Tesla Model S

H Tesla έχει στο ενεργητικό της μια κόντρα με το Top Gear σχετικά με την αυτονομία του Roadster. Η υπόθεση είχε πάει στα δικαστήρια όπου τελικά δικαιώθηκε το Top Gear. Πλέον ένα νέο μέτωπο έχει ανοίξει για την Tesla μιας και συντάκτης της New York Times, σε δοκιμή που έκανε με το Model S σε περιοχή όπου επικρατούσαν πολύ χαμηλές θερμοκρασίες (έως -12 βαθμών Κελσίου), είδε ότι η αυτονομία του αυτοκινήτου, ήταν πολύ μικρότερη από αυτή που ανακοινώνει επίσημα η Tesla.


Στις 8 Φεβρουαρίου ο συντάκτης  John M. Broder της NY Times, δημοσίευσε ένα άρθρο στο οποίο ανέφερε ότι το μετά από δοκιμή που έκανε στο Model S, η αυτονομία των 480 χλμ που υπόσχεται η Tesla δεν ανταποκρίνεται στη πραγματικότητα, ειδικά όταν το αυτοκίνητο κινείται σε χαμηλές θερμοκρασίες.

Ο Elon Musk, πρόεδρος της Tesla δεν άργησε να απαντήσει κατηγορώντας ουσιαστικά τον Broder ότι ψεύδεται αφού ισχυρίζεται ότι αυτός δεν είχε φορτίσει πλήρως τις μπαταρίες προτού ξεκινήσει το ταξίδι του, ενώ έκανε και μια παράκαμψη μέσα από το κέντρο του Μανχάταν. Ο Musk για να υποστηρίξει τους ισχυρισμούς του, αναφέρει ότι θα δημοσιεύσει τα στοιχεία τηλεμετρίας του συγκεκριμένου αυτοκινήτου, που αποδεικνύουν ότι o Broder δεν χρησιμοποίησε το αυτοκίνητο σύμφωνα με το εγχειρίδιο χρήσης.

Αν αναρωτιέσαι πως γίνεται αυτό, κάθε αυτοκίνητο της Tesla έχει τη δυνατότητα καταγραφής των στοιχείων του, όπως η ταχύτητα και οι συντεταγμένες του, μέσω GPS. Το σύστημα αυτό ενεργοποιείται μόνο κατόπιν αιτήματος των ιδιοκτητών, αλλά τα δημοσιογραφικά αυτοκίνητα έχουν το σύστημα ενεργοποιημένο by default, έτσι ώστε η Tesla να γνωρίζει κάθε στιγμή που βρίσκεται το κάθε αυτοκίνητό της.

Η ιστορία έχει πλατειάσει πλέον με τις δύο πλευρές να αλληλοκατηγορούνται μέσα από μια σειρά άρθρων, δηλώσεων και δελτίων τύπου με την New York Times να αρνείται ότι έχει κάνει λάθος χρήση του αυτοκινήτου. Άκρη δεν θα βγάλουμε και θεωρώ δεδομένο ότι το θέμα θα λυθεί δια της νομικής οδού, αλλά η μετοχή της Tesla, μετά τον σάλο που έχει δημιουργηθεί, υποχώρησε έως και κατά 4,4%.

[Πηγή: Bloomberg, The New York Times (1), (2), Autonews, Forbes, The Atlantic, Elon Musk]

Δελτίο Τύπου

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk told Emily Chang on “Bloomberg West” today that the company will publish the logs from the car that New York Times reporter John Broder test drove. Musk said, “We will publish the actual logs on the car and it is crystal clear.”

Musk also said, “Ironically, a different reporter from The New York Times did a test drive several months ago, late last year, and was able to achieve over 300 miles on a single charge. It’s just weird…It seems that within the New York Times, the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing.”

Musk on the New York Times story:

“I do not think this is a he said, she said situation. It is really black and white. The facts are the facts. He did not charge the car to full capacity, not even close. He then took an unplanned detour through downtown Manhattan, through heavy traffic, instead of going on the interstate to the charging station. He also exceeded the speed limit quite substantially, which decreased his range. If you do all those three things, which we were clear should not be done and obviously common sense suggests should not be done, then you will not be able to go as far. If you did not fill a gasoline car’s gas tank far enough, then went on a detour and ran out of gas, you should not be surprised if that occurs.”

On how Tesla is responding to The New York Times:

“We will publish the actual logs on the car and it is crystal clear.”

On the data Tesla records:

“We are very sensitive to privacy, so these logs are only turned on with the explicit permission of the customer and a signature. For media drives we turn on logging, which tells us the position, speed, what someone is doing with the car in terms of charging. We had a bad experience in the past with a show called “top gear” where they pretended the car ran out of charge and pushed it home. We looked at the logs and found that it had 50 miles of range left and they were faking it. After that, we trust but verify. In this case, it seems like we have to do that again.”

On whether the New York Times reporter should have expected to do a longer drive than he was able to:

“A bit of a longer drive would be no problem, but what you cannot do is combine all three things, which is not fully charge the car, go on an extended detour and drive really fast. You cannot do that in any car–whether it’s a gas or electric car–and expect to achieve the top range.”

On critics who say that the car might not be equipped for a harsh East Coast winter:

“We have taken great pains to ensure that our car works very well in cold and many Model S and before that, Tesla Roadster customers, in extremely cold climates. In fact, our number one Tesla Roadster owner owns four cars in northern Norway where it is permanent midnight during the winter, incredibly cold, and he uses it as his daily driver. The car is designed to do very well in the cold, and we have an intelligent thermal control system that is able to take heat from the motor into the battery pack and in cold weather will actually close shutters in the front of the car to keep the car insulated. It is actually really good. We have taken great pains to ensure that the car works very well in the cold and that is why we are incensed by this ridiculous article.”

On whether not enough charging stations exist right now to make Tesla and other electric cars successful at this point:

“We’re obviously still in the early days of the supercharger network. So, for example, in California where we have more supercharger stations, we have them roughly every 100-140 miles, whereas on the East Coast they are about every 200 miles right now. In a few months, they will be a similar density, there will be a super charger every hundred miles or so. It will be more convenient. That is why we were so explicit with this New York Times reporter that since we only have a small number of super chargers in the East Coast, it is important to stick to the instructions in the agreed upon plan and not deviate. In a few months when we have more supercharger stations, it will not be a problem, but you just can’t do it now.”

On whether this is the best that electric car technology can get:

“We are seeing rapid improvements in technology. For example. our Tesla Roadster had a range of up to 250 miles for the Model S, even though it is a bigger car, it has a range of 300 miles. Ironically, a different reporter from The New York Times did a test drive several months ago, late last year, and was able to achieve over 300 miles on a single charge. It’s just weird…I guess it was a different situation, but nonetheless, if one New York Times writer is having trouble with 200 miles and the other is getting 300 miles, it just does not make sense. It seems that within the New York Times, the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing.”

On suing BBC’s “Top Gear” in 2008 and whether there are risks for speaking up publicly:

“If we have been wronged and the facts are on our side, I believe in speaking out. It is not as if I do this all the time. Several thousand articles have been written about Tesla and I have only objected to a few of them. Certainly many of the articles have been critical, but I am not outspoken about the ones. The times I am outspoken is when it is a publication that has very wide coverage and where it appears to be credible. That is where we really need to correct the misimpression.”