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Moo
08-07-11, 08:05 PM
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Take, for example, Top Gear's line on electric cars. Casting aside any pretence of impartiality or rigour, it has set out to show that electric cars are useless. If the facts don't fit, it bends them until they do.

It's currently being sued by electric car maker Tesla after claiming, among other allegations, that the Roadster's true range is only 55 miles per charge (rather than 211), and that it unexpectedly ran out of charge. Tesla says "the breakdowns were staged and the statements are untrue". But the BBC keeps syndicating the episode to other networks. So much for "acknowledging mistakes when they are made".

Now it's been caught red-handed faking another trial, in this case of 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."

It gets worse. As Webster points out, in order to stage a breakdown in Lincoln, "it appeared that the Leaf was driven in loops for more than 10 miles in Lincoln until the battery was flat."

When Jeremy Clarkson was challenged about this, he admitted that he knew the car had only a small charge before he set out. But, he said: "That's how TV works". Not on the BBC it isn't, or not unless your programme is called Top Gear.
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http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2011/aug/05/top-gear-bbc

Vagabond
08-07-11, 08:24 PM
Doesn't the mileage depend on the speed of the vehicle ? So how does Tesla for example say that Top Gear was wrong ? Perhaps 211 miles is at 50m/h or something, i don't really think that Clarkson and May are stupid to orchestrate something like that.

jcrox
08-07-11, 08:38 PM
Doesn't the mileage depend on the speed of the vehicle ? So how does Tesla for example say that Top Gear was wrong ? Perhaps 211 miles is at 50m/h or something, i don't really think that Clarkson and May are stupid to orchestrate something like that.

Well... they clearly orchestrated something exactly like that with the Nissan Leaf. Why wouldn't they do that for Tesla Roadster?

I know someone that has a Tesla Roadster and its range is NOT 55 miles.

sharvin
08-08-11, 04:39 AM
probably ran out because the boot was full of BP merchandise and suitcases of money.

Vagabond
08-08-11, 07:50 AM
Well... they clearly orchestrated something exactly like that with the Nissan Leaf. Why wouldn't they do that for Tesla Roadster?

I know someone that has a Tesla Roadster and its range is NOT 55 miles.

Like i said milage is directly connected to the range of the car...If your friend drives it inside the city at 30m/h and someone else drives it at 50m/h they will not have the same effective range.

Starscream
08-18-11, 01:33 PM
http://transmission.blogs.topgear.com/2011/08/02/electric-cars-charges-answered/

Reading the Top Gear response to these stupid claims is worthwhile.

munkus
08-21-11, 09:44 PM
Despicable.

Ninja Prime
08-22-11, 06:23 AM
I think the response from them above summed it up nicely, they didn't really do anything wrong. Also, a Tesla won't go anywhere near that 240 miles if you drive it like a sports car... and if you spend $110,000 on a sports car, you'd better. :p

For example, any range records set by it are done averaging 25mph, and because its gearbox is one speed, power to speed is fairly linear. Average 50mph, which is super slow for freeway driving, and you're down to maybe 150 miles, if that, if you keep off the acceleration. Which you won't as said above. At freeway speeds of 75-80mph, with quick acceleration like you'd expect from a rediculously expensive sports car, I can see it down around 60-70 miles.

munkus
08-23-11, 10:31 PM
Electric cars are a passing fad. Fission is where the action is. Unlimited power, unlimited fuel. Booyah! (nana2)

Coming to a car dealership near you in 2051. Radiation suits included with every car, available in a wide variety of stylish colors.

FastRedPonyCar
08-25-11, 09:29 AM
Eh, I agree that it's dishonest and misleading but I was entertained by both of those episodes. I did find it strange that the electric cars didn't go very far but since I have absolutely zero interest in them, I didn't put too much care into it.

While I do think that they could be a bit less deceiving, I think that ultimately, they value entertainment more than anything and if the cars had gotten to their destinations and everything went smoothly, it would have been boring. There's only so much fun you can squeeze out of a dumb little electric car so I guess the producers were just trying to spice it up and make it worth being on their show.

My angle though is that if they have to go to THOSE measures to make cars interesting, why not just use more interesting and exciting cars that you don't have to over embellish on any shortcomings or dupe the viewers?