May 14, 2011 7.00 am This story is over 155 months old

Nissan: Top Gear Lincoln breakdown ‘intentional’

Deliberate: Rather than showcasing Nissan Leaf’s weaknesses, the Top Gear crew highlighted Lincoln’s shortcomings.

A statement from Nissan explained Top Gear’s electric car breakdown in Lincoln on Thursday was not accidental after all.

A Nissan GB spokesman told All Cars Electric “pictures rarely tell the whole story, as is the case here,” where crowds gathered to watch Jeremy Clarkson in a Nissan Leaf and James May in a Peugeot iOn film for the upcoming series of the BBC show.

“Top Gear has confirmed to us that the crew intentionally drained the battery to inject suspense into the mission of finding a public charge spot,” Nissan spokesman Ton Barnard said.

“Lincoln is an area renowned for not having any public charging infrastructure. Top Gear does not intend to use the scenes of the car out of charge as an illustration that the claimed range is false.”

The second part of the statement addresses speculation that Top Gear’s crew tried to pull a similar stunt to a staged Tesla electric car race in 2008, which led to the manufacturer suing the show.

Instead, All Cars Electric inferred Top Gear will highlight how hard it is to charge an electric car, especially in areas such as Lincoln.

This would explain Clarkson’s appearances at the Newland offices of Lincolnshire County Council and at the Lincolnshire Echo offices on the Brayford, finally finding an impromptu spot to recharge the electric cars at the University of Lincoln.

In an interview with BBC Lincolnshire while in Lincoln on Thursday, James May said: “To be brutally honest our visit to Lincoln is a matter of circumstance.”

“But we are rather glad it happened,” he added.