Rowan Atkinson, with an engineering background and a passion for cars, expresses skepticism about electric cars as the environmental solution they are claimed to be. He highlights the carbon emissions and resource-intensive manufacturing process of lithium-ion batteries and suggests exploring alternatives like hydrogen and synthetic fuels. Atkinson also advocates for prolonging the lifespan of existing cars and adopting a more sustainable business model in the automotive industry in his article for the Guardian.
Electric motoring is, in theory, a subject about which I should know something. My first university degree was in electrical and electronic engineering, with a subsequent master’s in control systems. Combine this, perhaps surprising, academic pathway with a lifelong passion for the motorcar, and you can see why I was drawn into an early adoption of electric vehicles. I bought my first electric hybrid 18 years ago and my first pure electric car nine years ago and (notwithstanding our poor electric charging infrastructure) have enjoyed my time with both very much. Electric vehicles may be a bit soulless, but they’re wonderful mechanisms: fast, quiet and, until recently, very cheap to run. But increasingly, I feel a little duped. When you start to drill into the facts, electric motoring doesn’t seem to be quite the environmental panacea it is claimed to be.