Jeremy Vine is supposedly a credible talk show host but his production team clearly did no checks before allowing Mike Parry a radio shock jock to make the below claims live on TV. Below is a summary of a few hours of internet research on his key misleading claims.
1. EVs are double the weight. No 30% heavier on average
The power a petrol car creates by combusting a tiny cloud of petrol is enormous per gram of petrol creating a substantial weight advantage. But it's hugely polluting.
However, even though EVs are heavier they are much faster 0-60, with the heavy SUV Tesla X Plaid delivering 0-60 in 2.3 seconds, compared to the £1m Bugatti Veyron supercar which takes 2.5.
2. The weight of electric cars is so large, some cities have banned them from Multi-Story car parks because they would collapse.
A theory created by misleading headlines in the “Mail Online” article. In the article, a comparison was made between a Tesla 3 to a 1973 mark 2 Cortina, which found the Tesla was 50% heavier. There was zero support for the headline 100% heavier figure!
In reality, no car parks of any age have banned EVs, because Car planning laws require them to support 200% of the maximum possible car weight. Just clickbait rubbish.
3. Much more Co2 is generated building an Electric Car.
EV production creates 30-40% more Co2 emissions, mainly due to battery production, depending on where they are produced as this depends on how green the electricity production is. However, this is offset within 12 months of the EV being on the road.
4. The source of electricity generation is crucial.
In the UK broadly 50% of electricity generation is clean energy, produced from nuclear, wind, or Solar power, with the other 50% generated by burning fossil fuels such as Gas.
Currently, the UK government has linked electricity prices to only Gas prices, which is illogical and is creating huge profits for electricity companies due to surging Gas prices, when electricity prices should be raising at half this rate.
The UK is planning to increase both “on land wind” production by relaxing planning laws and to boost nuclear production by deploying the new Rolls Royce “micro” nuclear plants, in the grounds of existing nuclear power stations that are being retired.
5. EVs because they are heavier shed the tires spewing rubber into the air.
Actually, It’s not tyres that are the main car pollutants its car breaks.
EVs are less polluting because, unlike petrol cars that emit pollutants every time they break, causing their brake pads to be applied to their wheels, EVs use magnetic braking that recharges the batteries extending their driving range.
Secondly, most EVs use sealed brake drums that emit zero pollutants compared to their petrol cousins whose breaks need to be exposed to the elements to dissipate the heat generated during braking. This openness means pollutants are emitted directly into the environment at the pedestrian level, causing thousands of respiratory illnesses.
6. Tyre wear is an issue; however, it’s been massively exaggerated.
Some media outlets have claimed tyre wear is 1,000 times a worse polluter than exhaust fumes, but if the tyres did shed their claimed 9.28g of particulates per mile, then tyre treads would wear out and need to be replaced every 1,358. Hence, again a massive exaggeration.
EVs are 30% heavier than their directly equivalent models, but fewer EVs are heavy SUVs and on average this higher per-vehicle weight, is offset by smaller EV models.
Currently, there is no clear evidence that EVs are heavier on tyres use, which could be a factor of better tyres being fitted to EVs or because the 4-wheel drive and smoother power deployment remove the ability to wheel spin. Take note boy racers!
7. If every car is an EV, the UK would need 10 more Nuclear power stations.
It is true that the UK needs many more nuclear power stations, but these are needed to replace the 50% of UK electricity generation currently powered by burning gas and yes this is the true weakness of the EV revolution currently.
The dramatic reduction in the pollution of our roadsides by removing petrol cars is a clear benefit of EVs, but the massive Co2 reduction of switching to EVs will only be delivered once the UK has cleaned up its electricity production.
Chronic underinvestment in the UK's own nuclear power station, with its share dropping from 25% of electricity production to a paltry 12% causing a reliance on expensive Russian gas or imported nuclear energy from France and Norway
8. EVs will cause power strikes.
The opposite is likely to be true as “Vehicle to Grid” (V2G), becomes a standard for all EVs. These are the biggest batteries we have ever plugged into our houses and with an average 40-mile commute in the UK, homeowners will be able to charge their cars at cheap off-peak rates overnight, when the electricity grid has massive excess capacity, commute to work and then plug back in after work, to power their homes from their cars during the peak 6-11 pm period.
EVs are set to be an important method for balancing the National grid and reducing peak demands.