Top Gear is fraudulently disparaging electric cars in a manner directly opposed to the BBC’s editorial guidelines. The show is currently currently being sued by Tesla for claiming their Roadster has a 55 mile range rather than the advertised 211. Then they tested the Nissan Leaf.
Last Sunday, an episode of Top Gear showed Jeremy Clarkson and James May setting off for Cleethorpes in Lincolnshire, 60 miles away. The car unexpectedly ran out of charge when they got to Lincoln, and had to be pushed. They concluded that “electric cars are not the future”.
But it wasn’t unexpected: Nissan has a monitoring device in the car which transmits information on the state of the battery. This shows that, while the company delivered the car to Top Gear fully charged, the programme-makers ran the battery down before Clarkson and May set off, until only 40% of the charge was left. Moreover, they must have known this, as the electronic display tells the driver how many miles’ worth of electricity they have, and the sat-nav tells them if they don’t have enough charge to reach their destination. In this case it told them – before they set out on their 60-mile journey – that they had 30 miles’ worth of electricity. But, as Ben Webster of the Times reported earlier this week, “at no point were viewers told that the battery had been more than half empty at the start of the trip.”
I don’t get Top Gear. I’ve watched it a few times and find Jeremy Clarkson to be an absolutely unbearable blowhard. He’s like the UK’s version of Jay Leno. They’re both sad old dinosaurs that should be put out to pasture. If you’re not familiar with Jeremy Clarkson’s work, his review of the original Prius is an excellent starting point.
It’s disappointing to see the BBC allow this type of disinformation to be spread so widely.