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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. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    Some of you may have been around long enough to recall the Roadster also had horrible parasitic energy use at first. That took a Martin Eberhard blog post (Roadster uses as much energy sitting still as a refridgerator) rather than a fail in a national paper to get a firmware update to fix.

    I wonder if the large surface area of the underfloor battery contributes to the amount of heat lost and replacement needed to maintain the cells within spec?
     
  2. retinadoc

    retinadoc Member

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    Another hit piece by the same author:

    A Detour on the Road to an Electric Future - NYTimes.com

    As both a Tesla share holder and a future Model S owner, I am not pleased with this PR debacle. Every Google search going forward is going to reference this article on the first page of results. The photo of a brand new sparkling Sunrise Red Model S being loaded onto a rusty pick up truck is almost as bad as the article. In the follow-up article you have the same car pictured sitting forlornly in lovely downtown Norwich. The author IMHO wrote a sensationalistic article that capitalizes on the greatest fear the general public has about EVs, running out of juice and being stranded in the middle of nowhere.

    Tesla is now playing in the big leagues, and their handling of this reporter was poor to say the least. Going forward they need to have a dedicated team assigned to deal with high profile media outlets. Those that have commented that Tesla deserves the criticism for ignoring the impact of cold weather on range are also correct. Tesla can no longer assume that their buyer is going to be a highly educated consumer, who reads every post on this forum. Creating a few educational videos and putting them on the web page would go a long way to averting future problems.

    That being said, I still feel the reporter had an agenda and almost insured that he would run into issues. With any new technology, there is a learning curve. The Model S is not just new technology, but is a new mindset entirely. All the paradigms of operating an ICE do not really apply. This article would have been very different if the reporter had used the car as his daily driver for a few weeks, and then attempted his road trip. Tesla should have insisted on this. The fact that he did not know to plug the car in at night tells me he did not do even minimal due diligence prior to his ill fated journey. If I were taking a road trip in my ICE, and there were only two gas stations along the way, you better believe I would have a plan that would give me a small safety margin.

    I suppose the road trip is indelibly etched in the American psyche. I will bet that in reality road trips account for less than 1% of normal yearly automobile usage. Similar to how often SUV's are used offroad; perception vs. reality. The truth is that the Model S and the Super Charger Network are still in their infancy, and what Tesla has accomplished so far is nothing short of astounding, but they still have a long way to go before this is a mainstream car.
     
  3. eelton

    eelton Member

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    I disagree that the reporter had an agenda, or that he did not use due diligence. This is entirely Tesla's doing--for giving out bad advice to him on the phone, and in the manual (to all owners as well):

    Even when you’re not driving Model S, the Battery discharges very slowly
    to power the onboard electronics. On average, the Battery discharges at a
    rate of 1% per day. Situations can arise in which you must leave Model S
    unplugged for an extended period of time (for example, at an airport when
    travelling). In these situations, keep the 1% in mind to ensure that you
    leave the Battery with a sufficient charge level. For example, over a twoweek
    period (14 days), the Battery discharges by approximately 14%.



    There's nothing in there about losing 65 miles of range (25% of the battery's capacity) overnight because it's cold. Very misleading.



     
  4. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    The manual for my chainsaw is several times longer than the "Owners Guide" for my Model S. Your point would have some validity if Tesla had produced an owners manual.
     
  5. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    #85 dsm363, Feb 9, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
    If everything Tesla told him is accurate, he definitely didn't get good advice but it seems almost like he was trying to run out on the side of the road. He left with 19 miles of range to go look for a charger when he would have been finding a 110V outlet and maybe even getting towed from there instead of the side of the road. I don't see how Tesla cleared him to leave after an hour of charging at Norwich.

    Maybe I'm misreading his article. He headed off for Norwich 11 miles away starting with 19 miles rated range. Maybe he gets there with 8 miles left (don't think he says in the article) and he charges for only an hour in order to make the 65 mile trip back to Milford? Even on a NEMA 14-50 (which I doubt the diner has) he would only be at about 35 miles of rated range. Maybe I'm missing something here.

    I e-mailed the author this

    It looks like he used a J1772 (I assume 30A) for only an hour.
     
  6. Norbert

    Norbert TSLA will win

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    Do you think someone from Tesla as knowledgable as Ted Merendino would have "cleared" him to leave with *less* estimated range than needed, even *after the previous experiences* ?

    Not unless there was a major misunderstanding. At the latest at that point, the story gets crazy.
     
  7. kinddog

    kinddog Banned

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    long story short: we need more superchargers. no sh*t, thanks NYT.

    i also think NYT is becoming a sensationalism factory disguised as erudite journalism. see: anything in their Health section.
     
  8. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    I can chalk the first half of the journey to simple inexperience in driving an EV (not range charging when you can, especially while sitting at a Supercharger) and other issues but yes, leaving for your destination with less range than you need seems odd. He almost wanted to run to zero and take pictures of getting towed. Really no other valid explanation.
     
  9. anticitizen13.7

    anticitizen13.7 Not posting at TMC after 9/17/2018

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    People make mistakes, and do so quite often.

    I really did not get the sense that the Times has an agenda here. This is a Liberal newspaper we are talking about, not the WSJ.
     
  10. Al Sherman

    Al Sherman It's about THIS car.

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    Maybe the reporter shared a cubicle with Jayson Blair for a while.
     
  11. Norbert

    Norbert TSLA will win

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    Continuing my post above, to go a bit into the details of the the situation in Groton:

    He wrote the distance from Groton back to Milford is 46 miles. Following the battery conditioning, he had an estimated range of 19 miles left. More than 11 miles of those were consumed driving to the charger in the opposite direction. So less than 8 miles range left. One hour at an public charger (7 kW) gives, I think, about 22 miles (or less).

    So the estimated range was about 30 miles. The distance to drive was (46 + 11) = 57 miles. That's almost twice the displayed range. It appears unthinkable that someone from Tesla would have "cleared" that, without major misunderstanding. And I wonder how he himself could have believed that was going to work (even thinking he was told so).

    He takes very little responsibility... everything happens based on the advice he was supposedly given. In the whole story, it would seem there must have been several grave misunderstandings.
     
  12. jhs_7645

    jhs_7645 VIN: #3305

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    #92 jhs_7645, Feb 9, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
    To me, the important bottom line of this whole thing is this:

    Every single problem is user correctable, no action by Tesla is needed. If he was an EV owner, this would have been a lesson learned. Don't act like it's an ICE, a change of behavior is in order when you buy an EV, and if you didn't know that when you bought it (really?), then you'll learn it the hard way (like he would have if he was an owner).

    His trip could have been taken in ease if he had Range charged, and topped off in the hotel.

    -- edit --
    One other thing, wasn't it the NYT that sent one of it's tech writers off to pose as an App Store developer for iOS so that they could write a hit piece on how you couldn't make a living as an app developer, only to have his app become a success? Then the subsequently let him go, and never wrote the article?

    Correction, he was only removed from his tech-writing assignment:
    Daring Fireball Linked List: Bobo, the Accidental Hit App
     
  13. arondaniel

    arondaniel Il Sessanta Caricato

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    #93 arondaniel, Feb 9, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
    I can't seem to find a link to comment on this article... comments seem to be available for others though.

    Plenty of blame to go around, and plenty of missed opportunities to get this doofus to his destination without the shot of the Tesla tow truck.

    Lessons learned by Mr. Broder:

    1) Plug in your electric car at night, especially when below freezing!
    2) Charge in range mode when range may be an issue!
    3) Don't drive to Milford if the car doesn't have enough range to get to Milford!

    :)
     
  14. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Based on my logbook, it's more like 25% to 50%. 11,000 miles commute, 16,000 to 25,000 miles total per year. This logbook started Oct 2003.
     
  15. jhs_7645

    jhs_7645 VIN: #3305

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    I'm not sure he meant 1% of miles, rather 1% of trips (term 'usage' is a bit ambiguous)… of course road trips would count for more miles :) I'm not sure I agree with 1% though.. maybe 3%.
     
  16. Al Sherman

    Al Sherman It's about THIS car.

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    Pretty sure we've discussed this before Jerry but I think we are both exceptions. You at the high end, and me at the low. In 5 years I've never driven my Prius farther than a reasonable round trip distance for the MS even taking into account hills, and cold weather. My suspicion is that the average is in between but I deally fel that it's closer to me.
     
  17. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    AFAIK, the Tesla center in Manhattan is now just a showroom, while service (and presumably accessible charging) is in Queens.
     
  18. slyastro

    slyastro Member

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    I own a Ford Focus Electric. When it's below 0° Celcius and I put it in park mode, I immediately get the following message: «It's cold outside, please plug the car immediately!»

    Like the MS, the battery is liquid cooled.

    I follow the advice, when parked for longer than an hour, I plug it !! If there is no 240V EVSE, I plug at 120V ... I always have my portable 120V charger (included with the car) and a 50 feet extension (AWG 12) with me ...

    Maybe that kind of message should clearly appear on the MS when coming to a stop and when it's below freezing temperature ...
     
  19. GeekGirls

    GeekGirls Kid in Candy Store

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    Why limit yourself to the current temperature? The Model S should update a forecast for your area every day and warn you if it's going to be anywhere near freezing. Why not? All the technology is there. That's part of the potential of a software-defined driving experience.
     
  20. medved

    medved Member

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    Because Tesla says: "The Model S battery will not lose a significant amount of charge when parked for long periods of time. For example, Model S owners can park at the airport without plugging in."
     
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