View of the Tesla Model S with rear facing seats and the company's charging station (L) at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan January 15, 2013. (Photo : Reuters)
Tesla founder Elon Musk and New York Times reporter John Broder are still trading barbs over Broder's now infamous test drive of the Tesla Model S, but now CNN is weighing in with their own test drive.
Last week, Broder published the results of a trip he took in a Model S from Washington. D.C. to Connecticut. Broder says despite taking precautions, he was unable to prevent the car from running out of charge on the side of the road, requiring him to call for a tow.
Musk shot back this week, releasing the data from the onboard computer of the review sedan, pointing out places where the log differs from Broder's account, and calling the review "fake."
Lawyers are likely to get involved, but seeing an opportunity to show up the New York Times and get in a little road trip, CNN decided to duplicate Broder's journey.
On Thursday, Peter Valdes-Dapena, an auto correspondent for CNN took a Tesla Model S -- the same model car that Broder used -- on a trip from Washington, D.C. all the way past Connecticut and up to Boston, stopping at two Tesla supercharger stations to refuel.
He made it with electrons to spare.
The first leg of Valdes-Dapena's route took him from D.C. to Newark, Del., a distance of 89 miles. He averaged 67 mph, but with a maximum range of 270 miles on the Model S, he could have pushed it much harder.
He refueled at the free Tesla-branded Supercharger station for an hour, putting his battery back at full.
However, the next Supercharger station on the route was in Milford, Conn., 222 miles away. Both Valdes-Dapena and Broder could have stopped many places to recharge their cars if they felt like their batteries were going to die, but the Supercharger stations charge the battery pack much faster than normal.
After consulting with Tesla, Valdes-Dapena opted for a longer route around New York City, hoping to avoid traffic. He still hit some, but managed to make it to Milford with 38 miles of charge left.
He charged again for an hour and a half, then set off on the last part of his journey, 145 miles to Boston. He arrived just after midnight on Friday.
Aside from hoping Tesla installs a Supercharger station on the Jersey Turnpike, Valdes-Pena was quite pleased with his trip, which took about 13 hours all told.
There are several differences between his trip and Broder's, however. Broder's drive was about 10 degrees colder, and he left his Model S parked overnight, which Broder said drained the battery.
Whether the discrepancies between Broder's account and the car's log will be explained satisfactorily remains to be seen.