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Top Gear Fights Back At Tesla

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the shocking-truth-as-a-staid-defense dept.

The Courts 369

An anonymous reader writes "Top Gear's producer Andy Wilman responds to Tesla's lawsuit: 'We never said that the Tesla's true range is only 55 miles, as opposed to their own claim of 211, or that it had actually ran out of charge. In the film our actual words were: "We calculated that on our track it would run out after 55 miles."' Interesting points, and as far as I can remember also correct. But I'm assuming Tesla is going the get the PR they want on this regardless of any court rulings."

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Doesn't pass the bullshit test (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35699928)

Their "justifications" seem pretty laughable to me.

Re:Doesn't pass the bullshit test (4, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699992)

I disagree, I used to do some acting, and it could take an enormous amount of time to get a short segment filmed. It's not uncommon for a 5 minute piece to take an entire day to film, or at least several hours. And if you're inside or on a sound stage it's not that big of a deal, but if you're having to restrict yourself to the portions of the day that have light, you're in a much less predictable situation. Even the sun going behind the clouds can make shooting a cohesive scene impossible until it returns.

Most of the rest of it is going to be pretty easy to determine and should largely be settled by the time this goes to trial. If Tesla's employees gave them the estimate that will quickly be determined. And Tesla did eventually admit that the breaks had failed, at least in the way that a consumer would call broken.

Re:Doesn't pass the bullshit test (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700082)

Faking results isn't a legitimate tactic in my books.

Battery didn't go flat and the car didn't have to be stopped while the engine was reading hot, but the footage suggested it should.

The brakes issue is legitimate but I don't consider 1/2 a pass.

Re:Doesn't pass the bullshit test (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700266)

Yea because a sports car that can only do 30 miles and hour when the take is low is a feature.

Re:Doesn't pass the bullshit test (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700320)

What?

Re:Doesn't pass the bullshit test (1)

Golden_Rider (137548) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700336)

Faking results isn't a legitimate tactic in my books.

Battery didn't go flat and the car didn't have to be stopped while the engine was reading hot, but the footage suggested it should.

The brakes issue is legitimate but I don't consider 1/2 a pass.

Nobody from Top Gear ever said that the battery went flat. What they said was that the battery WOULD go flat after 55 miles of driving, and this number came from the Tesla people who were at the track on that day. same for the engine - nobody from Top Gear said that the car had to be stopped, they said that it only drove with "reduced power". Which was true.

Re:Doesn't pass the bullshit test (3, Insightful)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700496)

Nobody from Top Gear ever said that the battery went flat.

So Jeremy looking confusedly at the dashboard then cutting to a scene of crew members pushing the Tesla off the track was meant to imply what, exactly?

Without any other clues as to what actually happened, it is up to the viewer to infer that the batteries had run flat.
=Smidge=

"is going the get"???? (1, Funny)

rwade (131726) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699932)

Really?

Re:"is going the get"???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700398)

Jesus, settle down. It's a typo. It happens.

Frosty Piss??? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35699948)

Yeah, PR about a vehicle that average people can not afford in the midst of the 2nd Great Depression. They can enjoy their pittance from self-absorbed elitists who think buying shit and throwing money at a problem is tantamount to giving a fuck about the environment. This vehicle is one of those overpriced and useless gadgets you can get at Hammacher-Schlemmer or Sharper Image which are just money pits.
If Tesla wants to be innovative then they damned well better appeal to a broader audience rather than calling Coca Cola champagne.

Re:Frosty Piss??? (4, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700188)

If Tesla wants to be innovative then they damned well better appeal to a broader audience rather than calling Coca Cola champagne.

Tesla is like Segway. They create a luxury product because that makes money and they use the income to scale up and create more mainstream products, like Tesla's upcoming consumer grade sedan. They are the closest thing to an innovative car company the US has left and to my mind instead of bailing out the big players we should have taken the public share in them after the unions refused to take control and handed it over to Tesla and let someone actually doing something smart have a shot at turning the US auto industry around.

Tesla (5, Funny)

wideBlueSkies (618979) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699962)

It's about time that Nikolai stands up for himself and goes after the use of some of his inventions. Poor guy - if he doesn't he's likely to end up broke, broken, and dead in a hotel on 34th Street in NYC.

Re:Tesla (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700594)

too soon...

fucking brits (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35699968)

fucking semantics. what is the real difference between claiming that you calculated that on your track it would run out after 55 miles, and saying that it's range is only 55 miles?

is something green, or a mixture of 50% yellow and 50% blue?

Re:fucking brits (3, Insightful)

fratermus (608212) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700126)

I would not expect the normal consumer experience to mirror that of the drivers on the TG track. I also would not expect published petrol MPG figures to match the MPG TG gets on their track.

Re:fucking brits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700334)

so in a single word, "nothing"?

Re:fucking brits (2)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700420)

No, in a single word, "everything." TG's track is pretty much worst-case scenario. You are never going to drive a car in anything resembling that fashion in real life. It's like the difference between saying "most people will get 4 hours out of their laptop battery," and then someone coming along and running 5 video cameras off it while playing Crysis over a 4G stick, with 5.1 speakers, and then going "Yeah, it'd last about 5 minutes." Their results are still accurate, but hardly fucking useful.

