New York Times Article - And My response

New York Times Article - And My response

John - I assume you did the research, or perhaps someone at Tesla told you, that when you go for an extended trip you you do a max charge - that would have given you 265+ miles of rated range. When you go on a road trip in your gas car do you put 12 gallons in a 14 gallon tank?

If I go somewhere in my gas car, spend $8 to get 2 gallons and 60 miles of range, but needed 3 gallons to go 90 miles and get there, and run out of gas, shame on me. Plug in overnight, always. It's EASY.

Here's the equivalent - you get gas when you need to. You plug in every night when you get to your destination. There are more outlets in America than gas pumps - probably at least 1 million times more. Every outlet in America is a refilling station. Come on!

Why didn't you point out the basics that you failed on? If you ran out of gas would you blame Ford for not telling you the car's MPG, or Exxon for not having a station when you needed it?

Driving an electric car is NOT less convenient, it just asks you to think differently. Takes effort, just like a gas car requires effort. If you start simple-mindedly with the gas paradigm as the baseline, you have made a basic mistake. Would get on a bike and write a negative article because you couldn't make it go 65 MPH? Please make the effort next time and acknowledge when you don't.

Tâm | 9 februari 2013

For those who believe there's no future for long-range trips for EV, I bought Tesla Models S exactly because I can go on long road trips frequently.

I never drove far with my Prius. Only around 900 miles /month.
Now, thanks to Tesla, with 7 weeks of ownership, I have driven 4,650 miles.

I live in Orange County, down south in CA. I never did such 400 mile road trips before: I drove and enjoyed searching for dinosaur fossils in Barstow down south, and drove to enjoy Vietnamese ethnic food in San Jose up north.

Now, I have more freedom to drive. I have no range anxiety.

I don't understand the repeated praises in the virtue of Max Range at the detriment of premature battery degradation.

If I can enjoy strategic placements of superchargers along my own road trips, the same should happen to the rest of the US.

Superliner | 9 februari 2013

One overlooked point in the article. The reporter/writer passed up a charging opportunity in Manhattan with 79 projected remaining on his northbound leg "assuming based on what he saw on his projected range" that he could make it, Well he did but with 0 miles remining.

If he had topped off in Manhattan all else remaining equal he would have probably had enough remaining range to make his southbound trip.
I also find it hard to believe that no type of outlet at all was available during his overnight stay in Groton Conn. even a 110V outlet would have kept the battery conditioned and perhaps added a few 10's of miles to his range and likely prevented the overnight loss due to the battery being cold.

As the saying goes ( Fail To Plan then Plan To Fail ) Poor planning in an ICE could just as easily leave you along the road out of gas as well (I've seen it happen many times).

It still seems to me that he began his trip with the intent to see how far he could push the envelope and then blamed Tesla when he failed instead of blaming his poor planning.

Superliner | 9 februari 2013

@ Alex K & rickemishler

I'm in South East AZ Near the New Mexico border Strait East of Safford. I either need to be able to reach Tucson or Las Cruses.

Tucson is full of public charging but all of it is Level II unless I can make friends with a local S owner there who happens to have a HPWC and would accept payment for a top off. Or I can find a level II location near a major shopping venue and remain there most of the day adding enough range to get back home. There might be some opportunities in Benson to get an opportunity charge perhaps Wilcox as well. I'm still investigating. I am willing to make the sacrifice and know that it will likely be a "heavy lift" trying to early adopt where I'm located.

Among the benefits I will not gain will be smog cert. savings (we don't have to smog veh's out here) and cheap off peak electricity rates. Good news is the electricity rates here are nearly constant hovering at $.11 per Kwh for the last three years. we have no peak / off peak here, just a single residential rate @ all times.

Out here would be a GREAT place for a Supercharger as it would allow S drivers to reach to / from Las Cruses or El Paso, Tucson along the I-10 corridor.

The Model S requires a new way of thinking as opposed to an ICE just like the ICE required the same when compared to a Horse drawn wagon. There were no doubt many who dissed the new horseless contraptions when they came along as well and we all know how that worked out. Electric drive WILL win the day because at it's core it is just a better mouse trap! Adaptation by more folks and competition among manufacturers as the demand rises will force the technology and infrastructure to improve.

