Reporter Gets Stranded In the Cold Test Driving Electric Car

Tesla dudThe intrepid reporter set off on a test drive of the $100,000 Tesla Model S with the fast charge, extended range option.

He chose a route in the frigid North East that had charging stations strategically placed along his route. At his first stop it took 49 minutes to top off the charge. His display indicated he had 242 miles worth of juice in the battery.

On the next leg of his journey he noticed that the available charge was dropping faster than the distance he had traveled. This continued despite him slowing down to 54 (speed limit was 65) and turning off the heater (it was 30 degrees outside).

He was starting to get nervous about making it to his destination (and his feet were numb). His display said he had 79 miles left in the battery and the next charging station was 73 miles away.

By the time he got within 20 miles of the next stop, his display said he only had 10 miles of travel remaining in the half ton battery under his seat.

Somehow he managed to make it to the charging station. It took nearly an hour to recharge and he set off again to his final stop of the day. When he arrived his display said he still had 90 miles worth of charge remaining, his return trip the next morning was 46 miles so he went to bed thinking everything was good.

During the night the temperature dropped to 10 degrees and when he awoke he discovered he now had only 25 miles worth of charge remaining. He was forced to drive 11 miles in the opposite direction to get to the nearest charging station. After an hour on the charger he figured he had enough juice to limp to his intended destination at 45 mph.

Not so, the car quit five miles short of the charging station leaving him stranded and freezing. The Tesla dealership had to send out a tow truck with a generator, but it didn’t supply enough current to unlock the automatic parking brake. In the end, the car had to be dragged up onto the rollback, a process that took another 45 minutes.

After 80 minutes at the charging station he finally had enough of a charge to make it back home.

You can read the entire story at the NY Times:

Frankly, I think Nikola Tesla would be insulted that a car that runs on DC (direct current) was named after him.


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