Those silly Brits

Big Ben

Or maybe it’s just the BBC

A journalist that works for the BBC by the name of Brian Milligan was tasked by his employer to drive over 400 miles in a “mass market electric car”. So, naturally, they chose the Mini E which is not even in production. Not satisfied with just putting pen to paper, Mr. Milligan provided some video as well. In the first few seconds of the video he states, “only 484 miles to go”. According to Google maps, from Mr. Milligan’s starting point in Covent Gardens in central London to Edinburgh, Scotland would be anywhere from 403 to 405 miles. Perhaps they were headed to the North of Edinburgh.

It took all of 20 seconds into the video for Mr. Milligan to mention range anxiety. So, what exactly was the point of this “challenge”? To drive a mass market electric car from London to Scotland using only public charging posts, according to the editor of the BBC News business and economics unit.

Why not propose digging a foundation for a home with a prototype garden spade? Perhaps riding a child’s developmental tricycle to work. What about providing the electric needs of a home with AAA batteries? Would all of these things “do the job”? Perhaps. But not very well. Well, guess what, Mr. Milligan – every item – garden spade, tricycle, AAA battery – or electric car – is designed with a specific purpose in mind. Just maybe, you should use your electric car for its intended purpose.

And just so you don’t think that we are being unduly harsh, back in August of last year, this same journalist wrote that electric cars “may be costlier than petrol vehicles”. And what did he have to back up his thoughts? High depreciation of the Mitsubishi I-MiEV (£28,990) vs. the Fiat 500 (£10,610). He quoted the depreciation in British Pounds. The BBC did not provide the depreciation as a percentage of purchase cost. If they had, the story would have been that the Fiat 500 would potentially retain 49% of its original value. The Mitsubishi I-MiEV potentially would retain 49% of its original value. Of course the Mitsu would depreciate more – it costs more. They also proposed that the “insurance costs could end up being higher”. They did not, however say that the insurance costs could end up being lower.

A side note – when the BBC “challenge” was aired,  a Tesla driver made the trip in less time, with fewer charges. When the Tesla joined the challenge, Mr. Milligan actually wrote that “their (Tesla’s) challenge is not exactly in the spirit of fair play”. Alrighty then.

This does make us wonder though – how many light bulbs would it take to heat an average sized room in an average sized home?

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