Jeremy Clarkson of The Grand Tour [publicity photo provided by Amazon]
Oh, dear. The things celebrities say.
One of three long-time hosts of BBC’s long-running “Top Gear” TV show, Clarkson was fired after punching a producer. His costars quit soon afterward.
Now the trio is back in Amazon Prime’s new series, “The Grand Tour,” and Clarkson has hit the road to do publicity for the show.
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He recently sat down with Business Insider to discuss the show and tout the huge viewership of the first episode, the most popular in Amazon’s history.
Several years ago, “Top Gear” notoriously tested a Tesla Roadster. It ended that episode showing the car being pushed back into its garage, its battery obviously dead.
Except that Tesla disputed that, noting that the car hadn’t actually run out of charge at all.
(The company lost a lawsuit it brought against the BBC over the episode, on the grounds that—according to the judge—Top Gear was entertainment, not reporting, and its viewers were well aware of that.)
Clarkson, who Business Insider describes as “bombastic,” apparently hasn’t lost his antipathy for electric cars.
In the interview he shares his views on many topics, among them why he prefers hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles to plug-in electric cars.
ALSO SEE: Top Gear Tests Nissan Leaf, Peugeot iOn: A Fair Assessment? (Jul 2011)
“I will never be a fan [sic] plug-in electric cars,” he told the interviewer, and explained why with some rather startling assertions.
Let’s go down his assertions and fact-check them, shall we?
You have brown-outs in New York already when you have people charging (phones) up, and running lights.
FALSE. Green Car Reports actually has staff who live in the city.
Brownouts largely occur only on the hottest and most humid days of the year, and the culprit is air conditioning.
Lights and mobile phones have nothing to do with it.
America is barely coping with its demand for electricity. Same in Britain. We’re 5 percent and you’re 16 percent under here in the U.S.
DEBATABLE (at best). Electric utilities do a great deal of forward demand projection.
While demand is slowly rising, utilities are well aware of that. Electricity continues to flow reliably to its users in both countries, just as it always has.
We’d be curious to know what Clarkson’s statistics refer to; Business Insider doesn’t say.
CHECK OUT: Electric-Car-Hating Top Gear Names Fisker Karma Luxury Car Of The Year (Dec 2011)
So, when people start charging their cars up, where’s the power going to come? Who knows. [sic]
FALSE. The implication here is that electric cars will consume enormous amounts of electricity. That is, as Clarkson might say, rubbish.
Utility executives agree that the spike in demand wrought by widespread adoption of cheap home air-conditioners in the 1960s and 1970s was far more disruptive than any projected demand from electric cars could possibly be.
Adoption of cars with plugs has been slower than projected.