I just looked at a sample "Owners Manual" and it's recommended by Tesla Motors that the vehicle should be "Plugged in" overnight to maintain optimum battery performance and maximize battery condition. It's emphasized in the manual that the vehicle is meant to be plugged in when not in use to maintain the battery condition for maximium and optimum performance.
The "Owners Manual" also highlights vehicle operation that will affect vehicle driving range such as acceleration and road grades, etc.
Looks like the NY Times driver did not read the manual and the reason why the NY Times specifically said Tesla Rep did not say anything about plugging in the vehicle overnight in effort to blame Tesla to cover up that fact.
Many of us already have an understanding that colder ambient temps may affect the driving range and, with that general understanding, why it would be rather important to keep the vehicle battery charged to the max.
OK so first, I am long Tesla...very long. But these kind of comments are ridiculous. When I get into a Mercedes or BMW or other vehicle upwards of $100K, I dont sit and read the manual first...frankly, no one does...they first drive it. Cars that compete in this range must perform like cars in this range. Period. I also believ the NY Times is beyind biased and the article is no more valuable than any other PR motivated media spoof...yes, the NYTimes has become that newspaper which gets those famed calls from top PR firms 'pitching' their story...its a bunch of #$%$. With that said, who cares if he read the manual or not, you would never say the same thing about any of its gas competitors and thats what Tesla is going after. And bottom line, if every review was positive...there would be something wrong.
When I bought my Nissan Leaf, I had a bit of a learn curve. It's really different than driving a my Porsche or Lexus. An electric car must be plugged in every night as told to me by everyone at the dealership when I bought the car. It's not that hard to do this. The NYTimes reporter should have charged the S overnight. But if he did, he'd have a boring story: NYTimes reporter goes from point A to B. Tesla S fail is a big story. Tesla S win is not.
This Model S is the first mass market iteration of a Tesla car. It is actually a well designed car with few mechanical/electrical problems. I remember driving the first K-Cars and other such cars when they came out. The hub caps would fly and the glove compartments pop open after going through railroad tracks. Duck tape anyone?
The Model S is well put together, with good precision and looks robust. The tablet controls work well, especially after software upgrades. Smoooth ride. Yes, battery capacity could be improved and will be improved over time. Anybody remember the first suitcase "portable" cellphones whose batteries did not last too long and need to be connected to the car? Or the laptops?
With time, the battery on the ModelS and such cars will improve - conservatively by 25-30% in 3 years. The battery packaging could be insulated for cold weather cars. Software could be upgrade to remind folks to plug in. The GPS could add a trip planner to tell folks what the options are for charging based on speed, HVAC, etc. Over time, the car itself could be made lighter using higher strength to weight Al alloys, improved structural design, etc.
For everyday city use, it sure makes sense, especially at lower price points.
The Tesla person "may" have made errors? Troubleshooting over the phone isn't easy? Let me ask you this, Einstein:
Weren't you one of those touting the "no need for servicing" aspect? weren't YOU one of those saying the car has so many less moving parts than an ICE servicing could be done remotely? And NOW here you are defending away two of the very things YOU and your pals said wouldn't/couldn't happen?
If Tesla/Musk is correct about what hapened, then Tesla should sue the NYT. If Tesla is NOT correct, the case will never come about , or will be throw out. You guys crying like little girls solves nothing. There's a reason why Tesla has not moved East. Likewise, there's a reason why Tesla does virtually nothing in Europe and Canada. Then again, you all know better, don't you? What you all don't know is the auto business is complex, very complex. Retailing successfully takes on a certain style when dealing with consumers. Hiring kids to blissfully and breathlessly show cars doesn't solve it. Tesla is quickly moving into the "boxing ring" as the 1st adapter group is virtually gone. What remains is the normal rank-and-file consumers who have no desire whatsoever to leave thier current vehicle. Smiling and saying, "The price is the price" and refusing to take trades will simply kill the company. I've been saying it all along and I firmly believe it will happen. You folks have nowhere to run and hide. But I think you want to!
