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(Popular Mechanics)   The final world on the whole Tesla vs New York Times comes from Popular Mechanics. In a nutshell: a pox on both of them (link fixed)   (popularmechanics.com) divider line 182
    More: Followup, Model S, actual malice  
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14591 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Feb 2013 at 12:47 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-20 05:40:52 PM
I like how PM reports that everyone else that tried this test made it from A to B without any problems...but then says it's part Tesla's fault because the reporter was too dumb to listen to their instructions.  Yes, that makes perfect sense.

/reporter just wanted sensational article, imo
 
2013-02-20 05:41:46 PM

ha-ha-guy: The fact Musk had an issue with the speed and the climate seems to imply that "max range mode" is bordering on "limp mode" for highway driving. I just want to see someone else get a Tesla, take it out on the highway and provide what you have to so the car makes it 150 miles. After that it should be clear if the Tesla can do what Musk says it can or if you're limping along in the far right lane with your flashers on.



Actually, I think what Musk had a problem with was that what the journalist wrote and what the data logs said did not match up. Considering that other journalists have replicated the trip with very different - and less sensationalistic/smeary - results is a good indication that he was right to protest the article.
 
2013-02-20 05:44:03 PM

Carth: oh_please: Carth: oh_please: gibbon1: I mean sure, an electric car won't have the range or quick replenishment of go juice that a gasoline car does. But whatever. Broder's a retard. I'd say like my brother, but if my brother had an electric car he would very carefully make sure it was always fully charged before going for a drive.

Good point, but I get the idea that Tesla saw this article as an opportunity to sell the car as something that it wasn't. Broder was an asshole for not following directions.

Here's the thing: If I'm driving a car that was promised to go x miles, and when things go wrong, I have to get on the farking phone with a team of engineers, and they blame it on the fact that I circled a parking lot 3 times, and I should wait till the weather got warmer, guess what? That car ISN'T READY YET!

and if the problem was you couldn't read a 30 page manual that tells you to switch the care into max range mode? Still not ready or user error? What if your car has 30 miles of gas but you have a 60 mile trip? are you going to hope behind the wheel and go anyway then complain when you don't make it?

I said above that Broder was an asshole for not following directions. Tesla wanted to use this as an opportunity to say, "hey, go take a trip, don't worry about that whole range thing".  It failed miserably, because Broder did not follow the EXACT directions Tesla gave him. If a consumer has to follow 15 directions to the letter, the car is NOT READY.

And, no, nobody's going to hope behind the wheel. That's why the technology is NOT READY.

Except Musk, or anyone else at Tesla, never said that in any of the articles I've seen. Do you have a link with that quote about or are you just making up things to prove a point you've already decided.

Where are you getting "a consumer has to follow 15 directions to the letter"?Is that just hyperbole or are there actually 15 specific instructions they asked him to follow.


Of course it's hyperbole, but more than 4 things that takes the average consumer out of their comfort zone shows it's not ready. It may as well be 15, doesn't matter.

I'm not letting Broder off the hook, he didn't follow directions, but Tesla claiming that part of the problem is that he circled the parking lot repeatedly, well, that's just admitting your car isn't ready for what you claimed it would be. Tesla tried to get some pub in a strictly controlled environment, and when that didn't work out, they went all WHAAAAH to the press.

That tech is absolutely the future, but everyone looks like assholes here.
 
2013-02-20 05:44:57 PM

Shanghai_Flyer: The Final Word? Well Joe Don Baker is here to give you ...

[upload.wikimedia.org image 220x334]
You think you can take me? It's your move...you go ahead on


I wonder if there's beer on the sun?
Heart pound'n
Veins clogg'n
 
2013-02-20 05:56:50 PM
When I read the headline, I was trying to decide if it referred to the band or the engineering.
The car company never entered my mind.

/Acura is making a new NSX. in Ohio. soon.
 
2013-02-20 05:59:17 PM

Carth: Rixel: BuckTurgidson: Whatever, Popular Mechanics, where the hell's my flying car?

Here you go

Will run you around 300K though, once production starts.

It also requires a pilots license thank god.


And a paid-up life insurance policy for when the wings turn out to be attached with sheet metal screws.
 
2013-02-20 06:03:50 PM

ha-ha-guy: hasty ambush: "Vice Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada, the "father of the Prius" who helped put hybrids on the map, said he believes fuel-cell vehicles hold far more promise than battery electric cars.

