Feb 14, 2013

When Bad Journalism Gets Revealed By Tech: Tesla & The NYT

Here we go. The badmouthing over electric driven cars continues. Looks like they don't have many friends. Tesla learned that now, when a report from the New York Times appeared that is, according to Tesla, completely wrong.

English: The Tesla Model S is an all-electric ...
The Tesla Model S is an all-electric sedan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The journalist you tested the Tesla S has been caught lying and manipulating the test. At least according to the data that Tesla have recorded via a black box. Some stories says the tester, John Broder, was not aware that this logging device was on board. Too bad.

According to Tesla, it shows that he made unnecessary diverts, didn't charge the battery correct, and even went on a 61 mile trip, when the car clearly showed that only 32 miles are left to drive with the battery charge. In fact, it drove over 50 miles, much more than it should have, but of course missed the end of the distance and was transferred on a flatbed.

Alone that... I mean, how ignorant you have to be to do that? Yes, if you want to have a breakdown. Tesla is outraged in their post about this unfair article. The NYT backs Broder for now, saying it all was correct. Tesla still have to publish the data logs. It could be possible that it won't get released before a trial, if one choose to sue.

I think this is a big scandal. It shows that journalism, especially when it comes to economical things, is not as reliable as one could think. Yes, this may be only one person, that writes such horrifying articles for whatever reason, but it clearly shutters the trust in the NYT if they backup Broder any longer.
I know it's hard to sell newspapers when a big contender writes something America don't want to read. An electric car can't be good that good, right? No, you can't tell people their gas eating cars are crap against that. Nobody wants to realize this. And it's so much cooler to drive a car with 11 mpg because you can afford it, right? But the NYT had the option to just skip to report about that, or cancel the article. Now they have to deal with it, not to make this even worse.
And that means, they can only print an apology for the untrue article, which only a few will read, and all the others can say to their friends they knew it from the beginning that electric cars suck. Still a scandal, but it would keep hopes up that in future tests, a better journalist is going to write an article that is fair to a promising American entrepreneur.

Statement from Tesla:  A Most Peculiar Test Drive

Update 02/15/2013 14:10 : CNN has redone the route without problems. Looks like they have journalists who can actually drive a car.