It's a little too early in the game to dismiss Model S just yet.
I can remember when I was confronted with my first personal computer (yes I early adopted that as well)to the tune of approx. $7,000 yet had no idea what I REALLY needed it for or what I would do with it. We all know how that turned out!!

Kleist | 9 februari 2013

2011 - Automobile Club of Southern California estimates that it is delivering gasoline to about 15,600 members who have run out of gasoline.

EVs better catch up...

Docrob | 9 februari 2013

A New York City supercharger could be an enormously useful marketing tool and provide the buffer charger between the two current superchargers. I think Tesla could even justify having several chargers scattered around the various New York boroughs for marketing reasons alone, just think of the hundreds of millions of people a year who live in or visit New York. The vision of a New York City with cars which produce no tailpipe emissions where what little emissions are produced are shifted away from the population is a compelling one. With local superchargers I could imagine many wealthy businessmen employing Model S's as their Town Cars. Tesla could solve the NYT publicity issue and massively boost their standing in the world's most populous city in one swift action.

steven.addis | 9 februari 2013

Amazing how defensive some Model S owners get. The dashboard told the reporter he had x number of miles. He got less than x. And the supercharging stations are too far apart. Pretty simple.

I love my Model S but Tesla is definitely responsible for the outcome of his test drive. The company is FAR from ready to be a world class luxury car company. The communication from one dept to another is non-existent. We're ALL (Tesla included) learning as we go.

Superliner | 9 februari 2013

@ Docrob

There should be plenty of public charging stations in NYC. Including YOUR HOUSE! if you live there you'll be fully charged @ your home before you hit the streets. The SC locations "as has been discussed at length" are placed "AWAY" from urban centers to allow MS owners to "bridge the gaps" in between, thus making longer distance inter city travel possible. We'd all like to see them everywhere but It seems Teslas approach is a valid one.

I don't need a SC in my City or Town, I need it 150-200 Miles "from" my City / Town positioned at a mid point to the next City!

Docrob | 9 februari 2013

That's why Tesla put one in inner Los Angeles Superliner? I realise most Superchargers should and will be placed between destinations, however New york City happens to lie almost midway between two superchargers that have now shown to be too far apart particularly for NE winter conditions. In addition a NYC Supercharger would be a formidable marketing tool to hundreds of millions of people. Tesla has already shown they are not averse to having some Superchargers within cities and I am suggesting that for several reasons I think NYC should be the site of another such city based Supercharger. It is quite clear that the current NE chargers are too widely spaced, considering how close NYC is to their midway point not putting one in NYC where it is such a powerful marketing opportunity just seems too good an opportunity to miss.

Superliner | 9 februari 2013

@ steven.addis

Perhaps "to a point" But I don't subscribe to the When I fail it must be someone else's fault mentality, which seems to be the American way these days. The "your results may vary" covers that. Could it be better? Perhaps. Has Tesla failed to give accurate information as to the cars capability? Range numbers are estimates not gospel. You can't fix stupid (brake lights only work if you are looking for or at them them)

I believe also that Model S is being crammed into the "Luxury Class" just because of it's price point. and being compared to cars that really don't compete with it or it with them when taken as a package. There is no shortage of $75-95k> cars but I would not consider them "all" to be luxury cars, some sporting offerings can be rather spartan in fact with almost no creature comforts.

Lastly The "Luxury" tag as far as I'm aware has never been placed on Model S by Elon. Being the best? when taken as a package the MS is a pretty amazing offering in terms of what you get. I just don't see a comparable sedan offering out there.. at any price point that delivers "as a package" all the benefits you gain in a Model S.

Will a Model S work for you? or that reporter? Perhaps, perhaps not apply some due diligence examine your needs and see if the Model S shoe fits. I just plain don't care for those who like this reporter seem to think that because the car did not make it it MUST be Teslas fault. Not his for skipping a charge opportunity in NYC or not plugging in @ his overnight destination in Conn. That's not Teslas fault they recommend plugging in @ every opportunity do they not?

Just My .02

Tâm | 9 februari 2013

I agree with Docrob.

It is fine that you depend on 110V outlets, J1772 industry standard, and it is fine that you are content with slow charging, but remember: Tesla is revolutionary!

