In a rather bizarre (and amusing) turn of events the electric-vehicle-hating / hyrdogen-is-the-future behemoth that is Top Gear has crowned the Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid their "Luxury Car of the Year" and also overall "Car of the Year". Top Gear editor Charlie Turner said, "Cleverness abounds in the Fisker and adds to the air of intelligent luxury. It works well, it looks good and it must be a genuinely exciting thing to own. It’s the top-of-the-line spec that features no leather, just textiles and reclaimed wood. And it’s more convincing than it sounds, managing to look, feel and smell premium without any cow peel in it at all." Henrik Fisker, co-founder, CEO and executive design director of Fisker Automotive, commented: “It is fantastic news that the Karma has won two awards from Top Gear. We realize that we are at the beginning of our journey and awards like this remind us we are on the right road - building enticing green cars that people actually want to own. It’s particularly pleasing that this award recognizes the Karma’s luxuriousness.” Perhaps next year they'll crown the Tesla Model S "Car of the Year" (sometime after they demonstrate it running out of electricity in the middle of a desert somewhere). More »
Articles tagged with top gear
For those who have seen it Top Gear's electric car piece (involving the Nissan Leaf and the Peugeot Ion) was the oh-so-predictable bias journalism from a team who think that EV evangalists are all eco-warriers (we're not, by far) and they can be cool by bashing us.
The aim of the piece was to drive sixty miles to Cleethorpes, however unlike other distance / time races that Top Gear have produced previously they decided to drain the batteries of the Leaf and Ion before setting out to ensure that they would run out before getting to the destination and then use the opportunity to point out that there are no charging points in the city of Lincoln. Not to point out the obvious but a bit like not filling up your car and then getting on a road which says "no filling stations for 80 miles". Better still it turns out that when they got to their pre-planned "breakdown" they had to drive the Leaf around in circles until its battery was completely flat. The clearest political slip-up by Clarkson was when he shouts "this is what is going to become of you all" from the window of the Leaf as its pushed down the road by May (photo above).
The facts came out thanks to the telemetrics delivered by the Leaf back to Nissan. Top Gear's executive producer Andy Wilman responded to Nissan's points and said they never intended to "test the range" of the cars, but at no point was this made clear to the viewer, all the way through the piece Clarkson and May are reporting the range remaining and showing (fake) "range anxiety" but at no point did either of them say "but of course we only started with 40% charge in our batteries".
Top Gear has always had a mix of factual (and entertaining) testing and pure "larking around" entertainment, this piece blurred the line and topped it off with its own political agenda while decieving the public and damaging the image of electric vehicles. Why does it matter? Because Top Gear gets about 5 million viewers in the UK and tens of millions worldwide. More »
It's been pretty well reported that Top Gear have recently recorded an electric vehicle special which appears to involve Clarkson and May pushing (literally) a Nissan Leaf and Peugeot iOn around a 'typical' English town, which is unlikely to have many public charging points (Lincoln). While we await to see what will be no doubt be a typical sad anti-EV rant from the BBC some entrepreneuring film makers have knocked together a funny parody on what we should expect. Enjoy!More »
In an interview with the Detroit News Tesla CEO Elon Musk has described Top Gear's 2008 review of the Roadster 'completely phony' and has gone on to explain that the reason they are suing the BBC is that investors keep asking about it "For European investors, every single one, except one, specifically asked us why our car broke down on 'Top Gear,'" Musk said. "It was f*cked up." Looks like this story is going to run for some time and that much of it will be played out in the media arena.More »
In a surprise move Tesla Motors has announced that it is suing BBC's Top Gear TV show over its clearly biased test of the Tesla Roadster. During the test which was shot in November 2008 and aired in December 2008 it was claimed that Top Gear only achieved a range of 55 miles and that footage of the car being pushed in a garage because it had run out of charge was falsified. To make matters worse it's reported that Jeremy Clarkson wrote the "It's just a shame that in the real world it absolutely doesn't work." conclusion before the car had been tested. The BBC has acknowledged the case but has yet to respond. Not one to shy away from any kind of publicity (although IMHO damaging the credibility of its case) Tesla has even created a mini-site dedicated to its fight with Top Gear (www.teslavstopgear.com - now dead). Having read the claim and compared it to what Top Gear showed it's pretty obvious that this was a biased piece and that Clarkson had lied to cover up some of the falsehoods. UPDATE 2/Apr/11: Top Gear's Andy Wilman has taken the unusual step of responding publicly (because as he puts it Tesla has 'been very busy promoting its side of the argument through the media.').More »