The reporter made it from DC to Milford, CT with the two charging stops, although he "almost" didn't make it to Milford before the charge was out. His big problem came after he took his "detour" to Stonington and Groton. He parked the car with a 90 mile reported range - with 46 miles to get to Milford. When he looks the next morning it says 25 mile range!!!
I'm sorry, but if the owner's manual says just "recommended" without a detailed comment, that is definitely NOT enough. He lost over 70% of his range. If it is truly that much of a change with near 0 degrees F overnight, there should be a dire warning and a "very highly recommended" in the manual. Perhaps a capability for the software to report to the user the estimated range given the overnight low temps would be helpful to avoid such surprises.
Look, if the reporter wanted to do an "investigative" type report, maybe he intentionally included his detour without informing Tesla. The rant tweets by the CEO calling the report a fake were not very confidence inspiring. The reporter did include the detour in his article, so how does that make it a "fake" report? Just because he didn't tell Tesla beforehand that his plans didn't include stopping in Groton? It would have made a better article if he had included comments by Tesla as to why it behaved the way it did overnight.
The other "problem" of speed, heater use, and cold temperature affecting initial reported range were easy to address and easy to find disclosure of on the Tesla website. On the website, there is an app where you can plug in the range of the car for city driving and see it drop 40% if you turn on the heat with the temp at 32F. Unless it is possible to leave the heater on accidentally overnight and that is what happened to the reporter, the 70% loss needs to be explained. Confidence in the company's support by potential buyers would be better retained if it was said that the issue was going to be looked into and addressed (the CEO tweet indicated they have data logging turned on) rather than issue a knee-jerk tweet.
Musks response to the story was unfortunate, even if the reporter screwed up. An electric car, especially with today's batteries, will be treated a bit differently from an IC car and what drivers actually do can be instructive. Tesla can also respond with minor software updates and show off that ability to respond if they are conservative with it.
The response was unfortunate for another reason - journalists reacted by closing ranks around the Times and reporter. So Tesla will get some bad PR out of it and asked for it. In the future Musk might let someone else be his twitterer. His accomplishments are impressive but interacting with car customers is something else. So far Tesla has been very good at guerrilla marketing.
can't reply to your last post Guy, so I'm replying here. I agree it's interesting that they "cleared" him after 1 hour and told him to drive 60 miles with only 30 miles range display. That just doesn't add up, and someone is lying, hopefully we find out who. Eitherway common sense would tell me not to listen to the person on the phone thousands of miles away, but to listen to what my fuel gauge is telling me. But I digress.
I read another review in the Verge today. They almost ran out of fuel too, but admit it was there fault for having a lead foot and taking a detour. One interesting paragraph in the article though says this:
"it was no longer clear whether we’d actually make it the next dozen-odd miles to Morro Bay, and I needed to make a call on whether we’d chance it or cry uncle and find a charger in town. I kept going, partly out of stubbornness — I’d set out earlier in the day running the numbers and never doubting that we’d be able to make it all the way — and partly out of the masochistic belief that running out of power would make for a good story. Admittedly, I hadn’t really thought through the drama and strife that could come from being stranded on the side of Highway 1 with a dead Tesla."
I'm wondering how this sort of mentality played into it. I'd want to run the battery as close to 0 as possible too, even though it's a recipe for disaster. It's the whole 'cool new toy gotta push it to breaking point' factor.
Guy, I would describe the article as "Deceitful". Anybody that lives in the NE would appreciate the need to look after the vehicle's overnight battery condition. I think it's a matter of negligence on the driver's part and that article suspicious in nature.
The loss is because the battery pack needs to be warmed up by built in heaters in order to reach a minimum operating temperature. The 70% number you threw out is only big because there was so little range left it was a large percentage of that range. The batteries have a large thermal mass as well, so heating them up from such extreme cold temps takes a lot of energy.
In summary, the EV needs to be warmed up on a cold morning just like a normal ICE before you should start driving it.
if the reporter lied, he lied ....dont try to confuse, or 'grey' the issue .. the car deserved an honest test ....by addressing ONE of many purposeful aspect of this purposefully misleading article, you, yourslef are attempting to LIE....and are likely paid to do so