Touche: Times Reviewer Refutes Tesla Accusations

Including the weird one about driving in circles in a parking lot

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 15, 2013 1:13 PM CST

(Newser) – A New York Times auto reviewer has issued a point-by-point rebuttal to Tesla's claims that he deliberately set out to make the Model S electric car look bad. In one of the standout accusations, based on the car's driving logs, Tesla's Elon Musk wrote that John Broder "drove in circles for over half a mile in a tiny, 100-space parking lot" in an attempt to run down the battery. How on earth might Broder explain that? Pretty easily, it turns out:

  • "I drove around the Milford service plaza in the dark looking for the Supercharger, which is not prominently marked. I was not trying to drain the battery. (It was already on reserve power.) As soon as I found the Supercharger, I plugged the car in."

Adds Simon Dumenco at AdAge: "Stay tuned for, surely, more drama to come—including return fire from Musk—and hopefully a TV-movie dramatization of this epic CEO-vs.-reporter, blog-vs.-blog battle." But while this might seem over the top, the real story here is how the spat illustrates the growing importance of log data, writes Matt Quinn at VentureBeat. "This week, the world was introduced to a key big data story whether they knew it or not."

A 2010 photo of the Tesla Model S electric sedan.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
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