Musk vs. The New York Times: The Tesla Showdown!

2013 Tesla Model S

I don’t know why people continue to be surprised that electric cars have range limits. My 8-year-old daughter has an electric scooter and loves it, but knows it’ll die out somewhere around the 25th time down her long driveway and she’ll end up pushing it back to the garage. It doesn’t make her angry or surprise her, it’s just expected. Meanwhile, my son knows his gas-powered go-kart will run until the tank goes dry. Similar concept, different fuel. One can be refueled in about 30 seconds, while the other takes all night.

These are kids’ toys, and there’s no mystery involved.

Yet auto writers seem to love it when their test EV runs out of juice somewhere along a pre-determined test route designed to push the limits of range. Why? Because it gives them something to rant about. They can say things like, “Aha! This car left me stranded!”

That makes for a much more interesting story than reporting that a car finished a test loop without issue.

By now most people on Earth probably know about the New York Times writer and his adventures with a Tesla Model S, as well as Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s fiery reply. Come on guys, let’s just hug this thing out.

Essentially, the writer had a problem travelling between Tesla charging stations and ran out of juice before reaching one. Naturally, he wrote about the experience, which caused Musk to post a Twitter response accusing the writer of lying about his driving habits during the road trip.

In a series of Tweets, Musk said the writer took a long detour and revealed that all of Tesla’s test cars use data-tracking software, and that the results would prove Musk right. He promised an official Tesla response, which hasn’t come as of this writing.

Response or not, the facts are simple. Electric cars run out of electricity. Gas cars run out of gasoline. The difference is infrastructure and the amount of time needed to refuel/recharge.

When there are electric charging stations on every corner of every city and within 50 miles of one another on major interstates, we can rant when an EV fails to make it to one. We don’t take gas cars into the desert, drive 300 miles in and then complain about running out of gas, and we shouldn’t do the same with electric cars.

Even kids know this.

If charging stations were more accessible, would you go electric with your next car?


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