Re:fucking brits (1)

bigpat (158134) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700538)

I would expect if they said "calculated" and then showed the car running out of juice that they had actually tested the car and run out of charge at 55 miles rather than pulled a "calculation" out of their butt and then made it look like it was based on actually driving the car. I think there is a simple solution. Actually run the car at track speeds until it runs out of juice. If I were on a jury I would want to see those results. If TG was right about 55 miles, plus or minus 10 miles then they win. If Tesla is right and it is significantly over that then Tesla wins.

Re:fucking brits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700202)

It's the difference between a joke and test results.

Re:fucking brits (2)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700332)

I assume while it's on the track they're flooring it to autobahn-esque speeds. Standard ranges (the ones you'd find on a car sticker) don't usually assume you're going beyond the posted speed limits.

Re:fucking brits (1)

stealth_finger (1809752) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700418)

fucking semantics. what is the real difference between claiming that you calculated that on your track it would run out after 55 miles, and saying that it's range is only 55 miles?

is something green, or a mixture of 50% yellow and 50% blue?

You don't see car manufacturers complain when *motoring show/magazine* says that on a track a car with stated MPG of say 15 averages say 7.5. Heavy sustained driving like that takes more juice, regardless of if its juice juice or just regular juice. I bet their 211 range claim is based on driving at 30 without turning or stopping or such nonsense.

Re:fucking brits (3, Insightful)

CheerfulMacFanboy (1900788) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700684)

fucking semantics. what is the real difference between claiming that you calculated that on your track it would run out after 55 miles, and saying that it's range is only 55 miles?

I don't know - is that the same difference as claiming they claimed they calculated it, or that they claim Tesla themselves calculated it?

Driving in circles (1)

burnin1965 (535071) | more than 3 years ago | (#35699974)

You might think a 60+ mile per gallon Kawasaki Ninja 250 with a 4.8 gallon fuel tank will have a range of over 200 miles but it seems if I drive around in circles in my driveway it only has a range of a few hundred feet.

Re:Driving in circles (2)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700260)

You might think a 60+ mile per gallon Kawasaki Ninja 250 with a 4.8 gallon fuel tank will have a range of over 200 miles but it seems if I drive around in circles in my driveway it only has a range of a few hundred feet.

Based on my analysis, the problem is that you need a bigger driveway. Clearly a larger driveway results in better gas mileage and should be included with any new vehicle purchase to allow for optimal MPG.

Re:Driving in circles (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700368)

I'll take Nürburgring. I mean, if they are just going to include something...

Protection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35699980)

It seems like a bad product is protected by law from being told or reported as a bad product.

Re:Protection (0)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700016)

In Tesla's defense, it's not like actually driving the 55 miles would have taken that long. An hour, tops. If they cannot be invested enough in their review to actually you know, review, the product, then they shouldn't be reviewing the product, period.

Re:Protection (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700170)

In Tesla's defense, it's not like actually driving the 55 miles would have taken that long. An hour, tops.

What?!? What are you talking about?

FTFA:

The second point is that the figure of 55 miles came not from our heads, but from Tesla’s boffins in California.

Top Gear said that it would run out after 55 miles according to the way they were driving it.; which, Tesla gave them that figure.

So, you're defending Tesla's obfuscation and attempt to hide the truth?

The GP is right: they're suing to shut up the Top Gear people. But, it's just going to be the Streisand effect and it's really going to bite Tesla in the ass.

I'd like to point out that Tesla was founded by PayPal's founder, Elon Musk - I'll leave it at that.

Re:Protection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700444)

This is why the American version of Top Gear sucks big ol' donkey dick. Boo fucking hoo, we don't like our review so we're going to sue. Stupid cry babies. It's like Americans are demanding the end of our empire and we're trying our best to make it happen in our lifetime.

Audi and Toyota (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35699988)

Tesla is going the get the PR they want on this regardless of any court rulings.

FTFA:

They now say that all that had happened was that the fuse to the vacuum pump had failed, which meant that the brake just had to be pushed down much harder than usual. Well – to my mind, if the brakes are broken, then they’re broken, and if this happened to your car, you’d take it to the garage to get it fixed. Odd it seems so trivial to Tesla now, because on the day of filming they insisted on repairing the fuse before we could carry on driving the car.

When Audi had their "stuck cruise control" issue, it seemed as if everyone with an Audi had that problem and Audi had do to a huge recall - regardless of the NTSB's findings.

Toyota had the "stuck gas pedal" problem and it was amazing how many people demanded that the problem be fixed.

Now, we'll a bunch of Tesla drivers speeding at 100+ and blaming it on the brake pedals or getting into accidents and blaming and suing Tesla.

Tesla is fucking moronic if this is the exposure they want.

dancing bear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700018)

Samuel Johnson is dead, so I'll speak up, not being quite dead myself. The dancing bear quote is usually attributed to him.

55 miles is pretty good, and not the point (5, Insightful)

Belisarivs (526071) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700060)

A lot of the reporting seems to focus on claim it would only go 55 miles. As far as track cars go, that's pretty good. The Ford GT would only go about 60 before it would empty it's tank. A series earlier, they figured a Ferrari 599 only got 1.7 miles per gallon on the track.

