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Tesla Logcat

I've never witnessed such a thorough beatdown.

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In his own words in an article published last year, this is how Broder felt about electric cars before even seeing the Model S:

"Yet the state of the electric car is dismal, the victim of hyped expectations, technological flops, high costs and a hostile political climate.”

When the facts didn’t suit his opinion, he simply changed the facts. 


Here is a summary of the key facts:

As the State of Charge log shows, the Model S battery never ran out of energy at any time, including when Broder called the flatbed truck.
The final leg of his trip was 61 miles and yet he disconnected the charge cable when the range display stated 32 miles. He did so expressly against the advice of Tesla personnel and in obvious violation of common sense.

In his article, Broder claims that “the car fell short of its projected range on the final leg.” Then he bizarrely states that the screen showed “Est. remaining range: 32 miles” and the car traveled “51 miles," contradicting his own statement (see images below). The car actually did an admirable job exceeding its projected range. Had he not insisted on doing a nonstop 61-mile trip while staring at a screen that estimated half that range, all would have been well. He constructed a no-win scenario for any vehicle, electric or gasoline.

On that leg, he drove right past a public charge station while the car repeatedly warned him that it was very low on range.

For his first recharge, he charged the car to 90%. During the second Supercharge, despite almost running out of energy on the prior leg, he deliberately stopped charging at 72%. On the third leg, where he claimed the car ran out of energy, he stopped charging at 28%. Despite narrowly making each leg, he charged less and less each time. Why would anyone do that?

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." 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.
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79 comments
 
Considering recent news about all the secret funds set up by major fossil fuel companies to fuel all the anti-global warming nonsense going around at the moment, makes you wonder if journalists can now set aside their ethics for a few extra dollars off the books.
 
This man sacrificed his journalistic integrity for a few dollars from the oil industry. How pathetic. This logs have shown he is a liar. Noone will believe a thing he says again. 
 
+Paul Morris I shouldn't have to act and think differently around horseless carriages. Why doesn't my car poop?
 
Yeah I think that was the last episode of Top Gear I watched.   It's like wrestling, once I found out it was all faked/scripted, just not worth watching.
 
Does anyone believe these journalists anyway? Top Gear, for example, is more of an entertainment comedy show (at least for me). Anyone who actually believes a thing any of them say (especially with the old man's prejudice against anything remotely good for the environment), deserves the consequences.
Greg S.
 
+Paul Morris Indeed, that stuff coming out of the NYT guy was actively toxic!
tobby o
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All auto journalists should adopt the Broder Test (allegedly pioneered by Top Gear). Just drive in circles until the gas/electric power runs out... this models normal use; hunting for an empty parking space close to the mall entrance.
 
Just read it all. THAT WAS PURE TECHY AWESOMENESS!  I can barely wait for the NYT response.
 
Chances are, the damage is done for Tesla. Ask Audi how it feels.
 
+Jean-Baptiste Quéru
I'm not sure, this is pretty huge, and all the news sites will surely take this chance to bring the NYT down a peg or two won't they?  I think Telsa will end up with really good press (or at least fight off the perception that the car isn't usable), and the NYT gets the egg on their face.  Ok, there's the issue of enough chargers, was the data tampered with, will consumers trust the cars keeping track (even though he's said it's just for media, I'm sure people with a grudge will spin it as spycars), but overall, if we go by what appear to be the fact, this was the only thing they could do to prevent the brand being horribly damaged, and get some positive press. People love a scandal, techies LOVE logs proving them right, I think this is going to get a lot of play over the next few days, with the constant message 'It would have worked if he'd have just plugged it in'.  That's a strong message and counters the apparent hit piece.  Over to the NYT, they can make this right, or add to the drama.
 
I can bet that the next step of the NYT spin is "This isn't actually like gasoline: with a gasoline car, I don't need to wait 30 minutes to fill the last 10% of the gas tank".
 
+Paul Morris I wonder if Broder knew how bad the logs would end up making him look. I'd imagine the initial call from Musk was standard 'I'm sorry, what can we do to make it right' and then he saw the logs and probably started spitting blood and feathers.  I really want to see a response from Broder now he knows the logs prove some of the stuff he said was lies (and I suspect that this is the time his lawyers/editor tell him to shut up). 
I expect this sort of thing from Top Gear, it is mindless entertainment after all, but the NYT doing a piece like this, fudging the data to support a preset narrative, shouldn't be acceptable. 
Tesla are very wise to be enabling logging on cars before media take them out for tests.  They shouldn't have to keep the journalists honest, but it appears to have saved their butts this time.
 
I saw a great post somewhere about some of the complaints being made against electric cars "why should I have to adapt my driving habits for new technology?"  the response "why doesn't my car poop out horse dung? Wait, I have to put OIL in the engine? Why can't I just feed it hay?" 
 
Yup. I'm looking forward to a solid public charging infrastructure, as unfortunately I can't charge one at home :(
 
Well, everyone has doubled down. It's just only one side has actual data.
 
As to the inevitable charges of Tesla data tampering.

