Why the Tesla-New York Times dispute doesn't matter for electric cars

Not since The New York Times thoroughly lambasted celebrity chef Guy Fieri and his new Times Square restaurant has a Times review generated this much controversy. The CEO of electric car maker Tesla Motors, Elon Musk, has now furnished electronic logs, meant to show a Times reviewer went out of his way to make the Model S electric sedan look bad. The reviewer was testing Tesla's claim that, with two pitstops, the car could be driven from Washington DC to Boston. The Times says the car ran out of juice in Connecticut.

Among other things, Tesla CEO Elon Musk claims the logs show the Times writer deliberately tried to drain the battery by driving around a charging station parking lot. The log shows the loops added an extra six tenths of a mile. The reporter is quoted saying he was hunting for the charging place. The New York Times says it's examining the newly-released logs.

"The bottom line is that none of this should affect anyone's long term perceptions of the potential of Tesla or electric cars." says Will Oremus, a Tech Blogger at Slate who has been following the story. "They've just started building a network of electric car charging stations, so imagine the very advent of gasoline vehicles and gas stations -- it probably was pretty hard to make a road trip back then too."

About the author

Will Oremus is a tech blogger for Slate.

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