Mr Bean actor blamed by the House of Lords for poor electric car sales

By Woop / 7th February 2024
Mr Bean actor Rowan Atkinson and car racing

Rowan Atkinson who is well known for his love of cars and racing has been blamed by the House of Lords for the plunge in sales of electric cars. 

The Mr Bean actor, 69, described the green machines as 'a bit soulless' in a comment he penned back in June 2023. 

The Lord's environment and climate change committee has since said that Mr Atkinson was partly to blame for 'damaging' public opinions on EVs. 

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak designed a plan to encourage drivers to buy EVs to help achieve his net zero strategy, and as part of this strategy new petrol and diesel cars are due to be banned from 2035. 

The Green Alliance pressure group said: 'One of the most damaging articles was a comment piece written by Rowan Atkinson in the Guardian which has been roundly debunked.'

Atkinson, who is also known for his starring role in the Blackadder series, has a high degree in electrical engineering and control systems, and described the cars as 'a bit soulless' but 'wonderful mechanisms'. 

Mr Atkinson went on “but increasingly, I feel a little duped… I'm feeling that our honeymoon with electric cars is coming to an end, and that's no bad thing,' he wrote in his comment piece” 

EV advocates have slammed the actor for his article, accusing him of wrongly representing the present state of battery technology, which was reported in The Telegraph.

Simon Evans, of the Carbon Brief website, penned: 'Mr Atkinson's biggest mistake is his failure to recognise that electric vehicles already offer significant global environmental benefits, compared with combustion-engine cars.' 

However it’s the people who are recognising that EV cars are expensive, there seems to be insufficient charging methods and mixed messaging is halting many consumers from purchasing electric vehicles.

Electric cars charging points

Debate

Baroness Parminter, who chaired the committee's EV inquiry, said: 'Surface transport is the UK's highest-emitting sector for CO2, with passenger cars responsible for over half those emissions.' 

People who testified to the committee regarding the rollout of EVs brought up the issue of 'a lack of clear and consistent messaging from the Government' - allegedly providing 'a vacuum for inaccurate press reporting to fill the void'.  

The committee's report mentioned a submission from the Green Alliance pressure group, which aimed to blame Atkinson for the public negative perception of EVs.

The submission was cited by people as proof of misleading reporting about the negatives of electric cars and battery technology. 

Member of the Commons transport committee, Greg Smith, said: 

“It's total hypocrisy for people that don't even drive EVs themselves to have the bare-faced cheek to tell others they should drop an absolute ton of money on one,' he said.

'People should be free to choose what cars they buy and drive. The reliability issues with battery electric cars are real and to try and sweep that under the carpet is just potty.”

See more of our previous blogs here

Recently viewed