Fox Reporter Conjures Mystery Numbers For New Tesla Attack
Still in search of ways to attack the federal government's investments in green technology, Fox Business baselessly claimed that the battery for the all-electric Tesla Model S "conks out after about 16 miles." In fact, the car is noted  for its 200-mile battery range, which is superior  to that of other electric vehicles on the market.
Positive developments  about Tesla Motors' fortunes have been selectively covered  by media of late, and the increasing likelihood that the company will be a long-term success has led some outlets to seek  ever more inventive  ways of criticizing the Department of Energy loan that it received (or pretend  it never got a government boost at all). On Thursday's edition of Varney & Company, Fox Business reporter Elizabeth MacDonald aptly illustrated this phenomenon, claiming that Tesla Motors and Space X  founder Elon Musk "has got to fix the Tesla [Model S] battery ... which conks out after 16 miles or about a half-hour of usage."
However, the Model S has actually been touted  as a potential "game-changer" for its stated range  of either 206 or 265 miles when fully charged (depending on which of the two batteries owners choose). At a consistent 55 mph clip, the larger battery can exceed a 300-mile range . Actual numbers may vary, as Tesla points out, according to "driving conditions and how you drive and maintain your vehicle," but the company's online tool shows a range of just over 150 miles for the smaller battery even at 65 mph, at freezing-point temperatures, with heat and headlights turned on and windows rolled down (i.e. less-than-favorable mileage conditions). The notoriously tough car reviewers at Consumer Reports, which earlier gave  the Model S a near-perfect rating, cautioned  that the car's actual range may not always align with the stated range, but reported nothing close to what MacDonald claims.
In 2011, MacDonald also appeared to pull a figure out of thin air to attack green energy investments, claiming  that Evergreen Solar received "$43 million in federal money," when the bankrupt company had actually not received any federal money, according to The New York Times.
UPDATE (5/31/13): Elizabeth MacDonald acknowledged  Friday on Varney & Company that she "gave incomplete information" on the battery range of the Model S, noting that one hour of charging using a mobile connector  will add 31 miles to the car's range, while the fully-charged 85 kw battery has a range of 300 miles.