Wait for the next bout of cold weather. Grab a college journalist and a video camera and drive the same exact route except hitting the "full range" charging option at each stop. 

On the overnight they can plug the car in to the nearest 120v electrical outlet like many people do with engine block warmers. 

There will be no need to freeze in the car or stop at non-Tesla charging stations. It will be a cake walk and some kid will get to trump the New York Times. 
 
Logcat ∴ STFU
Logcat ⇒ STFU
Something other than "or".
 
I read that as 'Tesla Longcat' and ended up very disappointed
 
Oh I see he did publish the blog...nice..
http://jalopnik.com/elon-musk-calls-nyt-reporter-to-apologize-before-blasti-173692897

Talking about Cars and publicly traded companies, I tend to take things with a grain of salt (as if anyone cares what I think, I can barely afford a car that's 30k).  Musk has a lot of cars on order, and is behind schedule.  Last thing you'd want is someone from a newspaper that has a wide distribution to say that your car sucks. I understand you want to sell cars...or at least have more people ordering them. But car is a car and you shouldn't treat it any worse/better than the one you're driving right now.  Although...I can see that the journalist possibly didn't treat the Tesla as his own.. Data is always good to have...
 
You know that "K.O." sound effect which plays, when you defeat someone in Street Fighter?
 
I still think Tesla cars rock. Who has time to watch Top Gear. 
 
cars is so boring but i like it models but this model is awesomeee.........
 
Firstly unless you are a multi millionaire then anything recommended on topgear is out of reach, so nobody in their right mind would take any notice of Clarkson and co. As for the NYT article perhaps you should start your defence by asking why he did this to your vehicle and then which petrochemical organisation is influencing or perhaps paying him!
I'm pretty sure the petro-corps are not going to take electric cars lieing down. They will probably do what the tobbacco industry does, fight dirty.
 
Can anyone link to the data readouts from the car or are we just basing our opinions on one persons story against another? Surely Tesla can post up the detoured google map route the car took, the charge/discharge rates and the speed outputs that they have as 'proof'??

Although as the reporter mentioned, he was testing the charging station not the car? Did he talk down the car in his review or the range provided by the charging stations? (I haven't read the original review)
 
As technology advances this will only get worse. Big oil does not want to see the inevitability of the coming change. 
 
Oh that was an EPIC beat down!
 
+Benjamen Meiers
Well Ben I will give you a hearty "hell yes journalists can be bought". Just like the 'scientists' that are all about man made global warming can be bought and those on IPCC.

The climate has always changed. It has never been static. It has been warmer and colder in the past. 
 
Click the link. Data readouts are at the bottom. 
 
+Paul Atkins
That is not true. Top Gear (Europe) gave a great recommendation to the Fiat Abarth 500 as well as the Vauxhall VX220. Both of which I have had and enjoyed. I am no rich guy by any stretch. 
 
So happy the smack-down came, and so promptly. I am also not a fan of electric cars (I think there are better alternatives), I AM a fan of facts. Honestly I hope Broder loses his job and is barred from writing at any large paper again. Additionally, I hope heads roll at the NY Times.
 
I've wanted a Tesla since I first heard of it, and the Model S is even better. I haven't read the NYT in years or looked at their website. Any bets as to which is still around in 10 years!
 
Why do people read the NY Times any longer?
 
Hahaha!! SO BUSTED! Good for you Tesla, show them petrolheaded dinosaurs what it's all about.
 
There seems to be a distinct subset of the media that wants electric cars to fail. I urge Tesla and all other electric car manufacturers to screen media representatives carefully for anti-electric car bias before permitting a test drive.

That being said - I want one! I'd give up my gas-powered car in a heartbeat.
 
Instead of the press, they should encourage the general public to test drive by installing cameras in the car and then post the video of us driving on their site.  I'd share that with everyone!
 
+Matt Kaufman Awesome idea! I'd LOVE to test drive a Tesla. I'll even throw in a fire dance for them as a thank you. (I dance fire poi).
Chris M
 
I don't like electric cars because they lack the responses of an internal combustion engine, but at least be honest about it. 
 
It seems like as soon as a website, newspaper, blog, etc. becomes a reputable source for good unbiased information, they did up bending over to all the companies wanting to buy a favorable article.
 
+christian moon
Have you driven one like the Tesla? I have. It almost has the punch of a 930 Porsche. Response is not the issue. Practicality is a real issue with battery based electric cars. 
 
+Michael Meisman And that will be the down fall of electric cars. They will never replace fossil fuel powered vehicles because they are asking people to change their lifestyle. 
 
Musk was clearly pissed off about this <g>
 
+christian moon Electric motors give instant torque; it's SO responsive, you step on the accelerator too hard & it'll snap your neck! They had to make it LESS responsive to make a comfortable ride.
 
+Frederick Hahn I think it's just a matter of getting used to it... If you consider Japanese/Korean cars, they are usually much more responsive than European or American GE cars. So there's probably a market for cars which are even more responsive than that.
 
