BBC TV programme in row over Nissan electric car

Jeremy Clarkson, presenter of the BBC's Top Gear programme, drives an Aston Martin in Bucharest in 2009.
Jeremy Clarkson, outspoken presenter of popular British motoring show Top Gear, has defended an episode of the series in which he deliberately runs out of power in Japanese automaker Nissan's Leaf electric car.

Jeremy Clarkson, the outspoken presenter of popular British motoring show Top Gear on Wednesday defended an episode of the series in which he deliberately runs out of power in Japanese automaker Nissan's Leaf electric car.

Clarkson drew a furious response from Nissan after Sunday's episode of the programme showed him being pushed along in a Leaf car after its battery went flat.

The presenter, who has whipped up controversy on numerous occasions in the past, was left stranded in the eastern English city of Lincoln where there are no public recharging points for electric cars.

He ended the show with the comment that electric cars "are not the future."

Nissan blasted the episode as misleading because the car was not fully charged before starting the journey, but in comments to the Times newspaper on Wednesday Clarkson refused to apologise, saying: "That's how TV works."

"The piece was about the difficulties of recharging the electric car," he added.

"At no point did we mislead the viewers. Top Gear's job is to say to everybody, 'Just a minute, do not believe (electric cars) can be run as simply as you have been told. Charging them up is a pain in the arse'."

In an interview after the episode, Andy Palmer, Nissan's executive vice-president, accused Top Gear of deceiving viewers, saying there were safeguards in place to stop Leaf drivers running out of power.

He pointed out that a device sending updates showed Clarkson had started the day with the battery only 40 percent charged and said the car appeared to have been driven in loops in Lincoln until the battery was flat.

Andy Wilman, Top Gear's executive producer, denied the show had misled viewers, saying it was intended to highlight the "patchy" recharging infrastructure for in Britain

In February the BBC was forced to apologise to the Mexican ambassador to London after a Top Gear presenter described Mexicans as "lazy", "feckless" and "flatulent" in a segment about a sportscar made by Mexican firm Mastretta.


Explore further

Japanese electric car 'goes 300km' on single charge

(c) 2011 AFP

Citation: BBC TV programme in row over Nissan electric car (2011, August 3) retrieved 29 November 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2011-08-bbc-tv-programme-row-nissan.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments