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 |  Mar 31 2011, 12:24 PM

Tesla is suing the BBC following a 2008 episode of Top Gear in which its electric Roadster ran out of power while competing against a gas-powered Lotus.

In a report written by the BBC, Top Gear Host Jeremy Clarkson, was quoted as saying: “Although Tesla say it’ll do 200 miles, we worked out that on our track it would run out after just 55 miles.”

Tesla has a lot riding on its $109,000 supercar, reportedly the fastest production electric car. The company says the Roadster was certified by a third-party European Union test as being good for 211 miles.

If driven “mindfully,” says Tesla on its Web site, it could last for 313 miles, but because it was “driven aggressively” by Top Gear the charge did not last as long. Tesla also said it disagreed with several other aspects of Top Gear.

“The BBC stands by the programme,” said a Top Gear spokeswoman, “and will be vigorously defending this claim.”

[Source: BBC]