Elon Musk, Wall Street Hit Back at New York Times Over Model S (Update 1)

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At the point in time that he claims to have turned the temperature down, he in fact turned the temperature up to 74 F.

The charge time on his second stop was 47 mins, going from -5 miles (reserve power) to 209 miles of Ideal or 185 miles of EPA Rated Range, not 58 mins as stated in the graphic attached to his article. Had Broder not deliberately turned off the Supercharger at 47 mins and actually spent 58 mins Supercharging, it would have been virtually impossible to run out of energy for the remainder of his stated journey.

For his first recharge, he charged the car to 90%. During the second Supercharge, despite almost running out of energy on the prior leg, he deliberately stopped charging at 72%. On the third leg, where he claimed the car ran out of energy, he stopped charging at 28%. Despite narrowly making each leg, he charged less and less each time. Why would anyone do that?

The above helps explain a unique peculiarity at the end of the second leg of Broder's trip. When he first reached our Milford, Connecticut Supercharger, having driven the car hard and after taking an unplanned detour through downtown Manhattan to give his brother a ride, the display said "0 miles remaining." Instead of plugging in the car, he drove in circles for over half a mile in a tiny, 100-space parking lot. When the Model S valiantly refused to die, he eventually plugged it in. On the later legs, it is clear Broder was determined not to be foiled again.

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When Musk refuted the claims on Monday, Wall Street seemed to believe him. Shares moved off their lows after his appearance on CNBC and the tweets, settling at $38.42, above the days low of $37.50.

Jefferies analyst Elaine Kwei noted that the reason for the problems was likely due to an operator error, stemming from improper charging protocol. "After digging into the background behind the article, our conclusion is that operator error likely played a primary role, due to improper charging protocol," Kwei wrote in her report. She rates Tesla shares "buy" with a $45 price target.

In the past, Tesla has indicated drivers could lose up to 10% of driving range on extremely cold weather days, similar to a combustion engine vehicle, Kwei said in her research.

Shares of Telsa were higher in Thursday trading, up 0.39% to $38.60.

--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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