Hydrogen can offer an energy density up to 8x what batteries can do right now and 3x to 5x that of gasoline, depending on who is promising what.

That said there are still storage and refueling issues with hydrogen.  At least with electric you can just plug into a wall and wait at the very worst.  With hydrogen, some municipalities have hydrogen stations for their fleet vehicles, but overall it is rare.

Someone is going to have to demonstrate methanol conversion (or something else) on an industrial viable scale and come up with a credible plan for how you're going to be able to refuel the sucker.


Gasoline stations were also  rare to non-existent when the first automobiles came out.
 
2013-02-20 06:13:00 PM

SkunkWerks: And of course it wouldn't hurt if we stations weren't charging ridiculous amounts for [Diesel fuel] here in the states.  I still make it up in mileage, and possibly wear and tear, but really?  It's a byproduct of refining gasoline.  Leftovers.


Diesel fuel is not a by product of refining gasoline. Desulferization of North American and Venezuelan crude oil is not free. Finally, complain to your elected officials about the amount of excise taxes on motor fuels and their inequity between different fuels.


hasty ambush: Gasoline stations were also  rare to non-existent when the first automobiles came out.


So were paved roads.
 
2013-02-20 06:13:00 PM

JohnnyRebel88: They are quite sharp looking and would love to have their sports model, but I forget the name, but it reminded me of a Lotus Esprit.  I read an article that said the could get up to 300 miles without a charge, and this was 2 years ago.  I guess they are trying to surpass this MPC (miles per charge?) that limited them a couple years ago.  First nice looking car that runs on batteries IMO.


Roadster. It reminds you of a Lotus Esprit because it is, basically, an electric Lotus Esprit. 240-ish miles between charges if you crawl, about 160 miles between fast charges (an hour to 80%) at UK motorway speeds, about 60 miles if you're hammering it on a racetrack - which, considering how much petrol conventional sports cars use doing similar stunts, is pretty damn good.

Downside are that they are cramped, uncomfortable, have a horrible ride, cost a fortune to buy and need fifty grands' worth of battery every five years or so.
 
2013-02-20 06:16:38 PM

reductive: Fascinating how nobody but Broder talks about the part where Broder spoke directly with managers and engineers half a dozen times over two days. If Tesla's own people advised Broder to do what he did, can we really attribute his behavior to stupidity? It's not clear whether Broder is misrepresenting what his contacts at Tesla were telling him, because Musk and the press simply ignore this point.


There were claims in a previous thread that Tesla sacked at least one of the people who was advising Broder. I have no idea if this is correct and would welcome assurance that it is not..
 
2013-02-20 06:19:57 PM

oh_please: NY Times writer decides to write an article on the Tesla, arranges a road trip. Tesla tells him that he has to do 15 (or so) things to make the car work right. Writer agrees, doesn't do the 15 things, then writes an article slamming Tesla, while conveniently omitting that he didn't do the 15 things. In other words, he ignored most of the advice, and drove it like a regular person would drive it. Car dies.


Writer claims he did just what Tesla representatives told him. Electric car fans say he should have done something different. Tesla curiously silent on what their people told him, fail to release recordings of calls. Meanwhile, nobody denies that the charge shown fell by about 80% overnight on a cold night, and that recovering from that was the central problem.
 
2013-02-20 06:23:03 PM

MrSteve007: I'll do a *one day* road-trip from Seattle to San Francisco (800 miles) and I'm sure I'll keep hearing from farkers that it's impossible for an affordable electric car to be used for road trips.


You'll do it at sixty miles per hour, with a one hour recharge stop every three hours, giving you an average speed of 45mph. That's certainly not impossible, but it is perhaps a little impractical.

/would love an electric car
 
2013-02-20 06:25:29 PM

fredklein: They weren't "dead wrong' The car still went 50+ miles after showing 32 miles of charge.


Indeed. The issue seems to mixed: the cold weather seems to have caused some loss of charge and the charge level was inaccurately reported. Neither of these things is good.
 
2013-02-20 06:33:33 PM
His article and journey were complete fabrications, and Tesla proved it. That's what the meat of this is.

What he did would be like me draining all the oil out of a vehicle before taking it on a long road trip in hot temperatures, pretending i didn't, and telling everyone the car just broke down because it was bad. He got caught red-handed, and his word and journalistic integrity are now worthless.

