Advertisement

Top Gear Nissan Leaf Episode Sparks Healthy Debate, Positive Reactions

Follow Nikki

Top Gear, Filming in Lincoln, England with 2011 Nissan Leaf and 2011 Peugeot iOn. Reproduced with permission, The Lincolnite

Top Gear, Filming in Lincoln, England with 2011 Nissan Leaf and 2011 Peugeot iOn. Reproduced with permission, The Lincolnite

Enlarge Photo

A little over a week ago, the BBC aired an episode of its popular motoring entertainment program Top Gear in which presenters Jeremy Clarkson and James May searched in vain for an electric-car charging station.

They needed to recharge their fully-drained 2011 Nissan Leaf  in the rural English county of Lincolnshire.

Needless to say, they had purposely exhausted the car's battery, and chosen a place known for its lack of electric-car charging stations. 

As with past Top Gear segments involving electric cars, many plug-in fans weren’t impressed. Neither was Nissan

But while some British media outlets like The Times and The Daily Mail used the Top Gear episode to continue their usual--and predictable--assault on electric cars, a surprising number chose to take a different editorial line. 

Most notable among them is The Guardian. Columnist George Monbiot recently took exception not only to the way Top Gear portrayed electric cars, but with their apparent immunity to BBC’s standards and editorial guidelines. 

While many electric-car advocates have decried Top Gear’s lack of editorial accountability for years, this is the first time we’ve seen a major newspaper call foul on Top Gear’s editorial bias. 

Monbiot even suggests that Top Gear’s political agenda is “an extreme form of libertarianism and individualism,” assing that the show “derides attempts to protect the environment" and promotes "the kind of driving that threatens other people’s peace and other people’s lives.”

Alongside Monbiot’s editorial is a post in praise of electric cars by former Top Gear presenter Quentin Willson, who's a contemporary of Jeremy Clarkson. Willson became an electric-car fan after leasing a 2010 Mitsubishi 'i' for a year during a U.K. trial of electric cars.  

More than anything, though, these examples of pro-electric-car sentiment have helped to spark a healthy debate on social-media sites, fan pages, gas-guzzler forums and, of course, around the office water cooler. 

If some of the discussions we’ve seen and heard are anything to go by, the public’s attitude to plug-in vehicles is slowly changing. 

And that has to be a good thing. So, thank you, Top Gear.

+++++++++++

Follow GreenCarReports on Facebook and Twitter.

Advertisement
 
Follow Us

 

Have an opinion?

  • Posting indicates you have read this site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use
  • Notify me when there are more comments
Comments (11)
  1. I did notice they were parked in disabled parking bits too - just shows their total disregard for any form of decency - in my opinion! That annoyed me more than the electric car bashing as I'm used to Top Gear being anti electric cars and out of BBCs control so took that 'as read'. I happily took delivery of a Leaf about 10 days ago and love it to bits! x
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  2. Bit rich really coming from a newspaper that itself makes a point of adjusting the facts to suit their world view. Maybe both Top Gear and the Guardian should learn from this that it's just not cool to lie about important things under the guise of journalism.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

     
  3. @Chris, really...??? What exactly does the Guardian do that other newspapers don't? By lying, I guess you are referring to the Guardian's articles and editorials? Do you even know what an editorial is? How exactly is artifically making it seem that an EV has run out of power (when it has only because you've made it do so) similar to a newspaper having opinions other than your own?
    I don't agree with many newspapers, but I don't call them liars because they disagree with me. Please share clear examples of when the Guardian has "lied" so we can all learn from you. Then, feel free to explain how that makes it okay to be dishonest on Top Gear.
    But, of course, only you can judge who adjusts facts to suit his/her/their world view.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  4. Comment disabled by moderators.

     
  5. Settle down dude...here, have some food for thought:

    http://cifwatch.com/2011/08/08/guardian-report-on-london-riots-omits-the-race-or-ethnicity-of-rioters-but-still-mentions-jews/
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

     
  6. Yeah, Chris, the old childish "everyone else's doing it" thing just doesn't work for me. Your link means absolutely nothing, but I'm sure in your world the fact that a newspaper used the word Jew means it's perfectly acceptable for the guys on TG to lie about EVs yet again.
    Just please help me out with the causal link, will you? Where exactly does a newspaper's article justify a TV show lying yet again about EVs being out of juice?
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  7. Oh, lighten up guys! Top Gear is ALL in fun! If you take them, and take life too seriously, you'll miss their point entirely. I'm a big EV fan AND a big Top Gear fan and you just cannot take their approach to EVs seriously! They're all about cars as a hobby/lifestyle, not as an economic means of transportation that will save the environment.
     
    Post Reply
    +1
    Bad stuff?

     
  8. @Lori, uh, by lightening up, I assume you mean justifying blatant dishonesty because they're celecbrities? Yes, pretending an EV is out of juice when you've intentionally made it do so, yes, I guess that's entertainment to you.
    I'm not asking the incompetent, bitter old farts to like EVs, just not to be dishonest. Or did I miss the shows with ICEs where they lied and made the Focus faster than the Ferrari or the Fiesta faster than a Jaguar?
    Point taken, I guess, if you don't like EVs, go ahead and lie and if you don't like dishonesty, "it's ALL in fun."
     
    Post Reply
    -1
    Bad stuff?

  9. I am not even going to look or read any article that bashes the Nissan Leaf because if they do not personally own one like my self there opinion is means jack to me. I got my Leaf in March and now have 8 thousand miles on it and it has never left me stranded or with any anxiety about losing charge. As a matter of fact I only charge it at night and me and my husband share it during the day. He takes it to work which is about 35 miles going and coming home then I take it in the evenings and run my errands. I love my Leaf and Nissan for taking a stand and giving me what I want in a car or at least giving me a option in what kind of car I want to drive instead of only selling gas cars like every other car dealer.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  10. For me the joy of driving was always linked to the ability to go where you wanted for as long as you wanted. Electric cars, while I applaud the idea of more efficient engines, are the human version of a dog chain tied to a post.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

     
  11. Just remember to give your dog plenty of food and water. He'll really need it over the next 100 miles or so. And please give him plenty of encouragement. He's got to start on another 100 miles tomorrow morning (161 km).
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

 

Have an opinion? Join the conversation!

Advertisement

Find Green Cars

Go!
Advertisement

Advertisement

 
© 2014 Green Car Reports. All Rights Reserved. Green Car Reports is published by High Gear Media. Send us feedback. Stock photography by izmo, Inc.