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Top Gear Hands Tesla Another Controversy

Tesla Motors seems to find itself in the clarifying business more than most startups: There was the temporary transmission issue in 2007 (clarification: not designed to fail), the airbag waiver controversy back in February (the Roadster does have front airbags, but deployment of the front passenger airbag does not vary based on passenger weight). Now we have the case of the Top Gear Mischaracterizations.

As Wired reported last night, Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson “beat the snot out of a pair of Tesla Roadsters” on the British TV show. Video below.

Needless to say, Tesla was not pleased. Cue clarification: Tesla spokesperson Rachel Konrad says the batteries didn’t die, the cars weren’t pushed off the track (sure looks like they were), and most Tesla owners need 3.5 — not 16 — hours to recharge. Oh, and the brake failure? Just a blown fuse.

4 Responses to “Top Gear Hands Tesla Another Controversy”

  1. Jake Agnew

    Brain – the programme admits that the car did NOT run out of power. The whole thing was a gimmick to smear electric car technology.

    As to how far and fast the car can go on a charge, JK drove it hard and it still had an ample charge.

  2. I think Top Gear got it about right. A great car but only for as long as the batteries have juice.

    Electric car manufactrurers and fans do themselves no favours by quoting silly figures that tests and calculations reveal to be bogus.

    A car with a 53 kWh battery pack cannot propel a vehicle with 185 kW motors nearly flat out for very long or very far. And 3.5 hour charging is simple not possible given the capacity of domestic elec supplies around the world.

  3. bottled water

    I’m willing to bet Honda is a major sponsor of that show.

    The whole thing was a set-up. If the battery’s power was low, why did he keep driving it?

    “Sure looks like it”? Sure looks like what. Looks like a film crew was on the scene, which means anything can be made to look like anything.

    I’m not saying I know the truth about the Tesla. But why trust either side.