The fact that this article is trying to save his career when he is so obviously in the wrong just goes to show that whoever persuaded him to do it can also persuade people at Popular Mechanics.
 
2013-02-20 06:35:20 PM

J. Frank Parnell: His article and journey were complete fabrications, and Tesla proved it.


Are you claiming that he never made the trip?
 
2013-02-20 06:46:03 PM

MrSteve007: Driving a Tesla 300 miles at 60 mph is 5 hours of driving. If you're like any normal human being, you'll be taking a piss & food break every 2 1/2 hours or so, which would reduce the "super" charge time to 30 minutes.


Where do you live that highway traffic is only 60 mph? A blue state? If I wanted to drive at 60 mph, I could take my old car VW with 47 hp instead of my new one with 200, and even then I do 65. The new one gets the same fuel economy at 10 mph faster. Ah, progress.

Normal human being? We're Farkers. We're abnormal. (Not wearing diapers on the way to Florida abnormal, mind you, but still not normal.) I only stop when it's time to refuel, and since I've got a VW, that's between 420 and 480 miles, over 6 hours at a stretch. Ah, the joys of bachelorhood.
 
2013-02-20 06:54:46 PM

Yoyo: MrSteve007: Driving a Tesla 300 miles at 60 mph is 5 hours of driving. If you're like any normal human being, you'll be taking a piss & food break every 2 1/2 hours or so, which would reduce the "super" charge time to 30 minutes.

Where do you live that highway traffic is only 60 mph? A blue state? If I wanted to drive at 60 mph, I could take my old car VW with 47 hp instead of my new one with 200, and even then I do 65. The new one gets the same fuel economy at 10 mph faster. Ah, progress.

Normal human being? We're Farkers. We're abnormal. (Not wearing diapers on the way to Florida abnormal, mind you, but still not normal.) I only stop when it's time to refuel, and since I've got a VW, that's between 420 and 480 miles, over 6 hours at a stretch. Ah, the joys of bachelorhood.


Most of Interstate 5 in Washington state is 60mph (with some areas at 70). Once you hit Oregon though, it's 55mph.
 
2013-02-20 07:21:35 PM
Subby, you dun failed. It ain't THE final word, it's PM's final word, 'a final word' ... it is far from over and PM isn't the judge.

No points.

And -1 for not spellchecking.

Who the hell greenlit this?
 
2013-02-20 07:46:24 PM

orbister: fredklein: They weren't "dead wrong' The car still went 50+ miles after showing 32 miles of charge.

Indeed. The issue seems to mixed: the cold weather seems to have caused some loss of charge and the charge level was inaccurately reported. Neither of these things is good.


ALL batteries lose charge when cold. This is not "not good" - it just is.

And the charge level WAS accurately reported. The battery cannot foretell the future- it does not know it will be warmed up, and thus have more charge. When he unplugged it, it had ~30 miles of charge. As it warmed up ('conditioned'), it gained more charge, enough to go ~50 miles in the end.

Doesn't change the fact he was an idiot to unplug it when it didn't have enough charge to get to his destination.
 
2013-02-20 07:55:18 PM

orbister: Writer claims he did just what Tesla representatives told him. Electric car fans say he should have done something different. Tesla curiously silent on what their people told him, fail to release recordings of calls. Meanwhile, nobody denies that the charge shown fell by about 80% overnight on a cold night, and that recovering from that was the central problem.


To be fair, if you've ever worked tech support, you can EASILY see Tesla telling him one thing and him hearing another.  God, the number of times I've tried telling somebody something simple and had them later complain that I told them something outlandish...

Reporter: "It says 28 mile range when it said 90 last night"
Tech: "Take these steps, and it should warm the battery and restore the range"
Reporter: "OK, I took those steps and it's still not working"
Tech: "OK, go and charge for about an hour and it should work"
Reporter charges for an hour and drives away despite big numbers on dashboard displaying insufficient range
Reporter: "OMG TESLA LIED TO ME THEY SAID IT WOULD MAKE IT"

So, yeah, my read is that a problem with that particular car caused the battery to lose range in the cold overnight, and the usual fixes didn't work, but it looks like he then went and ignored what the car was telling him and was surprised when the car knew what it was talking about.  He also lied about his speed by about 8 mph, which just confirms what all techs know - users LIE, and they usually believe their own lies.