Paul morris is so right Top Gear has not been about cars for years. Its all about the 3wise men.longer worth a watch
 
Misleading consumers and the public should be a criminal offence
 
Off topic:
People are missing the point. No one actually believes top gear isn't scripted - of course it is - most TV programs are. It isn't meant to be taken seriously either. I've never thought of top gear as a car show. I've always thought of it as a comedy/entertainment show and therefore I've always loved it. :)
 
Call me a conspiracy theorist, but do I smell the greasy fingers of an oil company, or large U.S. auto-maker, nudging Broder to write the bad review (using money as incentive of course)?
 
+Hans Carota - I think that's the saddest thing about this story.  The guy probably had no other reason to make the car look bad than to justify his past articles.  Some people just can't help but put being right over doing what is right.
 
The problem is not whether people believe these journalists, but whether they make a big deal about it...

Nevertheless, this journalist disgusts me and I hope he was shocked when he found out Tesla published the log
Go Tesla :)
 
I heard about this two days ago on NPR. I am very happy to see Tesla was able to prove their side of the story.
 
He's said he was driving around looking for the charging point, which is certainly possible.  Just with the rest of the other points (the most important being unplugging it at less range than he knew he needed to make it), seems a bit suspect.
 
+Joey Tripple
Yes I agree they won't replace fossil fuels. But hydrogen powered can and I think will. Either way as fuel for internal combustion or as the potential for electric motors it is better than fossil fuels.
 
+Michael Meisman Hydrogen is nothing but a storage medium for electricity and a poor one at that. Batteries have proven to be cheaper, have greater power efficiencies on grid to wheel output and better energy density when the various equipment associated with hydrogen is accounted for. 

After tens of billions of research dollars were expended hydrogen cars turned out to be a blind alley as the oil companies sponsoring that research intended them to be. 
 
Just wishing Musk was more even toned. Broder reply seems so reasonable. Yet, in the end I believe the data.
 
+John Poteet
Interesting. I don't agree at all but interesting.
Having worked with hydrogen electric power plants I can say that I very much disagree with you. 
 
+Michael Meisman My father was a Chemical Engineer, working on hydrogen cell technology in 1977-78. His department was funded by the Department of Energy, but funding was cut and research ceased. I got the impression that even then, it was a matter of vested interests putting on pressure to supress alternate energy research.
 
I've been told repeatedly that hydrogen lacks the density need to replace oil. Batteries get better every year; Tesla keeps their batteries climate regulated to extend life & range; driving electric is more fun than gas.
 
+Frederick Hahn
Do you know how the electricity on the shuttle and space station is generated? Hydrogen reactive. That is also where they get their water from.

I hold great respect for you father early work in the fuel cell work. But let's get real basic for a moment. That was 33 years ago. Technology has greatly changed and adapted. The people I have been with are funded through DARPA. They are the same guys that built the systems for the space station and shuttle.

The problem with battery technology is the weight and the time it takes to recharge. Right the best predictions are 15% per year increase in power density and 10% decrease in weight for said power density. At these rates to build a fully functioning car that will travel 250 miles without a charge will take about 9 years.

If we were to turn to hydrogen hybrid tech we could meet this in around 2. Then continue to develop the hydrogen reactive technology to go from that.

I am not saying that batteries are bad. But to really be able to travel it is not practical. 
 
+Michael Meisman Thanks for the info. I really don't know much about the current state of the tech. I believe my father was working on H cells as a storage medium for public electrical grids.
 
+Frederick Hahn
The new idea is not public grids. The new thought is a house hold unit. Something the size of a typical 3 ton condenser unit ( the part of your A/C outside ) would power a 2500 sq ft house for about 3 years between recharging. 
 
When people I knew were repeating that (or any) NYT story, I thought it seemed fishy so this is an interesting response. I agree with +Paul Morris about posting the logs though. It's otherwise kinda' hearsay from both sides at this point.
 
+Michael Meisman How much does a fuel cell capable of  the peak power output of the Tesla S cost currently? How much does the hydrogen storage and distribution system cost? The last time I checked on these items the fuel cell alone would cost more than the most expensive Tesla S model. 

That may have changed but I wouldn't know where to find pricing. 
 
+John Poteet
This is not currently public ready. But hydrogen because of its long term advantage and lack of pollutants I believe to be a way better alternative. I am not saying that batteries are bad. But they have a slew of problems that very few are pointing out.

To me, as a development engineer, battery powered cars are a band-aid on the situation. The problem I see is that do much money is being put in a temporary fix that it is making a very, very long term solution harder to get fully rolling.

In the grand scheme batteries, if they are lead acid, gel, lithium, or another they are little if any cleaner than a combustion engine. Do the cradle to grave analysis and you will see I an right.

I just see it as more equatable to work on a solution that will last for hundreds of years instead of one that is only temporary.

You need to realize that I know that in the end electrical cars are going to be the best bet. I just think that batteries are not the long term fix we need.

Not to mention that no matter what happens we will still be drilling for oil. Everything still needs lubrication. 
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