On The Road: Convoy of Tesla Model S owners set out to re-create John Broder's infamous @TeslaRoadTrip for the NYT

In case you’ve been living under a rock, an East Coast road trip in Tesla’s Model S sedan by veteran New York Times reporter John Broder has created a bit of a frenzy. Tesla’s devout fans have suggested that “broder” become a verb, as in “to purposely or with willful ignorance run down the battery pack of an electric vehicle to the point that it no longer moves the vehicle.”

CNN was the first news outlet to re-create the trip, as my colleague Pat May reports.

Now an ever-growing number of Model S owners are undertaking their own drive, following Broder’s exact itinerary from Maryland to Connecticut this weekend. At least five drivers set out from Rockville, MD at Saturday morning, with plans to meet up with additional drivers at Tesla’s Supercharger station in Delaware Saturday afternoon. I have a feeling that more and more Model S owners who live along the I-95 corridor will join the caravan as the day goes on.

“We’re trying to recreate what the New York Times reporter did,” said Aaron Schieldkraut, 46, a proud Model S owner from Yonkers, NY.

Live Blog: Follow @teslaroadtrip progress

The idea of the drive sprung up on the Tesla Motors Forum and quickly became a conference call and plan of action. Another Model S owner has set up Tesla telemetry and Twitter integration.

Schieldkraut spent Friday night at the Maryland home of another Model S owner; one of the drivers is a guy from Boston who drove through the night to Maryland only to  turn around and participate in the convoy. (He’s apparently looking for someone to ride shotgun). Most plan to spend Saturday night in Groton, CT; does anyone know which hotel Broder stayed at?

Shieldkraut says that Broder made one big mistake during his trip: he failed to fully charge the Model S at both Supercharging stations. There’s been a lot of back-and-forth between Tesla and the New York Times on what did and didn’t happen, and what advice – some of it conflicting – that Tesla personnel gave Broder during the trip.

“We’re going to prove that if he’d done the full charge he would have made it,” said Shieldkraut. “The single thing he did wrong was not fully charge. Maybe he didn’t know enough about cold weather.”

The group of Model S drivers has set up a Twitter account at @TeslaRoadTrip that already has more than 600 followers.

I’m sure that @ElonMusk, who is no stranger to Twitter, will be following @TeslaRoadTrip closely.



Dana Hull Dana Hull (252 Posts)

Dana Hull covers clean technology and energy policy for the San Jose Mercury News. She often writes about electric vehicles, the smart grid, the solar industry and California energy policy, from RPS goals to Gov. Jerry Brown's big dreams for distributed generation.