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BBC FUD Fest: Mini-E London to Edinburgh


Well-Known Member
May 23, 2008
Winchester, UK
Here's another "let's try and drive a Mini-E from one end of the country to the other" stunt...

This time it's the BBC (quelle surprise). Mini adventure: how far can an electric car go?


- Why do BMW keep lending the cars out for these stunts?

- Why do Elektromotive keep getting involved?

- Is it really true that the Mini can't do the last 87 miles?

If it shows anything, it's that the mass roll out of 13A charge posts is a huge short-sighted waste of money.
I dropped an email to the BBC / BMW mini guy saying he had chosen the wrong car and told him I could get the Tesla to Edinburgh and back again before he even gets there. May need some help planning charging points if he calls my bluff!
I submitted the following at http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/homepage/

What is your complaint about:
General News

Programme title:
BBC News, BBC Breakfast, BBC Business News/technology online

Transmission date:

Complaint category:

Complaint summary:
BBC News is engaging in a stunt designed to unfairly make electric cars look bad

Full complaint:
Why has BBC news got an agenda against Electric Vehicles? You have set your journalist Brian Milligan on a mission to failure with the stunt of driving an electric mini from London to Edinburgh. By choosing this less capable electric car you ensure that the journey will take 4 days, involve interminable waiting at charging points and make Brian drive without heating. In reality it's a totally inappropriate journey for an EV of this type (and its not even a production car). A better choice of EV (any of Nissan LEAF, Vauxhall Ampera or Tesla Roadster) would have allowed the journey to be completed within one day. By choosing the Mini-E you have set this up to fail. You also have in several broadcasts (e.g. Radio 4 Today) uncritically regurgitated the discredited "Long Tailpipe" argument. Please provide balance at least by interviewing some electric vehicle users (e.g. Current Tesla Roadster drivers).

This is the wrong car for the job. A 100 mile electric vehicle is ideal for commuting, the school run, shopping - the high 90s% of driving that is local. An electric vehicle owner challenged with an occasional trip London to Edinburgh will make another choice: the train, a hire car, or even a better-adapted electric car.

Your reporter could have chosen a Nissan LEAF with a similar 80-100 mile range, but 45 minute quick charge at Nissan dealers, rather than 10 hours from a 13 amp plug.

Or a Vauxhall Ampera, a Plug-In Hybrid - first 40 miles electric, then unlimited range on petrol.

Or a Tesla Roadster - 200 miles range, then a recharge in 4 hours.

It seems you have set this up as a deliberate fail.

So why do this? Has BBC News got an anti-EV agenda, or are you just miserably I'll-informed?

Please feel free to contact me by email. Phone number on request.

Disclosure: I drive a Tesla Roadster and it's damn practical. Recently did Edinburgh-Newcastle return in a day with no trouble.

All the best

Andrew Bissell
I'm a copy cat:

Complaint type:
BBC News
What is your complaint about:
BBC News Online
Address of the page:
Complaint category:
Complaint summary:
A deliberate attempt to fabricate negative news
Full complaint:
The article sets out to show that a short-range electric commuter vehicle isn't practical for use on a long-range cross-country journey. The article opens with the statement "So, in what is arguably an unfair test of a car designed mostly for short-distance motoring, the BBC decided to try to drive an electric Mini the 484 miles from London to Edinburgh." and then continues to demonstrate how foolish the venture is. Is this an attempt to best 'Jack-ass' or another biased episode of Top Gear - the best 'scripted' entertainment show? There is an undercurrent in the BBC's depiction of electric vehicles, it is not news, it is 'generated, often biased and inaccurate 'scripted' entertainment' and does not deserve placement on the BBC's news channel. You can do better.
On the Facebook-Page:

Thanks for your comments and queries - here are some responses from Brian: We didn't choose the Tesla as this is a very expensive car: the Roadster starts from £87,945, so we felt a more affordable car was a better test. We chose London to Edinburgh as this is a traditional route between 2 countries and 2 capitals - think the flying Scotsman. Putting on the mini's heater reduces the range by up to 10%. In cold weather the range is 70 to 80 miles, compared to 100 miles in warmer weather.

Choosing a more affordable car was a better test? WTF????
Err, a prototype Mini that probably cost close to the price of the Roadster to build. Nissan for one should be all over that statement.

By the way, can you guys comment on Facebook? The minute I log in, I lose the option to do it. The BBC must have banned me...
On Facebook there was a link formatted BBC.in/something that was supposed to be where you commented. Following it took you to the top of the original story whichin turntold you to comment on Facebook! No idea how the few comments they so have ever go there.
David Peilow, with a little assistance from me, Robert Llewellyn, and a lot of generous support from Tesla has (at some considerable personal expense and trouble) started an excellent response.

Following #electriccars on Twitter will get you started. I'll let David fill you all in on the rest of the details as soon as charging time gives him the opportunity!

So as Andrew hinted, I thought the only way to show up the BBC for what they are doing was to race them. Fortunately, so did Tesla, so this morning was an early start in London to pick up a car and head north.

Robert Llewellyn came down to see us off:


We sailed past two of the BBC's locations and arrived at Nottingham for a late breakfast:



Fortunately we have access to an HPC here - so won't be long!


Follow progress on Twitter via @dpeilow. We're out of here soon!


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...And before people jump in and remind us that the Tesla is a million dollar sports car for the rich and famous, let's not forget that this trip could be done in the forthcoming BYD 5-seater cross-over, a car that'll be aimed at Joe Normal's holiday trip.

Just as you'd pick a long-haul Jet over a single engined prop plane for that trip to America you'd pick a long-haul EV over a commuter car for a cross-country jaunt.

GO Guys!

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