Elon Musk releases log of NYT ‘fake’ road test

As promised, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has released the log of the electric car that New York Times writer John Broder claimed last week had failed to perform.

In his review of the Tesla Model S, Broder said that the car suffers problems in cold weather and on a test drive ran out of juice long before its quoted range was reached. Musk slammed the review as a ‘fake’.

Now, Musk has published the log – which certainly appears to bear out his version of events. According to this, the car never ran out of charge at any point. Broder didn’t stick to low speeds as he claimed, didn’t rurn the heating down to conserve energy, and failed to recharge the car fully after its initial charge.

“The above helps explain a unique peculiarity at the end of the second leg of Broder’s trip. When he first reached our Milford, Connecticut Supercharger, having driven the car hard and after taking an unplanned detour through downtown Manhattan to give his brother a ride, the display said ‘0 miles remaining’,” says Musk in his blog.

“Instead of plugging in the car, he drove in circles for over half a mile in a tiny, 100-space parking lot. When the Model S valiantly refused to die, he eventually plugged it in. On the later legs, it is clear Broder was determined not to be foiled again.”

The accusation of poor performance in the cold is particularly problematic for Tesla, which boasts it highest per capita sales are in Norway and Switzerland. “About half of all Tesla Roadster and Model S customers drive in temperatures well below freezing in winter,” says Musk.

It’s not Tesla’s first battle over a poor review – two years ago, it sued the Top Gear TV program after a Roadster was depicted apparently running out of juice. Tesla lost the case on the grounds that Top Gear hadn’t actually said the car had run out of charge – just that it could.

“In Mr. Broder’s case, he simply did not accurately capture what happened and worked very hard to force our car to stop running,” says Musk. “Our request of The New York Times is simple and fair: please investigate this article and determine the truth.”