Recently, Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson wrote a rather scathing review of the G-Wiz electric vehicle sold in Europe and popular in London. Clarkson is not one to hold back his opinion, which we respect - even when we disagree, and hold back he did not. He hated the G-Wiz and cited its' lackluster safety when rammed head on into an immovable object. He also said it was slow and cramped, except he used more lively words to say it.

GoinGreen is the company which distributes the G-Wiz in London, and they have responded to Clarkson's review. I have copied the entire response past the break, if you are interested. They mention the fact that as a "quadricycle", the machine does not need to be tested by ramming it into large immovable objects, and that the machine has a stellar safety record. One might think that the low-speed of the vehicle would be a boon for its safety record.

The real question might be whether the quadricycle should be exempt from safety tests; and if not, what safety tests should it have to pass?


[Source: GoinGreen via Treehugger]

6 August 2007: Well, not exactly. Jeremy Clarkson once again attacked the "bunch of nitwits in charge of the greenhouse gas debate" in his Sunday Times review of the G-Wiz. JC is still trying to minimise the benefits of electric vehicles and criticise the G-Wiz in order to protect the status quo of polluting, energy guzzling vehicles, on behalf of his paymasters.

For a start, JC somewhat disingenuously reviewed the wrong G-Wiz. If he had approached GoinGreen for a test drive vehicle we would have pointed this out to him and provided him with the significantly improved G-Wiz ac drive that we launched over a year ago, instead of the dc drive model he refers to in his review.

Clarkson then questioned the safety of the low speed G-Wiz. The fact is that the G-Wiz is designed and used as a vehicle for congested urban roads. It has an exemplary safety record, with no reported serious injuries in over 20 million customer-driven miles, a record unmatched by most marques. He refered to a Euro NCAP crash test but failed to mention that 60% of the car models available in the UK do not show Euro NCAP ratings - a test designed for cars capable of high speeds and a test for which the G-Wiz as a quadricycle is neither designed for nor required to take.

Finally Clarkson again omitted to mention that although the G-Wiz can be charged using any kind of electricity (thereby reducing their emissions by 60% versus the average car), the vast majority of owners charge using electricity from renewable sources, thereby reducing not just emissions to zero, but total pollution to virtually zero as well.

Two inconvenient truths: cars that have engines and therefore use petrol / diesel are one of the primary causes of climate change; and speed kills. With the support of TFL and Westminster Council, GoinGreen is leading the way in improving health and safety for all Londoners, with the introduction of the first zero emission vehicle and big financial incentives to boot. The G-Wiz is one of the most popular and fastest growing vehicles in London, in spite of Jeremy Clarkson and Top Gear's efforts to prevent this.

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