Former Top Gear presenter James May criticized rival Tesla

Former Top Gear presenter James May criticized rival Tesla

Ex-Top Gear star James May has questioned the design of a new electric car and one of Tesla’s new big rivals.

Former Top Gear host James May has called out one of Tesla’s main electric car rivals over an important interior car button.

The TV host was left baffled after appearing to notice the drive selector was “back-to-front” in the new vehicle.

Mr May was left confused when he stepped inside the latest model from BYD, a booming Chinese car manufacturer now a serious threat to American giant Tesla.

After stepping inside the BYD Dolphin, James was baffled when looking at the car’s drive selector located on the centre console.

He posted on X: “I’m driving the BYD Dolphin and it’s all very pleasant, but I think the drive selector rocker switch is back-to-front. My mate says it’s logical. Who is right? It’s bothering me (more than it should).

Re the Dolphin selector. You push it for R and pull it for D. There is an obvious precedent for this in the operation of the shifter on an old automatic, but this is a two-position switch that returns to centre. P is a separate button.

“The electric car is an opportunity to introduce intuition into this basic control, but it’s become a skeuomorph. So there.”

However, many took to social media to suggest that many other automatic vehicles follow the same system.

X user @apatheemsport explained: “Our Outlander PHEV is like that. Pull back for Drive and push forward for reverse. It seems counter-intuitive really.”

@Mike_Bitcoin_X wrote: “My 14-year-old BMW says it’s logical.”

@FoggyAtoms commented: “Although my drive selector is flat on the [centre] console (Toyota 4Runner), it’s in the order of your screen. BUT, being up on the dash, I feel it’s backwards, too!”

@PhiPhiDon’t replied: “It’s logical. The direction of twisting the control reflects the direction of travel.

“To select reverse you ‘pull’ the control towards you, a backwards movement i.e reverse.”

James responded to the explanation, adding: “It works the other way around.”

Earlier this month, it emerged that BYD had overtaken Tesla as the world’s top-selling electric carmaker.

In the final quarter of 2023, BYD sold more battery-electric vehicles than Elon Musk’s firm for the first time. A whopping 526,000 vehicles left BYD’s forecourt compared to the 484,000 developed by Tesla.

However, BYD sells their vehicles at a lower price than Tesla while they are also popular in the lucrative Chinese market which makes up 20 percent of their sales.

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