back to article BBC: Top Gear Tesla didn't run out of juice

The BBC has admitted that the silver Tesla Roadster driven by Jeremy Clarkson on this past weekend's Top Gear didn't run out of juice and didn't need to be pushed home. However, the Corporation said it stood by the results of its test of the 'leccy sports car. A spokeswoman for the popular motoring show confirmed to Register …

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Rusty Shackleford say's

It's a tough call. do I get two thirds of the way to and from work each day for a bargain £100K or ALL the way to work and home again! In a LPG converted car for peanuts in running costs and purchase cost.

Hmmm side of the road each day calling the AA for a lift home for £100K or.... 'door to door' for several large bucket loads less cash. Thats a tough call.

I'm going with LPG on this one.

Call me when your Tesla does 200miles range with headlights on, heated windows, heated seats. air con and stereo on... etc whilst cruising at 70. Other than that please feel free to sell it to townies who probably don't even really need a vehicle.

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I for one...

welcome this new breakdown simulation element on Top Gear. Now if only they'd expand that to include Clarkson's gob once in a while.

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How is this any different?

I think we all know by now how "Jezza" revews cars (usually by comparing them to a Ferrari), so why is anyone surprised by the Tesla article? Top gear is primarily an entertainment programme not a car review one, and we shouldn't expect ant different.

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To be fair.....

To be fair, Jeremy specifically said, whilst walking on an empty track, something along the lines of "I expected the track to be quieter today but not to hear the sound of silence" Intimating they now had no car to drive.

On the flipside, glass half full and all that. That VT was a marketing teams wet dream.

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See you in court

I've a feeling Top Gear will get their asses sued off by Tesla for this one. It's all very well saying naughty things about truckers, but deliberately misleading the (remotely possible purchasing) public about the performance and reliability of a commercially available product has got to be breaking a few laws. Tesla's reputation and sales figures will have been groundlessly affected.

And they're American ... so they'll sue.

(And deserve to win, IMO)

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Unhappy

If only

If only we could buy decent leccy cars in the UK - by decent I mean able to keep up on A roads (60-70mph) and able to do a reasonable commute (40 mile round trip)!

Top Gear is a 'lads mag' on the screen anyway, so you should take anything they say or do as a joke anyway!

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Petrol cars run out of fuel too

...but can't be refueled at the next mains socket.

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Unhappy

more accurate headline being

"BBC, Top Gear and Clarkson caught lying again"

It's almost hardly news these days. They rig their races in favour of the car and promote Clarkson's agendas, e.g. blaming Ken Livingstone for a Tory Westminster Council policy.

Clarkson is an oaf, as was demonstrated by the identity theft episode. The guy who compared Top Gear to Last of the Summer Wine was spot on.

"We have three vehicles today, the Toyota Hipbath, the Alfa-Romeo Jacuzzi and the Vintage Morris Tin, we are at the Holmfirth Circuit, gentlemen, to your baths"

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Unhappy

Presumably...

...all future reviews of petrol cars will show them being pushed back to the garage to "show what would happen if they ran out of petrol"?

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Anonymous Coward

Out of juice...

They should do that with the Ferraris as well, it'd be interesting to see what a 150k supercar does when it sucks the gunge out of the bottom of the tank with 10,000 revs on...

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Boffin

BBC?

This is the second time that Top Gear has got away with doing what the BBC does best:

Elaborate on the truth somewhat.

I noticed that other BBC shows that week were not treated so leniently.

I wonder what else they have done in the name of art. No doubt altered some of the lap times?

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A sprinkle of salt needed on Top Gear track

I have always taken Top Gear with a slight pinch of salt - the ever so staged confrontations, the staggeringly close results of the cross country ;races; etc, but I guess I had always presumed that the car reviews were honest.

They were keen to promote hydrogen fuel (a later item in the show) and therefore to give a leccy car a clean sweep would have undermined their hydrogen stance.

Very large pinches of salt from now on I think

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Electric cars always have great acceleration...

As with the good old milk floats, although their top speed wasn't anything to write home about.

