RAC bemoans ‘negative myths’ surrounding electric cars

11.34 | 18 March 2022 |

Image: DfT

The RAC says it is ‘looking to set the record straight’, following remarks from environment secretary George Eustice that electric vehicles ‘may not be as green as people think’.

Mr Eustice told MPs on the Commons’ environment, food and rural affairs committee that fine particulate matter, known as PM2.5, may be worse with electric cars due to them being heavier.

The suggestion is that this causes electric vehicles produce more harmful polluting particles from brake and tyre wear than their petrol and diesel counterparts.

He said: “The unknown thing at the moment is how far switching from diesel and petrol to electric vehicles will get us. There is scepticism. 

“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.”

In response, the RAC commissioned leading battery electrochemist Dr Euan McTurk to research the remarks.

Dr McTurk’s findings, based on real-world use, show that the brakes on electric vehicles wear ‘far more slowly’ than conventional cars, while tyre wear is similar for the non-driven wheels and only slightly worse for driven wheels.

Simon Williams, the RAC’s electric vehicle spokesperson, said: “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.”



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