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NYT article: Stalled on the EV Highway

Discussion in 'News' started by Jeeps17, Feb 8, 2013.

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  1. Puyallup Bill

    Puyallup Bill Member

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    I rather liked the way he wrote the story. Is it only me, or did some get a chuckle out of the saga? Maybe I chuckled because I related his experience to mine driving a LEAF in the winter, although on a much smaller scale and not nearly as cold as the NE. Of course, with no battery temperature management, the LEAF doesn't suffer those horrible overnight losses.
     
  2. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

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    There is no mileage loss, therefore no issue at all, if the car gets plugged in. Period, end of story. I do understand, though, that some people need to have their hand held.

    Funny, but most of us who've lived in cold climates, also know to plug in our ICE's in at night (that's called a block heater) so that they start the next morning. I guess that makes all ICE's niche vehicles, eh?

    Heck, I even remember several years where every Dodge/Chrysler product needed 1 1/2 pumps of the gas pedal before turning the key to start it. Less and there wasn't enough gas in the carburetor, and any more and the dang things flooded. I also remember those same vehicles stalling out in rainy, cold temperatures right around the freezing mark. Funny, they weren't niche vehicles either. And yes, I understand that technology advanced and those issues eventually went away. It's not hard for me to imagine that the same thing will happen with Tesla without you or me telling them.
     
  3. KeithE

    KeithE Member

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    As far as I see it, this is slanted journalism. Broder is a compete idiot and was clearly only out to try to prove something negative about Tesla. He's an idiot because every Tesla owner knows to charge overnight especially in extreme cold and there was no reason for him to drive it until it died. I don't think you keep driving tens of miles in an ice car when your yellow light shines reserve. He could have slowed down more or stopped somewhere relaxing until Tesla provided a solution for his ignorance (ie one of many other public chargers easily available on the 17" screen staring him in the face). Unfortunately, that proved to challenging for him. Perhaps he should try driving a tanker truck filled with petro so he can ensure he reaches his destination. This is not journalism, it's stupidity! Perhaps tesla should require a minimum iq to drive a model S. But then poor Mr. Broder would never have his chance to write a weak story!
     
  4. derekt75

    derekt75 Member

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    I love my Tesla, but I think it's crazy to blame the author.

    If a car says that it can go 90 miles when you turn it off, you should be able to expect that you can drive 45 miles on it the next day. Losing 65 miles overnight is crazy.

    Plugging in overnight is not always easy. Did Tesla give him an extension cord? Did they tell him that the car could lose 65 miles overnight? This is not the reporter's fault.

    A 110V outlet charges the car at about 5 miles per hour max. Even plugged in, this car was burning power faster than a 120V 12A plug can fill it. It's crazy.

    There are billions of outlets in this country, but most of them take days to fill your Model S's battery. If you want to fill overnight, there aren't that many places where a road traveler can do that (which is why the author was told to drive 15 miles the wrong way to get to one of those places).

    If my Ford told me I had 90 miles of range Tuesday night, and it couldn't get me 40 miles on Wednesday, I would absolutely blame Ford.

    Taking an electric car on a road trip IS less convenient AND it asks you to think differently. One can drive an ICE from San Jose to LA in under 5 hours. If I drove my Model S, I'd need to add at least an hour, if not 2 or 3. and that's with the supercharging stations on the way. If one drove from DC to Atlanta, it might be 9 hours in an ICE and 20 hours in your Model S.
     
  5. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    This is not about hand holding, it's about an expectation that's been set and about what appears to be unacceptable losses from the thermal management system of this type of EV.

    How many people in this area need to do that? How many people in that hotel parking lot plugged in their block heaters? How many $90,000 German sedans won't make it to the next refuel because the temperature dropped overnight? How many can't you leave parked at the airport for a week in case this happens?

    Sorry, I thought the 200+ mile EV reduced the need for infrastructure. What you're actually saying is that all parking spaces need to be wired for L1 charging regardless.
     
  6. dtich

    dtich #P708

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    +1 on all points
     
  7. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

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    Clearly your expectation is misplaced. If you live in cold climates, you plug everything in; the car, the tractor...

    Not to mention, you've made assumptions that 1) the guy reported the mileage correctly, 2) there wasn't something left on, 3) there wasn't something broken, damaged or otherwise out of order with that particular car. No one has reported such an overnight loss on this forum that I recall.

    Does the article mention what the overnight temperature was? Was there a windchill? Was the car parked out in the wide open, or was it sheltered?

    What area is 'this area'? The east coast where they have blizzards and such? Indeed, are currently dealing with one now? A lot of people have block heaters. When a metal engine gets cold, and the oil gets thick in it...there is no differentiation between a 30k or a 90k price tag. Airports have plugin options.

    Please. Now you're being silly.
     
  8. aviators99

    aviators99 Model S - R140

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    I'll accept all of those excuses! C'est la vie!
     
  9. Cattledog

    Cattledog Active Member

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    derek - The problem with the article is he directed all the blame to Tesla. I guess we shouldn't expect more from someone in the 21st century, we have all almost perfected the art of transferring blame. He could have paired things up to write a balanced article, like, "I wish Tesla would have..., but I should have...".


    Or was it an Op-ed piece and he's allowed to just present his opnion?


    If he expects more from Tesla, I guess I expect more from a reporter from the New York Times (actually...)