That is why Tesla breaks away from industry standard and speeds up charging time.

Now is the time to evangelize that technology and not to ration numbers of superchargers.

There is no engineering or public relations disaster to have superchargers in cities.

Superliner | 9 februari 2013

There already is one (or one planned) in NYC is there not? Rome was not built in a day! And at home .. Overnight charging can be @ up to 62 mph. with the HPWC. And at present while I'm sure it might happen I can't imagine that you would feel it is of more importance to place Super chargers in NY city limits rather than along major inter city linking corridors coast to coast.

The "range anxiety" seat pucker will be FAR more in the forefront of your mind when cruising an isolated stretch of interstate then when cruising in NYC. and I'll promise you finding a SC there will be like an oasis in the desert! and it will make "your S" more useful along with everyone else who does not live in NYC or LA.

As was posted elsewhere on here "somewhere" Can you remember when the first diesel powered M-Benz began to hit our shores? In those days diesel availability was not what it is today, every station did not have it and one had to plan accordingly if road tripping in a diesel auto. "a bit off topic" but eventually it did happen as will the Supercharger network so long as Tesla / Solar City remains viable.

Docrob | 9 februari 2013

I think the most important superchargers at this point are the ones that can open up the Model S's visibility and viability to the largest number of people and I cant think of anywhere that would be achieved more rapidly then New York City, with the largest population (almost three times as many as LA) the most annual tourists (almost twice as many as LA) and by far the largest population who live in dense housing without off street parking where they can charge at home.

The reality is that with the current NE superchargers too far apart one will need to be placed in between, you can either put it just outside NYC somewhere or within the city, both solve the interstate range issue but putting it in NYC opens it up to almost 10 million NYC residents most of which cant charge at home even if they wanted to and about 70 million annual tourists. It seems like a no brainer to me.

GoTeslaChicago | 9 februari 2013

"and about 70 million annual tourists. It seems like a no brainer to me."

And how many of the 70 million tourists drive electric vehicles to New York City?

Docrob | 9 februari 2013

How many more might if they could use a supercharger to top it up every few days? and how many might see it and say "hey whats that?" and read the infographic placed in front of it about Tesla and the Model S and charging for free from the Sun and then go home and google Tesla to find out more? How many people drive electric cars on a regular bases today or drove them back in 2007 when the Model S was first being developed? since when is that how Tesla measures their future? Marketing is not about current reality its about projecting a new reality and making it real.

Sudre_ | 9 februari 2013

Hey, I'd rent one if it was offered. A fully charged S would handle most of my needs on vacation. A supercharger nearby would sweeten the deal.

Superliner | 9 februari 2013

@ Docrob

California is actually our most populous state as well as the largest car market "by state" in the United States. And I'd guess..?? also the state with the most Model S cars in the wild.

Elon said that Model S deliveries would influence where infrastructure such as stores, service centers, etc. would need to be, building the system out on a demand based logic placing services where the customers are, not where the prospective customers are.. That comes later "I hope".

They're coming !!

danielccc | 9 februari 2013

In cold regions, winter has not been kind to Tesla and I think it's best to admit this and look at what it means and what Tesla should do about it.

First, to Pungoteague Dave I would say that while Tesla is not a model T Ford, he is an early adopter for a totally new car and drivetrain and should understand that.

I assume he means Washington DC when he talks about "the city". According to Google maps he is 192 miles away and should be able to make it comfortably in milder weather. He sure does not need a supercharger along the way.

But not in cold weather. Is this a problem? Obviously. Can it be solved? I'm sure it can. More important, it must be solved. This is a problem early adopters should take in stride, but as Tesla sells more cars we run out of early adopters.

This is a teething issue and it will be solved. Perhaps a simple insulation panel below the battery would help? This cover could be snapped on every winter in cold climates, along with the winter tires. Perhaps just a 1/4" of polyurethane and aluminum foil would measurably reduce heat loss compared to the metal bottom of the battery pack. Other modifications might be possible, either in software or hardware, or both.

The New York Times article will be used as fodder, for sure, but it is also a service. Tesla will need to address the problem. I am sure it will.

