The New York Times vs Tesla Motors For Dummies.

Tesla Model S in snowHere’s our version of the New York Times vs Tesla Motors saga for dummies by a dummy.

  1. Feb 8: New York Times columnist John Broder wrote an article about his unfavorable experience driving the Tesla Model S EV along the Tesla Supercharger network: “Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway”

  2. Feb 11: Elon Musk tweets about Mr. Broder’s article and calls it a “fake”:

    Elon Musk then follows it up with this tweet:


  3. Feb 12: Mr. Broder writes a response to Mr. Musk’s tweets in The New York Times article “The Charges Are Flying Over a Test of Tesla’s Charging Network”

  4. Feb 13: Elon Musk posts “A Most Peculiar Test Drive” on Tesla’s blog and using the data extracted from John Broder’s review Model S, counter the claims he made in the original article. Among other issues, the data shows that Mr. Broder did not fully charge his Model S, drove in circles, cranked the heat and often exceeded the recommended cruising speed of 55 mph.

  5. Feb 14: John Broder responds to Elon Musk’s post by tweeting:

We’ll see what happens next between these two but one good thing that did come out of the NY Times/Tesla battle is that I finally figured out how to embed tweets into my posts. I’m now up to 2011!


Update: Feb 14 4:41 pm PST: John Broder has responded to Elon Musk and Tesla and it looks like this story is becoming a he said / she said matter. Counseling may be next. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Like Putting A Turd In A Hot Dog Bun: The 638 HP VLP Destino Has Fisker Karma Body And Corvette Heart.

VLP Destino - Fisker Body, Corvette HeartWait a second, didn’t Fisker get a $500 million loan from the US Department of Energy to build more fuel efficient electric vehicles? It sucks to think that a good chunk of the millions they spent designing the Karma EV is now being utilized by the roided up and fuel inefficient VLP Destino.

The franken-muscle VLP Destino was developed by Gilbert Villareal and former Ford, Chrysler and GM executive (and Chevy Volt supporter) Bob Lutz and it pairs a Corvette engine with the Fisker Karma body. From Wired:

“Together, they’ve [Villareal and Lutz] struck a deal with Fisker to provide decontented ‘rollers’ of the Karma, sans the dinky four-cylinder engine, battery pack and electric motors. In their place, VLP has fitted one beast of a motor: the Corvette ZR1′s supercharged 6.2-liter V8, good for 638 hp and 604 lb-ft of torque. If that’s a bit much for your taste (or lack thereof), they’ll put in the Z06 ‘Vette’s 550-hp LS7, saving you about $20,000 in the process.”

Basically, they’re taking all that’s good about the Fisker Karma OUT and putting all that’s bad about consumption IN.

We have no choice but to mark this one down as a Jubbling shit sandwich. [Wired]

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ZeroCat™: Electric Car-Carrying Ferry.

Electric car-carrying ferry from Siemens and Fjellstrand for NorledIn 2015, the Norwegian villages of Lavik and Oppedal are going to be linked by the world’s first electric car-carrying ferry. The ZeroCat™ electric ferry, which is being developed by Siemens and Norwegian shipyard Fjellstrand for Norled, will replace the current car ferry that uses approx 264,000 gallons of diesel fuel each year. From Gizmag:

“The 80-meter (262.5-foot) catamaran can carry 120 cars and 360 passengers across the fjord between the villages. It is powered by two 10-tonne (11-ton) electric motors, each one driving a separate propeller. Those motors have a combined maximum output of 800 kilowatts, although for the ferry’s usual cruising speed of 10 knots, an output of 400 kW should suffice.”

The ZeroCat™ will be able to recharge in 10 minutes when docked during the load/unload process. [Gizmag]

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12.5% Of The US Car Buying Market Accounts for 29% of Hybrid And 41% Of Electric Vehicle Sold In 2012.

2013 Chevy VoltIf fuel efficient car ownership were a competition, the western United States just annihilated the rest of the country. Tom Libby of Polk has crunched the numbers for the first 10 months of 2012 and despite only representing 12.5% of the market, the western United States accounted for 29% of new hybrid vehicle sales and 41% of new electric vehicle sales.

According to Mr. Libby’s data, 7% of all new vehicle sales for the top 15 DMAs (Designated Marketing Areas) were hybrids. And in the San Francisco / Oakland / San Jose DMA, nearly 10% of the new cars sold were hybrid. Of the top 15 DMAs for hybrid and electric car sales – 9 were located in California, 4 in Oregon and 1 each for Washington and Arizona.

In the bottom 15 DMAs, which were predominantly located in Louisiana and Texas, hybrid sales represented 1.5% of new car purchases and electric vehicles only .01%. The bottom 15 DMAs represent 6.6% of the new car buying market.

What can you take away from this data? If you’re buying a hybrid or electric vehicle and you live on the west coast, you should probably haggle more. [Polk via GCR]

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Fisker Automotive Got Hosed By Hurricane Sandy And Might Get Re-Hosed By Their Insurance Company.

Fisker Automotive vs Hurrican Sandy and their insurance company.It’s a bad news gets worse story for electric car manufacturer Fisker Automotive. First Hurricane Sandy submerged and destroyed 338 Fisker EV’s that were awaiting transshipment at the Port of Newark and then their $33 million insurance claim was denied by XL Insurance America (probably should not have purchased insurance from an organization with “XL” in their name). Fisker Automotive is currently suing XL to receive payment on their claim. [GigaOM]

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Students From Hiroshima University And Humanix Build iSAVE-SC1. An Electric Car That’s Soft On Humans And The Environment.

iSAVE-SC1 electric car.It’s an older story that we missed but it’s worth bringing back.

The iSAVE-SC1 is a three-wheeled electric vehicle that has padded protection both inside and out. Here are some selling points for the iSAVE-SC1 EV:

  1. Travels 18 miles on a single charge.
  2. Can reach speeds of up to 31 mph.
  3. Electric so it’s environmentally friendly.
  4. Expected price is $9300
  5. Has a mattress strapped to its hood.

Basically, it has everything you’d ever want on your next new “electric” car. (Check out the mattress-free ELF from Organic Transport) [RocketNews 24]


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