Also, to address a flaw in your post, the charge didn't fall by 80%.  When he parked he had 90 miles range, and it dropped to just under 30, which yes, is a third of the range from the night before (and a drop of only 66% range), but NOT an 80% drop.  The actual charge percentage shown on the telemetry when he parked it was around 38%, and fell to 30% before he started driving again, reaching ~22% at Norwich.
 
2013-02-20 08:34:38 PM

DemonEater: To be fair, if you've ever worked tech support, you can EASILY see Tesla telling him one thing and him hearing another. God, the number of times I've tried telling somebody something simple and had them later complain that I told them something outlandish...


Exactly my point. The car is not ready for the masses. When was the last time you had to call tech support for your car?

Every schub is used to getting in the car, turning the key, and, bingo, it works. Now, if you have to get used to figuring outside temp, when you can turn your heater on, range anxiety, etc, it's not ready yet.
 
2013-02-20 08:34:46 PM

DemonEater: orbister: Writer claims he did just what Tesla representatives told him. Electric car fans say he should have done something different. Tesla curiously silent on what their people told him, fail to release recordings of calls. Meanwhile, nobody denies that the charge shown fell by about 80% overnight on a cold night, and that recovering from that was the central problem.

To be fair, if you've ever worked tech support, you can EASILY see Tesla telling him one thing and him hearing another.  God, the number of times I've tried telling somebody something simple and had them later complain that I told them something outlandish...

Reporter: "It says 28 mile range when it said 90 last night"
Tech: "Take these steps, and it should warm the battery and restore the range"
Reporter: "OK, I took those steps and it's still not working"
Tech: "OK, go and charge for about an hour and it should work"
Reporter charges for an hour and drives away despite big numbers on dashboard displaying insufficient range
Reporter: "OMG TESLA LIED TO ME THEY SAID IT WOULD MAKE IT"

So, yeah, my read is that a problem with that particular car caused the battery to lose range in the cold overnight, and the usual fixes didn't work, but it looks like he then went and ignored what the car was telling him and was surprised when the car knew what it was talking about.  He also lied about his speed by about 8 mph, which just confirms what all techs know - users LIE, and they usually believe their own lies.

Also, to address a flaw in your post, the charge didn't fall by 80%.  When he parked he had 90 miles range, and it dropped to just under 30, which yes, is a third of the range from the night before (and a drop of only 66% range), but NOT an 80% drop.  The actual charge percentage shown on the telemetry when he parked it was around 38%, and fell to 30% before he started driving again, reaching ~22% at Norwich.


What you're saying is correct, at least in terms of ratios, but remember in comparison to the battery's overall range, when he parked at night, it had about 38% of a full charge, in the morning (before he drained another 5% of the battery via sitting there with the heat on), it showed 32%. In reality, letting the battery get cold overnight, initial voltage dropped only a few percentage points. Had he just started driving, it would have warmed up the battery internally, and given him much more range, vs. sitting still and trying to heat the cabin for an hour.
 
2013-02-20 10:57:25 PM

Carth: I agree with you. Did you read the reports from CNN and the 9 other Tesla drivers last week who did the same trip ? Most of them kept their cars between 72-76 degrees, had their speed vary between 60-75 and they all made it. The only significant differences were they enable  range mode and it was 10 degrees warmer during their overnight stay (CNN didn't stop overnight but the other drivers did).


I could see the 10 degrees thing making a difference, with the batteries slung on the bottom of the chassis they don't get a lot of protection (not there is anywhere on a car that stays warm at night).  During actual driving the battery pack might be exposed to colder temps than some other electric car designs.  Most cars though are designed with the thought they'll be parked indoors and on a charger at night or at the very least a carport.  After all the owner should have some kind of charger station they go and hook up to.

Be interesting to see some test data.  The Volts were taken up to Minnesota and Canada for cold weather testing and at some point they have problems as well. After -13 F things things get squirrel.  As one engineer said at least you get the consolation of everyone else has shiat on their car frozen as well by that point.

What may have done the Tesla in was that most plugin hybrids or electric heat themselves if you leave them plugged in overnight.  IIRC the Times guy just left the sucker in the lot and went to bed.  Should have had it on 120v so it could keep the battery pack warm.  Basically it sounds like if you plan on using the Supercharger and then not leaving it plugged in overnight you have to go visit the Supercharger and top off after a cold night.  That wasn't conveyed an led to issues.
 
