Mind over matter
Government minister accused of confusing statements over EV pollution
Environment Secretary George Eustice is accused of polluting environmental facts.
The comments by the government minister has prompted the RAC to ‘set the record straight’.
Eustice recently made public comments stating that electric vehicles (EVs) ‘may not be as green as people think’.
Another fine mess
Mr Eustice was speaking to MPs on the Commons’ environment, food and rural affairs committee. Discussing EVs and fine particulate matter, known as PM2.5, the minster stated that EVs may be worse at producing he particulates because they are heavier.
The suggestion is that more harmful polluting particles from brake and tyre wear are produced. The weight of batteries add a significant increase in weight than their petrol and diesel counterparts. Regenerative braking may also have an effect too.
“The unknown thing at the moment is how far switching from diesel and petrol to electric vehicles will get us. There is scepticism,” stated Mr Eustice. “Some say that just wear and tear on the roads and the fact that these vehicles are heavier means that the gains may be less than some people hope, but it is slightly unknown at the moment.”
Not a public service
In response, the RAC commissioned leading battery electrochemist Dr Euan McTurk to research the remarks.
Dr McTurk’s findings are based on real-world use. These show that the brakes on electric vehicles wear ‘far more slowly’ than conventional cars. Meanwhile, tyre wear is similar for the non-driven wheels and only slightly worse for driven wheels.
Simon Williams, the RAC’s electric vehicle spokesperson, described the minister’s remarks as “unhelpful”.
“George Eustice’s remarks about electric vehicles not being as green as some may think were very unhelpful and could put some drivers off making the switch to zero-emission driving.
“There are far too many negative myths surrounding electric cars which need to be busted as soon as possible in order to speed up the electric revolution. We hope these positive real-world experiences will help to clear up some of the confusion.”