Docrob | 10 februari 2013

Superliner, it is quite clear the NE corridor is a very high priority for Tesla as evidenced by it being the recipient of the first two superchargers outside of California. There is now evidence that their first two superchargers are spaced too widely even for 85kwh vehicles in cold weather, if they wish to claim a functioning supercharging network in the NE (particularly for 60kwh vehicles with supercharging capability) then there is really no option but to install another supercharger between the current two, the only question is whether to build it in NYC or just outside of it. My point is not whether NE superchargers are a priority, that's a moot point as Tesla has already reveled they are. It is about what I think is the best strategy to complete the Boston to Washington charging corridor which has now been shown to be insufficient. Also as an aside I never claimed New York state was larger then California I said New York City was almost three times larger then LA, which it is.

Brian H | 10 februari 2013

NYC the world's most populous city? Not by a long shot. Check Mexico City's numbers, e.g. About #8 per wiki: .

Your "in-city marketing" attitude towards Superchargers is nonsense. Wrong tool for the wrong job. I think it will be a Frosty Friday before any are installed in-city.

Broder's article reminds me of the saying, "Stupidity is the only capital crime in Nature." Or, more likely, he was inspired by Top Gear's little scripted "Let's push a Roadster" ploy.

Fun video. Does Boudain do bulimia? He should weigh 300+ the way he eats! He sure makes Seattle sound delicious.

Brian H | 10 februari 2013

As for 60kWh cars with Supercharging capability, anyone who bought a 60 with the thought it would make a good long-distance car was self-deluded. Moreover, they charge more slowly and have to be stuffed fuller to have a chance of making it to the next city or SC. Again, wrong tool for the job.

Docrob | 10 februari 2013

Brian, I never claimed it was the largest city in the world I was referring to it being the largest city in the US. considering the most frequently cited impediment to electric cars is speed of charging id say superchargers are exactly the right marketing tool to increase acceptance and putting one within reach of the US's largest population centre even more so. I don't even know where to start with "I think it will be a Frosty Friday before any are installed in-city", you do realise there is already one in Los Angeles, America's (not the world's) 2nd largest city, dont you?

vinspin | 10 februari 2013

Hi all. So I am an NY guy (live just north of NYC) and frequent the I-95 corridor quite a bit to DC as I have family there.. I am getting my MS in T+2 days. I say "+" b/c I was supposed to get it this past Friday but mother nature got in the way. Maybe today is the day if not Tues! Black on black 85kwh non-perf. P7395. VIN 4107

I have gotten this article sent to me about 100x already by friends knowing I am about to get this car. They all ask "are u nervous"? I say "no"...without a shadow of a doubt.

As many of you point out, there's a learning curve and we need to change how we travel. And we AND TM will figure things out. But these SC's are too far apart IF the intent is to avoid "filling up" at random recargo/chargepoint spots in between.

The shortest distance between DE rest stop and Milford, CT is 199 miles. That's crossing the ALWAYS traffic-laden George Washington Bridge (1+hour traffic at 5mph) and the infamous Cross Bronx EXPY into CT that is a cattle chute through NYC...think THE main thoroughfare for 18wheelers going to New England. I have avoided the latter highway for 20+ years!

The longest by distance but almost ALWAYS shorter by time is up over the Tappan Zee Bridge via the Garden State Pkwy into CT. That makes the distance a whopping 214 miles between SC's. That means you need MAX charge in DE and a bit of luck. In 30 degree weather, based on everything I have read here, it's not possible.

When you drive North and South on the eastern need to be able to change course last minute or you are doomed in hours of traffic. Early on, this will require EXTENSIVE planning but this is not something TM can expect the mainstream to do.

So this message is for TM...use us early adopters on the east coast....we can tell you what highways need one to make this SC network work for 60 and 85kwh. So here's my reco:

1) Add a SC to reststop between Exit 11-12 on I-95. This will give you a top off to get through NYC traffic on a weekend
Cut and paste this into Google search bar: 40.5574,-74.263372

2) Add one somewhere on the Garden State parkway....maybe at rest stop on both sides N/S-bound at exit people have the option to go "Around" NYC

Here's to hoping my MS comes today and thanks for hearing me out!

