Tesla-New York Times dispute continues as reporter speaks out

Tesla Model S profileAfter the New York Times published a critical review of the Model S, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk accused the newspaper of faking the circumstances of the story. Data logged during the drive seemed to give this accusation merit, and Musk went on to accuse Times reporter John Broder of sabotaging the test. Now, Broder is answering the questions brought up by Tesla’s data in a blog post.

The issue at stake is whether the Model S and Tesla’s Supercharger stations underperformed, or, as Musk says, Broder used both improperly.

In his blog post, Broder reiterates that he was in continuous contact with Tesla employees throughout the trip, and followed whatever advice they gave him.

A major point of contention is whether Broder fully charged the car at each of his stops. In particular, Musk accuses Broder of leaving a public (non-Supercharger) station in Norwich, Connecticut with only 32 miles of range, when he needed to drive 61 miles.

Broder says he was following the advice of a Tesla employee. Both Tesla spokeswoman Christine Ra and product planner Ted Merendino said to charge the car for one hour, Broder says, to restore range lost by cold weather. Apparently, the Tesla employees believed the car still had electricity in its batteries that wasn’t being discharged, in which case there wouldn’t have been a need to charge it further.

In between, Broder stopped at the Supercharger station in Milford, Connecticut. The Tesla data shows that he left after charging the battery to 72 percent. Broder says this was intentional, because it should have given him more than enough mileage to complete the next leg of his trip.

Musk also accuses Broder of driving past a public charging station but, again, Broder says no one he talked to at Tesla had told him about it. He notes that he was on his way to another charging station in East Haven, Connecticut when the Model S gave up the ghost in Branford.

Another major point is the way Broder drove the Model S. In his article, Broder said that at one point he had to set the cruise control to 54 mph and lower the cabin temperature to preserve range. Tesla’s data shows average speeds of 65 to 81 mph, and an average temperature of 72 degrees.

Broder says he drove most of the trip at 65 mph, and perhaps hit 81 mph on a downhill stretch. Still, the logs show him going about 60 mph on one stretch where he claims he was doing 45 mph. Broder offers that the car was delivered with 19-inch wheels and all-season tires, not the standard 21-inch wheels and all-season tires, so the data logging equipment may not have been calibrated.

Broder also says that he “raised and lowered the cabin heat in an effort to strike a balance between saving energy and staying somewhat comfortable.”

Musk accuses him of raising the temperature at the precise moment he said he lowered it in the article, but Broder said that was not true.

In his original article, Broder wrote that he “turned the climate control to low” sometime before crossing from New Jersey into New York, but does not give a specific point.

Finally, Musk said Broder drove in circles around the Milford Supercharger, attempting to run the battery down to zero. Broder says it was dark and he had trouble finding the charger because it was not well marked.

In his blog post, Musk says he called to apologize before coming to the conclusion that he’d been “played for a fool.” Broder says Musk also said the Superchargers should have been 60 miles closer together, and offered the Times another test drive after more stations were built.

Computing

PewDiePie supporters hack printers, hope to boost his subscription numbers

In an attempt to garner more subscribers for their favorite vlogger and secure his status as having the most YouTube subscribers, PewDiePie supporters claimed to have hacked thousands of printers worldwide.
Gaming

New ‘Stardew Valley’ content on the way, as game’s maker freezes next project

Stardew Valley creator Eric Barone said that he will continue working on new content for the indie farming simulator. The developer previously said that he will devote all his time to his next game, but that has been placed on hold for now.
Home Theater

What is Terrarium TV? Here’s everything you need to know

Terrarium TV offered a way to watch movies & TV for free, but now after a troubled existence, the app's developer has shut it down, and offered an ominous message to users on his way out.
Gaming

Skateboarding legend says ‘Tony Hawk’s Skate Jam’ will appeal to his fans

Tony Hawk's Skate Jam is now available for free on iOS and Android devices, and Digital Trends had the chance to talk to the legendary skater about its development and how it captures the magic of his best games.
Cars

Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti has released a teaser image to preview a concept it will unveil at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The yet-unnamed design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language.
Cars

What’s next for in-car entertainment? Audi believes it knows

Audi is bringing two technologies to CES 2019. The first turns a car -- a luxury sedan, in this case -- into a drive-in movie theater. The second is presented as a new entertainment format that turns the journey into the destination.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Product Review

The all-new 3 Series proves BMW can still build a compelling sport sedan

Seat time in the entry-level BMW 330i ($41,425) and M340i xDrive ($54,995) will test the German automaker’s commitment to driving dynamics, powertrain refinement, and cutting edge technology.
Cars

California wants all-electric public bus fleet on its roads by 2040

California approved a regulation that targets an all-electric public bus fleet for the whole state by 2040. The effect of the full implementation of the regulation is equivalent to taking 4 million cars off the road.
Cars

1,000-mph Bloodhound supersonic car project finds a last-minute savior

The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) project has found a buyer. The project was going to be disbanded after running out of funds, but its assets were purchased by British businessman Ian Warhurst.
Cars

Ford’s prototype Quiet Kennel uses noise-canceling tech to keep dogs stress-free

Ford is ending 2018 by venturing into the doghouse market. The company's European division has built a kennel equipped with active noise-canceling technology and soundproof walls that help dogs sleep through fireworks.
Mobile

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
Emerging Tech

Self-driving dirt rally vehicle offers crash course in autonomous car safety

Georgia Tech's AutoRally initiative pushes self-driving cars to their limit by getting scaled-down autonomous vehicles to drive really, really fast and aggressively on dirt roads. Here's why.
Cars

The best compact cars pack full-size features in fun-size packages

The best compact cars on the market rival their counterparts in many ways, proving that bigger isn’t always better. Here, we've rounded up some of the better options available, including an SUV and an electric alternative.