Pando Daily writer Hamish McKenzie believes Tesla founder Elon Musk "should stop whining and let his data do the talking" in the spat with New York Times' John Broder. Easy to say in hindsight. He is also wrong.
Data often has no context and therefore nothing to captivate the reader. Musk needed to add some humanity, which he certainly achieved. He also needed to fight because that's what the circumstances dictated.
The Model S is a highly expensive vehicle obtainable only by the uber-wealthy. Before the Broder review the only thing most Americans knew of Tesla was Mitt Romney calling it a loser. Conversations are now being had, even if only for the duration of this news cycle.
Most importantly, as a technology company Tesla has a lot riding on the success of its battery tech and similarly its network of Superchargers. And therein lies the problem for Tesla: there aren't yet enough Supercharger stations to make unplanned, long-haul driving viable.
I expect a similar debate was had 100 years ago when the Model T brought motoring to the masses. Filling stations weren't on every corner back then either. More importantly, I expect owners of electric vehicles will simply change their habits when recharging their vehicle. Time will tell.