That’s Journalism?!?

John Broder of the New York Times wrote an article today about how he ran out of charge while driving the Model S on the east coast in inclement weather. It appears he did not research to understand that an electric car is DIFFERENT. And…BETTER! Really, I could forgive anyone for making the errors he made, maybe even him, but he is a JOURNALIST WRITING ABOUT an ELECTRIC CAR. If he was going hiking in the Rockies, would he complain that no one in Colorado told him the air was thinner? I am about to rant about PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, so I’ll just post what I wrote to him. And go for a drive in my Tesla!!!

Here’s his article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/automobiles/stalled-on-the-ev-highway.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&hpw

And my reply:

John – I assume you did the research, or perhaps someone at Tesla told you, that when you go for an extended trip you do a max charge – that would have given you 265+ miles of rated range. When you go on a road trip in your gas car do you put 12 gallons in a 14 gallon tank?

If I go somewhere in my gas car, spend $8 to get 2 gallons and 60 miles of range, but needed 3 gallons to go 90 miles and get there, and run out of gas, shame on me. Plug in overnight, always. It’s EASY.

Here’s the equivalent – you get gas when you need to. You plug in every night when you get to your destination. There are more outlets in America than gas pumps – probably at least 1 million times more. Every outlet in America is a refilling station. Come on!

Why didn’t you point out the basics that you failed on? If you ran out of gas would you blame Ford for not telling you the car’s MPG, or Exxon for not having a station when you needed it?

Driving an electric car is NOT less convenient, it just asks you to think differently. Takes effort, just like a gas car requires effort. If you start simple-mindedly with the gas paradigm as the baseline, you have made a basic mistake. Would get on a bike and write a negative article because you couldn’t make it go 65 MPH? Please make the effort next time and acknowledge when you don’t.

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4 responses to “That’s Journalism?!?

  1. It’s pretty hard to believe the article was researched and written in good faith. If the NYT has a POV to push, anything goes.

  2. Thank you for helping to get facts straight. I’m not a Tesla owner, but am quite familiar with the operation of electric motors and electronics – in theory and in applications. I could tell right away what this Broder guy was up to; even without applying my knowledge of electronics. He brings shame to the profession of journalism, and truth. I remember the same sort of stories coming out about the Prius. We bought one anyway, and confirmed that most of the stories were just bs.
    After 125,000 miles it has paid for itself, in more ways than just money. Isn’t it curious how power struggles to stay in power; and people refuse to change.
    Dave T, WA7AXT
    Seattle , Wa

    • Nice to hear from someone who knows the science of things. I have a cursory knowledge and am intrigued by it, but can’t really get too deep. Broder wrote back to me after my first comment on his first article – not one word of taking any responsibility. He writes about the environment for a living, has written often about the auto industry, and has even reviewed cars – his lack of knowledge or lack of forthrightness are disappointing.

      I love the car, we’re never going back!

      Greg

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