Actor and electric vehicle (EV) advocate Robert Llewellyn has called for more people to speak out against what he calls the “fear, uncertainty and doubt” (fud) surrounding EVs.
Speaking at Utility Week Live in Birmingham this morning (21 May) Llewellyn, who is best known for playing Kryten in the BBC sitcom Red Dwarf as well as having his own YouTube channel, Fully Charged, dedicated to EVs, said it was a “total fabrication” to suggest the vehicles are not ready for mass take-up.
He said: “An important point is 60 per cent of UK households have somewhere off the street to park a car, therefore 60 per cent of us could have an electric car today with no trouble.
“All the reports you hear on the BBC, in the Daily Mail, on the radio about them not being ready yet, they don’t have the range, they are all utter total fabrication.
“It is incredibly easy to live with and use an electric car, in fact that has become my job now, to try and undermine that constant flow of fud – fear, uncertainty and doubt, the three easiest things to spread about new technology.
“Fud was used about asbestos, it was used about catalytic converters, about unleaded petrol, about smoking, it delays and delays and delays the change.
“Big energy industries are paying serious money to people to spread fud and it is, I believe, our duty to spread counter fud.”
Llewellyn was delivering the keynote address for a seminar discussing how the business models of utilities can transition from their 19th century roots and institutionalised ways to a more dynamic and flexible future.
Also speaking at the event was Sarah Merrick, chief executive of Ripple Energy, who spoke about the need to enable a relationship between consumer and large-scale generation.
She said: “I think by enabling there to be a direct link between generation and consumption you can help smooth out lots of the grid’s issues.
“Once you install solar on your roof, you become really engaged and you want to use the electricity from your solar panels as much as possible and you might schedule your consumption to enable you to do that.
“We want to get that same effect but with large-scale wind, it will go through the grid but by enabling there to be that relationship between a consumer and a large-scale generation asset you could potentially help balance the grid a lot more easily than you can if that link doesn’t exist.
“It’s going to be a longer-term development but that’s where we want to get to essentially.”