MarkV | 10 februari 2013

Superliner, Alex K, Rickemisler,
Even though slightly off topic.
I am in rural Arizona (San Manuel) and comute into Tucson most days (100 miles round trip) with a 1500 ft climb in the middle and below freezing temps in the morning. After 5000 miles averaging 303 kWh/mile I could not be more pleased. According to the Supercharger map there will be at least three in Arizona. If I interpret the map correctly, one on I-40 near Flagstaff, one near Phoenix, and one just east of Tucson. Of course time will tell where they actually get installed. There is existing now a fast charger (240 v 80 amps) at Picacho Peak and I believe the one in Flagstaff is operational. GoE3 is installing fast chargers at all 27 of the Bolin Travel Centers in Arizona. Investigate which is really good at estimating range. According to jurassictest, I can make it from Tucson to Los Cruces so getting there from Safford/Duncan should also be doable. I do travel to Safford often and will start taking the Model S as soon as I find a suitable charging location. Showlow and Pinetop are reachable from San Manuel but maybe not from Tucson. If any of you need a charge (240 v 40 amp solar) in an out of the way place look me up in San Manuel the town is small enough that most everyone knows where the Model S lives.

BenjaminS | 10 februari 2013

Intentional grounding.

Having driven this great machine for 4 1/2 months through all kinds of weather, and loved it all the way, I’m not surprised that the NY Times (’shale gas is a Ponzi scheme’) would print something like this.

What idiot would go freeze trying to drive a Tesla to failure? His problems were just too easy to avoid - could have kept comfy with the heat on and topped it off in NJ or NYC, or plugged in while sleeping overnight in Connecticut. Really, why didn’t he go find an ordinary 110 outlet somewhere near where he slept, especially when he knew there was a chance he’d finally run out? Either very dumb, or ... but wait, it was on purpose, of course.

Brian H | 10 februari 2013

That map is just a hypothetical programmer's draft, showing what 150-mi. spaced SCs would look like. Not necessarily anything to do with how it will turn out. GB made this clear fairly early on.

Sorry for misinterpreting "in the world's most populous city" (p. 2 of this thread).
Oh, wait ...

Brian H | 10 februari 2013

BTW, calling the SpaceX SC an LA location is deceptive. It is there because Elon owns/runs both companies, not because it's in a city. It's a demo site.

kafahsholtz | 10 februari 2013


I haven't read all the posts on this stream, but my wife read the article to me while returning from a movie last night (I had left the Forum up on the display while waiting for my daughter's ski bus).

Let's just set the article aside for a moment. They guy doesn't quite understand some fundamental concepts behind the Model S.

I've taken our Model S on one business trip so far, round trip about 160 miles, from Kirkland to Olympia WA. I charged it up to about 270 miles (has anyone been able to get it up to the fabled 300?). During the trip I ran the heater (it was in the 40s - 50's outside), picked up a colleage for the last 30 miles (big guy, 60 roundtrip), used cruise control most of the way, probably averaged 65 MPH. Tried to drive conservately for the outbound trip, no real 'punching it' for fun. Stopped off at Ikea, picked up a shelf... When I got back to Kirkland, I had 85 miles of range left.

So, at least what we consider 'average' temps in the PNW, I feel very comfortable doing a 200 round trip. Anything more than that, I usually just rent a car, as its cheaper for my company...

This all being said, our Model S has basically become the 'family' car, with our two remaining SUVs seeing little use. We've put over 2,000 miles on the Model S over the past 6 weeks, while filling up just one of the SUVs. So our gas use has gone from over $600 a month, to less than $100. And neither of the SUVs had full tanks when the Tesla showed up.

That, in our humble opinions, is what the Tesla Model S is all about. Not to mention a blast to drive, cool looking... etc. I had to turn away Boy Scouts the other night who were clamoring for a ride home...



Superliner | 10 februari 2013

@ MarkV cc; AlexK. @ Rickemisler

I may be able to help by giving you a local set of eyes in the greater Safford area. Additionally I may be able to provide a charging solution at my home in the coming months? (currently pulling permits for 100A service in my garage for two 14-50 outlets "one of which will be located outside accessible when parked in my driveway" on a single breaker) In this way I would have capacity for a HPWC in the future?