I also saw an electric Super Seven at the kit car show, very impressive acceleration and top speed, but the duration is crap unless your drive everywhere at 30 (was very strange watching a silent Seven though)

I imagine it's the same with Tesla's Roadster, it may be able to out-drag an Elise, but can it drive from London to Paris doing 70 all the way on a single tank (I know an Elise can)

The only reason the things are so fast is that they weigh nothing, if they did fill them with enough batteries to improve their endurance they'd be as much fun to drive as a Lada.

Great idea, just need a bit more time to mature.

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Anonymous Coward

To keep things fair...

... will they be showing what happens when a petrol and diesel car looks like when it runs out of fuel ?

When I saw the program I certainly thought the car had run out of charge.

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Pretty weak excuse

Falsely implying something negative, and then trying to dodge critiscism by saying you were showing what 'might happen'. It's not like they film themselves pouring petrol in the tank at the side of the road for every normal car they test...

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Unhappy

"we fibbed but we're not the least bit sorry"

seems to be the message from the BBC.

For some reason, I was reminded of OJ Simpson's book, "If I Did It".

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Yeah, but who cares?

Hotrods move. Fast. I have several. They are fun.

Hotrods are easily refueled, and can go fast again in a hurry.

Teslas and other performance electric cars are fast, for a couple minutes.

Then you wait. And wait. And wait. And wait. And wait ...

Anyone who can afford a Tesla, and wants that kind of performance, would probably rather spend their money on something that burns gas/petrol ... Maybe a late '60s Ford. Or perhaps a DeTomaso ... But the bottom line is that if you can afford that kind of performance, you can afford to burn ancient tree ferns as fuel.

Electric cars are for posers. At least for today.

Tomorrow is another day. Today is not tomorrow. Please face reality.

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Don't "normal" cars run out of petrol

Whilst I love the show, if it didn't actually run out, then why push it. Normal sports cars run out of petrol, but they don't push them every week.

Still, the tesla car is pointless - where does the electricity come from, it isn't greener. The car that May tested at the end - now that's the future

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Running out of Juice

The kids were watching that episode on TG this morning.

He didn't actually say it ran out of juice after 55 miles, he said, "We worked out that on our track it would run out of juice after 55 miles"

As others pointed out in the comments for the other article. They managed to empty petrol tanks on the track that fast too.

Not many cars get a better review on TG than the Tesla got. Let's face it, after years of refusing to have a Caterham on the track, they pasted that, even though it caned the Bugatti round the track, and caning things round a track is an R500s sole reason for existing.

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Flame

Future Reviews on TG

I wonder if this is a new addition to the reviewing of cars, see how easy it is to push the reviewed vehicle if they run out of Gas, Charge, Hydrogen, <insert long list of crap>

Really I think they wanted to play this as some sort of gag, which obviously isn't all that funny at all, and just shows how badly the show is falling into disrepair.

Now what WOULD have been funny would have been getting the batteries to blow up, but then again I doubt that they would have allowed to do that.

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Anonymous Coward

A title shouldn't be required. Why is it needed? I blame the government...

So why don't they show all of the cars they test being pushed into a garage, to show what happens when a petrol fuelled car runs out of petrol??

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what would happen if the Roadster had run out of charge.

Exactly the same as if an IC car ran out of petrol. I really can't see the point of such a demonstration.

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Coat

So....

Are Tesla claiming that it will _never_ run out of leccie?

Mines the one with the bottle of Hydrogen in the pocket...

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Unhappy

Missing the Point

I think the reason that everyone has got so heated about this is very little to do with Top Gear's treatment of the Tesla and is almost entirely due to the puff piece about the Honda Clarity FCX in the same episode. The complete imbalance in the treatment and presentation of these two vehicles, both showcasing potentially important technology, is what annoyed, and any claims that liberties can be taken for entertainment purposes doesn't really justify the bias shown.

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Next supercar review on Top Gear

Will, I assume,. show the supercar being pushed back to the garage as if it has run out of petrol?!

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Journalists make things up?

....and editors 'manipulate' content for maximum impact! Who knew?

Actually I had hoped that the editors and producers of one of my favourite programmes would have more integrety than to sex thing up, but i guess the disease has spread too far.

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Coat

Showing what would happen...

"the tested Tesla was filmed being pushed into the shed in order to show what would happen if the Roadster had run out of charge."

Fair enough. I we can expect every Top Gear review from now on to include a demonstration of what whould happen if the vehicle in question runs out of petrol/diesel/methane/hydrogen/plutonium/anti-matter.

