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Astongate: fake figures published to slander EVs

by Maria Powazka, Dec 10
2 minutes read

In November, British media titles covered a study which included incorrect information targeting the EV industry. The study purported to show that building an EV is so CO2-heavy that you need to drive it for 50,000 miles before it breaks even with a petrol car carbon footprint-wise .

Consecutive analysis proved these figures to be entirely incorrect (the correct figure is approx. 16,000 miles) and an independent investigation unveiled the study authorship’s direct link to Aston Martin’s Director of Global Government and Corporate Affairs.

So what?

EVs still have a way to go to improve their footprint, however, their carbon emissions are undeniably much lower than those of diesel and petrol cars.

Using debunked figures, from reports sponsored by agents of declining industries (the report was sponsored by a number of car manufacturers, not known for leading in EVs including Aston Martin, Bosch, Honda, McLaren, Optare and the Renewable Transport Fuel Association), is not a new concept but it’s one of the first times fake news were targeting greener alternatives and have potentially managed to do a lot of harm thanks to the extensive media coverage the story received. This speaks to the continuing influence of the traditionalist wing of the Conservative Party over media editors, openly discontent with Net Zero and green rescue packages.

It also brings on questions around how we can reverse the damage of fake news? The media titles, including Sunday Times, Daily Mail, Telegraph and Metro, which covered the story, never removed it.

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by Maria Powazka Spotted 17 signals

Maria is a Digital Manager at Forum for the Future, based in London, UK.

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