their test track, the supercars they test probably get half of that or less.  Supercars probably wouldn't go many more miles on the test track than the Tesla Roadster would have achieved, had they, as they very clearly implied, actually tested it to loss of power.

Tesla probably shouldn't have sued, but Top Gear lost one hell of a lot of esteem from that sham.  I still watch from time to time, but now firmly for entertainment purposes.  I don't believe a damn thing they say, or show, especially after learning how Ferrari provides specially tuned race cars with race rubber for their tests.

Top Gear has never mentioned a thing about this dirty business, yet they have the journalistic imperative to call out Tesla?  They're a bunch of farking hypocrites.

http://jalopnik.com/5760248/how-ferrari-spins

Top Gear has never (since their new format started) even come close to claiming to be journalistic. They are and clearly emphasise the fact that they are for entertainment and nothing more. Show me an episode where they *don't* call whatever supercar they're driving the "best they've ever driven" or some other similar hyperbole, for example.

And other supercars don't claim to do anything except go fast. Tesla does. Tesla claims the range as a major selling point for their vehicles; Top Gear would be amiss to simply ignore that.


Well, if you RTFA from the NYT, you'll see that you CAN'T push it off the track when the battery goes, the reporter says that when he overdrove the battery, he couldn't even get it on to the towtruck, because the wheels were locked...  So the pushing off the track was a lie, no?
 
2013-02-12 04:50:21 AM  
There is also a possibility that both the journalist and Tesla are right. It may be that the battery had more charge than was displayed in-car. In my brief experience of the Roadster (a couple of hours as a passenger) the "range remaining" indication went up and down like a Tampa socialite's underwear as the car tries to predict what sort of driving is being done. Head up a steep hill, range plummets at about 4 miles/mile. Head down a steep hill, range increases at about the same rate. Before throwing accusations around as Tesla have done, they would be wise to take the same car on the same route at the same temperatures and record the information presented to the driver, not just the information stored internally.
 
2013-02-12 04:54:35 AM  

orbister: There is also a possibility that both the journalist and Tesla are right. It may be that the battery had more charge than was displayed in-car. In my brief experience of the Roadster (a couple of hours as a passenger) the "range remaining" indication went up and down like a Tampa socialite's underwear as the car tries to predict what sort of driving is being done. Head up a steep hill, range plummets at about 4 miles/mile. Head down a steep hill, range increases at about the same rate. Before throwing accusations around as Tesla have done, they would be wise to take the same car on the same route at the same temperatures and record the information presented to the driver, not just the information stored internally.


Just here to point out that Tampa socialites' underwear only goes one direction: Down.
 
2013-02-12 04:56:42 AM  

MrSteve007: Tesla has a "dual" 220v outlet solution that does 40 miles, per hour of charging.


Most of those who are spending 80 to 100k on the car are probably going to get dual 220v installed for a few grand more.  Full charge from empty in 6 to 7 hours, depending on battery size.

When electric's get cheaper, dual 220 will probably get cheaper too, but may not be a huge seller.  Given that the average US commuter travels on-average, 30 some miles per day, on most days, most cars would be fully recharged in less than an hour with the dual 220v.  Plugged into a standard wall socket would fully recharge most cars, most days, overnight, for very little money. Expect parking lot outlets to appear at more and more workplaces.  Standardized commercial fast charge stations probably aren't that far away.
 
2013-02-12 05:05:20 AM  

orbister: There is also a possibility that both the journalist and Tesla are right. It may be that the battery had more charge than was displayed in-car. In my brief experience of the Roadster (a couple of hours as a passenger) the "range remaining" indication went up and down like a Tampa socialite's underwear as the car tries to predict what sort of driving is being done. Head up a steep hill, range plummets at about 4 miles/mile. Head down a steep hill, range increases at about the same rate. Before throwing accusations around as Tesla have done, they would be wise to take the same car on the same route at the same temperatures and record the information presented to the driver, not just the information stored internally.


Tesla didn't say he was lying about that.  As far as I know, this is all they've said thus far:"NYTimes article about Tesla range in cold is fake. Vehicle logs tell true story that he didn't actually charge to max & took a long detour."

If the journalist took a long enough detour to have otherwise made the next charging station, he's grossly misinformed his readers. I read the article, it says nothing about a detour, that would qualify as a huge lie, perhaps a career ender.

The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.  At a guess, he took a small, unreported detour (not enough to miss the charging station) and drove the car like a bat out of hell.  Combined with the cold and the not fully charged car, caused him to miss the next charging station.
 
2013-02-12 05:10:32 AM  

Oldiron_79: Tesla has every reason to lie, NYT has none, guess which Im gonna believe.Or are you libs just gonna label the NYT a conservative rag now?


I suppose, like most "libs", I'll take the factually correct answer, whichever it is. Whoever lied is the liar.
 
2013-02-12 05:11:43 AM  

MrSteve007: Klopfer: No, they didn't really lie.
http://transmission.blogs.topgear.com/2011/04/02/tesla-vs-top-gear-a nd y-wilman-on-our-current-legal-action/

One can lie without using words.

"We never said that the Tesla was completely immobilized as a result of the motor overheating. We said the car had "reduced power". This was true."
[www.autoobserver.com image 398x266]
Hey Chums, this car is in reduced power mode while it cools down. Let's show all 4 of us having to push it over to a 110v plug be recharged for eleventy hours, to pretend what electric car drivers will end up have to do if they run out of juice. But the kicker is, we won't tell anyone that we're actually pretending that the car broke down.


Yeah, sorry, I like top gear and all, but when you see bullshiat, call bullshiat. Top Gear lied and slandered the product. fark 'em.
 
2013-02-12 05:14:36 AM  

ilikeracecars: Suckmaster Burstingfoam: God, RTFA. Tesla puts a data logger on THE CARS THEY LEND TO JOURNALISTS.

No, according to tweets, they only turn it on when they lend it to journalists.


Sharpen your tin foil hats people, most modern cars have the ability to log your every move with onboard computers. Any vehicle equipped with On-Star (which is most GM cars), can remotely control and collect data from the car. Tesla's technology to do this is far from state of the art.
 
2013-02-12 05:20:30 AM  
This just in:

"He took an unplanned detour through downtown Manhattan, in heavy traffic," accused Musk, "instead of going on the interstate to the next supercharger station." While the Times' map does indeed show Midtown Manhattan as a waypoint, Broder's story suggests he ran into range issues before making it to New York. "He also exceeded the speed limit quite substantially," says Musk, a point that the Times' piece disputes: Broder wrote that he set the car's cruise control to 54 miles per hour during the journey.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/2/11/3977414/tesla-ceo-elon-musk-accuse s- new-york-times-lying-tesla-range-anxiety


The detour to Manhattan probably gets Tesla off the hook and makes the journalist look bad, but not firing bad. It was on the waypoint map with the article, so not an outright lie.  On the speed though, he may be busted.  Speed destroys mileage on electric cars.  Others have pointed out that in the NYT's own data (miles traveled / time) in the article, if calculated out, results in an average speed of 81 MPH on one of the legs.

Not positive, but I think most of the highways around there are 55 MPH.  Two strikes against the journalist.
 
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