Apart from reliability issues (both Tesla cars broke in various ways), the biggest flaw the cars had was that while the range was on par with regular track cars, when you ran out of fuel in the other cars, you took a few minutes to fill up and could go back out. The Tesla, on the other hand, was done for the day as it took something like 12 hours to recharge.

That was the damning conclusion of the Top Gear episode, and it was entirely accurate. Even if Tesla has improved the recharge time, it's still hours long. Tesla is just trying to distract from that fundamental fact - despite the fact it's marketed as a sports-car, it's not suited to track use. Even if people have no plans on taking it to the track, it's allure is tarnished by that fact.

Re:55 miles is pretty good, and not the point (3, Informative)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700100)

A lot of the reporting seems to focus on claim it would only go 55 miles.

A claim whose figure was from Tesla's staff. Should be interesting court.

Top Gear was spot on about the real world implications - refueling time is one area electrics need to improve to be viable replacements, as opposed to short trip around town, vehicles.

Re:55 miles is pretty good, and not the point (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700164)

neither were road cars the Tesla is

Re:55 miles is pretty good, and not the point (2)

Belisarivs (526071) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700390)

The Ford GT and the Ferrari 599 are both road-legal cars.

Re:55 miles is pretty good, and not the point (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700166)

Top gear puts a comical spin on everything. And they're not above giving biased views based on their personal motives, such as having an irrational love of hydrogen cars. (really?)

As far as the Tesla, the review painted the roadster as a car that goes "whoops! ran out of electricity without warning" which is stretching it. Add to this the fact that the review was 100% track based, it wasn't accurate as to point that many of these cars will become daily drivers which never see the track.

I love Top Gear, but the fact that the cast brings their personal agendas to admonish alternative energy cars is a turn-off. No James & Clarkson, hydrogen is not the only solution and you can stop touting the FCX as solving the world's problems. It makes me wonder if they support a more traditional infrastructure of hydrogen power, as you still have fueling stations and can "fill 'er up" to support the current model.

Re:55 miles is pretty good, and not the point (4, Insightful)

Belisarivs (526071) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700350)

As far as the Tesla, the review painted the roadster as a car that goes "whoops! ran out of electricity without warning" which is stretching it.

No, the review didn't paint any such image. I've seen this opinion expressed repeatedly, and it's just not the case. In the episode, both cars broke down, with the brakes failing on one and the engine overheating in the other. That was explicitly stated. They gave the Tesla an entirely fair shake in the episode.

Re:55 miles is pretty good, and not the point (1)

MimeticLie (1866406) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700600)

I'm sorry, but yes it did. Remember that shot that showed them pushing the car into the warehouse? It happens about about 5 minutes in. [youtube.com] They push it into the warehouse to recharge it. The impression I got at the time (and the one that many people got, see The Guardian [guardian.co.uk] ) was that it ran out of power. Not so, according to Clarkson [telegraph.co.uk] :

We never said once that the car had run out of power. The car had to be pushed into the warehouse because you are not allowed to drive cars into a building.

Ok, so in what other cases has the show used that shot? Oh wait, they haven't. They were clearly implying it was out of power. Top Gear never explicitly lied in the piece, but they made things appear to be different from what actually happened and then let the viewers make the logical assumption themselves. I don't mind that the challenges are scripted, but I expected some degree of truth from their actual reviews.

Re:55 miles is pretty good, and not the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700564)

Add to this the fact that the review was 100% track based, it wasn't accurate as to point that many of these cars will become daily drivers which never see the track.

Have you ever seen Top Gear? They review sports cars, supercars and hot hatchbacks. They review them by putting them around their own circuit.

The Tesla is marketed as a sports car. They treated it as a sports car. Boo hoo for Tesla: it can drive like one, but the battery is out of juice at 55 miles if you do. As others have pointed out, that's not all that bad for a sports car: traditional cars run out of fuel around that figure, too. The difference is, as Top Gear rightly pointed out, is that with a traditional car you fill up in a couple of minutes, while with a Tesla you give up for the day and wait 6-12 hours for it to charge.

Everything about the review was fair an accurate. The 55 mile range figure even came from Tesla themselves! This is just sour grapes.

P.S: The ability to refuel quickly is why Top Gear like hydrogen. All the benefits of petroleum cars with none of the downsides of current battery electrics.

Re:55 miles is pretty good, and not the point (1)

Computershack (1143409) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700578)

I love Top Gear, but the fact that the cast brings their personal agendas to admonish alternative energy cars is a turn-off.

So watch the fucking dead boring Yank version of Top Gear where the presenters and programme makers are so shit scared of being sued every show is basically a commercial for the cars on display.

Personally I'll stick to our British version. If I want to watch a fucking advert, I'll change to the Audi Channel.

Re:55 miles is pretty good, and not the point (3, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700254)

The battery of the Tesla Model S can be swapped in 5 minutes [autoblog.com] . I don't suppose that's true of the roadster though.

I would really like them to go one step further, and divide the battery into about 4 separate packs, so they could be lifted by a single person, but just as importantly so you can only carry 1 or 2 packs if that's all you need. It would greatly reduce the weight of the car, increasing efficiency and performance. My commute is only 20 miles round trip, which is about the national average IIRC.

