Who is to Blame?

Rowan Atkinson, apparently.

Sales of new electric cars have been slowing down in Britain, raising questions over whether the public could be falling out of love with the green machines.

A House of Lords committee report released yesterday said EV sales are ‘stalling’ among private motorists as many cannot afford them and because of the slow roll-out of public chargers – particularly in rural areas.

But MailOnline found that even where public chargers were installed, many EV charging bays lay empty.

The poor sales have ignited a blame game in Westminster, with actor and comedian Rowan Atkinson even being held responsible after he described EVs as ‘a bit soulless’ in a comment piece he penned in June last year.

That’s a new low, even for these charlatans. Anyone with the remotest common sense could see that these contraptions are not fit for purpose. A plaything that has no serious use. If it wasn’t for fleet purchases, sales would have stalled pretty much from the off. Indeed, the same is happening in the motorcycle world, where they never Really took off at all.

Objectively, there isn’t the infrastructure for the ordinary motorist to charge them at home. And if there was, the idiotic move away from proper energy sources as opposed to unicorn farts, means that the grid couldn’t cope anyway. Being heavier than their equivalent ICE, they cause greater wear and tear on tyres, brake pads and the road surface, creating particulate pollution. So the emissions-free bollocks is just that – and then there’s the little matter of slave labour in some African country where the environment is being destroyed to obtain the materials necessary to make the batteries – which then have to be disposed of at end of life. This brings another problem – the biggest cost of the vehicle is the battery, so when that needs replacing, the vehicle is worthless.

Then there’s the little matter of lithium fires being impossible to extinguish. A conventional ICE vehicle fire can be doused pretty much in minutes by the fire brigade but not these things.

So, lack of efficient fuelling, lack of range, heavy, polluting, piss-poor residual value and a serious fire risk, assuming that you can get decent insurance cover, what’s to like?

What’s happened here is that politicians snapping their fingers and insisting that things will just happen because they passed an act in parliament has hit the brick wall of objective reality.

But, yeah, it’s Rowan Atkinson’s fault.


  1. Of all the points raised, (which I agree with), the perennial killer is range. Long range means less reliance on poor infrastructure, the corollary being lousy range means over reliance. However, it’s an inherent problem for those selling this anachronism, nothing, but nothing has the energy density of petrol/diesel for road vehicles. Added to ease of fuel storage, speed of refuel, etc., EVs are always a fancy toy. Speed away at the lights, woo hoo! Good for you! I’ll stick to my big 3 litre diesel SUV (everyone hates me ?), loads of power, 33mpg – not bad, huge tank, 700 mile range, comfy, loads of room I rarely need, 200,000 mile anticipated longevity of an unflustered engine…

    • As you say, real fuel has everything hasn’t it.
      Long range (with big tank or frugal consumption)
      Rapid re-fill (bowsers here pump at about 35 L/min, and the ones for the diesel trucks are much higher)
      Portable reserves (e.g. Jerry can, which can be used to solve a crap range or poor infrastructure problem)

    • A large diesel (relatively) should be capable of far more than 200,000 miles before it dies, if you maintain it regularly.

  2. Rowan Sebastian Atkinson: BSc degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering (Newcastle) and MSc degree in Electrical Engineering (Oxford). The article describes him as an “actor and comedian”. Yeah he knows nothing more tham a typical lovie. Twats.

  3. Even my 93 year old mother in law who’s only news sources are the local paper, the 6 o’clock TV news and Hello magazine is aware that battery cars are probably not up to much.
    She is particularly concerned about fires.
    She has watched some Maigret – did they sneak something into those plots ?

  4. An article by one actor can negate the nudge unit, all the ads and the other money the government has spent? Really? Is the argument in favour of EVs so flimsy?

    • I think it’s a case of EV’s being a “Nice idea, but….”

      But limited range, but inextinguishable fires, but actually more expensive, but massive depreciation, but terrible resale value, but inadequate infrastructure and generating capacity etcetera, etcetera… Ordinary people can’t help but see the flaws. No-one has to be a ‘scientist’ to see what is in front of their face.

      The PTB are clutching at straws to excuse their own lack of joined up thinking.

