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Who'd win in a fight? Tesla or the New York Times?

Tesla Motors Chairman and CEO Elon Musk and chief designer Franz von Holzhausen drive the Tesla Model S all-electric sedan on March 26, 2009. Musk is challenging a recent New York Times article that says the latest Tesla model failed a test drive from Washington, D.C. to Boston.

Whether or not electric cars ever make it big, this week could eventually be looked at as a turning point. Not so much in the development of the cars themselves but in how they're perceived by the public -- and written about in the press.

This past weekend, the New York Times published a story about Tesla, EV cars, and new charging stations. Suffice it to say that it was not a story Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk was pleased with, seeing as how the the car wound up on a flat bed truck.

Now, Musk is challenging the report with detailed logs of the trip that New York Times reporter John Broder wrote about.

“Bottom line, Tesla pitched a road-trip story to the New York Times and is now unhappy with the story that the New York Times’s printed. And is going after them for faking it and slanting it and the whole thing when really it just wasn’t the wisest trip to begin with,” says Wired Magazine contributor Chelsea Sexton.  “ It’s not what the EV experience represents.”

Sexton points out that, in general, there is a double standard for electric vehicles

“No new product does absolutely everything in exactly the same way as the product its replacing,” she says. "And yet when it comes to electric cars that’s the expectation."

Sexton says EVs are great for lots of things, like running errands and commuting.

"(EVs) are not great for boat-towing and road trips and off-roading," she says. "Neither is a Corvette.”

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

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