All Electric Cars Suck (Except the Nissan Leaf): #1 – Tesla Motors Sues the BBC for No Apparent Reason

Here’s Tesla Motors’ account of its recent pathetic-cry-for-help / lawsuit filing against the BBC.

And here’s some reaction from the media.

And here’s the defense from, more or less, the sainted BBC.

So Tesla, let’s agree that that Top Gear TV show has, at the very least, a flair for the dramatic, a bit of cheesiness built into its DNA. So, why then, did you give them cars to test?

Oh well.

Here are the first two grafs from Tesla’s corporate do-boy:

“Tesla Roadsters in over thirty countries have driven more than ten million real-world miles. [SO WHAT, WHO CARES?] That’s 500,000 gallons of fuel that didn’t burn [HEY TESLA, HOW MUCH JET FUEL DID YOU BUY FOR YOUR CEO OVER THE YEARS? 10,000 GALLONS? 100,000 GALLONS? JUST ASKING, BRO] and over 5.3 million pounds of averted carbon dioxide emissions. [WHY NOT JUST NOT DRIVE INSTEAD, TESLA? AND HOW MANY GALLONS WERE BURNED TO MAKE THE ELECTRICITY TO POWER THE CARS?] The credit goes to approximately 1,500 Roadster owners around the world who drive their electric vehicles in all conditions; [THEY'RE LIKE HEROES, OR SOMETHING, RIGHT?] they’re an enthusiastic group who often talk and blog about their experiences. ["HERE'S A SNAPSHOT OF MY BRAND-NEW SIX-FIGURE TOY" - IT'S JUST LIKE, "LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT MY GRANDCHILDREN."]

“Tesla is committed to building the best cars in the world. [HAHAHAHAHAHA! AFTER EIGHT LONG YEARS, YOU'RE "COMMITTED," HUH?] And in doing so, [IN DOING WHAT, ACTUALLY? THESE TWO SENTENCES DON'T BELONG TOGETHER - YOU DON'T THINK YOU'RE BUILDING THE BEST CARS IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW, OR DO YOU?] catalyzing change in a very traditional industry [OBJECTION, FACTS NOT IN EVIDENCE] by convincing drivers that EVs can match and surpass automobiles run by combustion. [BUT YOUR EV'S ARE MOSTLY RUN BY COMBUSTION] That’s not an easy task. [O RLY? TELL US ABOUT THE MISMANAGED TWO-SPEED TRANSMISSION FIASCO, RICARDO, WHAT ABOUT THAT?] But the Roadster has changed a lot of minds. [THE ROADSTER IS A FAT LITTLE PIGGY WHAT COSTS WAAAAAAY TOO MUCH MONEY. TESLA MOTORS IS A FAT LITTLE PIGGY WHAT SUCKS ON GOVERNMENT TEAT WAAAAAY TOO MUCH]“

Anyway, check the video, below, if you want.

Why yes, I’m extreeeeeeemely comfortable in this very small, very heavy, very expensive rolling toy. Why do you ask?

And leave us not forget: All hail the Mighty Tesla Driver: “Look at me! Look at me! Ooops.” That was on Geary in the Western A, I believe.

The video you’re not supposed to see. I’d never seen it before, personally. It makes the Tesla Roadster look like the overweight, overpriced, electrified POS that it is.

And here’s part of the defense from the BBC’s  cheesy Top Gear show.

Enjoy:

1. 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”. The first point here is that the track is where we do our tests of sports cars and supercars, as has happened ever since Top Gear existed. This is where cars are driven fast and hard, and since Tesla calls its roadster “The Supercar. Redefined.” it seemed pretty logical to us that the right test was a track test. The second point is that the figure of 55 miles came not from our heads, but from Tesla’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.

2. We never said that the Tesla was completely immobilized as a result of the motor overheating. We said the car had “reduced power”. This was true.

3. Tesla claims we were lying when we said the brakes were “broken”. 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.

