Does it suddenly feel like 1984 all over again to you too? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
 
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
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Does it suddenly feel like 1984 all over again to you too?

Top Gear: Shocking Scandal! Top Gear Tesla Didn't Run Out Of Juice

I LOVE Top Gear but I'll be the first to admit some of their stuff is staged. This little act however, seems to have gotten them in a heap of trouble.

Let's face it, unless the battery technology is improved, the Tesla Roadster will never be better than an Elise SC on the track. The Elise handles better and is just as quick (if not quicker). The Elise TG used was a base S so take their test with a grain of salt.

Regardless, as someone else commented, this is definitely going to knock TG off the Tesla Christmas Card List.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 08:06 AM
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Top Gear is not the be all and end all, it is an entertainment show and is not beyond skewing the results to fit their story ( I know for fact that they have done it in the past), for example, I wouldn't be surprised if they faked having the batteries go dead to make it more interesting.


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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 08:06 AM
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All things considered, I think Tesla's biggest downfall will be Tesla itself.
Heavy duty price tag, high priced replacement batteries, short charge span, (relative), should be enough to discourage most.
To me the car is a contradiction. Here is an electric car that performs, but only for a short time, and is to high priced to be economical, which afterall isn't that what the electric part is all about?
I think the concept of an all electric car is great, but untill such time as a long lasting power source is available, it would best be handled as a design excercise as opposed to a marketable product.

Just my humble opinion.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 08:18 AM
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I don't understand the controversy. Clarkson didn't say that it *did* run out of juice. He said "and we calculated that it would run out of power on our track after just 55 miles". That's a lot different.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 08:36 AM
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I didn't see it so I won't comment on the actual misrepresentation, but I think Top Gear is known for doing this... Remember the Viper stalemating with the Z4 M roadster on the track?

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 08:37 AM
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I don't understand the controversy. Clarkson didn't say that it *did* run out of juice. He said "and we calculated that it would run out of power on our track after just 55 miles". That's a lot different.

Except they edited the show in such a way that gave the impression that the car ran out of juice on the track and they had to push it back to garage

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 08:48 AM
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I don't understand the controversy. Clarkson didn't say that it *did* run out of juice. He said "and we calculated that it would run out of power on our track after just 55 miles". That's a lot different.
They said it visually. Right after the "We calculated" statement, there they are-pushing it back to the garage. Entertainment shouldn't come at the expense of accuracy. The two aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. The additional press will be good for the little electric car company, though. They'll get some juice of it, for sure.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 09:48 AM
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Has anyone actually denied the claim / calculation though ?

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 10:23 AM
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Has anyone actually denied the claim / calculation though ?
Here's an interesting tidbit from R&T (last paragraph, pg. 1):

RoadandTrack.com -- New Car Search - World Exclusive: First Complete Test of the 2009 Tesla Roadster (2/2009)

During their testing, the car's on board told them 132 miles and they suspected that the >200-mile was reasonable. Looks like the R&T was a mix of track and street so I can see how it could drop to 55 miles with track only use.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 10:25 AM
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Has anyone actually denied the claim / calculation though ?
Right, that's what I've been waiting to hear. He specifically said "we calculated", so when they then showed the guys pushing it I understood that was hammering home the potential consequences. If he meant that it had run out he would have said that. I still don't understand the issue.

Besides, 55 seems about right to me. If it gets 200 miles with normal use, then it seems reasonable that sitting at full throttle 90% of the time under heavy load is going to cut that significantly. How's that a surprise or a problem?

Tesla doesn't seem to be very good with answering criticism or controversy. Look at the sudden silence after the line hopping thread on here. I'm surprised that's the best PR performance that Silicon Valley money can buy.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 10:51 AM
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Doesn't seem an unreasonable claim, its also easy for tesla or anyone with the data to calculate a good ballpark figure, they know how much it burns at a particular speed/load, they know the capacity and drop off of the battery.

I noticed tesla mentioned the recharge times but not the time it'd take to run out, only remarking that it didn't run out or drop below 20%, not how long they drove it for, and the resulting charge left. They don't even really dispute or admit the charge times quoted just say that most people have the fast charger.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 11:10 AM
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Just to compare ... what's the range on the Elise at the track? ~10.5 gallon tank ... about 8mpg when driven hard? That's ~85 miles range at the track. (someone correct me on the 8mpg figure if they get different at the track)

I saw the show and was tricked into thinking they ran it out of juice when I saw them pushing it into the garage. My thought was 'I wonder if they hurt the car's electronics trying to drive it with no juice' (my hybrid warns sternly against trying to drive the car with no gas in it). But I also thought 55 mpg seemed reasonable for track driving an electric car.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 11:22 AM
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doma, i think 8mpg is probably being nice, but you can refill at the track in a few minutes.

i don't what the fuss is about though, if you know clarksons typical POV he hates most 'eco' stuff, and he says that hell has frozen over, he's a volt head, and that the car did better than the elise on the track. The motor did over heat, and the brakes did fail. he says its an astonishing technical achievement, and its the only electric car you might actually want to buy, it just doesn't match up in the real world with the claims or expectations they had for it.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 12:04 PM
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doma, i think 8mpg is probably being nice, but you can refill at the track in a few minutes.

i don't what the fuss is about though, if you know clarksons typical POV he hates most 'eco' stuff, and he says that hell has frozen over, he's a volt head, and that the car did better than the elise on the track. The motor did over heat, and the brakes did fail. he says its an astonishing technical achievement, and its the only electric car you might actually want to buy, it just doesn't match up in the real world with the claims or expectations they had for it.

Fair enough. And to dwell a bit more on the on-track efficiency thing, wasn't it very recently that they determined that most of the supercars out there were only getting roundabout 4 or so mpg on the track ? So that's not a whole lot of miles before needing to refuel, though as you've said it's not a problem to splash in more gas.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 04:13 PM
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Fair enough. And to dwell a bit more on the on-track efficiency thing, wasn't it very recently that they determined that most of the supercars out there were only getting roundabout 4 or so mpg on the track ? So that's not a whole lot of miles before needing to refuel, though as you've said it's not a problem to splash in more gas.
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 06:18 PM
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...heck, top gear mercilessly mocked the ford GT on numerous occasions for its sixty-odd mile range and spotty reliability both, so i really don't think the tesla's being unfairly singled out - it was doctor clarkson's personal car they mocked, to boot...

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