James May hits back at disgruntled fan after sparking 'bias' row over stance on electric cars

James May hits back at disgruntled fan after sparking 'bias' row over stance on electric cars

WATCH HERE: James May gives his honest opinion on electric cars

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 13/03/2024

- 15:49

The Grand Tour star has dabbled in the electric car market for a fair few years

James May has decided to respond to criticism he's faced following a recent podcast he recorded on the subject of electric vehicles.

The Grand Tour host sat down with The Intercooler for a new episode of the podcast where he discussed a wide range of topics, from starting in motoring journalism to working with Jeremy Clarkson.

But when attention turned to the debate around the benefits of BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles) against ICEs (Internal Combustion Engines), May delivered an honest verdict.

"I've got the new [Tesla] Model 3, the so-called Highland, I've only had it a few weeks and I'm still conflicted about electric cars," he admitted.

"I've had six now and two of them were hydrogen-fuel-celled Toyotas before the whole hydrogen infrastructure thing fell apart. They're essentially electric cars driven by an electric motor but BEVs... there's a lot to like about them."

May said he liked the "silence" of a BEV and how "polite" they were as he joked he can go out driving at 4am without waking his neighbours.

James May (right)

James May (right) has become a household names thanks to his work on The Grand Tour and Top Gear


However, there remained a major flaw in the rollout of BEVs according to the former Top Gear star as he went on: "But I still think the ambition is way ahead of the battery technology. It's still not really good enough."

When asked about Teslas and its "Super Charger Network", May remained unconvinced: "There still aren't enough of them and it still takes too long."

May then touched upon "arguments" he's had with people "on both sides" - the "defensive anti-EV" users and "ridiculous EV evangelists".

One such argument was the lack of charging points, as May went on: "If you drive all around the country you end up navigating between high-speed chargers and hoping there aren't too many people on them."

James May (middle)

James May (middle) recently returned to screens in a new Grand Tour special, Sand Job


He then issued a rather damning prediction if the government's plans to sell 100 percent zero-emission vehicles are met by 2035: "If it's still at current technology... we're going to need millions of charging points, it's not tens or hundreds of thousands, it's millions!"

Elsewhere in the debate, May described himself as a "bad ambassador" for electric cars but admitted he is "pretty pro" EVs.

One listener shared a clip of the conversation on X, formerly Twitter, which certainly got car users talking.

The original poster praised May for giving a "balanced view" on the debate but did share a list of points the 61-year-old could've raised.

However, others weren't as pleased with May and replied to the original post with their critiques.

"The majority of the Top Gear audience expects no less from the Three ‘Wise’ Berks unfortunately," one listener fumed before a second also hit out: "I gave up on May and his two side kicks years ago! When they come on TV I turn over!"

"Still biased against ev..." a third argued and it was this X user who caught the attention of May himself.

"Where’s my bias?" May grilled the perturbed listener who tried to humorously reply: "Somewhere between your brain and right foot.."

But May wasn't going to let the social media user get away lightly as he hit back again: "In what way am I biased against EVs?" (sic)

James May (middle)

James May has come under fire for his latest comments on electric vehicles


Eventually, the disgruntled user backed down and admitted he was "a fan" of May's.

Others were also quick to praise the TV presenter, including a separate X user who waded into the debate: "It's a really sensible chat. I'm so close to moving to full EV from hybrid but 'range' anxiety is still a thing for me plus not being able to charge at home is an absolutely massive obstacle."

This isn't the first time in recent weeks that May has hit headlines for his use of social media.

Last month when the latest Grand Tour special, Sand Job, dropped on Amazon Prime, May was quick to hit back at one viewer who took issue with one of his jokes.

May also took to X to lambast the current state of affairs when it comes to "utility companies" and "government organisations".

You may like