Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tesla Roadster bricking controversy building?

Yesterday a controversy blew up claiming the Tesla Roadster can be bricked (rendered useless) by just letting it sit idle and not plugged in.  Some new information has surfaced, raising some serious questions about the story.  However the basic issue has not been addressed, that the Roadster doesn't have circuitry to prevent the battery pack from being discharged to the point where it can be damaged.

The Tesla Roadster “Bricking” Story Details Deconstructed - Yesterday it appeared that Michael DeGusta, the other of the blog post which blew this story onto the scene, was an innocent bystander.  But since yesterday it's been learned that he and Max Drucker (owner of Tesla Roadster #340, a car that was bricked due to Drucker's negligence) are long-time business partners.  Hence it's plausible that DeGusta and Drucker colluded to cause Tesla some public relations embarrassment.  Except, Drucker is a long-time happy happy fan of Tesla.  

The other item that came up is that Tesla's owner manuals strongly warn Roadster owners to keep their cars charged or risk damaging the battery pack.  Hence Drucker was negligent in not following required routine maintenance, or was he simply like all the other car owners that don't read their owners manuals and ignore required maintenance?  

Obama’s green energy programs produce "the electric brick" - A horrible post that gets almost every factoid completely wrong or exaggerated completely out of proportion.  It's slanted towards the Obama Is Wrong point of view and the writer is obviously one of the extreme right-wingers out to push the right wing agenda no matter how many lies have to be uttered.  I include this link because it's an example of the bashing of Tesla we can now expect to commence.

Who Is Trying To Smear The Tesla Battery Problem Whistleblower? - Jalopnik following up to Green Car Reports publishing the letter from Max Drucker.  Basically Jalopnik describes GCR as being a pawn of Tesla to smear the blog post from DeGusta published by Jalopnik.  The line of reasoning is that Drucker's letter was a private correspondence between him and Elon Musk, and GCR could not have gotten the letter from anyone but Tesla. 

The Tesla Bricking controversy could smash Tesla Motors - The controversy over whether a Tesla Roadster can be bricked is building, running the risk of spooking Tesla's customers just as the company is about to start production and delivery of the Model S, and just as customers are beginning to line up with deposits on the Model X. We have a duel between websites, possible indiscretions by Tesla Motors, uncertainty over whether future Model S and Model X owners will face the same issue, and public sentiment turning against Tesla. 

Tesla's stance is that they've warned the Roadster owners what to do, and are monitoring Roadster's to ensure their battery pack state of charge doesn't fall into dangerous territory.

A twitter message from DeGusta included the statement "I do think just saying RTFM is unduly dismissive, FWIW".

Do existing Tesla Roadster owners understand this issue? Over on (a discussion forum for Tesla owners) a poll was taken showing 92% of the respondents understand the need to keep an electric car charged up.