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  1. #1
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    Cars Jeremy Clarkson under fire over Tesla electric car test drive

    It was billed by Jeremy Clarkson as the ultimate test for an electric car – a drag race against a Lotus Elise on BBC2's Top Gear. And it was a test that the £92,000 Tesla appeared to fail after it dramatically slowed down on the show's test track and was pushed into a garage to await charging.

    But it has since emerged that the Tesla, which can be powered from an ordinary domestic plug, did not run out of electricity.

    The car's California-based manufacturer said that the charge on neither of the two Teslas used in the Top Gear test fell below 20%.

    The BBC today denied it had misled viewers, saying that the programme had "at no time" claimed that the car had run out of power. Programme-makers instead showed it slowing down to illustrate what would happen when the car did run out of charge.

    But some viewers were left with a different impression. "I understand trying to make interesting TV, but when it materially changes the image or performance of the product, it's pretty underhanded," said one viewer on a car website.

    Another said: "How pointless, in the same way if a car runs out of petrol I know what happens without a reconstruction of the event."

    The Tesla initially beat the Elise around the Top Gear track. Clarkson, who described "brown rice eco cars" as a "bit like cod liver oil – very good for you but you would rather have a plate of steak and chips", was impressed as it beat its rival from a standing start.

    "God almighty, wave goodbye to dial-up, say hello to the world of broadband motoring," said Clarkson.

    "I cannot believe this – that's biblically quick. This car is electric, literally. The top speed may only be 125mph but there's so much torque it does 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds. Not bad from a motor the size of a watermelon and which has only one moving part."

    But later the Tesla was shown slowing down on the track, the soundtrack came to a halt and Clarkson looked around dumbfounded before the car was pushed into a garage, apparently out of electricity. "Oh," he said.

    "This car really was shaping up to be something wonderful," said Clarkson in his voiceover. "But then..."

    "Although Tesla say it will do 200 miles we worked out that on our track it would run out after just 55 miles," continued Clarkson's voiceover.

    "And if it does run out it's not a quick job to charge it up again. To fill the tank on a normal car it takes a couple of minutes. To fully recharge the batteries on this from a normal 13 amp socket like this takes 16 hours. So to get from here to the top of Scotland would take more than three days."

    Rachel Konrad, a spokeswoman for Tesla, said at no time did the batteries in either of the two cars used in the Top Gear test drop below 20% charge.

    She told "The image of them pushing it off the track was so searing," she said.

    But she said she was generally happy with the overall tone of the review. "I thought it was a positive piece for Tesla by Top Gear standards. I personally like the show – it savages cars in a very entertaining way.

    "My concern was with American viewers who were tuning in for the first time and might not understand the whole angle of the show. We wanted to make clear that range was not a concern over the entire time of the [Top Gear] test."

    She said the company would not be pursuing the matter with the BBC. "We would love to have them drive it again whenever they want."

    But the BBC today stood by the programme, which first aired on 14 December and was repeated on BBC2 last Sunday, 21 December.

    "At no time did we claim that the cars ran out of charge," said a BBC spokeswoman.

    "When the car began to lose power we included a voiceover which stated: 'And if it does run out it's not a quick job to charge it up again.' Top Gear stands by the findings in this film and is content that it offers a fair representation of the Tesla's performance on the day it was tested."

    Clarkson, famously cynical about efforts to reduce the impact of motoring on the environment, was nevertheless impressed with the electric car, describing himself as a "volt head" – as opposed to a petrol head – and declared: "Yes, it's snowing in hell".

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  2. #2
    DF Jedi Argyll's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jeremy Clarkson under fire over Tesla electric car test drive

    To be honest Top Gear is pretty shit and dishonest when test driving cars. Although very entertaining their technical know how in my opinion is very poor and Clarkson is a fecking badge snob.Regardless I still watch it due to the entertainment factor but I very rarely pay much attention to anything they say regarding reviews.

    Fifth Gear I would say is very good at giving good honest reviews although the programme itself is less entertaining.
    I understand and accept that some people hold opinions that are different to my own. Living in a free and democratic society, I fully embrace and respect their right to be wrong.

  3. #3
    DF PlaYa mug's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jeremy Clarkson under fire over Tesla electric car test drive

    The environmental benefit of the hydrogen over the electric is a non starter for me. Its all about the difference in running cost and you can't hide the fact that the electric car is around 10x cheaper to run. Also its not like a whole new polluting infrastructure needs to be made as electric is all ready piped into every household.

    I might seem like a conspiracy theorists but I still think the oil company's have a hand in making electric cars look bad. Its there prerogative to ensure that there new baby (hydrogen) gets to market and is a resounding success.

    Also Tesla Motors will be producing a sedan in the near future and dare I say it you might get even more mileage out of it.

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    DF PwNagE kracken's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jeremy Clarkson under fire over Tesla electric car test drive

    It turns out the car was pushed into the garage because those are the regulations at the track that cars are not allowed to be driven into the buildings.

    Here are some of Jeremy Clarkson's quotes:

    ... Clarkson denied the programme ever showed the car had stopped running.

    "We never said once that the car had run out of power. The car had to be pushed into the warehouse because you are not allowed to drive cars into a building.

    "We calculated that it would have run out of power after 53 miles but they can't argue with that because that is a fact."

    And speaking about the allegations of misrepresenting the brake failure, the outspoken presenter: "Nobody gives a flying fuck how the brakes failed. Whether it was a blown fuse or not, they were still not working."

    A spokesman for the BBC admitted that the car had not run out of power, but said: "Top Gear stands by the findings in this film and is content that it offers a fair representation of the Tesla's performance on the day it was tested."

    A spokesman for Mr Clarkson said he did not want to comment further.

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