A famous star has given a scathing rebuke to electric vehicles despite being an early proponent of them.
On Saturday, Rowan Atkinson, who is famous for his role as the title character in the comedy “Mr. Bean,” wrote an opinion piece for the British newspaper The Guardian in which he lambasted the failings of EVs despite his previous support for them.
He said he bought a hybrid 18 years ago and an EV nine years later and “enjoyed my time with both.”
“But increasingly, I feel a little duped,” Atkinson wrote. “When you start to drill into the facts, electric motoring doesn’t seem to be quite the environmental panacea it is claimed to be.”
Despite the vehicles emitting fewer pollutants than a gas-powered car when running, he said, the manufacture of the heavy lithium batteries used to power them produces more greenhouse gas emissions than the manufacture of a petrol car.
“In advance of the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow in 2021, Volvo released figures claiming that greenhouse gas emissions during production of an electric car are nearly 70% higher than when manufacturing a petrol one,” the comic actor wrote. “How so?
“The problem lies with the lithium-ion batteries fitted currently to nearly all electric vehicles: they’re absurdly heavy, huge amounts of energy are required to make them, and they are estimated to last only upwards of 10 years.”
Atkinson said that although people are trying to develop alternatives to heavy lithium batteries, those are still years away from being fully realized, meaning millions of heavy lithium battery-powered automobiles will be produced, further harming the environment.
He wrote that we need to seriously look at ways we can retain the use of gas-powered cars.
“[A]lthough it is sensible to reduce our reliance on them, it would seem right to look carefully at ways of retaining them while lowering their polluting effect,” the actor said. “Fairly obviously, we could use them less. A sensible thing to do would be to speed up the development of synthetic fuel, which is already being used in motor racing.”
Atkinson’s conclusion was quite simple: EVs have a lot of potential but still have a long way to go before they become a real alternative to gas-powered vehicles. In the meantime, we should look for ways to make the latter less polluting.
Rowan Atkinson’s critique echoes many of the concerns conservatives have long voiced about the left’s headlong rush to embrace electric vehicles.
For a long time, conservatives have argued that despite the image presented by the left that EVs are environmentally friendly, the reality is very different.
As the comic actor correctly pointed out, the materials and techniques used to create the batteries that power EVs cause much more pollution than the manufacturing of a gas-powered car does.
But the limitations of EVs go much further than what Atkinson mentioned in his article.
Electric vehicles can be very expensive and thus are out of reach for many Americans.
Meanwhile, they are not as reliable as gas-powered vehicles. This past winter proved that EVs are susceptible to breaking down in cold weather.
Atkinson is right: Until we can make electric vehicles affordable and efficient, it would be foolish to get rid of the gas-powered vehicles that have served us well so far.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.