      • “…but massive depreciation, but terrible resale value…”

        I know you were just looking for more and more things to add to your list, but…

        …massive depreciation and terrible resale value are the same thing, but…

        …I agree with the rest. 🙂

        And if the PTB really, really, really wanted to get to Net Zero any time soon they’d be building lots of nuclear power stations.

  5. I love the smell of desperation in the morning. These people will say anything to avoid admitting they were wrong. All the obvious shortcomings of EVs wouldn’t matter if only Rowan hadn’t said that they were a bit soulless. One thing that hasn’t been mentioned here is that EVs really don’t like cold weather. Not too much of an issue in the temperate UK, but a bit of a pain in Scandinavia, or Canada where Alberta’s electricity supply is now so inadequate that they had to ask the public not to use it.

    I have a diesel SUV and it’s brilliant, economical, spacious and amazingly versatile.

  6. They’re politicians. Factions, scheming, and conniving are the water in which they swim. Their first instinct when something happens isn’t, “What was that?”, or, “How did that happen?”; it’s “Who did that?” It’s simply the way their minds work. Leccy cars can’t just be shite. No, some nefarious anti-EV mastermind must be conduncting a sinister campaign to tell people they’re shite.

  7. Just picked this up from the Daily Sceptic. Apparently the Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that EV’s cannot be advertised as ‘low emission’ “because of the carbon dioxide that is generated when they are made and charged.”

    Link here: https://dailysceptic.org/2024/02/07/ulez-ads-were-misleading-because-they-relied-on-modelling-and-not-actual-data-advertising-standards-authority-rules/

    (Shakes head and wanders off into the distance, chuckling….)

    • When the expected traffic jam on the M25 occurs, in the snow, in the snow, with more ice expected, I wouldn’t give a monkey’s in my petrol SUV, as I’d be warm, would have my phone and a decent amount of music to listen to, but in an EV, I’d be having sickness and diarrhea about how long the lights and heating would stay on, I’d be very concerned what would happen if we were all there three hours later, whether I’d ever get home and also when can I get my preferred G and T…

      My doctor has just spent £60,000 on one of these ridiculously overpriced gitmobiles, so obviously Blair’s to blame, not Blackadder!

  8. @Sam Duncan

    Very much so.

    How many town centers have been reduced to ruin by the war on parking? (and how many more will be)

    Well there are buses (snort!), pushbikes, hind legs etc so there really is no reason not to keep on coming. And it’s not MY fault, so I’ll just go on taking my ludicrously overpaid non job with feather bedded pension at the end of it.

    Why won’t you people do what you’re told. WHAT ELSE DO WE HAVE TO DO FOR YOU!!!!!

    There is nothing new in this attitude.

  9. Their report starts with “many can’t afford them” and then goes on to blame Atkinson?

    I considered buying an electric car for the office even though we don’t have a charging facility there but the sheer cost of even the smallest one was just too ridiculous, even when accounting for the tax benefits (it’s the usual trick, make everything else more expensive so your green shite doesn’t seem so overpriced). Instead I got a Dacia sandero bifuel, running on LPG at 89p a litre. Less than half the price as well.

    Harry’s garage latest video is quite good on this as he’s gone diesel now…Funnily enough, cold is bad for range, and hot weather is bad for battery life!

    Like everything the left does, it always sounds emotionally right but is always wrong.

  10. It’s not helped by the fact that the quoted “Range” on these EV’s are somewhere between “wishful thinking” and “outrageous lies”.

    No doubt on their test tracks with “helpful” computer software (no doubt engineered by the same VW engineers that build the diesel ones), they might have somewhere close to 500 km range, with perfect driving, zero congestion and the rest, but reality is very different.

    In reality you’re at 80% charge, drive 200KM and you’re down to 20% which is effectively empty, since you’ve got to waste your remaining power looking for a recharging point and waste hours recharging.

    Not to mention all of those who don’t have a garage or external parking (not the road or pavement), who are then dependent upon installation of public parking points and the excessive charges that accompany them.

    Electric vehicles might well work for some use cases, but for the vast majority of the population, they don’t and this is before you take into consideration the problem of getting the infrastructure right in a NetZero world (i.e. connecting bird-choppers and FIT-solar to the grid).

    It’s a fantasy. Might as well go the whole hog and imagine a future of flying cars powered wirelessly by a Dyson sphere.