If interested or just want to chat find me here -> I'd be happy to assist if I can. (note I don't have a M/S as of yet, still in the planning and research stages).

roccosima | 10 februari 2013

It seems that the Tesla apologists in this thread are missing the point regarding this article. Yes this is a new technology that requires some atypical thinking. So why did they completely drop the ball when it came to taking care of this reporter? They should have had a top tier tech available on speed dial 24/7. If they had done a little hand holding this bad press probably never would have happened.

The question is how many early adopters are there? Is it enough to sustain TM until they get their act together? I'm probably a borderline early adopter/second phase customer. They've already lost me with the iffy customer relations and the significant degradation of range in (real world) cold temps contrary to their claims. I'm canceling my res. I'll keep my eye on things in the interim but I hope they're ready for prime time by this time next year.

Vic M | 10 februari 2013

From a practical and engineering perspective, it is pretty clear that electric cars are not up to the challenge of cold weather operations away from charging. I love my Model S (in Silicon Valley), but with my wife's love of cabin heat, we will still have an ICE for a snow car. ICE's produce copious waste heat that is great for keeping her warm, and batteries simply aren't there yet. The massive battery of my car still only has the energy of 2.5 gallons of fuel, it is just hard to keep warm and go anywhere with that amount of energy.

I have no doubt that EV's will improve greatly in this regard, but with self-discharge as well as heating needs, I think the article accurately reflects that EV's are not ready for long distance trips where you cannot charge overnight. Luckily, those trips are a great minority of driving.

Docrob | 10 februari 2013

Calling a supercharger in Hawthorne Los Angeles a Los Angeles based supercharger is deceptive? Well that's an interesting concept. Yes it is a demo site, and that's exactly what I'm suggesting a NYC based supercharger could be, a demo site to allay the range fears that hold so many back from going EV, they have one in the west coast's most populous city so why not a sister site in the East coasts and the US's most populous city. I see that I did type the World on page 2, I typed that shortly after coming off night shift and it was purely a typo intended to read US's, regardless it is semantics the point is I thing a site in NYC plays a similar role to the LA supercharger but in a city almost three times larger whilst also serving to bridge the unacceptably large distance between the existing NE superchargers.

sergiyz | 10 februari 2013

About blaming the driver.
There seems to be a fair number of recommendations to read the manual and check the numbers.
Where in the manual does it say that starting off with a 90 mile range you'll end up with 20 by staying overnight in cold weather ?
Parked in a warm garage you'll be down by 8 miles or so (4 with the 4.1 power saving feature that was buggy and had to be disabled).
Even if you knew that you wouldn't expect the charge to drop this much.
He was on the phone with tesla multiple times, why didn't they mention it to him ?
Or they themselves didn't know, that makes it even worse for tesla...
Now about recommendation to charge from a 110v outlet.
Have you thought about logistics behind it ?
Have you tried charging your car from that or even using an extension cord (that tesla clearly tells you not to use in the manual) ?
The driver is not to blame here.
Tesla needs to clearly set expectations.
Disclaimer, I am a signature perf owner and a stock holder (long).

Zelaza | 10 februari 2013

Here's a little hybrid thought that is sure to scandalize the EV purists.
Although burning gasoline in an ICE only gets you 6 to 7 kWh of mechanical energy, that gasoline contains about 30kWh of energy, much/some of which may be extractable as heat (sorry I don't know the thermodynamics numbers of this process.) Why not put a small, and appropriately well designed gas, or kerosine, or other fuel, heater somewhere in the car just for this purpose in the winter? Two or three gallons of "fuel" would weigh in at under 20 pounds and heat you better and longer than all the energy in a 85kWh battery.
I realize that this sounds like a kluge and dangerous, but, this side of nuclear, it's hard to beat gas, or equivalent fuel, for energy density.
This would extend cold weather battery driving range and warm a cold battery in the morning (without wasting driving range.)
Come on Tesla people, think out of the box (or battery.)
Heck, maybe I'll design such a heater and make an infomercial to run on that 17" screen.

