Sunday, February 10, 2013

Operator Error, NY Times vs Tesla

In a recent NY Times article  a reporter borrowed a Tesla Model S and ran it out of charge, forcing him to be towed.  One might jump to the mistaken conclusion that this is proof that EV's and specifically the Tesla Model S simply can't work.  Indeed, that may be the case, for some people, including that reporter.  For example, if you are the type of person who would take a long trip without filling the gas tank in their ICE, and then subsequently did not add fuel when the opportunity presented itself.  That in effect is exactly what this reporter did.  He failed to fully charge the car to start with, he failed to add enough charge when he was plugged in at other times, and he failed to plug the car in when he was stopped overnight.  The car was perfectly capable of making this trip if it had simply been used as designed.  From what others have said he was about 14 miles away from a charge point when he ran out of power, which never should have happened.

To be fair to the reporter Tesla did not instruct him properly on the operation of the vehicle and in truth some Tesla employees seem to have given him some bad advice on how to extend the range.  This blog points out a number of steps that could have been taken which would have resulted in a successful trip.

The bottom line is you need to know the operating parameters of any tool you are using, especially automobiles, and especially if it's one which is different than anything you have used before.  Even so, on average 10,000 people run out of gas in the US each day, but that's not worth reporting.

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