Business publisher Forbes released a piece yesterday that it couched as a rebuttal to a Green Car Reports article published last week.
We reported on Tesla's efforts to install 18 new Superchargers by the summer of 2013, a goal it announced months ago.
The Forbes piece claims that Tesla had met its goal. Unfortunately, that's simply not true.
Our article said that Tesla had completed nine of its promised 18 ultra-fast electric-car charging stations, but was expected to add two more last week and three this week.
Forbes author Mark Rogowsky wrote that Tesla now has 21 Supercharger stations up and running, including "a dozen in the past week alone."
He lauded Tesla because it "proved the doubters wrong" and "actually exceed[ed] the goal by the deadline."
He termed Green Car Reports a "bettor against Tesla," and said our article was "especially wrong, especially quickly."
Math: It's hard
Regrettably, Rogowsky erred on some basic facts. Let's go through the math.
First, the 21 Supercharger stations he cites are the total number now operational throughout the U.S.
But eight of them were already up and running by May--when Tesla promised 18 additional Superchargers in specified locations by Summer 2013
Rogowsky wrote, "before summer was through, [Tesla] would have 18 of its high-speed Supercharger stations up and running." That's wrong.
Tesla promised a total of 26 Superchargers by the end of summer. One week ago, when we published our article, 17 of those 26 total stations were operational.
Today, with four days left to the deadline, 19 of those 26 promised stations are now operating--plus two more that weren't on the summer list.
Forbes's own maps torpedo the assertion that Tesla has "exceeded the goal."
A quick glance at the two Supercharger maps in Forbes' own article confirms that seven of the grey "future Supercharger" dots on the initial map are missing from the current map.
Mysterious missing 10
Rogowsky further claims that Tesla has "made official a dozen Superchargers in the last week alone." We're aware of two, in Waco, Texas and Rockford, Illinois.
We eagerly await Rogowsky's list of the 10 other Superchargers that opened last week.
The facts remain just as we wrote: Last spring, Tesla promised 18 new Superchargers by Summer 2013, and when the article was written, it had delivered nine of them.
Those nine were in Darien Connecticut; Normal, Illinois; Fort Myers and Port St. Lucie, Florida; San Marcos, Texas; Burlington and Centralia, Washington; and Atascadero and Buellton, California.
As we also reported in the article, two additional Superchargers not promised for Summer 2013 arrived ahead of schedule. They are in Woodburn, Oregon, and Fremont, California.
As we predicted, two more were opened last week, in Rockford, Illinois, and Waco, Texas. And, as we reported, three more are expected to open by the end of this week.
Five still MIA
Tesla has now confirmed those new locations will be Port Orange, Florida; Glenwood Springs, Colorado; and Darien, Connecticut (the southbound counterpart to the already-completed northbound Darien Supercharger).
So five Superchargers promised for summer 2013 remain missing. Three appear to be along I-95 near Providence, Rhode Island; New Brunswick, New Jersey; and Richmond, Virginia. The other two are in Southern California.
We have to disagree with Forbes' characterization of the tone of our article. It did not "bet against" Tesla; it simply reported the facts.
While we called Tesla's 9-for-18 performance 10 days before its deadline "pretty mediocre," we noted that opening the five additional stations expected this week would rate a "not bad."
If anything, your writer has a pro-Tesla bias: I'm a Model S owner who has written that it's the "coolest freaking car in the history of Western civilization." No one wants the Supercharger buildout to proceed on schedule more than I do.
Yes, I've expressed doubts that Tesla will achieve 100 percent of its ambitious Fall 2013 goal of 51 new Superchargers--including seven in the Northeast, where I live.
If Rogowsky feels differently, I hereby suggest a wager.
I await his suggestion for the stakes.