Mr. Bean was Right Regarding EVs–and so was Toyota

By Duggan Flanakin

February 13, 2024

When auto enthusiast Rowan Atkinson, a trained engineer – Mr. Bean to his fans – last June wrote in The Guardian,  there are “sound environmental reasons” why “keeping your old petrol car may be better than buying an EV,” he was vilified as a eco-traitor.

Atkinson had added, “We’re realizing that a wider range of options need to be explored, if we’re going to properly address the very serious environmental problems that our use of the motor car has created.”

These include, he said, hydrogen fuel cells and synthetic fuels that would extend the lives of older vehicles long after governments are demanding they be scrapped.


Atkinson, who has a bachelor’s in electrical and electronic engineering and a master’s in control systems, urged Britons to “look at a bigger picture” to include greenhouse gas emissions during the manufacture of electric vehicles and to evaluate the whole life cycle of motor vehicles, from mining to hazardous waste landfill.

Relying on a dash of common sense, Atkinson noted, pushing so heavily, so soon, for EVs with major flaws will result in “millions of overweight electric cars with rapidly obsolescing batteries.”

Technologic developments with hydrogen and synthetic fuels, which can power existing internal combustion engines, may prove a better long-term solution.

For one reason, the owners of the world’s 1.5 billion ICE vehicles could continue enjoying them.


For sharing his insights, Atkinson was immediately smacked around by snarky reporters and EV “experts.” Simon Evans, deputy editor at Carbon Brief, slammed Atkinson for not adhering to Carbon Brief’s own “evidence”,  stating, EVs cut “planet-warming emissions” by two-thirds on a life cycle basis and calling EVs “an essential part of tackling the climate emergency.”. This is total BS

How dare Evans spout such nonsense?

Michael Coren, writing in the Washington Post, portrayed Atkinson as an iconoclast clinging to his petrol car, lampooned hydrogen and synthetic fuels as expensive and impractical, and compared ICE vehicles to hobby horses.

Coren argued, “making every car burn [hydrogen] is not a good idea,” yet implied that subsidizing and forcing every driver to buy an EV is a very good idea.


Eight months later, though, the detractors, who had hoped to make Atkinson an example of a troglodyte were singing a different tune, in the wake of a collapse in the British EV market.

Mr. Bean was condemned in the House of Lords by the Green Alliance as 1) “partly at fault for ‘damaging’ public perceptions” of EVs, and 2) as a dangerous enemy of Britain’s drive to Net Zero.

The Guardian, which published Atkinson’s tome, was indirectly accused of failing to adhere to “high editorial standards around the Net Zero transition.”.  Which means, ONLY glowing reports on EVs are acceptable public speech.]


It couldn’t have been:

1) the exorbitant cost of auto insurance for EVs,

2) their tendency to catch fire and burn for days, or

3) the high cost and long wait times for parts and repairs – or

4) the long waits at charging stations to plug in and wait for enough charge at least reach the next destination.

5) Nor could it be that people are uncomfortable enriching China as their own auto companies face bankruptcy?

6) No – it was allowing someone famous/well-known to publicly question the subsidy-hyped rush to EVs

Toyota Was Right as Well

Halfway around the world, Toyota, which, on purpose, “lagged behind” its major competitors in ditching their ICE vehicle fleets for all-EV production lines, “is riding a windfall of hybrid vehicle sales on its way to posting projected net profits of more than $30  billion in 2023

While Ford lost $4.7 billion trying to create an EV market, dropping its net profit to just $4.2 billion,

Toyota now appears to be in better financial shape than all its American and European competitors, except Tesla


Over a year ago, then-Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda had cautioned , the EV transition would “take longer than the bought-and-paid-for, lapdog Media would like us to believe.”

Ford, GM, Stellantis, and many other automakers worldwide played nice with the woke political and financial entities, while Toyota’s realistic management stepped away from the over-the-top rhetoric, looked at the numbers, and chose a common-sense approach to the evolving world auto marketplace.