The above points will be argued over in the near future by brainy people wearing wigs, but in a layman’s nutshell, this is where we stand on the matter. Before I finish though, I must clear up one important issue: scripting. It’s alleged by Tesla that on the day of filming one of their employees caught sight of a script that had been written, before the car had even been driven, already containing the verdict that in the “real world” the Tesla doesn’t work. This, they say, proves our guilt, because we’d condemned the car in advance. May I just say in reply:

a) The truth is, Top Gear had already driven the car prior to filming, to enable us to form a view on it in advance

b) Our primary reasoning behind the verdict had nothing to do with how the Tesla performed; our conclusion was based mainly on the fact that it costs three times more than the petrol sports car upon which it’s based. It takes a long time to recharge, so you can’t use it as easily for the carefree motoring journeys that are a prerequisite of sports car driving. You can actually reach that conclusion without driving the car. As it happens, when it did come to the subjective area of how the car drove on the track, we were full of praise for its performance and handling.

c) Just so you understand there’s nothing devious going on, you need to know how this filming business works. When you film a car review, the reviewer is only the tip of the iceberg. Behind the lens is a film crew, and only a day’s worth of light to shoot the eight minute film. This means we have to prepare in advance a treatment – a rough draft of a script so that the director and film crew can get to work right away, knowing what shots they will need to capture. It will contain the facts about a car, and what we think of its looks and so on, but how well the car actually drives is added on the day. If we’ve driven it ahead of filming, as we do with most cars, we will also have an idea how it feels to drive. But, and this is crucial, as we uncover fresh information about a car whilst filming it, it is entirely normal for the treatment to be modified as the day unfolds. Jeremy is always tweaking the scripts to reflect what his driving experience has actually been on the day.

There you go. I’ve said my bit, and now we’ll hopefully shut up and prepare for our day in court.

PS: As this is going through the courts right now, we’re afraid we’ve had to turn off comments on this one, but we wanted to let you all know how we see it.

Andy Wilman is the Executive Producer of Top Gear”

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5 Responses to “All Electric Cars Suck (Except the Nissan Leaf): #1 – Tesla Motors Sues the BBC for No Apparent Reason”

  1. EVCosImFree says:

    Tesla shall crush all who oppose them.

  2. sfcitizen says:

    Well, all right.

    But they’ve been at it for 8 years now, time’s a wasting…

  3. ramon h leigh says:

    Tesla will win the case because TopGear basically slandered their car.
    Sorry, but TopGear said the car would have run out of juice after 55 miles and now claims Tesla told them so, but deviously did not mention that they started off with a Tesla not fully charged. That, dear enemies of Tesla, constitutes fraud. Also, even if it were true, saying that the Tesla could only go 55 miles certainly is telling the viewer that the range is as low as 55 miles. The range of the Tesla roadster is (conservatively rated by the EPA as 240 miles. Now exactly why did the buffoon Clarkson broadcast 55 miles? Perhaps if you drove the car at 130MPH you might achieve a range that small (but unlikely). Also, I have never seen an auto tester simply say “The brakes are broken” especially when the brakes were not actually broken. Nor has the 4 years of 10 million miles demonstrated
    any problem like those claimed to exist by the unreliable BBC stooge Clarkson. Nor are Tesla roadsters prone to overheating their electric motors under anything approaching normal conditions. And they experienced no problem while racing them recently. In fact, Clarkson
    lied thru his teeth about the driving range : an Australian recently
    set a new record by driving 347 miles with the roadster. That’s not exactly 55 miles, now it it? However wrote this article obviously swallowed the BBC lies and, fo rsome reason, actually believed something that the always unreliable and biased BBC said. Pity.

    claiming that the car would have run out of juice after 55 miles impl

  4. sfcitizen says:

    I don’t know, 55 miles sounds believable to me.

    Maybe Tesla shouldn’t have asked to be on the show to get all that free publicity then?

  5. kent beuchert says:

    I certainly would enjoy being Tesla’s lawyer for this case. I would have the video showing those idiot Brits pushing the car off the road –
    a car that was in perfect working order, along with wobble-headed Clarkson making his outlandishly untruthful remarks. Now he is apparently claiming that Tesla itself gave him the driving range. Not that, at this point, I believe anything that bloke says, but claiming a Tesla roadster driving range to be 55 miles is braindead even by BBC standards. Everyone with even the most superficial knowldge of the vehicle (that, unfortunately, excludes the BBC’s auto “expert”, the
    unreliable Mr Clarkson) knows that the EPA tests proved that the average driving range t be 240 miles. That’s not really close to Clarkson’s claimed 55 , now is it? I’d love to get that buffoon on the stand where his outrageous statements are not likely to charm a jury.
    This case is going to be a piece of cake. “broken brakes” that really weren’t broken at all, then claiming that the car “didn’t work” when we have 10 million customer miles over the past 4 years to show Clarkson’s statements to be ridiculously inaccurate. Oh, yeah, this is going to be a pleasant case to try. I’m only sorry that my law firm was not chosen to nail those Brits hides to the wall. We all are aware of the unreliability of the BBC. I find it appropriate that they support the sleaze that is TopGear.