BBC: Top Gear Tesla didn't run out of juice
'We showed what would happen if it did'
'Leccy Tech 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 Hardware - as Tesla's head of spin, Rachel Konrad, recently claimed - throughout the test, the show was never without a working Tesla.
"They never had to push a car off the track because of lack of charge or a fault," Konrad wrote earlier this week. "It’s unclear why they were pushing one into a garage in the video; I’ll refrain from speculating about their motives."
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.
"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," the BBC said in statement.
Of course, Tesla probably shouldn't be too upset by any of this as said findings where predominantly favourable. When it thrashed a Lotus Elise - the car on which the Roadster is based - in a drag race, Clarkson announced that the "volt-head had beaten the petrol-head" and it was "snowing in hell".
We'll also be surprised if his comment about the Roadster being "broadband motoring" doesn't end up in Tesla's PR at some point down the line. In the hands of Top Gear's "tame racing driver", the Stig, the Roadster completed a lap of the Top Gear track in exactly the same time as Porsche 911 GT3, and that is not a slow car. ®
Facts are stupid things
And here a are a few stupid facts:
"A) Try that argument with most DIESELs. You'll need an AA man with fuel bleed/prime kit."
An interesting fact, if a little out of date. Not most modern diesels you won't. But the fact remains that petrol and diesel cars generally have a much longer range than battery driven cars and it's much quicker to refuel.
"B) Electrical sockets are far more common than petrol stations"
Indeed they are. As a fact on it's own I can't argue with that. It is, however, in the application where that fact becomes a very stupid thing indeed. You try knocking on a random door and asking if you can have 50KWh of electricity and seeing what answer you get.
"C) Charging times are massively reduced with 3 phase charging."
Again an interesting "fact", but totally false. Charging times are not reduced by using 3 phase. You can't charge a Tesla from 3 Phase.
"sockets for which can be fitted for nominal costs."
A three phase "socket" may command a nominal cost, however the three phase will still need to get from the substation to your house, then you will need a distribution board and of course a three phase meter. I doubt that little lot can be had for nominal cost.
"There is no reason street lights couldn't be modified to provide charging points."
There are several reasons. I don't think you'll find lamposts have the supply or the cable to provide the extra current. Then there is the matter of payment, in the utupia you occupy electricy may be a free resource, in the real world it isn't. And speaking of costs, who will foot the bill for the supply and cabling upgrades, chip and pin machines and internet connections?
"D) Portable charging units could easily be made and stashed in the back of breakdown vans."
And the mechanic has to sit around for how long waiting for you to get sufficient charge? And what do you suppose his hourly rate would be. Then of course his van has to be recharged.
No matter how you look at it battery powered cars have got one hell of a long way to go to match the convenience of their IC brethren, and you can't tell people they've got to put up with the inconvenience. Most people would rather pay the premium of fuel taxes for the convenience.
Then there's the infrastructure. We already have the infrastructure to support our massive fleet of IC vehicles. You may be surprised to learn that, at times, the national grid is close to it's limits. So it's not just a matter of laying some extra cable to support all these battery cars. We would also need to look at increases along the whole supply chain from the powerstations all the way to the point of delivery. It is the manufacturers of the leccy cars that should fund this work, ordinary consumers or tax payers should not be expected to cough up if they have no intention of using a battery vehicle.
TG are wrong
If it was dramatic effect, clarkson could have just said in his normal sarcastic voice over "and had we listened to Tesla's figures and ran out of juice, we'd have been doing this: " *cue pushing car footage* ....... instead, he made out like the thing had problem after problem on the track, and they were stuck pushing it in.... topgear dramatic lads-mag jokes are funny most of the time, but most people thought it had left them pushing it into the garage, and without a working car to test... that's not on really... dramatic effect is good, but only when it's obvious!
Anymore events like this and I'm just going to stop watching it
Even now Top Gear's myths are taking hold...
@ Rusty Shackleford
The Tesla already does 200 miles on a charge, just not when you are caning it around a track with a heavy right foot. See http://www.teslamotors.com/blog4/?p=70
The duration of charge wasn't a fair point. Clarkson claimed 16 hours. That is only true *if* you have to charge from a normal 13A socket, but the car can be charged in 3 hours on its home charger and 45 minutes when Tesla release a three-phase charger. OK - so it is not petrol station speeds, but you can at least have lunch while it charges up.