<-- Mine's the high visibility one with the lycra shorts!

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This is great logic. We could extend this.

For instance, they could show us Clarkson being bludgeoned to death in his bed... in order to show us what it would look like if someone was to bludgeon Clarkson to death in his bed.

They could even show someone from the BBC coming around to my house to refund my license fee, in order to show what that would look like, too! I think we should be shown! After all, I don't want to think my good money is being spent to fund the coke-snorting lifestyles of a bunch of toffy-nosed gits with names like 'Jeremy', 'Tiff' and 'Quentin'.

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Alert

Excuse my memory..

but when was the last time they pushed a petrol car into a garage just to show what would happen if you ran out of petrol?

something is amiss...

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Hmmm

I like watching Top Gear and particularly like the irreverent mannerisms and attitudes of the presenters, I think they compliment eachother well. That said I think this is perhaps worse than the whole "Lorry drivers murder prostitutes" furore.

Whilst I don't imagine anyone would necessarily base a purchasing decision entirely on a TG review, stating something which is patently untrue about the car *would* influence peoples perceptions of it negatively. Stating that the car runs out of power before it really does is in my mind as bad as stating that the "brakes stop working after some spirited driving" on any other car they've reviewed.

I don't really understand why they would "show what happens when the car runs out of fuel" (in this case electricity), I don't buy that at all.

For shame TG! (I'll be tuning in as per usual though)

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Misleading

From memory, they pretty much stated the Tesla ran out of juice well before it was supposed to. I think there are probably pretty good grounds for a formal complaint.

Maybe they do that for every car, in which case they need some sort of disclaimer on the show saying something like "All results are for entertainment purposes only, and are purely fictional".

Not that that would stop the Clarkson fanbois treating everything that comes out of his mouth as the absolute truth.

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So..

..do they need to show us all what happens when a car runs out of petrol when far from a petrol station?

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Not surprising...

...considering it's a program made by and for ignorant Petroltards who think that driving fast is something to be impressed by, and that Speed Cameras are the Government's way of "oppressing" them rather than an attempt to stop them from murdering people with their God-Given right to do 60 in a 30 zone. Cnuts.

Oh, and a Merry Christmas to all.

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But then as they showed later....

....it was made totally pointless by the Honda Fuel Cell car.

Thats the one I'd buy. Batteries indeed!

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Go

GO!

There had to be "something" wrong with the Tesla, they just couldn't give it 10/10 because in their humble opinion a hydrogen fuel cell is the future. Alternative power trains for transport need good press coverage if they are ever to be taken seriously.

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Fair enough, but...

...on the other hand, the prejudices of Clarkson and the rest of the Stooges were glaringly obvious over the course of the programme. Like when he pointed out that the power comes from the grid for the motor, while James May's puff piece on hydrogen failed to point out the significantly greater costs of generating that fuel. Not to mention the costs of setting up transport and distribution networks for a highly explosive compressed gas.

But hey, this is entertainment, not informed journalism.

Personally speaking, if a practical leccy car comes along, I'd be happy to pay for a charging point outside my house (big cost saver until the government starts to turn the screw), but not everyone has that option.

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Alert

Lies, damn lies, and editing

"Now we can reveal the answer: according to the Top Gear spokeswoman, the tested Tesla was filmed being pushed into the shed in order to show what would happen if the Roadster had run out of charge."

Hmmm. Not how it was presented on the programme. From a "crap - no power" cut scene to being pushed into the hanger. There was no attempt to show the power level meter going down, nor any warning lights flashing at JC on the track.

So now they tell us that point was staged as dramatics? The duration of charging, however, was a fair point

To be fair on the rest of the segment later tho' the focus was on reliability issues (which we saw/were told about) as the main reason not to buy the car, and it's price.

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Pirate

Yogi Clarkson Boo Boo?

And when a petrol head runs out of fuel, does one not have to push it too?.

If I were to be unkind I could almost think that it seems like the oil lobby is worried and has compromised our Jeremy into peddling misperceptions ... so I won't be thinking that today.

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Well....

Top Gear did make out the cars were very unreliable in the show so maybe they should get their fingers burnt? I was impressed and have been with the Tesla since I first saw it and Top Gear did kind of put me off with the references to the fact it was so unreliable, indeed they jibed about it's unreliability and thats got to be damaging....