Re:55 miles is pretty good, and not the point (0)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700354)

I just watched my company spend 4 grand on a forklift battery, and it took a forklift to pull it out, now you suggest my mom do that once on the way to work and once on the way back?

Re:55 miles is pretty good, and not the point (2)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700406)

Your mom is a racing driver?

Re:55 miles is pretty good, and not the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700480)

Some say that her cookies are 50% carbon fiber.

All we know is that she's called the Stig's Mom.

Re:55 miles is pretty good, and not the point (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700490)

Actually, I figure it'd be more like getting gas at a full-service station. Attendant pops your hood, swaps a cell or two, and you pay for the power charge. Only as a bonus, if you're not driving a ton, you can just fill-er-up at home, or while you're at work, if you've got a spot with an outlet.

Re:55 miles is pretty good, and not the point (1)

arikol (728226) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700550)

true dat
as I wrote above, 450 kg, USD 36.000

Re:55 miles is pretty good, and not the point (5, Insightful)

arikol (728226) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700540)

Yeah, and the Tesla battery pack weighs around 450 kilos (about 1000lbs). And costs U$ 36000 (yes, that's 36 thousand US dollars)
Unless there was some sort of lease system and an automatic quick change system (park your car over the sensor, battery packs get changed) then changing battery packs is not a viable option.

Re:55 miles is pretty good, and not the point (0)

thynk (653762) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700622)

I imagine if you have the means to buy a $100k electric sports car, the extra battery pack cost isn't going to be something you have to figure out how to finance.

Re:55 miles is pretty good, and not the point (3, Interesting)

burnin1965 (535071) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700286)

when you ran out of fuel in the other cars, you took a few minutes to fill up and could go back out. The Tesla, on the other hand, was done for the day as it took something like 12 hours to recharge

An issue, yes, an insurmountable issue, no, and an issue that was only in the minds of the Top Gear hosts rather than reality.

Running out of charge and pushing the car to the shop was a stunt, a hoax, it was fake, neither car ran out of charge [crunchgear.com] .

I like watching most of the Top Gear shows but I expect them to flog cars not their egos and stubborn pride.

Re:55 miles is pretty good, and not the point (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700362)

That scene of the crew pushing the car back to the garage is the main thing I remember from the episode, too. That was a cheap shot. But if it was just misleading, and they didn't explicitly make false claims, I wonder if it is legally actionable.

Re:55 miles is pretty good, and not the point (1)

Golden_Rider (137548) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700476)

when you ran out of fuel in the other cars, you took a few minutes to fill up and could go back out. The Tesla, on the other hand, was done for the day as it took something like 12 hours to recharge

An issue, yes, an insurmountable issue, no, and an issue that was only in the minds of the Top Gear hosts rather than reality.

Running out of charge and pushing the car to the shop was a stunt, a hoax, it was fake, neither car ran out of charge [crunchgear.com] .

I like watching most of the Top Gear shows but I expect them to flog cars not their egos and stubborn pride.

They never claimed the car DID run out of charge, as in "why is it suddenly not moving anymore". The exact words from the film were "we calculated that on our track it would run out after 55 miles". And that number came from the Tesla technicians themselves (see the linked article). Yes, they showed the car stopped on the track, maybe a cheap shot to show "this is what WOULD have happened", but nobody from Top Gear stated that a car actually stopped on the track - neither due to a flat battery, nor due to the overheated engine. Which does not change the fact that a.) one car's battery was not enough to do all the filming, they had to switch to the second car while the first one was recharging b.) the brakes on one car broke (just a sensor apparently, but a normal customer would have had to drive to the shop to get it fixed) and c.) on one car, the engine was overheating so that you could only drive at low speed. I see nothing faked there. All they said was true.

Re:55 miles is pretty good, and not the point (5, Insightful)

Kaboom13 (235759) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700532)

If you watch Top Gear for responsible journalism, you are doing it wrong. This same show recently did a comparative review of a Rolls-Royce, a Bentley, and a Mercedes Benz, but the Bentley was actually a Yugo, because Bentley didn't loan them the real car. It's an entertainment show. They had a point to make, that once you ran the batteries down on a Tesla roadster, you are stuck until it has time to recharge, which takes several hours. It's the biggest fundamental limitation of electric cars. It's what keeps me from wanting to purchase one, that's for sure. The fact that the car did not actually run out of juice during the limited time they were filming doesn't make it any less of a legit complaint. Filming for a series like Top Gear has a very tight schedule, especially filming on the track because you are limited to a narrow window when the sun is in the right spot to get the shots you want. So they faked it, the same way their races are fake (you don't think it's odd they somehow have cameramen in just the right places everytime? How every race comes down to a close finish?) It's television.

Tesla is full of shit, because instead of addressing the fact that what Top Gear said is true, they are trying to cover it up by claiming the means Top Gear used to say it are wrong. They took their car to a show that uses dramatics and hyperbole to make their points, and they are surprised that's what they got? I saw the episode when it came out and thought it was much more positive then I would have expected.

