- Aug 2, 2011
Top Gear airs controversial Nissan Leaf segment, responds to critics
Yes, the Top Gear duo ragged on the Leaf and iOn after the vehicles were intentionally discharged in order to highlight the difficulties of charging electric vehicles in a municipality with no public charging stations (read Nissan's official response to the show's battery-depleting antics), but both Clarkson and May did have some positive words to say for the Leaf and iOn. Take, for example, Clarkson admitting the Leaf drove much like a conventional vehicle and May comparing the iOn to a Porsche 911.
Top Gear has taken heat, mainly from UK-based news outlet The Times, for its portrayal of electric vehicles on the show. Tesla even sued the BBC after its Roadster made its appearance on Top Gear in 2008. Andy Wilman, executive producer of the show, responded to critics today, saying that at no point did the Top Gear hosts test the claimed range of the Nissan Leaf, nor did they suggest that "the vehicles wouldn't achieve their claimed range." Wilman had more to say, which you can read here, but need we really remind anyone that Top Gear is pure entertainment with just a dash of factuality.