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I'm curious why you think the calls were logged. Certainly, we've all come to expect that recorded, "For quality assurance purposes...," when calling tech support. Still, the Tesla employees named by Broder are not technical support staff. They are from the public relations department (and one unnamed engineer). I'd actually be very surprised if PR departments regularly recorded calls, if for no other reason than to give staff the option of claiming to be mis-quoted by reporters.

Still, not even Broder claims that Tesla advised him to end his Supercharge early in Milford. I'm unsympathetic to claims that he received bad advice from Tesla later in his trip. As several Model S owners have demonstrated [1], it is entirely possible to drive round-trip from Milford to Groton on a single supercharge. Moreover, they demonstrated that it is possible to do so with a comfortable cabin temperature, a normal highway speed, and, perhaps most importantly, without charging the car overnight in Groton (and they, too, experienced some range loss during the night).

Of course, none of this proves that Broder was malicious. It is still the case, however, that each time he had the opportunity to choose between following Tesla's advice or his own common sense, he chose the option that put him in greater danger of being stranded. Perhaps the test drive was simply a disastrous chain of honest, yet abysmal, decision-making, followed a well-written essay describing how the fault was everyone's but his.

[1] http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/13905-Recreati...!




"I'm curious why you think the calls were logged."

This is not Tesla's first time dealing with the media. After the Top Gear controversy, I would expect them to be more circumspect.

"I'm unsympathetic to claims that he received bad advice from Tesla later in his trip"

It's not his car, and if he didnt obey Tesla's advice and bricked the car he could be liable for the damages (I discussed this in more detail in a nephew post http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5240745)

"As several Model S owners have demonstrated [1], it is entirely possible to drive round-trip from Milford to Groton on a single supercharge."

Just like the CNN "test" the situation was much different, and the temperature played a significant and undeniable role, so that's an apples-to-oranges comparison

"Of course, none of this proves that Broder was malicious. It is still the case, however, that each time he had the opportunity to choose between following Tesla's advice or his own common sense, he chose the option that put him in greater danger of being stranded. "

You are choosing clever words here. He chose to follow Tesla's advice, and you can imagine the vitriolic reaction if Broder disobeyed Tesla's advice and ran into trouble.

The main reason my pitchforks aren't out is laid out in the parent reply: when you actually filter through all of the arguments, the essence of the dispute is the nature of the advice that Tesla gave Broder while he was on the road. And Tesla failed to present any evidence that Broder received different advice (other than Musk's claims, but he has so much riding on this and wasn't actually part of the conversation, so he wouldn't necessarily know what was said -- so I definitely believe there's a chance Musk is lying and there's a chance Broder is lying). As another person mentioned http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5240988 , I wonder if other customers get the same type of phone support

In general, I'm genuinely surprised by the extent to which HN treats Musk's words as if they are from god. He's a human, he has biases, and I wouldn't put it past him to improperly start a witchhunt against those who disagree with him or refuse to drink his kool-aid. Let's separate the fact that it's Elon Musk from the discussion of the facts of the trip.


Can we discuss this civilly, without resorting to ad-hominem attacks? I'm not drinking Musk-Aid, though that is certainly your implication. I don't fully trust Musk, but there are strange inconsistencies in Broder's account, and his rebuttal to the rebuttal has many statements that are nonsensical[0]. We can't apply our bullshit detectors to only one party.

>Just like the CNN "test" the situation was much different, and the temperature played a significant and undeniable role, so that's an apples-to-oranges comparison

Sure, and the owner's test involved snowy conditions (Broder's drive had clear weather), which generally increases energy consumption. So what? If they repeated the test, but put the car in a refrigerated warehouse at 10F overnight in Groton, would that satisfy you? Can you propose any test that would satisfy you? I don't say this to be combative. It just seems like the goalposts keep moving.

I'd actually love to see a test with the car kept in a freezer, but I don't think the results would be significantly different. In the owner's test I cited above, the remaining range when returning to Milford was greater than the range loss experienced overnight by Broder. The only thing they did differently (besides leaving the heat on while driving) was to fully charge the car before leaving the Milford Supercharger.

>You are choosing clever words here. He chose to follow Tesla's advice, and you can imagine the vitriolic reaction if Broder disobeyed Tesla's advice and ran into trouble.

But that is entirely the point, my friend. Broder sometimes followed Tesla's advice, and sometimes he didn't. Yet he seemingly only followed Tesla's advice when it was bad advice [1]. He ignored Tesla's advice when they gave him good advice[2]. That is precisely why there has been such a strong reaction on HN.

[0] Broder attributes the speed discrepancy to a difference in wheel diameter. That would actually make the speedo read higher, but there's a more fundamental point: The wheel diameter isn't relevant; the tire tread diameter is. There is less than a 0.7% difference in tread circumference between the two wheel options.

[1] For example, let's assert for the sake of argument that Tesla did tell him it was ok to leave the Level 2 charger

[2] Like that he should fully charge at Superchargers


> Sure, and the owner's test involved snowy conditions (Broder's drive had clear weather), which generally increases energy consumption. So what? If they repeated the test, but put the car in a refrigerated warehouse at 10F overnight in Groton, would that satisfy you? Can you propose any test that would satisfy you? I don't say this to be combative. It just seems like the goalposts keep moving.

The goalposts haven't been moving. That was the single most important factor of the entire trip on battery life. Period, end of story. Any attempt to "replicate" the experiment without replicating the actual event that led to failure (leaving the car unplugged overnight in sub-freezing temperatures) is missing the entire point.


Alright, but you've carefully evaded the question. So let me ask you again: Would you acknowledge that Broder acted in bad faith if someone were to drive a Model S round trip between Milford and Groton at a reasonable speed, with the car in a freezer at 10F and without plugging in overnight?




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