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Thread: NYT article: Stalled on the EV Highway

  1. #1
    CDN P285
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    NYT article: Stalled on the EV Highway

    This journalist had a somewhat unpleasant experience (to say the least) trying out the two east-coast superchargers in the current cold weather.

    New York Times - Stalled on the EV highway

    I hope Tesla react proactively to this, given the concerns about range in colder-than-California weather.

  2. #2
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    Last edited by dsm363; 2013-02-23 at 06:57 AM.
    The above was post may have been edited by multiple members. The last person to save an edit is displayed.

  3. #3
    Life happens Mycroft's Avatar
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    I thought it was a very fair article and his experience matches many who've seen their range drop ridiculously fast while parked overnight in freezing weather. Tesla needs to be more forthcoming in their cold climate information as well as installing more superchargers in the northern climes.

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    Junior Member retinadoc's Avatar
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    Tesla Needs to Educate Reporters Who Review the Model S

    It seems this reporter did not do his homework and bashes Tesla for his own stupidity.

    Stalled on the E.V. Highway - NYTimes.com

  5. #5
    Life happens Mycroft's Avatar
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    Sorry, but I thought it was a very fair article. The reporter was in practically constant contact with Tesla professionals and they let him down. NOBODY mentioned how fast the cars lose range if parked overnight in freezing weather and this information will not be found in any Tesla literature. IMO, Tesla deserves the review.

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    Model Sig 304, VIN 542 Arnold Panz's Avatar
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    Isn't the obvious mistake by Tesla not telling the reporter to charge in Range mode to get more range when he stopped at the first supercharging station? I don't know if it would have enabled him to get where he was going, but the fact that he charged in standard mode put him behind the 8 ball unnecessarily in my opinion.

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    Theres nothing wrong with the superchargers, if you thought that reading the first few lines of the article. Instead, the doofus left it outside in the bitter cold over night, too lazy to plug in even a freaking 120V that would have effortlessly prevented any loss.

    They really need to make that clear to people. If you are stopping overnight, plug something in. Anything, really.

  8. #8
    Model S VIN P01536 Robert.Boston's Avatar
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    Unfortunate experience, and about as gently told as could reasonably be expected. Yes, the author should have Range charged in Dover; I would never have started a 199 mile trip in the winter, on I-95, with 241 rated miles. But that isn't the whole issue: Tesla really needs to add a Supercharger near Woodbridge Township/Metuchen NJ to bridge the 199 miles between the Dover and Milford Superchargers. It is a bit depressing the Tesla has added no Supercharging stations since December; not good progress towards its ambitious goals for coast-to-coast, north-to-south charging.

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    Sig S#118; R#770 (ret.) stevezzzz's Avatar
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    TM will have a hard time spinning this one. That's just about the worst-case scenario I can think of: an S, driven by a journalist, dead on the side of the road because Tesla failed to prepare the author for the realities of cold-weather driving. Sounds like he never used Range mode to lower climate control loads and he never mentions using the seat heaters. Had he completed a Range mode charge at the Newark supercharger, rather than a Standard mode charge (did he even know Range mode charging is a possibility?) the cascade of circumstances that left him stranded in CT might have played out differently. Along the way he got some bad advice from Tesla (turning off cruise control, for instance) instead of a potential lesson in EV-think. Twice he left superchargers without a full pack and he didn't plug the car in overnight when the temperature was forecast to fall into the low teens. Even after experiencing the way range drops in cold temperatures, he left the low-power charging station without waiting long enough to compensate with enough of a margin.

    Which is not to say that this kind of report has no value: it serves as a reality check as to the sorts of issues people who aren't attuned to the realities of EV driving will face. The author clearly knew to slow down to reduce kWh/mi, and to turn down the climate control as well, so he wasn't totally unprepared when he saw the car's range fall below distance remaining. But he was still struggling with interpreting the changing, real-time situation and making prompt, effective decisions to eke out a save, something a more experienced EV driver would likely have managed to do.

    All in all, this account bolsters the argument for why the 85kWh pack is the better choice for folks who are on the fence when deciding which pack to purchase, 60 or 85. It also argues, strongly, for Tesla to stick with their announced intention of locating Superchargers about 150 miles apart.


    _________

    Update, February 24: The NY Times published an article on their website on February 22 that quoted a portion of this post. I found their use of my words objectionable and wrote a letter to the NY Times Public Editor, Margaret Sullivan, the text of which I posted here. The Times has since changed the online article to link to this original post as well as a follow up I posted late on the 22nd, after reading the article. As of this update I have still not been contacted directly by anyone at the Times.
    Last edited by stevezzzz; 2013-02-23 at 11:46 PM. Reason: NYT article quoting this post.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by retinadoc View Post
    It seems this reporter did not do his homework and bashes Tesla for his own stupidity.

    Stalled on the E.V. Highway - NYTimes.com
    While I agree the reported was a little bit naive, many *normal* people will experience this - and this is not good publicity for electric cars and Tesla.

    The cold weather drop in range is really big and there's nothing that prepares you to this. My first trip in the cold was around 150 miles and I barely made it (10 miles left) when I arrived home. And this was with a range charge. The same thing happened to a friend of mine.

    - The range display should be adjusting to weather / real driving conditions. So, you would never THINK you have 265 miles, while the reality is 150 miles in very cold weather / snow.
    - Supercharger stations should be closer apart in cold regions (I would suggest a max. of 150 miles - at least here in Canada).
    Model S P85 - Disclaimer: Comments posted are the copyrighted intellectual property of the author, and are intended for use only within the Tesla Motors Club discussion forums. Content may not be quoted by any third party outside these forums without expressed permission.

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