    Is that too much to ask of a reporter DOING A TEST DRIVE ON A TOTALLY NEW TYPE OF CAR? Tesla can definitely do better - he pointed that out. He could have done better - still looking for those points in the article...

    When I get to begin a discussion, I try to always take a balanced position, but when I enter a discussion when someone has unfairly thrown it out of balance by presenting one side, I often gravitate to the other side as an equalizer. The NYT reporter wasn't balanced in his reporting, I am taking an equivalently unbalanced position the opposite direction to try and even up. But it won't - he'll get millions of readers, I'll get hundreds.

    So IMO, he did a poor job - abuse of power (of the pen).




     
  10. aronth5

    aronth5 Long Time Follower

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    #51 aronth5, Feb 8, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
    I live in Massachusetts and we're in the middle of a blizzard and it gets cold here. We've had several nights below zero (F) this winter. However, I do not know anybody who plugs their ICE car in at night. Sure, there are colder places where plugging your car in is needed but certainly not the greater NY city area. I agree with many other posters that just because it may seem obvious to forum members that extra battery management is needed the average person should not be expected to know how to manage the Model S battery in the cold without some education.
     
  11. Puyallup Bill

    Puyallup Bill Member

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    From the article:
    Is there no emergency manual release of the parking brake? LEAF has such.
     
  12. ViperDoc

    ViperDoc Roadster 1305

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    Well I have lived in northern VT for over a decade and for about 10 years in CT before that. I have never plugged my ICE cars into block heaters. I didn't do it when I parked them at an open airport parking lot for a week of vacation in February or at any other time! I never had to worry my car wouldn't start or wouldn't get me home. Tesla really should make the degree of drain that cold puts on the car a bit clearer. Even though I know batteries don't perform as well in the cold, I would be shocked with that degree of loss. Realizing my Roadster (that I was driving around in the storm today, since it is my 365 day/year car) loses fully 1/3 of its range if I have the heater on (as opposed to seat heater), was a bit surprising (I would have thought a significant but lesser loss), but I would not have expected to lose such a large charge sitting in the cold until my wife lost 40 miles with hear car sitting in her work parking lot for about 5 hours one day. There isn't anyplace to plug in her car at work—just like there likely were few options to plug in the author's car enroute over night (I had to stay in a hotel once and needed to put a charge in my Roadster, and my only option was to drive up on the grass by the sliding glass door to my room, run in an extension cord and then keep restarting it when the fact I was using an extension cord interrupted the charge). So if Tesla doesn't make the size of the charge that is lost a whole lot more obvious, I will have to side with the author even though I am an earlier adopter, Tesla fan, etc. Being honest will carry the day. Minimizing the limitations only opens the door to this type of bad press.
     
  13. bluetinc

    bluetinc Member

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    Are you sure that's true? Perhaps you haven't even noticed? My F250 won't start after getting anywhere near that cold. I've had to plug it in and let it sit for well over an hour just to get it going after it does get that cold.

    Peter

     
  14. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    It's not always possible to plug in over night or plan around it.

    Example: I need to fly out of town on business for a week. It's 30 miles to the airport. I drive down on a standard charge, so 210 miles remain. I get to the airport parking garage only to discover all of the EV spots are full. No problem, right? I've got 210 miles left and it's just a week. Besides, I've got a flight to catch and there's not much else I can do.

    While out of town the temperature drops considerably, into the teens. What will I be left with when I return?
     
  15. ohmslaw

    ohmslaw Member

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    In 25 years living in upstate ny, never once used a block heater for any of my ICE cars, and never heard of anyone who did. Some mornings it took a few minutes of futzing around to get my car started, but that's all.
     
  16. aronth5

    aronth5 Long Time Follower

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    I did not mean to imply nobody plugs their ICE care in only that I do not know anyone who does. My point was simply to reply to kruggerand that assuming everyone should be expected to this was a bit of a reach.
     
  17. napabill

    napabill Active Member

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    It's a close call (IMHO) between who was the most stupid in this whole episode. Probably have to give the nod to Tesla, however. Turning the car over to some complete neophyte NYT reporter with virtually no proper instructions (sound familiar?) in the dead of an east-coast winter was "stupid." The so-called reporter, however, was almost equally "stupid." To hop into a new technology, any new technology, without a shred of knowledge about how it operates is the definition of "stupid." So it's kind of like off-setting penalties in football. Replay the down.
     
  18. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Baffled me is baffled. I've never once plugged a car into a heater during the winter, and my family has seen some harsh NY winters. It's amazing the crazy stuff that gets spouted here in an attempt to spin things tesla's way.
     
  19. anticitizen13.7

    anticitizen13.7 Enemy of the Status Quo

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    I sure do, but I like to fiddle and tinker with stuff. I know a surprising number of adults who don't read manuals. Also, the Model S has been portrayed as not requiring any different skill to operate than an ICE, so I can see why some people might not think to challenge their preconceived notions about how a car will react to cold weather. I certainly don't expect drastically lower range or gas tank loss when it gets cold out. I will lose a couple MPG in short trips, but that's it.

    But yes, this is another lesson Tesla can learn from this episode: people need to understand how the powertrain will react to cold weather. Maybe this won't be a problem when we have 200 kWh batteries, but it's still most definitely a concern when the top battery is 85 kWh.
     
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