It seems to me that a point is being missed with the New York Times article.
The important range characteristic of a car, whether gas or electric, is for it to give you adequate warning that you need to recharge or refuel. It is not that it have a particular range or that it meets EPA mileage, which rarely happens.
In this sense, Musk buried the important bit, which is that the Model S never gave Mr. Broder false information. He does mention this, but the main thrust of his response focuses on the discrepancies of Mr. Broder's account, some quite minor. It also includes an interpretation of Mr. Broder's intent, which even though I agree with Musk, is hazardous territory to get into.
The problem with this approach is that it plays into the hands of those who want to claim that the car needs to be driven inflexibly or with "special training". Some Tesla advocates are even saying roughly the same thing. IMHO, this is not a good approach..
How about a simpler message? The car has excellent range, convenient charging at home, and a growing infrastructure on the road. It will tell you with plenty of mileage that you need to charge when you do. Anybody who can read a single number is qualified to drive this car. Anybody who understands the words "CHARGE NOW" is qualified to drive the car.
Just my opinion, but I think the best tack is to keep it simple. The details are great for the nerds, but not so much with the general public, and can be spun by the spinners.
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