• Jan 13th 2011 at 7:50PM
  • 33
David Peilow with Tesla Roadster 2.5 in front of Edinburgh Castle

It could have been a great confrontation. No, we didn't expect fisticuffs or bodily harm of any sort. Rather, a great conversation about the merits and drawbacks of electric cars and, possibly, the role of the media in presenting accurate information to a busy public. Instead, we get nothing but a bit of satisfaction knowing that you can actually take the high road and get to Scotland before the BBC. Perhaps we should explain.

As we were telling you yesterday, after watching the BBC's technology correspondent Brian Milligan spending a couple miserable days taking a woefully ill-suited Mini E halfway on a 484-mile (779 km) trip from London to Edinburgh, Tesla superfan David Peilow had enough. He got himself a Tesla Roadster and headed from London to Scotland himself with the aim of arriving that same day and so exposing Mr Milligan's stunt as the bit of buffoonery it so obviously was. Are we being too harsh? Hey, the guy was poking along way below the speed limit for 50 miles or so, without turning on the heat, then stopping for up to eight hours to charge and claiming that these are the sacrifices one must make if one wants to drive an electric car. Any electric car. Pathetic.

So, did he make it? Despite the cold and thick fog, David arrived last night in Edinburgh with his very patient and understanding girlfriend riding shotgun. Stopping only twice for charging opportunities at a 30 amp and 70 amp station, he drove using headlights, windshield wipers and heat. The dude from the BBC? He still wouldn't arrive until 9:00 pm local time the next day. And while our EV hero was willing to hang out and wait for the dog and pony show to pull into town, Mr. Milligan was not interested in a rendezvous. Not interested in the little gift Tesla had sent along for him. Not interested in face-to-face discourse. Not interested in being held accountable for holding up a posing bit of puffery as something resembling responsible journalism. Low road indeed.

To judge for yourself the quality of this coverage from BBC News, hit the jump for one of their clips or, go to their site for the whole story. Feel free to leave comments both here and there.

[Source: David Peilow / BBC]

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      The BBC shows the negative aspects of electric cars even though they live in a country of 220V. ABG, on the other hand, chooses not to print reviews showing the impracticality of living with a battery powered car with 110V charging. Not being able to fully charge your car in a night's time.

      Together you balance out.
        • 8 Months Ago
        The expense of running a 220V circuit to the garage? Pfft. Yes, it's a few hundred bucks, but it'll be valuable for a lifetime and beyond.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Unless you happen to have a gas dryer or your dryer is inside the house. You might want to check out the expense of running a separate 220 circuit out to your garage.

        The point is that it IS something to consider.
        • 8 Months Ago
        If you live in America, you know your clothes dryer runs on a 220 volt line?
        You simply ask an electrician to run, another 220v line to your garage.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Maybe the message is, "Listen up folks, long distance jaunts into the countryside using your very own horseless carriage are NOT going to be a large part of our future existence."

      Let me just say that I believe that world oil production is not going to go much higher, if at all, instead it is more likely to start declining within the next few years. As a result we should all be looking towards less petroleum intensive options for transport, some (including island boys) more than others.

      • 4 Years Ago
      Oh, and love the guy from BBC parking at charger on the wrong side, and then trying to get the cord plugged in... Hilariously stupid! Try it with a petrol car too, with that huge hose!

      I know, have Mr. Bean do it! I need another good laugh!
      • 4 Years Ago
      My response from BBC :

      Thank you for your email to the BBC News website our reporter Brian Milligan's car trip from London to Scotland.

      The BBC Business site has covered the electric vehicle industry extensively in recent months and over a longer period. I am attaching some links to recent stories which themselves link to a number of other stories. Many of these online stories have been accompanied by online video or television coverage. We have attempted in our coverage to explain to our audiences the growing importance of the electric car and motorcycle industry and the increasing adoption of electric cars by the public.
      Your complaint raises specifically the current coverage of one of our reporters, Brian Milligan, attempting to drive an electric car from London to Edinburgh ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-12138420). You say this project, and our choice of car, is not a fair representation of the capabilities of electric cars generally.

      We have made no claim for any scientific basis for this trip. Its purpose was to engage a broad audience and indeed, Brian in his first piece explicity acknowledges that there are criticisms to make whilst justifying this trip:

      So, in what is arguably an unfair test of a car designed mostly for short-distance motoring, the BBC decided to try to drive an electric Mini the 484 miles (778km) from London to Edinburgh.

      It is unfair in one sense, but surely fair in another: if the electric car really has come of age, won't potential owners want to know that if they wanted to, they could drive it from London to Manchester and back at the weekend, to see uncle and auntie?
      As you will have seen, Brian's online stories and updates, as well as the material on our Facebook and Twitter page, have attracted a great number of positive contributions and perspectives on electric cars fulfilling our objective to engage a large audience with the issue of electric cars. Indeed we were delighted that one school en route chose to bring along a whole class to see the car and discuss the environmental benefits of electric cars.