The company did sell 15,000 pure EVs in the U.S. in 2023, but they also sold 40,000 plug-in hybrids and more than 600,000 non-rechargeable hybrids out of total U.S. sales of 2,248,477 vehicles, a 6% increase from 2022 levels.

Ford fell short of its goal to produce 300,000 EVs a year by 2023 and has reduced its earlier forecast of 2 million EVs by 2026.

Worse, Ford now expects to lose as much as $5.5 billion on EVs in 2024; the more EVs produced, the more Ford loses


Over in Europe, Volvo just announced , it is withdrawing subsidies for its marquee electric vehicle Polestar and hopes to sell its 48% stake, possibly to a Chinese buyer.

Just days earlier, Polestar had cut 450 jobs, about 15% of its workforce.


Elsewhere in Europe, EV sales are expected to decline in 2024 in Germany, Europe’s largest auto market

Renault just scrapped plans to spin off its Ampere EVs, blaming a lack of interest from investors and a slowdown in sales.


EV sales in the United Kingdom also flat-lined in 2023, prices for used EVs fell sharply, raising questions about their residual value.

Even EV-friendly Switzerland admits,  it will take at least 20 years to fully electrify its fleet; while EVs and hybrids today comprise about 30% of Swiss new car sales, these vehicles amount to less than 4% of the total vehicles on the road.


Oil and gas companies are getting the message, too. BP, which once billed itself as “Beyond Petroleum,” has been encouraged by an activist investor to reduce its investments in renewables, and ESG, and recommit to oil and gas.

A major reason – oil and gas investments in recent years have made money, while investments in renewables have tanked.

Bluebell Capital Partners asserted, BP’s ill-considered commitment to renewable has left its stock price undervalued by 50% compared to ExxonMobil and Chevron.


President Biden’s demand,  the U.S. comply with his EV mandates was dealt a major blow last month, when auto rental giant Hertz, heretofore the nation’s largest fleet operator of EVs, announced it was selling all 20,000 of its EVs and not buying any more.

The company cited high repair costs, long wait for parts, and weak customer demand for EV rentals; EVs are bad for business 

Karl Bauer of, noting, mainstream consumers were already hesitant to buy an EV, said “the larger impact of the Hertz EV fire sale is the perception hit to the technology.”. Oh, what about the real hit to your pocket book?


The fictional Mr. Bean is known (and revered) for his original and imaginative solutions of challenges, and for being a great actor and comedian. We love Mr. Bean

Had the British press mocked Mr. Atkinson for a Bean-like performance, the climate emergency propagandists might have laughed him off successfully.

But they are not able to laugh without being laughed at for all their stupid hyping of EVs


The real Mr. Atkinson, like the decision makers at Toyota, is espousing common-sense wisdom, such as “don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.”

Extending the lifespan of existing vehicles and increasing their efficiency, as Toyota does, is far better for the environment than junking them for electric vehicles that require 25%-efficient, diesel fuel generators to power EV charging stations.


If, as we are told, EV batteries will soon be smaller, cheaper, and stronger, that day has "not yet come". Ha, Ha. More likely a loooong time from now

Also "not yet to come", is the cost of hydrogen and synthetics will drop significantly, and those fuels can power existing ICE vehicles. Ha, Ha. More likely a loooong time from now


Most of all, if there truly was a “climate emergency,” diplomats would be quicker to end wasteful military conflicts and ending the rush by China and India to build more and more coal-fired power plants (needed, of course, to charge EV batteries).


What Mr. Bean and Toyota are saying to the world is this:  governments deciding and mandating what can, and cannot go to market – and the huge subsidies to force people to do what they do not want to do (which would be unnecessary in a true emergency) are at odds with the wisdom of the free-enterprise market, which relies on true public opinion as to what is best for the consumer.

Duggan Flanakin is a senior policy analyst at the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow who writes on a wide variety of public policy issues. 

This article was originally published by RealClearEnergy and made available via RealClearWire.

Wow, it does not get much better than this.