2013-02-21 12:26:31 AM

ha-ha-guy: Where did I ever claim the entire gas stop was 1 minute? If you read up thread I provided a floor of 10 minutes for the total stop. Although if you hit a service plaza with a good card reader and modern pumps you can do 3 minutes. That is about what you're supposed average if you're doing a Cannonball.


I've timed gas stops on road trips. It, if it's just me, I can stop at a gas station, start the pump, pee and wash the windows in 5 minutes.  If someone is with me it's ten minutes.  If that someone is a girl or a pot head it's half an hour.
 
2013-02-21 01:29:36 AM

MrSteve007: Most of Interstate 5 in Washington state is 60mph (with some areas at 70). Once you hit Oregon though, it's 55mph.


Just keep your Mr. Fusion over there in the right lane, daddy-o, and we'll get along just fine.
 
2013-02-21 04:01:11 AM
I don't understand one thing: can't you charge this car at any old electric outlet? Like at a motel or McDonalds somewhere? As far as I understand the supercharger stations are merely a convenience to charge the car faster, not a necessity.
 
2013-02-21 05:22:20 AM

kazikian: I don't understand one thing: can't you charge this car at any old electric outlet? Like at a motel or McDonalds somewhere? As far as I understand the supercharger stations are merely a convenience to charge the car faster, not a necessity.


When the supercharger is taking on the order of half an hour to an hour for a full charge, think about how much longer it would take to charge at a generic wall outlet.

If you can plug the car in overnight, that's a different story.
 
2013-02-21 06:46:57 AM
It looks like malice to me.

He never even charged the car up.  28%, in once case, then he quit charging it.  If you don't even attempt to fully charge the car, then whining "OMG, the car didn't make it, I had to get towed" looks like malice.

If I went to test a Ford F-150 pickup by driving from Dallas to Las Vegas, and I took off with half a tank of gas, then whining about "I got to west Texas and ran out of gas, it's Ford's fault" would be stupid.
 
2013-02-21 08:45:28 AM

Yoyo: Desulferization of North American and Venezuelan crude oil is not free.


Didn't say it was.

Yoyo: Finally, complain to your elected officials about the amount of excise taxes on motor fuels and their inequity between different fuels.


Didn't suggest they weren't involved either.  It's cheaper in Europe.  Do I think it's possible that this has a lot to do with taxes, politics and likely out-and-out graft and corruption?

Yes.  Very yes.

Either way, it's a lot more expensive than it needs to be.

Yoyo: So were paved roads.


I know you're not responding to me, but since it was there: And?

He was making a point that the "success" of gasoline cars is largely built around an infrastructure adapted specifically to support them, and to do so with convenience.  Not sure how this observation disputes or alters that assertion any.
 
2013-02-21 08:57:16 AM
The 'real meat of this' is in the support conversations. The summary of the controversy basically is:

"I took off without a full tank of gas. I know the MPG is about 22, I had two gallons, I was 62 miles from the next petrol station, and I was totally told that I could stop refueling now and drive onto the next one. AND I RAN OUT OF GAS. This proves this 'car' isn't ready for the big time."

Now, if we take his story on faith, the proper conclusion is that the NYT is full of idiots, and the Tesla support people he talked to are idiots. Meanwhile, we do have proof that Broeder half-assed his notetaking; he wasn't driving at the speeds he claimed. (The climate control thing is pretty much a non-entity; what he said didn't perfectly match up to what he did, but it came more then close enough to accept good intentions.)


But really. NYT reporter being a moron is beyond controversy at this point. If he did any of this with a gas car you'd call him an idiot. And he would've.
 
2013-02-21 08:59:18 AM
3 companies argue over just how dead a dead end technology actually is.
 
2013-02-22 05:08:40 PM

Mithiwithi: kazikian: I don't understand one thing: can't you charge this car at any old electric outlet? Like at a motel or McDonalds somewhere? As far as I understand the supercharger stations are merely a convenience to charge the car faster, not a necessity.

When the supercharger is taking on the order of half an hour to an hour for a full charge, think about how much longer it would take to charge at a generic wall outlet.

If you can plug the car in overnight, that's a different story.


I know it would take a long time, but if it's that or stranded...
I'm asking: it is an option, yes, to charge at ANY outlet?
 
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