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Tesla electric car manufacturer clarifies British 'Top Gear' failure

UPI News Service, 12/25/2008 

The manufacturer of the Tesla electric car says the vehicle did not run out of a charge during a race on the British TV series, "Top Gear."

The Tesla manufacturer claims while the BBC2 series made it appear the electric vehicle ran out of power while racing a Lotus Elise, the car's charge never dropped below 20 percent, The Guardian said Wednesday.

Tesla spokeswoman Rachel Konrad criticized the way the series showed the Tesla vehicle being pushed into a garage for charging after it began slowing during the recent broadcast.

"The image of them pushing it off the track was so searing," Konrad said.

But Konrad did praise the series for its review of the electric car, only saying her company was concerned with how U.S. viewers of the automobile fan show would take the related footage.

"My concern was with American viewers who were tuning in for the first time and might not understand the whole angle of the show," she told the Guardian. "We wanted to make clear that range was not a concern over the entire time of the ('Top Gear') test."

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Copyright 2008 by United Press International

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