Tesla Model S Review Controversy: Can Elon Musk Vanquish The Electric Car Stigma?

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By Dave Smith | February 19, 2013 4:34 AM EST

What started out as an innocent test drive and review of the 2013 Motor Trend “Car Of The Year,” the Tesla Model S is suddenly the center of controversy after the test vehicle ran out of fuel on its drive from Washington to Boston.

The New York Times’ review, written by John M. Broder, said he had “creeping range anxiety” during his entire drive, and ultimately believes the cold weather is what ultimately doomed his trip before he could arrive at his destination. Tesla Motors and its CEO Elon Musk have vocally refuted The New York Times’ claims, calling them “bogus” and “ridiculous,” citing the vehicle’s own data logs that show excessive speeding and an unplanned detour through “downtown” Manhattan, which was not agreed on for the test drive.

The New York Times’ maintains its review is accurate, but Tesla Motors firmly believes the Times is wrong. It’s innovation versus information, and it’s not quite clear who’s right.

Over the past week, many have come to support Tesla, including many customers that have recreated the New York Times test drive from Washington to Boston, committing themselves to the same path and refueling stations and blogging about their experiences. On Friday, CNN’s Peter Valdes-Dapena also attempted the same drive, live tweeting the event and even mocking his NYT rivals in the process.

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