Tesla's Elon Musk flames Times review in Geneva

Tesla's press conference at the 2013 Geneva auto show turned into a raucous affair as CEO Elon Musk repeatedly took the New York Times to task for its Model S review.

Elon Musk and George Blankenship
Tesla's Elon Musk and George Blankenship seemed to enjoy the raucous press conference at the 2013 Geneva auto show. Wayne Cunningham/CNET

GENEVA--What started out as a routine press conference on Tesla's presentation of the Model X and Model S at the 2013 Geneva auto show became turbulent as a reporter questioned CEO Elon Musk on a recent New York Times article critical of Tesla's new sedan.

The reporter seemed to be taking the side of New York Times' reporter John Broder, who ran out of electricity while driving a Model S. Musk responded repeatedly and forcefully that the Times article was false, citing the car's own logs as proof. As the reporter at the Geneva show continued the line of questioning, Musk went on to say that the logs do not lie.

Musk then whimsically likened the Times article to a Dr. Seuss poem, suggesting it was false in this way and false in that way, and that it was false in many ways.

As another reporter raised a question about Tesla's Supercharger network in Europe, Musk said that it was in the planning stages. He refrained from making any promises as to the timeline at the urging of Tesla Vice President George Blankenship, who was also onhand. Musk was able to say that Superchargers in the U.K. would come online by the end of the year.

Musk mentioned the already existing Supercharger networks in California and on the East Coast, promising they would be free to use for Tesla owners for life. He said Tesla was in the process of installing solar panels at the stations, and that these would generate enough electricity throughout the year to supply every Tesla owner that stopped at the station to charge up a vehicle.

When asked by another reporter if he had considered building a range extending gasoline-powered generator into the Model S, Musk responded that hybrids were like frogs. He said that, where a frog can swim and hop on land, it can do neither well, suggesting that was similar to how a hybrid runs on gasoline and electricity.

His next metaphor was more to the point, saying that in soccer, you don't go where the ball is, but where it is going to be. He wanted Tesla to develop the cars of the future, not of the past.

One last reporter, pointing out the gull-wing doors on the Model X, asked that the next vehicle have a place for people to put their skis. Musk said that the company does have a solution for the Model X, which is designed as an all-wheel-drive crossover.

Tesla Model X
Tesla showed off the development version of its Model X all-wheel-drive crossover at the 2013 Geneva auto show. Wayne Cunningham/CNET

 

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