Re:55 miles is pretty good, and not the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700380)

Even if Tesla has improved the recharge time, it's still hours long. Tesla is just trying to distract from that fundamental fact - despite the fact it's marketed as a sports-car, it's not suited to track use. Even if people have no plans on taking it to the track, it's allure is tarnished by that fact.

Its true for Tesla Roadster, but not all electric cars now on the market. Both Mitsubishi MiEV and Nissan Leaf can take fast charge in 15-30 mins from a Level III fast charger. None of these are worth taking to the track though :(

The point that i am trying to make, is that battery technology has been capable of fast charge cycles for a while now, especially with LiFePO chemistries. Its the charging infrastructure that needs to catch up.

Re:55 miles is pretty good, and not the point (1)

arikol (728226) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700434)

not only that, but in track use you are likely to have a higher average speed than 55 miles an hour, meaning that your time of playing around is mighty limited if you don't actually live ON the track. Driving there and home again is a no-go. Heck, only being able to drive on the track for just around 50 minutes would suck! The fuel sucking monsters like the Ford GT can be refueled in minutes, the Tesla takes hours (and hours and hours)

I hope alternative fuels get worked out so that they become usable, but so far they're far off.
Tesla's biggest problem, IMO, is that they are really selling the car as something it's not. As a runabout with Elise handling it may work (a second or third car for taking scenic but short rides on country roads). As a sportscar it's not so brilliant. Heck, it might be beaten by a bicycle in a cross country race...

British Greasers (-1, Troll)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700080)

The Top Gear presenters hate diesel, for example, because it doesn't have as much zooming power as gasoline. They are car guys. They love big, noisy engines more than they love the weather. Since they're in England I can understand their preference for climate change, no matter that they're rolling the dice on it.

FWIW, I see no sign [google.com] that Top Gear ever mentioned BP ("British Petroleum") in connection with its poisoning the Gulf of "Mexico" last year, but plenty of evidence of BP's ongoing sponsorship of that show. Teslas compete with BP's product line.

The 50s greasers loved their hot rods, and hated the hippies who started Earth Day.

Re:British Greasers (1)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700114)

IIRC they liked the diesel Corolla better than the Prius.

Re:British Greasers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700214)

Of course they did. The Diesel Corolla has better fuel economy, and is actually greener to produce than the Prius. Hell, the Range Rover is greener to manufacturer and operate over its life than the Prius is to manufacture.

Re:British Greasers (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700566)

The "study" reporting that was highly flawed, since it effectively discounted the entire development cost of the Hummer (I've never seen any reports regarding the Range Rover), while including the development cost of the Prius.

Correct it and *oh look* it doesn't add up at all.

Re:British Greasers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700252)

IIRC they liked the diesel Corolla better than the Prius.

I think that, in context, it might have the same ringing endorsement of "If you're going to rinse your mouth out with liquefied shit, we liked rabbit shit better than bear shit."

Re:British Greasers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700118)

Yes they are just stooges for the BP Man, man. Corporate shills trying to mind numb the populace so they don't see what is really happening to the world. Um no, TG has recommended diesel versions of some vehicles when it makes economic sense and they did mention the BP disaster, they told the US to basically suck it.

PS Everyone hates hippies because they are terminally stupid and smell awful.

Re:British Greasers (1)

Computershack (1143409) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700624)

BP don't sponsor the TV show you dumb shit. It is the BBC - the programmes are paid for by the TV licence fee and money made selling the programmes overseas.

Re:British Greasers (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700138)

Rubbish. They've "reviewed" plenty of TDi cars over the year, and raced them too. The reality is most diesels are dull old man cars, whereas top gear concentrates on fast sport and supercars. And yes, they did take the piss out of BP's mess. You're a deluded fool if you think BP are behind Tesla's shit. The reality is their car is rubbish, and they tried to sell a rich boy's toy in the middle of a global recession. Had they built it from scratch and not used an old Lotus design, then tripled the price, they may have head some credibility. As it is, they're just a bunch of weenies crying because they have a failed product.

If fools like you thing Tesla got a bad "review", just wait until the court case is over and Clarkson does a real number on them. 350 million views are going to be pointing the finger at Telsa and laughing.

Re:British Greasers (0)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700544)

Anonymous fool Coward, the issue here is they said the Tesla got only 55 miles on a charge rather than its claimed 200+, based on their "calculations", which are BS. I never said they hadn't reviewed cars. But I've watched the show, where they obviously don't like diesels because they aren't as zoomy as gasoline cars. Which you obviously don't like either, for the same reason. Yet the Tesla is zoomy, and they don't like it either. Though it can't really be because of "55 miles on a charge", because they're not stupid enough to believe their own "calculations" are the reality. It's not because it's
a rich boy's toy in the middle of a global recession", because they love plenty of those, so long as they're gasoline powered.

Where did they "take the piss out of BP's mess"?

The reality is that you and they are oil worshippers. At least they have the courage of their convictions to put their names to their prejudice, unlike you Anonymous Coward.

Re:British Greasers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700606)

Anonymous fool Coward, the issue here is they said the Tesla got only 55 miles on a charge rather than its claimed 200+, based on their "calculations", which are BS.

