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Tesla on the New York Times review

2013-02-14 16:38:33.65284+00 by Dan Lyke 9 comments

Tesla Motors: A Most Peculiar Test Drive:

After a negative experience several years ago with Top Gear, a popular automotive show, where they pretended that our car ran out of energy and had to be pushed back to the garage, we always carefully data log media drives. While the vast majority of journalists are honest, some believe the facts shouldn’t get in the way of a salacious story. In the case of Top Gear, they had literally written the script before they even received the car (we happened to find a copy of the script on a table while the car was being “tested”). Our car never even had a chance.

Worth a read, goes more into the practice of journalists reinforcing myths rather than reporting facts.

[ related topics: Weblogs Law Journalism and Media Automobiles Furniture ]

comments in descending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2013-02-15 18:06:22.103125+00 by: Larry Burton

He's also managed to make me aware of the article (and no telling how many more) who wouldn't have even known who Broder was were it not for his protestations.

#Comment Re: made: 2013-02-15 17:39:30.715747+00 by: Mars Saxman

Elon Musk has fucked up. No matter how this all plays out, whether his original claims are all proven correct or not, he's made himself look sensitive and hotheaded.

#Comment Re: made: 2013-02-15 16:23:46.347822+00 by: Dan Lyke

The Atlantic: Elon Musk's Data Doesn't Back Up His Claims of New York Times Fakery.

#Comment Re: made: 2013-02-15 16:15:51.553963+00 by: Dan Lyke

Jalopnik tracks down the towing company, which backs up Broder's description of the car as being out of battery where Tesla was claiming it wasn't.

Via Time.com: It’s Not About the Range: How the Tesla/New York Times Controversy Misses the Point About Electric Cars.

#Comment Re: made: 2013-02-15 15:47:04.127925+00 by: Dan Lyke

Drrr... I'm not so sure now. Because if the Tesla had the smaller tires it should be traveling slower by GPS tracks than by wheel counting ticks. At any rate, someone should get a tape measure out, measure the wheel size, and take a GPS nav system and compare the speedometer to what the nav systems says for speed.

But at this point it's up to Tesla to do this, because they have the car, and they have no reason to clear Broder.

#Comment Re: made: 2013-02-15 01:01:46.154107+00 by: Dan Lyke

I will note that 54*21/19 is 59.68. If the Tesla was misconfigured with the smaller wheels, that'd explain a lot...

#Comment Re: made: 2013-02-15 00:04:37.416497+00 by: Dan Lyke

The plot thickens: That Tesla Data: What It Says and What It Doesn't:

I drove normally (at the speed limit or with prevailing traffic) when I thought it was prudent to do so. I do recall setting the cruise control to about 54 m.p.h., as I wrote. The log shows the car traveling about 60 m.p.h. for a nearly 100-mile stretch on the New Jersey Turnpike. I cannot account for the discrepancy, nor for a later stretch in Connecticut where I recall driving about 45 m.p.h., but it may be the result of the car being delivered with 19-inch wheels and all-season tires, not the specified 21-inch wheels and summer tires. That just might have affected the recorded speed, range, rate of battery depletion or any number of other parameters. Tesla’s data suggests I was doing slightly more than 50 over a stretch where the speed limit was 65. The traffic was heavy in that part of Connecticut, so cruise control was not usable, and I tried to keep the speed at 50 or below without impeding traffic.

Seems like it'd behoove journalists to start carrying their own GPS trackers and recording conversations with electric car companies.

#Comment Re: made: 2013-02-14 18:06:55.583528+00 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

But The New York Times gets more revenue from subscribers than advertisers, you'd think they'd have learned...

Not that I'd want to bring up Judith Miller and say "told you so" or anything...

[Edit: See also Walter Duranty, Jayson Blair, ....]

#Comment Re: made: 2013-02-14 17:07:29.348066+00 by: meuon

When your paying customers are the other manufacturers and dealers.. Remember that a newspapers customers are the advertisers.