  11. My current small fleet is . .
    0.9L Petrol turbo car
    1.6L Petrol turbo car
    6.75L Petrol car
    1.5L Diesel turbo van
    They all do the job they were designed to do perfectly, no EV currently in sight could get anywhere close to their overall efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
    Until EVs can do that, which they’ll never do, they’re pissing in the wind.

  12. I think that the EVs limited range possibly wouldn’t be such an issue if the problem wasn’t combined with long charging times. If you could go from nearly empty to a full charge in two minutes in the way that a petrol or diesel vehicle can and there were enough charging points, it would be less of a problem. The only practical way around that would be detachable battery packs that could be swapped for a fully charged one.

    Meanwhile, I’ve been paying a bit more attention since EVs have been in the news. There just doesn’t seem to be as many of them around. At one time it seemed that they were becoming quite popular and you would regularly see them out on the roads. I would have thought that the recently reported sales slump would take a while to filter through to the numbers on the roads.

  13. The only practical way around that would be detachable battery packs that could be swapped for a fully charged one.

    That’s the approach taken by Nio, one of the many secondary’s chasing after Tesla in the EV market. In their business model, you have the option of essentially taking “Battery as a Service”, where you roll into one of their robotic battery stations and it swaps out your depleted one for a charged one.

    Tom Scott did a video on them last year.

    A robot just swapped my electric car’s battery

    The problem is that if we’re still playing about with how to charge the damn things, with no clue as to which charging approach will win out in the marketplace of ideas then that suggests we are still a long way down the curve, certainly too early (other than virtue signalling early adopters) to be forcing people to have to buy the bloody things and end up with a white elephant that they end up having to (expensively) scrap when the manufacturer goes bust and their battery dies.

    Paying somewhere between £35,000 – £70,000 which seems like the typical cost of one of these things at the moment seems like quite a risk for an individual to take on, so I’m hoping / guessing that the ones pootling around Perth, Scotland that I see are company cars on lease or well off early adopters who can afford that kind of money just for virtue signalling.

  14. Rowan Atkinson. Ever since I was in a school play with him I knew he was going to be trouble!

  15. I did watch that Hollywood production of peak milk float stupidity.

    “building these station is incredibly expensive and it’s no secret that nio is losing a staggering amount of money right now”

    Fuck me, can’t imagine why!!!!!

    I think somebody should tell these clowns about toytown Austria-Hungary’s “battery passports”

    • It’s all a pointless waste of time and money anyway. Milk floats will never be able to shift Heavy Goods Vehicle / Articulated payloads, which will remain diesel until you electrify the roadways – i.e. “Somewhere over the rainbow”.

      Never happen, certainly not in my lifetime.

        • I suspect that the reason is that, unless your freight is going a very long way, it is more cost effective to take it by road. Unless you have your own specially built railway siding, the alternative is to take it by truck to the railway freight hub and then have it collected at the other end to complete the journey.

          Having said all that, it always seemed to me that electrifying the railways where possible would make much more sense than subsidising electric cars. The technology already exists and is well proven.

          • Just like the canals before them, railways worked well when carrying large weights of single materials from source (coal mine, port) to small numbers of users (steel-making, power station, mill).
            Those heavy industries have largely disappeared, now smaller volumes of material need to be shipped to larger numbers of users more disparately located, a job for which railways are not good, they’d still need ‘feeders’ and ‘collectors’ at each end – so it goes by road, far more flexible and efficient.
            And as for that ridiculous white elephant train-set, HS2 . . . .

  16. So many of our problems are caused or exacerbated by those in power confusing the word and the deed, seeming to think things can be spoken into being. It’s very primitive.

  17. EV’s were quite popular about a century and a quarter ago. But competition from fossil fuel driven vehicles finished them off.

    The modern ones haven’t solved the problems they had in the old days. As FrankH points out, if ‘they’ were really worried about CO2 they’d be building lots and lots of nukes. But they’re actually trying to shut them down.

  18. “EV’s were quite popular about a century and a quarter ago. But competition from fossil fuel driven vehicles finished them off.”

    I’ve watched a few YouTube videos about early electric cars. They started out being fairly competitive because petrol and steam cars were a bit rubbish too. The early electrics were cleaner, quieter and easier to operate, although range was still a problem. As ICE cars improved they eventually became completely dominant.

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