Yes they were BS because they were based on Tesla's calculations.

Re:British Greasers (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700178)

British Petroleum? It's Beyond Petroleum and it's roughly equally British and American owned. It's an international company.

As for your insinuation that Top Gear have bias and don't criticise others due to sponsorship, i guess you have no idea how the independence of the BBC works.

Re:British Greasers (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700222)

TG cracked enough BP jokes at the time. Thing is, the spill really wasn't all that of of a deal outside of the US. BP is British in name and not really all that much else, so no-one in Britain really cares about what they do. Why would they? Also, the oil platform didn't belong to BP in the first place, so that's even further removed from anyone in Britain really caring.

If you believed some of the news reports in the US you'd have thought that the Queen herself blew up the rig. Seriously, it was an environmental (and economic) disaster, with several companies involved but not nearly big enough to expect a British TV car show to do a full hour special on it. If they did that for every oil screw up then they'd never actually talk about cars.

Re:British Greasers (4, Insightful)

xMrFishx (1956084) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700278)

Seeing as Topgear is a BBC production, the show itself doesn't come with sponsorship. The outdoor events, perhaps as they're not run by tax payer's money (see TV License).

Re:British Greasers (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700650)

If you clicked the link I helpfully included you'd see plenty of sponsorship of Top Gear along the lines you mention.

Re:British Greasers (2)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700356)

Stick your dumbass Yankee whining up your arse. One word for you: Halliburton [huffingtonpost.com] .

Re:British Greasers (0)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700560)

Crying "dumbass" is classic Yankee whining, though it's really from Dixie. But thanks for that universally BS logic, that one American oil criminal makes another British one nonexistent.

Re:British Greasers (2)

moderators_are_w*nke (571920) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700586)

FWIW, I see no sign [google.com] that Top Gear ever mentioned BP ("British Petroleum") in connection with its poisoning the Gulf of "Mexico" last year, but plenty of evidence of BP's ongoing sponsorship of that show.

Not sure how you managed that. The BBC is publicly funded, paid for by the TV license (mandatory for anyone owning a television in the UK). They do not charge a subscription, nor do they accept advertising including program sponsorship.

Re:British Greasers (2)

Computershack (1143409) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700612)

I see no sign [google.com] that Top Gear ever mentioned BP ("British Petroleum") in connection with its poisoning the Gulf of "Mexico" last year, but plenty of evidence of BP's ongoing sponsorship of that show.

Dumb fucking Yank. BP do NOT sponsor the TV show. NOBODY sponsors the TV show. It is fully funded by the British TV Licence payer and the money they make selling the programme around the world. BP sponsor a once a year 3 day long live event held at a car show at the Birmingham NEC.

chosen ones holycosters re-invent fake weather (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700084)

the current fake weather is to be re-introduced (by vatanical decree) as the new improved fake weather. several meetings of the royals, holycosters, weapons peddlers, eugenatics etc..., resulted in further plans to kill us all, as it was written, on the georgia stone.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110403/ap_on_hi_te/eu_the_sunshade_option/print

The point I find is the bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700090)

Look a normal super car will run out of fuel in around 20 minutes of driving flat out. They also tend to burn through a set of 8 grand tires in the same period of time. Tesla never said it had a range of 200+ miles at it's top speed. The script proved the intention of the episode was to show the limitations of an electric car not to be a fair test of what the Tesla could do. All high end sports cars are tempermental and to varing degrees fragile. The real point is that the car could match cars costing twice as much and that's while hauling around a mass of batteries. The episode was cut together to show the car breaking down and running out of charge constantly which didn't happened. If they wanted to show the limited range Clarkson should have driven from London and tried the make it to Northern Scotland and let it run out of juice. The problem is he knows under normal driving conditions it'd do better than 200 miles and it might actually impress some people. It made for a better coffin nail in electric cars to claim it's true range was 55 miles and not over 200 miles. They also seem to be the only ones making the 55 mile range claim and they never bothered to actually test the range. I always considered the episode biased but I got upset hearing it was mostly scripted ahead of time. As I said in an earlier post it calls into question every review they have ever done.

Re:The point I find is the bias (1)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700110)

A normal super car can be refuelled in under 10 minutes. Once it's done its 55 miles, the Tesla needs recharging overnight. That's the issue - as a track car, it's basically useless after the first 20 minutes of driving.

Re:The point I find is the bias (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700120)

Or you, y'know, swap out the batteries. I seem to recall something about that being a planned feature of the Tesla, have they abandoned that idea?

Re:The point I find is the bias (1)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700192)

I don't think they are removable at the moment. Apart from anything, the battery packs cost $36,000 [wikipedia.org] so I doubt many cars would be kept with several spares. Interestingly Wikipedia lists the recharge time as about 4 hours, but that still makes the car pretty much useless on the track.

Re:The point I find is the bias (1)

Golden_Rider (137548) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700400)

I don't think they are removable at the moment. Apart from anything, the battery packs cost $36,000 [wikipedia.org] so I doubt many cars would be kept with several spares. Interestingly Wikipedia lists the recharge time as about 4 hours, but that still makes the car pretty much useless on the track.

The recharge time is less than "overnight" if you have a special super extreme power outlet in your garage.

