Electric Vehicles: False Information Still Being Spread By Former BBC Personality

Dec 05, 2016 09:33 AM EST | Matthew Cruz

Jeremy Clarkson, a TV personality and car enthusiast, is back to dangerously spreading false information about electric vehicles. A former co-host on BBC's long-running "Top Gear" and now costar in "The Grand Tour," produced by Amazon Prime.

Clarkson spoke to Business Insider, alleging in the interview that electric vehicles were behind massive power outages, threatened the environment and would cause a deadly surge in demand for electricity: none of which are true.

Clarkson's skepticism over electric vehicles has a storied history, going as far back as seven years ago when he tested a Tesla Roadster on "Top Gear." The episode depicted the vehicle quickly running out of charge, an episode that infuriated Tesla to a degree so high it brought the case to court. Tesla eventually lost, only because a judge demeed "Top Gear" an entertainment show, meaning it didn't have to follow the same strict adherence to facts. 

In the Business Insider interview that Clarkson gave as part of a publicity tour for his new show, he said he would never be a fan of electric vehicles, advocating for hydrogen fuel cell cars instead. He condemned the industry's acceptance and increasing interest in electric vehicles, saying that it decreases the demand for hydrogen. The world needs to have fuel cell cars, Clarkson said. 

The reasons he provided for his disdain of electric vehicles, however, were all baseless. Clarkson said that charging phones alone already causes brownouts in New York, that the US is "barely coping" with electricity demand and that constructing charging stations would not be environment friendly. 

According to Green Car Reports, which debunked each of Clarkson's claims, brownouts in New York City are actually the result of air conditioners: phone-charging has no connection to it. The website added that the adoption of electric vehicles would be a slow process that utility providers are preparing themselves for, which nearly eliminates the possibility of a sudden demand surge that providers will be unable to keep up with. 

As for Clarkson's fascination with hydrogen, fuel cell cars have been in "perpetual development limbo" for over twenty years with little progress, according to Jalopnik. And not only have electric vehicles risen in popularity, they're more energy-efficient: A hydrogen car would consume thrice the energy that an electric vehicle would to go the same one mile, something Clarkson would be better off taking into consideration. 

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