So if you had to choose between a Tesla electric car and a BMW M3, what would you choose?


Now I don’t want to ramble on about Clarkson’s review of the BMW i8 too much but the final scenes of his drive to Whitby, where he decides whether to motor back home in the new BMW M3 or the i8, got me thinking.

What would I choose between the Tesla and the M3? I’m not going to scratch my chin here because I know the answer. The M3. It’s not because the Tesla isn’t a brilliant leap into the future – or the celebrity status it gives you everywhere – even in London.

No, it all comes down to issues over battery charging. If there were charging stations everywhere – even the random places I end up in as a journalist – then I’d buy into the idea tomorrow.

The Tesla looks slick, has the most amazing interior and futuristic dashboard lay out and so on but there simply are not enough charging points to make it work for me.

And with all that empty space under the bonnet, why not but another battery in and up the range to 500 miles – then everything would look very different.

I love the Tesla but I don’t love this country for not having the infrastructure to support it. Ask you local MP why when he comes electioneering at your door over the next two months…

Just because Clarkson looked a prat charging the BMW i8 doesn’t mean you have be the same in a Tesla


If you watched Clarkson faffing around comedy style with an charge point for the BMW i8 on Top Gear then you might be put off electric cars for good. Then again, if you think TG is anything but light entertainment, please send you licence directly fee to us, here in Nigeria.

It’s true that using an electric charge point can be confusing the first time – but you just have to follow the instructions to avoid frustration and feeling like a tit. The slowest way to charge the Tesla is at home via a three-pin plug. It’s simple to do and can even be set up from an app on your iPhone. It took 22 hours to charge the Model S from 61 miles of range to full.

The second type of connector is for use at home too and costs about £95. It boosts the rate of charge to about 68 miles per hour and is what most buyers opt for. It’s no more complicated than charging your mobile phone.

Out and about? Well, you have to know where your charging points are, to be honest. They are dotted all over London and at service stations and supermarkets. But in this age of instant consumerism, if you live in a remote part of the country, you ain’t going to bother.

I found it kind of cool plugging in the Model S in Little Venice this week. Self righteous, moi? But charging is still the Tesla’s one enormous, Size 12, Achilles’ heel. So until there are plug in points everywhere (and I mean, everywhere), I’m not sure the great British public will buy into it. And there, my friends, is the rub…