Rowan Atkinson via Facebook

Few expected Rowan Atkinson, the actor best known as the protagonist in Mr Bean, to pen an opinion piece arguing against the use of electric vehicles, nor was the backlash expected.

In his opinion piece on The Guardian, he cites a study conducted by Volvo which claims that greenhouse gas emissions during production of an electric car are nearly 70 per cent higher than when manufacturing a petrol one. This is largely due to their lithium-ion batteries.

The actor is no stranger to automobiles, being an owner of several classic cars. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in electronic engineering.

However, several EV experts countered his arguments. While they acknowledge the negative environmental impact of producing EV batteries, over the course of the vehicle’s lifetime 66-69 per cent fewer emissions generated compared to a petrol car.

Furthermore, a report by the European Commission which looked into the life cycle emissions and other environmental issues related to EVs conclude that “new electric vehicles are expected to have significantly lower impacts on the climate compared to conventional combustion engine vehicles.”

It’s unlikely that Mr Atkinson’s piece is going to slow the EV adoption. In 2021 alone, the number of EVs sold amounted to 6.6 million, double the sales figures for 2020, and more than 50 fold increase compared to 2012.

This is only set to accelerated further, as a growing number of countries move to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the next decade.

Featured Image: Rowan Atkinson via Facebook

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