No sooner has the last series of the massively popular motoring show Top Gear ended, than details of films in the next series are starting to leak out.
In one entertaining film, Jeremy Clarkson and James May take a Mercedes and a BMW on a trip to Scotland and amusingly forget to fill their cars with petrol, although that isn’t mentioned in the film. Having taken a trip over to the Isle of Raasay they then drive round and round the island trying to find a petrol station before running out of fuel and being told that the nearest petrol station is a ferry crossing and twenty miles away. When Mercedes and BMW complain about the way their cars have been presented, producers release a statement saying that the entire purpose of the item is to highlight the lack of petrol filling infrastructure on the island.
Doesn’t sound like a great film does it? Indeed you would probably understand why BMW and Mercedes would be annoyed, and probably agree they’d be entirely justified, I mean what does not filling the cars with fuel prove when you know there is no petrol on Raasay. So quite why they felt the need to prove that an electric car stops when it runs out of charge on Sunday by failing to charge it enough for the journey I don’t know. The fact is that whereas they could recharge the Leaf from a regular three pin plug, of which there are thousands in Lincoln, if they ran out of petrol on Raasay unless a local farmer took pity on them they’d be well and truly stuffed.
The fact is that if the film was about demonstrating range rather than once again trying to make electric cars look bad, I must have missed the point where Clarkson said that, and highlighted their failure to fully charge the car before setting out. Just as driving a petrol car in the Highlands you make sure you have the fuel, with an electric car you make sure you charge it up for the journey at hand, you’d be an idiot not to.