Tesla Model S (Tesla)

The New York Times fired back at Tesla’s Elon Musk after the outspoken CEO posted a tweet claiming a Times article critical of Tesla’s flagship electric sedan was “fake.”

The New York Times piece, entitled “Stalled out on Tesla’s Electric Highway,” detailed writer John Broder’s trip from Washington DC to Connecticut in a Tesla Model S sedan in cold weather.  The company loaned Broder a vehicle so that he could drive from suburban Washington DC to Connecticut.

The fully electric vehicle does not have a secondary gasoline back up like vehicles from Ford, Toyota, and Chevy do, but Tesla claims their car can travel approximately 265 miles on a full charge. Tesla is also building numerous charging stations along the I-95 corridor where Tesla owners can fuel up for free during long trips. One of those stations recently opened in Milford.

Broder says the first leg of his journey was uneventful, stopping at a Delaware Tesla charging station for a little under an hour to fuel up for the long trip to Milford. As he set out on his journey with a fully charged battery, Broder writes that the vehicle’s reported range dropped faster than his rate of travel, forcing him to lower his speed to 54 miles per hour and to turn the cabin heater off.  He says he arrived in Milford running on the electric vehicle equivalent of fumes following a stop in Manhattan.

After charging in Milford, Broder drove to Stonington and spent the night in Groton.  He writes when he parked the car that evening it had enough range to make it back to Milford, but when he went to leave the following morning the available range dropped from 90 miles to 26. The vehicle eventually had to be towed back to the Milford charging station with a depleted battery.

Musk said in a followup tweet that the vehicle’s electronic logs show Broder did not charge the vehicle fully and that Broder took “a long detour” on his trip. Musk added that the company logs the trips of journalists following an episode of the British television show Top Gear that was critical of their previous vehicle’s range. Tesla unsuccessfully sued the show for libel in a British court.

Musk on February 13 posted an extensive review of Broder’s trip based on data the vehicle collected during the trip.

The New York Times is standing by Broder’s story, issuing a statement that says Musk’s accusation of the story being fake is “flatly untrue.”

“Our reporter followed the instructions he was given in multiple conversations with Tesla personnel. He described the entire drive in the story; there was no unreported detour. And he was never told to plug the car in overnight in cold weather, despite repeated contact with Tesla,” the statement said.

Broder and the New York Times released a point-by-point rebuttal in a blog post of their own on February 14, refuting claims Tesla made the day before.

Tesla also handed over the keys of a Model S to CNN Money’s Peter Valdes-Dapena who completed the same DC to Boston trip in another Model S on February 15. Watch the CNN review below:

Cold weather can impact the performance of batteries significantly. In CTTechJunkie’s experience with a Chevy Volt, we found the vehicle’s 40 mile electric range can slip to 25 or 30 miles in cold weather due to temperature and the need to activate the vehicle’s electric heater to warm the cabin. The Volt will also activate the vehicle’s gas engine to warm up the battery when temperatures dip below 27 degrees fahrenheit.

Connect with Lon:

Lon Seidman

Lon Seidman

Lon Seidman is the host and producer of “Lon.TV,” a consumer technology video show that is on a number of platforms including YouTube and Amazon. He creates in-depth, consumer-friendly product reviews and commentary. His YouTube channel has over 300,000 subscribers and more than 100 million views.

In addition to being a full-time content creator, Lon is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Hartford (his alma mater) where he teaches a course in entrepreneurial content creation.

Prior to becoming a full-time creator, Lon was a partner at The Safety Zone, his family’s business that manufactures gloves and safety equipment. The company has locations around the globe and employs over 200 people worldwide. The Safety Zone was acquired by the Genuine Parts Corporation in 2016.

Lon is also active in public service, serving as the Chairman of the Essex Board of Education, a member of the Region 4 Board of Education, and as the Secretary / Treasurer of the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education. He was endorsed by both Democrats and Republicans for his re-election in 2021.

The views, opinions, positions, or strategies expressed by the author are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or positions of CTNewsJunkie.com.