"Yes it's true that trackday mileage sucks, in a petrol or electric car. There's a huge difference though, that makes the Tesla a lot less use as a trackday car."
Yes. It's a bit of a shit track-day car, unless you have a trailer (and even then... it's still a pretty shit track car!). You'd have to be a bit insane to consider buying one for the track when you could have a Lotus 7 clone for a crap-ton less, which would also cost a crap-ton less to fix when it inevitably got bent or broke.
"It's not lying to show the car being pushed, it's entertainment.
"If Tesla couldn't cope with that, they shouldn't have gone on the show. If Top Gear had lied, I'm sure they'd have lost the court case..."
As someone else pointed out, they've had to change the voice-over, apparently. So, they did lie if they had to change it. As you say: They're an entertainment programme, but sometimes they go a little too far in entertaining at the cost of factuality.
"Electric cars are brilliant for town mileage. Lovely and efficient, as they do stop-start so well. But they have short ranges, and are impractical for long-distance work in most cases. Until we've got better battery tech, that's the way it's going to stay. I'm not even convinced I've seen a hybrid that's got any better fuel consumption than a decent diesel."
Agreed. However, I feel that there is still a place for them if the battery costs can be brought down. Many drivers now are purely urban, and I think that -if we can detach ourself from the 'one car to do everything' idea- there is a place for a one-or-two seat, stylish, city-car commuter vehicle. It's only need a twenty-to-thirty mile urban range, which would drastically reduce costs, too. It would certainly suffice for 95% of my needs, and a hire-car or decent train service (fat chance, but it would be good!) would happily fill the gap, and it'd be economical if the car was priced right.
Currently hybrids are just a wet-blanket for those who want to 'show they care' in a hypocritical manner, and for wealthy people who want the tax breaks and congestion-charge avoidance. They are not 'fit for purpose' and are more of a lifestyle choice. That said: Look at iDevices. If you can make them aspirational enough, then the functionality and sale-volume will come. An engine running at constant RPM charging a small battery should make for a more efficient design, and doesn't require the infrastructure. It's a step in the right direction, and our desire for four-seater, large, pure-petrol vehicles is mainly emotive, rather than rational. As much as I love vast amounts of power and the smell of fuel, I'd probably opt for a second commuter electric or hybrid vehicle if the cost-savings arrived.