In the UK, Mr Bean is accused of slowing down sales of electric cars

Before becoming the actor popularized by the television series Mr Bean, Rowan Atkinson was destined for a career as an automotive engineer.
PETER KRAMER / Getty Images via AFP

Actor Rowan Atkinson questioned the environmental virtues of electric vehicles in a column. According to a group of environmental experts, this position would have deterred many Britons from taking the step.

Could Mr Bean be responsible for slowing EV sales in the UK? The thesis may seem crazy. However, it is the one that was defended, most seriously, by the Think, thank The environmentalist Green Alliance before the House of Lords on Tuesday. In a letter to British MPs, the organization identified the recent position of Mr Bean creator and performer Rowan Aktinson as “one of the most harmful elements” to sector sales.

In a column published in June in The Guardian, the actor expressed his disappointment with green cars. “I love electric vehicles and was an early adopter. But I feel more and more deceived.”, he wrote. Electric vehicles tend to “lack of soul”despite its “exceptional mechanics”. More seriously, these vehicles would be far from being the “ecological panacea” promoted by environmental activists. “It may be better to keep your old gasoline car than buy an electric vehicle. “There are good environmental reasons not to take the step yet.”

Among these good reasons, Rowan Aktinson cites the manufacturing process of electric cars, which consumes too many polluting resources. To pollute less, it is better to keep the thermal car and use it as little as possible, he argues. And this will happen until the industry makes significant advances in hydrogen engines and synthetic fuels. “Don’t rush. Electric motorization will one day bring real global environmental benefits, but that day has not yet arrived.holds.

“Fake news”

Many will be surprised to see the Mr Bean and Johnny English performer discussing the benefits and disadvantages of electric motors. But Atkinson is not a star like any other: before giving in to the call of comedy, the actor was destined for a career as an automotive engineer. He also has a master’s degree in electrical engineering and an engineering degree obtained from the prestigious Oxford University. He has also never hidden his penchant for prestige cars, with Jaguar and Ferrari at the forefront.

Has Rowan Atkinson’s notoriety really turned Brits away from electric cars? It is difficult to establish with certainty, but the controversy is in any case revealing of the tensions surrounding the electrification of the automobile fleet along the English Channel. In September, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak postponed the ban on the sale of thermal cars until 2035, a five-year delay from the initially announced date. This delay will certainly not be too long to overcome the excessively high prices and lack of charging stations that deter many Britons from taking the step. Not to mention Mr. Bean’s deception…

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