At the risk of being very boring, I will respond one more time to the BBC’s Mini Adventure shenanigans.
Very early this morning I witnessed the departure of David Peilow who has decided off his own bat to demonstrate that it is possible to drive from London to Edinburgh in one day.
He is undertaking the journey in a Tesla Roadster, £88,000 worth of state of the art sports car, which, if you have that kind of money, you could buy today.
He did this because Mr Brian Milligan, a BBC reporter, is on a 4 day journey covering the same route in an experimental car, the Mini E.
This is built by BMW as a test vehicle, you can’t buy one, none of them are for sale. They are for lease, just like GM’s legendary EV1. BMW are using them to test the technology before they produce a purpose built electric car in 2012.
However, Mr Milligan is repeatedly referring to this car as ‘a mass market EV,’ thereby hoping to give the impression that ‘this is the sort of car us normal people can expect to drive.’
It is obvious to anyone who has driven it (I have) and anyone who knows anything about it (surely a reporters job) that it’s not even a niche market car. BMW would happily describe it as an experimental vehicle, in fact they did to me.
The purpose of the BBC mini adventure is to see how easy (read how incredibly hard) it is to do a long journey in an electric vehicle in January 2011. In his endless and tiresome dirge Mr Milligan drones on about range anxiety, charge post anxiety (will he ever find one!) and how he has to turn the heater off to conserve energy.
He’s doing something the car was not designed to do. What does he expect? What, I will ask again, is Mr Milligan trying to prove. That electric cars aren’t ready (meaning ‘and probably never will be?’) That electric cars are a fraud being foisted onto an ignorant public? That there isn’t a nationwide re-charge network installed? We kind of know that already. That electric cars are a conspiracy created by a secret sect of tree hugging , enviro-terrorists?
Why is it that I can imagine a certain Mr J Clarkson trying exactly the same stunt on the wonderful, but rabidly pro-oil BBC flagship show, Top Gear? Why is it that every phrase Mr Milligan utters drips with knowing Luddite sarcasm.
Why did the BBC choose or allow Mr Milligan to make this absurd journey, who’s editorial decision was it? What is their motivation?
I cannot answer any of those questions, nothing I’ve read on their wonderful web page has given me a hint of an answer.
So what is David Peilow’s motivation to do the same journey in 1 day as opposed to 4?
Because he is using a car which was designed to do this sort of trip. No one, not me, not Tesla, not even Jeremy C would suggest that the Tesla is a mass market EV. It’s an electric supercar, faster 0-60 than a Porsche 911 turbo GT3 which costs considerably more. That is the only kind of car to compare it to, a really expensive sports car that rich people buy, only the Tesla is cheaper. Not only cheaper to buy, but much cheaper to run.
Drive a Porsche from London to Edinburgh, you’d have to stop for petrol twice, it would use 29 gallons or 131 litres. (448 miles at 15 MPG, I’m being generous, you’d have to hyper-mile to get that out of a Porsche) Cost of journey in fuel alone £162. The cost of re-charging the Tesla at peak rate electricity prices, about £10.
The cost of driving a petrol Mini Cooper ? £77. Cost of driving the Mini E About £7.
Any mention of this by Mr Milligan or the BBC. Have a guess. No. Nothing.
Mr Peilow has stopped twice on that 400 plus mile journey to re-charge the Tesla which has a range well in excess of 200 miles. He is currently entering the outskirts of Edinburgh.
Mr Milligan and his supporters in the editorial team at BBC news have shot themselves in the foot in their eagerness to belittle and undermine a now rapidly emerging and disruptive technology. It’s worth reading the comments at the bottom of BBC page. It proves I am not alone in my suspicions of their motives.
The only possible explanation of their need to do this daft prank is to please someone powerful within the BBC. I truly don’t know who? Do you?