The Tesla-Broder Debate and What It Says About Decarbonizing Transportation

Matthew Stepp February 21, 2013
February 21, 2013

The New York Times reporter John Broder recently published his account of an East Coast road trip he took with the Tesla Model S electric vehicle (EV). It marked an important development: Tesla has opened two new public “supercharging” stations some 200 miles apart in Delaware and Connecticut that can fully replenish the Model S battery in an hour and potentially provide consumers the ability to drive the well-traveled Interstate 95 corridor at near-zero carbon emissions. Unfortunately, Broder’s test results came up short, showing the limitations of existing EV technology, the need for more innovation, and the division of opinions on how the United States should decarbonize transportation. This final point really gets to the heart of the debate. Ultimately, the Tesla vs. Broder spat is a proxy for the debate on how to best decarbonize the transportation sector.