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Top Gear answers critics of Electric Car Test. Again.

Wed, 03 Aug 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Nissan LEAF runs out of electrickery in Lincoln on the Top Gear Test

Top Gear and Electric Cars do have a habit of not getting on. And they didn’t get on in the latest Top Gear test when Jeremy (in a Nissan LEAF) and James (in a Peugeot iOn) set out to demonstrate the shortcomings of EVs, the same shortcomings we we bang on about constantly.

The piece by Andy Wilman on Top Gear’s site is in response to an article in the Times, where Nissan complain that ‘…‘Clarkson didn’t give our electric cars a sporting chance.’ But he did, with the Top Gear piece designed to do nothing more than debunk the claims companies like Nissan make for their electric cars.

The Top Gear piece set out to show just how ludicrously expensive electric cars are, just how useless they are outside urban areas, just how unpredictable the (paltry) range is, and just how useless battery technology remains. All of which we’ve stated regularly (and garnered much disapprobation in the process).

Andy complains that Nissan – in particular – makes a virtue of the LEAF’s ability to take a fast charge, but nowhere in its promo does it mention that constant fast charging will wreck the batteries. To the point where their end of life can happen in just a few short years.

We reported last year that the Institute of Engineering and Technology had concluded – as had we – that constant fast charging of EV batteries would render them useless within a few short years and that there was little prospect of battery technology being able to deliver anything comparable to the convenience, cost and practicality of ICE engines in any foreseeable time frame.

All of which we’d been saying for a long time before that, and ever since. Now Top Gear has shouted the ridiculousness of electric cars on (Inter)National TV, perhaps people will wake up to the nonsense. Or rather, as no one is actually buying electric cars even with a £5k bribe (or the year before), perhaps car makers will now consider using their resources to develop sensible alternatives to the ICE car.

Like fuel cells.

By Cars UK