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Tesla, the Times, and how to drive an electric car – CNET Mobile

Tesla and The New York Times step up their war of words, but lost in the battle are the unique factors that go into driving an electric car.

This week’s Tesla versus The New York Times flap came to a climax yesterday when Tesla released the logs it promisedon its Web site, and the newspaper responded with a point-by-point refutation.

Tesla’s post says that New York Times environmental reporter John Broder misrepresented the Model S’ performance. Broder argues that he was simply following advice from Tesla personnel during the drive.

The original New York Times story painted the Model S with a negative brush, but as I wrote Wednesday, a close reading of the article shows that the Model S operated exactly as you’d expect for an electric car. What’s more, both the logs Tesla published and the Times response reinforce that conclusion.

Tesla’s logs show a lot of braking and accelerating, which is normal for a journey on a busy East Coast Interstate highway. That type of driving will adversely affect the range of any car, electric- or gasoline-powered.

As an experienced car reviewer for CNET, I’m surprised that Broder set out on a 61-mile trip with the car only showing 32 miles of range, but I understand his explanation. Tesla personnel convinced him the car would show more range once the battery had warmed up, or had been “conditioned,” as he writes.

My experience driving electric cars would have lead me to conduct that test differently.



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