Today’s news story is an unavoidable one for me. If you go on over to Tesla’s site you’ll see a post by Elon Musk which counters John Broder’s New York Times review of the Tesla S by using the vehicle logs.
Counters is too kind a word. Musk demonstrates that John Broder lied and that The New York Times published it. This breaks my heart into a million pieces because I adore NYT automotive reviews. Musk does have a point though when he ressurects Broder’s words, “Yet the state of the electric car is dismal, the victim of hyped expectations, technological flops, high costs and a hostile political climate.”
These charts (if they are accurate) would Broder to be an inaccurate reporter at best and a liar at worst.
The reality is that the technology that’s built into the Tesla is present in every car with a GPS system and if your vehicle doesn’t have one there are a ton of options just google “fleet managers tracking device”.
This is an interesting story because the much maligned Tesla (okay maybe not much but Top Gear sandbagged them too) is the first car company that I recall to come out after a negative review and present hard to dispute data that the reporter is not to be trusted. To be fair Tesla is a new company, a groundbreaking new company and unlike the Detroit establishment there’s a very real need to be assertive, bombastic when necessary. I occasionally get media drives and currently I’m struggling with how to describe a car that people really might need and I hated driving. You see there’s the car review… it’s a car, it performs like this and like that… and then there’s the car review which lets the reader know how it fits into their life, budget and aspirations. The car review and the car review are sometimes at odds with one another and Musk’s preemptive use of technology may change the way things are done.
Before Musk’s post Broder had written a follow up blog post asserting that he was truthful in his review. I wonder if there will be a follow up to the follow up?
We can’t help ourselves from using and manipulating technology. It’s made us distant and it draws us nearer and now it’s going to make a fool of someone and a large pool of people will be on notice to get honest. Fast.
And since we’re back on the subject of cars don’t miss this video. Juan perfectly describes what it is to love cars and kids.