Advertisement
BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
Advertisement feature
WELCOME TO HYUNDAI’S HAPPINESS MACHINE
View the latest news
Mythbusting EVs

Mythbusting the world of EVs: are electric cars really part of a conspiracy?

FYI conspiracy theorists: there's no evidence of dark and shady forces influencing the transition towards EVs

Published: 14 May 2024

MYTH: EVS ARE PART OF A CONSPIRACY

One of the oddest yet surprisingly frequent objections voiced against electric cars, especially on internet comments threads, is that they’re a conspiracy. According to Mr/Ms Anonymous Web Commenter (or possibly Trollbot), there are dark and shady forces at work driving the transition to EVs.

But if you spend even five seconds looking at these theories, an overriding and simple question comes into view: why would they?

Advertisement - Page continues below

Why would governments want to push you into EVs against the common will? Governments in Europe and the Americas and Japan, their eyes on the next election, have an almost pitiful need for short-term popularity. The initial transition to EVs is in many ways unpopular and in revenue terms: an easier short-term path than electric car subsidies is to cut petrol tax.

Now the car companies. Why would they secretly want a world of EVs? For the moment, batteries are expensively made in high-capital new factories. The old engine plants were just fine thanks. Profits, for a while, will be slimmer with battery cars.

Or is it the mineral companies? Yes they’re powerful and their mines are environmentally malign. But they’re nowhere near as big and powerful as the oil companies, for whom the energy transition represents a bigger threat to years of spectacular profits.

So the impulsion toward EVs isn’t some complicated and sinister web of secret malign plotting. It’s a short-term payment against long-term climate change pain.

Advertisement - Page continues below

Top Gear
Newsletter

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

More from Top Gear

Loading
See more on Mythbusting EVs

Subscribe to the Top Gear Newsletter

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, you agree to receive news, promotions and offers by email from Top Gear and BBC Studios. Your information will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

BBC TopGear

Try BBC Top Gear Magazine

subscribe