Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson has hit back at claims by Nissan that the programme misled viewers with its “unfair” test drive of the Leaf.
The company complained that the EV’s battery had been run down deliberately after Clarkson and James May were left “stranded”, with the latter getting out to push the vehicle through the Lincolnshire countryside.
According to Nissan, Top Gear only travelled 30 miles in the car despite receiving it fully charged and capable of eating up 100 miles.
Clarkson admitted to the Times that the battery had been allowed to run low but only because “the piece was about the difficulties of recharging the electric car [in general]“.
He added: “They had to be low on charge once we arrived in Lincoln. That’s how TV works. At no point did we mislead the viewers. Top Gear‘s job is to say to everybody: ‘Just a minute, do not believe [electric cars] can be run as simply as you have been told’.”
Top Gear‘s producer, Andy Wilman, has also responded on the show’s website.
He wrote: “We never, at any point in the film, said that we were testing the range claims of the vehicles, nor did we say that the vehicles wouldn’t achieve their claimed range. We also never said at any time that we were hoping to get to our destination on one charge.”