Rowan Atkinson has been blamed for the delayed uptake of electric cars (EVs) in the United Kingdom, according to Sky News. The name of the famed Mr. Bean actor was mentioned during an environment and climate change committee meeting in the House of Lords earlier this week, with the Green Alliance think tank claiming Atkinson’s comment piece was detrimental to EV sales in the country.
The article in question was published on June 3, 2023, by The Guardian, in which Atkinson said “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 next week, Simon Evans, senior policy editor and deputy editor of the climate news website Carbon Brief, published another piece in The Guardian that attempted to refute the assertions made in Atkinson’s article.
The Green Alliance gave a presentation during the meeting outlining the primary challenges the UK government confronts in its attempt to phase out gasoline and diesel vehicles by the year 2035. They stated that:
“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 the audience as the original false claim, emphasizing the need to ensure high editorial standards around the net zero transition.”
Among the issues put forth by the think tank include an insufficient number of charging points, high EV prices, and “a lack of clear and consistent messaging from the government.”
The UK government stated last year that it would delay the sale of new automobiles with gasoline and diesel engines until 2035, citing this as a “more pragmatic, proportionate, and realistic approach” that “eases the burdens on working people.”
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com