February 15, 2013
The demand for more alternative energy technologies and efficient, eco-friendly modes of transport is on the rise, as evidenced by the recent fracas between automaker Tesla and The New York Times.
Times reporter John Broder took the Tesla Model S electric car for a test drive to see if it lived up to the hype. In reading his article, one would have to surmise that it fell short – both literally and figuratively.
According to Broder, he charged the vehicle at a charging station in Newark, Delaware, before beginning his journey. The car gave him a 242-mile estimate before another charge would be necessary, which suited him just fine considering the next charging station was 206 miles away in Milford, Connecticut. But, Broder reported that he just barely made it to Milford.
Then, when stopping for the night in Groton, Connecticut, the vehicle told him he had about 90 miles of range left before another charge was needed. When he awoke the next morning however, that number dropped to 25 miles. After using a low-power socket to charge the Model S, the car reportedly died 17 miles short of his destination.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk decried the Times report in a public statement, saying that it was “false” and that Broder did not charge the vehicle to full capacity, that he traveled at speeds substantially over the posted limit and took an unplanned detour through heavy traffic in downtown Manhattan.
Of course, the Times stands by Broder and his account, so we’ll have to wait until Tesla releases the vehicle logs for the journey before it is known exactly what happened. But this example perfectly illustrates how there is a clear desire and demand for electric vehicles not only to work, but to eventually replace their fossil fuel-reliant predecessors.
In order for this to happen, automakers are going to have to invest in innovative battery technologies, including cutting-edge methods for the bonding of battery terminals.