Re:The point I find is the bias (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700596)

^ This.

The big problem with electric vehicles is that the grid simply isn't designed to dump ~50kWh into a battery pack in 5 minutes - but it can be done over the 20-80% range which batteries in such vehicles get operated at.

Calculations are fun! (1)

Xeranar (2029624) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700132)

And rarely accurate. At least without relying on the scientific system to justify the positions they hold. I'm not denying that under incredibly lead foot driving the Tesla could be dragged down to 55 miles on the track but the implication is that 55 was a realistic range. Top Gear was trying to imply and quite successfully tied that number to the range fears that people have about electric cars still. Clarkson and Top Gear have an agenda like anybody else, Fifth Gear is more so like Motor Trend, scientific and honest, Top Gear is more like Car and Driver with Clarkson paralleling Yates and his numerous run-ins with environmentalists over the years. This doesn't make them bad people but it makes them irresponsible for doing certain things when they know full well their opinions are firmly set. As a side topic, the Tesla sports car name is "Roadster" and they don't run the car in any track competition as a company. So whoever is declaring that Tesla wants you to use it on the track with confidence is making insinuations about the car that just aren't there.

Re:Calculations are fun! (3, Insightful)

kju (327) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700218)

but the implication is that 55 was a realistic range

No it was not. They clearly said, that this would be the range interpolated from their driving test on their track. Anyone who has ever watched this show knows how they drive on their track and that this can't be a realistic range. I vaguely remember the episode and I believe the "on our track" part was even emphasized.

  I don't know your mental capacity, but I am sure that most people got that right.

Re:Calculations are fun! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700396)

By "interpolated" you implied that the car ran a distance longer than 55 miles, which negates the original statement. Did you mean "extrapolated"?

Re:Calculations are fun! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700454)

The implication was "based on how the car performed on our track, we say the range is more like 55 miles a charge."

They may have meant to say that it was 55 miles while being driven hard on the track, but the way they said it they made it sound like Tesla was flat-out lying about the 200 mile range.

Regardless of what the film said, I know that the vast majority of viewers thought the car ran out of power on them. Every time someone brings up the Tesla, someone will mention the Top Gear spot and how the car "ran out of power" and they couldn't finish testing it.

As for who will win in court, I have no idea, but there's no doubt that the Top Gear spot hurt public perception of the Tesla.

Re:Calculations are fun! (3, Interesting)

arikol (728226) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700500)

...and one of the reasons they used their track, and track driving for this range estimate is that the Tesla is marketed as a... wait for it... sports car. Furthermore, the Tesla is based on a VERY popular car used for track days.
The verdict is that the Tesla is not very good at fulfilling its intended purpose and will give an owner who wants to play on a track less than an hours enjoyment, provided that he brings the car to the track on the back of a lorry and takes it out that way too.
So, if the car is driven hard, then range goes down. That's just normal. What makes it so bad for the Tesla is that topping up the tank takes the rest of the day.

Drive to track - 50 miles
Drive from track - 50 miles

That's almost half the Tesla's range at economic driving speeds.
That leaves maybe 25-30 miles of trackday fun.

Drive normally (and normal in a sports car is not te same as normal in a minivan) and range will probably not be 250 miles to begin with. Batteries also degrade pretty fast. All in all, the Tesla is probably great fun, looks great, but isn't even practical as a sports car.

Greater than 55 miles? Just wait a bit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700140)

Give it a year or two for its batteries to start crapping out and then its true range will probably be less than fifty-five miles.

There is a much more important quote (5, Insightful)

kju (327) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700176)

This: "The second point is that the figure of 55 miles came not from our heads, but from Teslaâ(TM)s boffins in California. They looked at the data from that car and calculated that, driven hard on our track, it would have a range of 55 miles."

So they are suing the BBC over a claim they themselves fed to the Top Gear producers which was only relayed in the show.

Yeah, really, I can see how Top Gear acted in bad faith here. How dare they trust the information from the manufacturer!

Re:There is a much more important quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700384)

And how many times have they filmed their crew pushing a petrol car off the track because it eventually ran out of gas?

Re:There is a much more important quote (1)

Xelios (822510) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700464)

I'd wager none, it would take all of 2 minutes to fill one up with a jerrycan and drive it off the track. I believe that was the point, and it's a valid one isn't it?

Re:There is a much more important quote (2)

RespekMyAthorati (798091) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700432)

I have seen the show in question. Clarkson is clearly suggesting that the Tesla ran out of juice before completing the test, and had to be pushed back to the starting point. Neither is true. Most Brits seeing this would just laugh and think "there goes Clarkson again". But, when the show is rebroadcast on BBC America, most Americans wouldn't get it.

I think that part of the problem is a culture clash. Telling outrageous lies is a common form of humor in Britain, and Clarkson is a master. But this kind of humor is not common in the U.S., where people are generally more gullible.

Hurrah for BBC! (4, Informative)

rogerdugans (902614) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700270)

It is great to see the BBC not succumbing to pressure from fools.

I for one would not have been able to use a Tesla as a daily driver once in the last 15 years: between driving to work and travel during the day, 250 miles is not enough range. I would have been stuck someplace I could charge for the night at least half the time. And if anyone tells me I can fully charge an electric car on 120v US standard household current in 30 minutes I will call you a liar at this time in their development.