The Washington, DC, perpetrators of these EV follies want to be re-elected to have power over you, to use more of your money, to do more of the same follies, “for as long as it takes”, while they debilitate the US with open borders and over-top-war mongering

All that is even more true, because the EV charging stations are unreliable, often are out of service, and to top it of, EVs are unreliable, have high repair bills, and have poor range in cold weather, especially when having more than one passenger, and some cargo, and going uphill, on cold, snowy days, as in New England, etc.
Currently, the vast majority of charging infrastructure is concentrated in more densely populated coastal areas, as opposed to more rural areas of the country, according to the Department of Energy (DOE).

Almost all people in rural areas, often with dirt roads, and snow and ice and cold, and longer distances, are definitely not giving up their pick-ups and SUVs to “switch to EVs”, especially in impoverished states, such as Maine and Vermont. Their Socialist governments lost all sense of reality, and think money grows on trees.

Insurance Costs Very High: Because EVs are much more costly to repair, EV insurance rates are about 3 times the rate of gasoline vehicles, completely wiping out any energy savings.

Monthly Payments Very High: Because EVs are more expensive and interest rates are high, monthly payments are much higher than for gasoline cars, completely wiping out any benefits of tax credit subsidies.

Useful Service Life Very Short: EV useful service lives are very short, usually at most 8 years.
No one in his/her right mind, would spend at least $15,000 to $20,000 to replace a battery in an 8-y-old EV, which by then. would have lost almost all of its value, unlike a gasoline vehicle.

Charging Cost Very High: EV charging cost is very high on the road, usually at least 30 c/kWh, at home at least 20 c/kWh in New England
As a result, annual fuel cost savings are minimal, because EVs are driven fewer miles per year than gasoline cars, and the price of gasoline is about $3.20/gallon

Minimal CO2 Reduction: EVs driven, on average, about 72,000 miles for 8 years, according to various studies, do not reduce CO2 emissions compared to efficient gasoline vehicles driven the same miles, if CO2 evaluations are made on a mine to hazardous-waste landfill basis, and same-mile basis.
The useful service lives of gasoline cars is much longer than of EVs.

Range Usually Much Less Than Advertised:  EV owners experience much less range than advertised by EPA, especially with one or more passengers, with some luggage or a heavy load, cold weather, up and down hills, on wet/snowy dirt roads, hot weather, etc.
Teslas EVs, driven 75,000 to 80,000 miles, will have lost about 15 to 20% of battery capacity at end of year 8.
If traveling with one or more passengers, with some luggage, was a challenge on a longer trip, and even more of a challenge on a cold/snowy day, then an older EV, with an aging battery, has all that, and more, which is a good reason not to buy one.

Battery Aging a Serious Issue: If a new EV, it takes about 1.15 kWh to add a 1.0 kWh charge in the battery, plus, there is a loss of about 5% to get 1.0 kWh out of the battery to the drive train of the EV, etc. 
If a 5-y-old EV, it takes about 1.25 kWh to add 1.0 kWh charge in the battery, plus there is a loss of about 5.5% to get 1.0 kWh out of the battery
The older the EV, the greater the losses, plus the battery has lost capacity, the ability to do work and go the distance; all that is worse on a cold day, or hot day, heavy loads, and other adverse conditions.

Charging Batteries at Less than 32 F: If an EV owner parks at an airport, goes away for a few days or a week, upon return he/she may find the EV with an empty battery (if the battery had a somewhat low charge to begin with), if during that week the weather were below freezing, because the battery thermal management system, BTMS, will maintain battery temperature, until the battery is empty, then the battery freezes to 32F, or less. 
Charging would not be allowed, until the battery is warmed up in a garage.
In the future, with thousands of EVs at the airport, a percentage would have empty batteries. You would have to wait your turn to get a tow to the warm garage, get charged, pay up to $500, and be on your way, after 8 hours or so!!

Losing Value After 3 Years: Used EVs retain about 60% of their high original value, whereas gasoline vehicles retain at least 70% of their not so high original value, by the end of year 3.
Losing 40% of a $45,000 EV = $18,000
Losing 30% of an equivalent size, $35,000 gasoline vehicle = $10,500
The loss difference wipes out any tax credit subsidies. 


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Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT


(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.”

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Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

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