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Is this the final flatbed?

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As a procession of Tesla Model S cars roll out of the Millford Supercharger in Connecticut, I can’t help being somewhat proud of the Tesla brand.

These owners have taken a weekend out to get together and demonstrate that ‘Owners’ can genuinely use this car.

You may critique this observation by suggesting that these owners are really ‘Enthusiasts’, a different class - people that obsess over technical specs, diagrams and charts. Well, they are to a certain extent, most EV owners are - to get to EV ownership you have to cut through a lot of misinformation but, that said, at the end of the day, these owners just read the instructions that came with the car and used common sense to get the best out of their new automotive appliances.
I began to wonder if other auto-brands had such a loyal following. It turns out that, following a quick Google search, they do. Actually, most major brands have a loyal band of followers keen to support their marque, and usually defend it against other marques - is that friendly rivalry between the Subaru Impreza and Mitsubishi Evo owners?

I knew there was a difference here though. I dug in, and when I found it, I thought, yeah, that’s why this feels different - this race to support the brand is being supported by a far wider audience than just Tesla owners - this is the ‘EV’ brand at work.
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Size:  99.4 KB Key organisers and followers of the event drive all kinds of cars, battery-EVs from Tesla, BMW, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Honda and Nissan to plug-in hybrids from GM and Toyota, to, well, people without EVs - this is a much bigger deal than just Tesla Motors alone.
This road trip has become the focal point for a bigger question, that of journalistic integrity. I’m sufficiently satisfied that, as we’ve seen before, a salacious and link-bait-worthy headline can be drummed up quickly and easily by taking an electric car, focusing in on the last remaining product feature that doesn’t far exceed gas cars and then staging a media event to highlight that. I for one am tired of that, and the good news appears to be that you are too.

The New York Times article has given the EV community something that it could never and would never have asked for, a damning critique too far.

With the credibility of the New York Times reporter blown, millions of motor enthusiasts are waking up to question the crazy notion that electric cars don’t work - they read the crazy and start to question it.
The New York Times article may well be the last article ever written that ends with a flat battery on a flatbed... the notion itself, has simply, gone flat.

Michael Thwaite
Tesla Motors Club

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EV General , Roadtrip , Model S


  1. atlg8or's Avatar
    Bravo #teslaroadtrip team! Anticipating with even greater enthusiam for our Model S to roll off the production line...
  2. ChadS's Avatar
    Great framing, MPT.

    I do think there will be more flatbed stories - too many people are willing to go out of their way to make EVs look bad, and too many journalists (even fair-minded ones) are eager to "go the distance" to test claims and print a dramatic story - but I do think that how flatbed stories are viewed will be a little different.

    If nothing else, we now have plenty of owners taking road trips that can simply say "I have been driving this car for years and never ran out of power; why did you run out on your first trip?"
  3. Al Sherman's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ChadS
    If nothing else, we now have plenty of owners taking road trips that can simply say "I have been driving this car for years and never ran out of power; why did you run out on your first trip?"

    ^This. For Certain.
  4. SCW-Greg's Avatar
    Brilliant write up MPT. Couldn't be more articulate.
  5. Bearman's Avatar
    Excellent blog post Michael, I think you hit the nail on the head here. Any more flatbed stories will just be another "Broder" from now on and you are right about the supporters from all over the world which many dont even drive EV's yet (me included).

  6. mpt's Avatar
    Thanks for the props - much appreciated.

    My wife and I have about 96,000 flatbed-free electric miles between us through four EVs and two good power-killing storms.

    Time to go back to focusing on the awesome Tesla EV grin
  7. markwj's Avatar
    +1 mpt
  8. adelman's Avatar
    15 years of EV driving for my wife and I and we've never needed a tow. I'd guess 300-400k miles total. During that period, I ran out of gas once. Forgot that the gas cars don't charge every night automatically.
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