Rowan Atkinson has been blamed for the slow adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in the United Kingdom, reports. The Mr. Bean and Johnny English actor was name-checked during an environment and climate change committee meeting in the House of Lords earlier this week, with the Green Alliance think tank saying a comment piece by Atkinson was damaging to EV sales in the country.
The piece in question was published byon June 3, 2023, with Atkinson saying “electric motoring doesn’t seem to be quite the environmental panacea it is claimed to be.” He goes on to talk about the environmental impact of EV production, alternative fuels, the life cycle of an automobile and that “our honeymoon with electric cars is coming to an end.”
The following week, The Guardian, deputy editor and senior policy editor of climate news site Carbon Brief, which looked to debunk claims made in Atkinson’s article.
In the meeting, the Green Alliance shared its views on the main obstacles the UK government faces in its bid to phase out petrol and diesel cars before 2035, and said, “one of the most damaging articles was a comment piece written by Rowan Atkinson in The Guardian which has been roundly debunked.”
“Unfortunately, fact checks never reach the same breadth of audience as the original false claim, emphasising the need to ensure high editorial standards around the net zero transition,” it added. Among the issues put forth by the think tank include an insufficient numbers of charging points, high EV prices and “a lack of clear and consistent messaging from the government.”
Last year, the UK government announced it would postpone the ban on the sale of new petrol- and diesel-powered cars, claiming the change is a “more pragmatic, proportionate, and realistic approach” that “eases the burdens on working people.”
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