Television presenter and motoring journalist Quentin Willson joins hosts Jason Plato and Dave Vitty on the award-winning podcast Fuelling Around to reveal all about the early days of Top Gear and why electric cars are the future of transportation.
Willson is best known for starring in the original Top Gear, which started in 1991, and which he hosted alongside Jeremy Clarkson for over a decade. He was also a vocal campaigner against the artificially higher prices of new cars in the UK compared to Europe and is widely credited for playing a major role in prompting the European Commission to take action and use block exemption regulations on the motoring industry to reduce prices.
The 66-year-old was also the national spokesman for FairFuelUK for a decade. He played a big part in pressuring the UK government to defer 11p of fuel duty rises, reducing the overall tax take by £5.5 billion.
Quentin Willson on why Teslas are superior and why electric cars are the future
During the episode Willson revealed his current day-to-day vehicle is his beloved Tesla Model 3 Performance, and argued that electric cars are the future because of their low maintenance costs.
“I remember first driving it thinking ‘good lord this is unfeasibly fast’”, Willson explained.
“I get 300 miles out of it in a single charge. I think Elon (Musk) does something to the batteries of his test cars, but we were driving this thing down the M40 trying to use up all the juice and putting on the heated seats, the air conditioning and everything to try and use the battery up, and you just couldn’t.
“And it was then that I thought ‘I’ve got to have one’. I’ve had that for three years now, it’s done 36,000 miles and still has the original tyres. In three years I’ve spent £120 on maintenance and that was only because I wasn’t using the brakes enough because you’ve got the regen, so you don’t touch the brakes and they get corroded.
“I took it to Tesla to free them off. But it’s been completely and utterly blameless. Nothing has gone wrong, nothing has had to be replaced.
“So when you think about it I love all the noise and all the smoke and all the cacophony of internal combustion cars, but really these electric things are just so good, so reliable, so quick, so silent, so superior in so many ways apart from that emotional connection, so for day-to-day stuff they’re great.
“It’s been ten years since you’ve been able to buy them, and we can do 300 plus miles. Imagine what it’s going to look like in the next ten years when you’ve got thousand mile ranges. So it is the future.
“Anything that can get rid of the particulates in the air, that can reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, that means that we don’t have to be slaves to (Vladimir) Putin and Saudi Arabia, has to be a good thing.”
Plenty more episodes of Fuelling Around to enjoy
Series seven is on its final lap, but if you haven’t listened to Fuelling Around before, you’ll be glad to know there’s a wealth of previous episodes from six series, and the current seventh, for you to listen to.
A host of celebrity guests have littered the award-winning podcast that has so far produced a string of excellent shows to listen to.