Can you handle the truth? So asks Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk. In a report posted Wednesday on Tesla’s site, Musk attempts to debunk the New York Times’ negative review of his company’s Model S electric car.
Citing data logged by the test vehicle itself, Musk claims that not only was the review factually inaccurate, but that reviewer John Broder took measures to intentionally drain the vehicle’s battery.
According to the report, the car never ran out of energy as Broder claimed. Nor did he make the effort to fully charge the vehicle during each of his three stops. Broder also drove well over the recommended speeds and kept the temperature in the car high, which further drained the batteryr.
Musk also suggests that Broder may have a bias against electric cars, citing past articles in which the author expressed negative views on the vehicles in general:
We assumed that the reporter would be fair and impartial, as has been our experience with The New York Times, an organization that prides itself on journalistic integrity. As a result, we did not think to read his past articles and were unaware of his outright disdain for electric cars. We were played for a fool and as a result, let down the cause of electric vehicles. For that, I am deeply sorry.
...When the facts didn’t suit his opinion, he simply changed the facts. Our request of The New York Times is simple and fair: please investigate this article and determine the truth.
The Times has yet to post an official response, though Broder did post a column on Tuesday, refuting some of the claims Musk had made on Twitter and reiterating that his account of the test drive was not faked. A further response is expected later today.
The car blog Jalopnik has offered an explanation as to how both Broder and Musk could be kind of right.