Tesla Smearing Top Gear Star Buys BMW i3
This is a story that reaches way back into 2008. At that time, one of the stars from the popular BBC automotive television program Top Gear “test drove” the Tesla Roadster on the show. To make the episode more entertaining, star James May pretended that the car’s battery ran out of power, and the car was pushed off the track. To be clear, the car did not actually run out of juice, and did not drop below a 20 percent charge.
Tesla was not impressed with the stunt, and sued the program for libel. The company was unsuccessful, as the judge ruled that viewers were smart enough to understand that the stunt was a joke. Ironically, the show’s Wikipedia page claims that the show is “the most widely watched factual television programme in the world.”
Fast forward 6 years, and James May, one of the stars of Top Gear has now purchased an electric vehicle for himself, and it is not a Tesla. The car expert has settled on a BMW i3, the German automaker’s new EV. May opted for the gasoline range extender option, which extends range a bit, but does impact performance and so really should only be used in an emergency. May said that the range extender purchase “really ought to be branded ‘pure cowardice’… because that’s what it is and why I’ve got one.”
While May also owns a Ferrari, he’s been a fan of electric cars. He says that he wants to lessen his environmental footprint and wants to be “part of the experiment.” He has been known to show appreciation for electric motors, saying that they are the “ideal way” to propel a vehicle. His previous commuter car was a Fiat Panda. May is considered to be the most progressive of the presenters on Top Gear, contrasting sharply with anti-environmentalist and global warming denier Jeremy Clarkson.
By Linda Aylesworth – car-news.ca