The cars stopped functioning normally. That means "broken." If you have an internal combustion engined car with 2 of 4 spark plugs fouled and not firing is your car still fine but just operating with reduced power? No. It is broken and needs to be fixed. Next question!

And the brakes were broken, end of story. How easy the fix was is irrelevant: the brakes broke. Done.

As for a previous comment including Motor Trend as an example of "honest" reporting- seriously? That comment alone makes everything else you say suspect by association, man.

If you watch the Top Gear segment remembering who is doing it- an entertainment show that loves fast cars that handle well, you will actually see that they LIKE the car but don't feel it (or any other pure electric) is ready for use by most of the motoring public.
Which is a very accurate assessment.
For the money, a Lotus (which the Tesla was based on) is a far more practical, useful and reliable vehicle and leaves plenty of money left for fuel and purchasing "carbon credits" for those who so desire.
And yes, it goes faster too.

Re:Hurrah for BBC! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700382)

It is great to see the BBC not succumbing to pressure from fools

I'm skeptical of the accuracy of anything that happens on Top Gear's "tests"...

Tell me who's more foolish, the skeptic or the sycophant?

Re:Hurrah for BBC! (1)

Computershack (1143409) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700654)

I'm skeptical of the accuracy of anything that happens on Top Gear's "tests"...

Halleh-fucking-lujah. A Septic Tank who finally gets the point about the British version of Top Gear. It is an entertainment show, not a factual one. It is not meant to be even remotely serious. All the comments by the Yanks about the British version just serve to illustrate both how stupid and lacking in a sense of humour they actually are.

Re:Hurrah for BBC! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700630)

I for one would not have been able to use a Tesla as a daily driver once in the last 15 years: between driving to work and travel during the day, 250 miles is not enough range.

Good for you, but I'm not sure what your point was there. You drive more than 250 miles a day. Congratulations...that makes you an EXTREME outlier. Even if you are only talking monday-friday, 250 miles/day is more than 65k miles per year. Only a tiny percentage of people drive that much.

thanks you www.alammax.com (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700300)

thanks your for this info
www.alammax.com

that it had actually ran out of charge (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700340)

Wait, i remember them saying something along the lines it had to be pushed back into the garage due to a dead battery. Perhaps it was not 'real' but it still eluded to it being.

I know they do things for entertainment and there is a LOT of satire on the show, but i do hope they get their hands slapped for this as i have seen them do similar to others and some people actually take it seriously.

Re:that it had actually ran out of charge (1)

MimeticLie (1866406) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700660)

Basically what happened was Clarkson (at the time) admitted that the car hadn't run out of power, the reason they pushed it in was because you aren't allowed to drive cars in their building. Except since they didn't mention that fact in the episode and since they were moving it into the building to recharge, the viewers (you and me included) thought that the battery was dead.

If you'd like the links, they're in my post up thread.

Fast chargers, anyone ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700494)

Tesla made a mistake of not including the only deployed Level 3 fast charger option in their car. Otherwise they could fill up in 15-30min.

http://www.chademo.com/ has over 600 fast chargers installed, most of them in Japan. Both Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi MiEV can charge from these. A couple of US companies are licensing the tech for demo/fleet uses.

The rest of the world has not yet managed to come up with a workable standard for international fast charging.

Once Level 3 standard gets worked out worldwide, and new EV models get equipped with the connector, taking EVs to the track becomes entirely viable.

A lop of people seem to be forgetting something (5, Informative)

Joao (155665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700498)

A little disclaimer: I'm an environmentalist, I work for an international environmental organization, bicycle commuter, haven't owned a car in over 15 years, and spend my vacations volunteering at animal rescue facilities.

I've been reading a lot of "the Top Gear guys are petrolheads who only care about big petrol engines" and such comments. One thing a lot of people seem to be forgetting about this case is that, on the same episode where they tested the Tesla, they also tested the Honda Civic Electric Fuel Cell. And guess what? They had nothing but high praise for the Honda.

One may argue that they didn't push the Honda nearly as hard as they pushed the Tesla, but that is because they were holding each car to the candle of what each manufacturer claims. Honda claims their car is just a Honda Civic. Reliable user-friendly everyday transportation. So that's how it was tested it. Just like every other reliable user-friendly everyday transportation vehicle they test on the show. The Tesla on the other hand describes their car as a supercar. So they did the tests the same way they do all other supercars. On the track at high speeds. The Honda succeeded as reliable user-friendly everyday transportation. Yet the Tesla failed miserably as a supercar. That is all there is to it.

So no, this has nothing to do with Clarkson being a petrolhead. Yes, he is a petrohead and an ass. Vey funny, but an ass nevertheless. I highly disagree with most of his opinions about just about anything. But I think both tests were spot on.

Oh please... (1, Insightful)

billybob_jcv (967047) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700582)

The Tesla is a "statement car" - it is intended to show that electric power is not just for smug twits who enjoy the smell of their own farts. [youtube.com]

Apparently, the people at Tesla have spent too much time with their noses firmly planted between their own butt cheeks.

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