Zelaza | 10 februari 2013

To follow up on my previous comment on a "heater."
I neglected to mention the volumetric unit: gallon. So, gas will get you about 6 or 7 kWh of mechanical energy per gallon of gas, and about 30 kWh of heat energy per gallon of gas. Sorry, my bad.

noel.smyth | 10 februari 2013

no gas please, not necessary. The car will improve over time. no worries, this was bound to happen at some point. The car and infrastructure will need to improve as the first adopters and Tesla learn from this. The car and infrastructure will evolve and the paradigm will slowly shift towards plugging in. Right now the car is not for everyone, someday maybe.

Brian H | 10 februari 2013

It's the dang Tesla offices! Not relevant to other cities. Your argument is disingenuous. Real SC installations are for intercity use. Deal.

portia | 10 februari 2013

as we get more real world experience, I think Tesla will be wise to have correct and public info on the range one actually can expect. At the Harris Ranch supercharger, Tesla has put up a note, saying more superchargers are targeted by end of March (not May, as I saw somewhere else on this forum), and in advising charging etiquette, the note says to get to the SC in Tejon Ranch, 110 miles away, at 70 mph, we could charge to a rated 135 miles, and arrive with 10 miles left. This is bad advice, IMO. and if you followed it you might run out of charge. The first time I did that trip, I charged to 176 rated miles, and arrived with only 16 miles, and I had to drive slower an 70mph as the miles went down. So, don't believe what you read, drive and think conservatively in terms of miles, Not all EV drivers are smart, and not even all Tesla owners are, hmm.

danielccc | 10 februari 2013

@Brian H, I don't think anybody who buys a 60 kWh thinking it's apt for long distance travel is deluded.

It's not the best option for long distance travel, but for people who do little long distance travel it should work with the superchargers.

Tesla will sell you a 60 kWh with supercharger, and charge you for it, so for that to make any sense the superchargers have to be within the radius of the 60 kWh car. Otherwise, the supercharger option would be deceptive.

The tradeoff with a 60 should be that your long distance trip will be slower because you need more stops. It should not be that you can't do it at all.

Cattledog | 10 februari 2013

sergiyz - I have now traded two emails/responses with John Broder. he doesn't seem like a bad guy, but he's not manning up. I have no doubt Tesla fumbled the ball several times while on offense, however John did too. When he could have been proactive he was not. His biggest mistake was assuming an ICE mindset as the paradigm for driving the car. Shame on HIM as an automotive reporter! Seriously!

If you were flying a new type of airplane, wouldn't you look into things a bit?

If you were cooking on a new type of stove...

If you were using a new type of chainsaw...

Tesla muffed, So did he. Isn't his job as a reporter to inform? If so, he left it half done.

Docrob | 10 februari 2013

Brian, it is my opinion that the Hawthorne supercharger (which is at the SpaceX office not the Tesla one) is largely a marketing too to expose the population of LA to what's possible with a Tesla, it is also my opinion that a NYC supercharger would serve a similar role but for almost three times the population and twice the tourists. It is quite clear you have a different opinion to me, that doesn't make my opinion invalid or "disingenuous" just different. Deal.

sergiyz | 10 februari 2013

The point I'm trying to make is that there was no official place for him to get the right information about real mileage based on various driving conditions including driving (and parking) in cold weather.
You can only be proactive if you understand what to expect.
I think he had a reasonable expectation of being able to drive 46 miles with the rated 90 miles that his car was showing.
Being off by 10% is a lot, but probably tolerable.
Being off by over 50% is inexcusable.
I find the current rated mileage numbers misleading.
Whenever people ask me about the car range, I always tell them it can do up to 200 miles on a standard charge in warm CA weather with the 85kwh battery pack.
This is the number I'm comfortable sharing since it's based on my own experience on close to 4,000 miles of driving.
I never mention EPA range or the 300 mi range originally advertised by Tesla.
One way or another Tesla has to correct it.

generubin | 10 februari 2013

Sort of off topic, but really on topic if we are making comparisons of EV to ICE. A young lady I know with not a lot of money was given a Ford Explorer by her father 10 years ago. Driving to work and back to her $11 per hour job she has now racked up 205,000 miles. Her mpg is atrocious at 15. Gas here is about $4, plus or minus, over the last 10 years. She has spent near $60,000 on gas alone! She could have bought a Tesla, or 3 Leafs.