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Pretty Much as Expected Then

However, it still begs the question "do Tesla not understand how television works?" All they seem to have done by complaining is turn what was pretty much good publicity for them into bad publicity. Most people watching concentrated on the impressive performance of the test car, but people hearing Kondrad's rant are now concentrating on the woeful range and disappointing reliability of the car, not to mention the ridiculously long charge time.

One person I spoke to raised a valid point: "Could the very low range have been caused by the car running an uprated motor?" Something that hadn't occurred to me, but now it's got me thinking. A quick search of internet motoring forums will find several references to the fact that the test car was allegedly running nice sticky Yokohama 48's instead of the horrible low rolling resistance tyres fitted as original equipment. Something that probably wouldn't have got much mileage (sorry) had Konrad not started shouting the odds.

So most people watching that would have probably taken the item at face value, Konrad's rant has only got people thinking. And what they are thinking is probably quite negative.

Comparing the performance with an Elise seems somewhat unfair, the Tesla costs about four times the price of the Lotus. Oh and why shouldn't it be faster than a GT3? After all the Tesla costs some ten thousand pounds more than the Porker.

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And the difference is ........ ?

Er.. isn't "pushing it" what you have to do to ANY car that runs out of juice?

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I hope...

... that as "the tested Tesla was filmed being pushed into the shed in order to show what would happen if the Roadster had run out of charge." we can expect Top Gear to be pushing the latest BMW Wanky Truffle Tourer (with optional black everything) into the garage in a future episode to show what would happen when that runs out of petrol?

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Paris Hilton

Fair?

Either the car ran out of charge (as clearly stated in the show) or it didn't. Someone's telling porkies.

Paris, because she like pork.

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Anonymous Coward

lol @ thrashed

Errr... yeah, the £90k Tesla against the most basic Elise that costs about £22k. If they'd put it up against an R (instead of the basic S) or an Exige S then it'd of been a different story.

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In the show, they did say...

...'we calculated it would run out after only 55 miles on our track' which implies calculation rather than by actual test.

And for pushing it back. Well, if it was a petrol car they would stick a bit of fuel in and drive it back. They couldn't drop in a couple of everyreadys and limped that thing home.

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Me thinks the lady doth protest too much....

Tesla appear to not be able to take any criticism at all. It's a shame. Nice car, touchy company.

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Anonymous Coward

@Skip Intro

Troll. I think you'll find that real petrol-heads (not chavs driving Saxos with bean can exhausts) don't do 60 in a 30 - More often than not, I end up following some "do-gooder" who does 40 in a 60, and pulls in to the middle of the road to stop me getting past - but then pulls away from me through the next village as they continue to do 40 through a 30 zone.

The problem us petrol-heads have, is inappropriate speed - which the speed cameras do not work for, only real traffic police do. Speed doesn't kill, inappropriate use of speed kills - Like the idiots who do 70mph on the motorway in thick fog - legal, but much more dangerous than someone do 90mph on the motorway on a clear day in light traffic.

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oh dear...

maybe the point being made was you could refuel a petrol car on the track with a jerry can etc.. but you'd need a mahoooosive extension lead to charge a tesla.

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16 hours

The point seemed pretty clear to me. The Tesla takes 16 hours to recharge from a 13-amp mains socket, whereas a petrol or diesel car takes 2 mins to refuel. Although they didn't mention how long it would take from a 415V 3-phase supply which you can easily have installed (my house as one) which would have been a bit fairer. The FCX Clarity also takes only minutes to refuel - if you can find a station with hydrogen!

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Anonymous Coward

@AC what would happen if the Roadster had run out of charge.

"Exactly the same as if an IC car ran out of petrol. I really can't see the point of such a demonstration."

If you don't see the point then you're not looking very hard.

The point is that, should your IC car run out of juice all you need is your thumb and your credit card and you're back in business. Should your battery car run out of juice you'll be needing a tow truck.

What are you going to do when your battery driven car runs out of fuel, thumb a lift to the next filling station and ask them for a very long extension cable? Or do you expect the AA man to come out and use his alternator to recharge your batteries for a few hours.

The TG crew obviously need to explain things in much shorter words for the likes of you.

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