      On the issue of the choice of car we accept that there are a wide range of electric vehicles. In one piece Brian has himself cited the Tesla Roadster as an electric car which could complete the trip on one charge and his reason for not using that based on cost. That does not seem to us biased, but indeed an open acknowledgement of our choice and the reasons behind it. Clearly it would not have been practical for us to list every available electric car on an introductory piece like this but is worth noting that we have produced two pieces of coverage recently about the Nissan Leaf one of which I link to here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wear-11867561 which includes a specially produced television package by our Transport correspondent.

      I do hope this addresses your complaint.

      If you would like more information about how we handle complaints please visit this link:


      This will also advise you how to take this further if you are not satisfied with this response.

      Thank you again for your email.

      Best wishes

      BBC News Website
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't know if folks here are aware that, presumably if you are a UK citizen, you can file a complaint with them, which they have to respond to, and you can take it to quite a high level in the organization.
      I have done so about misrepresentation of the output of renewables in the past.
      In this instance I don't think that I am sufficiently bothered to go through the process, but any UK citizen is at liberty to do so.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Plenty have been doing just that.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Decent journalism is hard to find these days. Thank you David Peilow for exposing this joke of a report.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ha, having owned a number of Brit cars with Lucas wiring it is easy to understand a British journalists fear of things involving electricity. That or that BBC fellow lost his first love to a buzzing "marital aid" and has a loathing to anything battery powered.
        • 8 Months Ago
        LOL You're killing me! ROFLMAO
      • 4 Years Ago
      Another sad thing is that the factory Mini E has no backseat (or boot?), while the Electric Mini that was on Robert Llewellyn's earlier show, called Gearless, has a 21kWh lithium polymer pack, a backseat and a boot:



        • 8 Months Ago
        Loved that vid. That particular Mini may have less range than the BMW "Mini E", but in every other way it appears to be a better implementation.
        • 8 Months Ago
        60 mile range.

        Yeah, you can get rid of the battery in the trunk if you just cut the range down even further.
      • 4 Years Ago
      the anti electric clowns crack me up they like the ic engine will be consigned to the history books soon enough i recon 10 to 15 years will do it one day some kid will be taken buy his grandfather, and the words spoken will be gee pops did you actually drive one of those noisy smelly things.the ic engines life span is near its end we are here just waiting for the batteries to so we can drive the stake into its heart.
      • 4 Years Ago
      No surprise! Wouldn't want our journalist to have his backside shown on our own station, now would we?

      I hope people in the EV community do this everytime somebody comes up with these "challenges", that they show them for what most really are...FUD! ;)
      • 4 Years Ago
      'It's nice to see Tesla joining in the spirit of pioneering challenges, but their challenge is not exactly in the spirit of fair play.

      The Tesla Roadster costs around £88,000. For that money you expect far better performance than with a standard electric car, and far better range. You get it.'

        • 4 Years Ago
        Well the MiniE is a prototype and therefore priceless (ie you cant buy one).

        Incidentally Tesla are showing their new model in Detroit about now. BMW 5 series size, price and 300 mile range
        • 8 Months Ago
        Why should he get a break? It is perfectly obvious from the spec sheet that this car is not suitable for that use.
        If people cannot understand that they have bigger problems than what car to choose.
        This is a publicity stunt, abetted by the BBC.
        You don't make a rational critique of any goods when they are employed in uses which are outside their specification.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Give the bloke a break. He is making a point that long distance trips in an electric car are problematic when your tank holds the equivalent of a few liters of petrol. He is also correct that excluding the Tesla, all production EV's in the UK that will be available in 2011 will have battery capacity that will be in this order.

        Don't buy an EV if you need to travel intercity all the time. A nice VW Polo TDI would suit you better.

        However, if like most in the west, if you only drive 40-80 Km daily, and you want to reduce tailpipe emissions, the EV is an interesting proposition.
        • 4 Years Ago
        ha ha.
        He informs us he's testing the infrastructure and electric cars as a whole, yet dismisses a road going production ready car based on 2 year old design.What a complete journalistic disaster

        • 4 Years Ago
        For his next trick I understand he is to attempt to move his furniture using a two seater convertible - no doubt he will be disappointed to find out that it is less than ideal for the job, as it was not what it was designed to do.
      • 4 Years Ago
      BBC guy's a dick and his "report" has little to do with reality. I feel sorry for him and anyone who has to work with him. Moving on...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Watch the video. This bloke is driving around in a prototype test vehicle (i.e not a production car at all) and he's going on about luggage space???? LOL This whole thing must be a PR stunt because it this guy CAN'T be serious!
        • 8 Months Ago
        More of a "reverse PR stunt", designed to show EVs in the worst possible light!

        Makes me wonder how embarrassed he's going to be if they'll do a retrospective about a decade from now. The whole thing will look darn silly.
        • 8 Months Ago
        "This bloke is driving around in a prototype test vehicle"

        Agreed - they should have used the i-Miev at least that car is available and in production.

        I hate this one sided journalism - it might as well be advertising or propaganda - disappointing really.
    • Load More Comments
    Share This Photo X