What about gas when it hits $6 a gallon in the likely future?

rlpm | 10 februari 2013

@Docrob : The Hawthorne supercharger is at Tesla's Design Center. Google Map

Peter7 | 10 februari 2013


While that is partially true, Tesla has been making strides in having some of these details here

While it's far from done, it is missing the ranges that many of us would like to see on both temperature and speed, it is a start. I would also say that it needs more options on weather, winds, type of pavement, etc. I had hoped to pull together lots of data from my own trip in the S, but I simply found that the combination of effects of these get too complicated to be able to give someone a solid model to predict an exact range.

I truly believe that Mr. Broder would have been able to drive directly to the Superchargers that cold morning, (Though if asked, I would never had recommended it to him). Instead he ended up combining two iffy idea's and one terrible one, that when combined led to a tow truck. (The rest of my thoughts on what went wrong are here )

I two have traded emails with Mr. Broder, and I don't get the impression that he feels that he should be expected to do more than follow simple directions from a Tesla employee. I also think he feels that it is not possible to take the drive between superchargers comfortably today after his experience. Perhaps he will take me up on my offer to try the trip again with me and I can show him he is wrong.


DouglasR | 10 februari 2013

Another great article on road trips and charging strategies can be found at

Chad Schwitters recommends that we plan charging stops no more than 177 miles apart, figure that rated range will drop by 150% of the actual distance traveled, and at each charging stop, add enough rated miles so that we leave the stop with 150% of the distance to the next
stop plus 25 miles.

His advice is conservative, but it is much better than the advice we are getting from TM.

Brian H | 10 februari 2013

yeah, there's an implicit non sequitur there, which makes me doubt his bona fides. ;)

a demo unit at a corporate office != urban promo site.

Not sure why you feel the huge hassle and complication of servicing intra-city traffic with an inter-city station is necessary. It certainly is not TM's responsibility to release and untangle NYC's gridlock and long commutes. After the inter-city system is built out their may be enough spare Solar City capacity to support a promo gesture like that, but it is not likely to make any business sense from their POV. This is a symbiotic system between TM and SC which must make sense for both to work.

orthophonist | 11 februari 2013

Virtually all of these posts will be of little importance when battery technology evolves to the point where 1000 miles on a single charge becomes the norm. We are not far from that.

Also, it is not strange that a smart man would make a stupid mistake and then write an article that is published in arguably the most important newspaper in the land one day before the 4th quarter results are to be announced?

I smell a short-seller funded hatchet job.

Notice the picture of the Tesla loaded on the flat-bed truck. Isn't it obvious what is at work here?

asblik | 11 februari 2013

Guys, can we just admit that TSLA didn't plan the super charger installations properly on North East Corridor??

Really, why would put these super charger at limit of possibilities especially considering winter temperatures and conditions. It's a mistake and they'll fix it.


jk2014 | 11 februari 2013

Bottom line: plug in your damn car before you go to bed! We all know what happens when we don't plug in our cell phones, no different here. Got to handle your electric car different then your gas car. This is commen sense stuff and the nyt writer knows it.

He got great publicity (future employment ops and higher rates) from the write up and is loving it as does anyone who writes an article that gets people excited... Well done

Mark K | 11 februari 2013

Orthophonist - timing often does reveal intent. Given how much is on the line for short sellers, your observation is plausible and likely. To drag down something so stellar, FUD is a textbook attack.

That said, TM can't prevent dishonest acts. What they can do is strengthen their defenses. As others already pointed out, their marketing language should be revised to better manage expectations, and they should have more actively managed the reporter's borrowing of their vehicle.

The reporter would have written about the hassles of charging an EV on a road trip, but that would accurately report the facts. That would have a been fair critique, and informed readers of the realistic limitations. But the images of being literally stuck out in the cold would not have occurred.

The flatbed photo was the prize the shorts needed, and given the multiple simple choices the reporter waived off, it appears he was looking for some drama.

Notwithstanding the inequity of this, TM must clearly refine their marketing media to better set expectations, and be more on top of such high profile reviewers.

There are always cynical forces more interested in money than good, and no industry will endure disruption without resistance.

The sober view is to accept this reality, and win through honest good work.

TM has done a lot of that, and must keep doing it.