<p>Electric cars are ‘best transport choice for the climate’, claims quiz</p>

Electric cars are ‘best transport choice for the climate’, claims quiz

Buying an electric car is better for environment than using public transport, claims BBC climate change quiz

‘This is absolutely extraordinary!’ says TfL’s director of innovation

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Tuesday 26 October 2021 13:55

As a new low-carbon train operator begins a link from London to Edinburgh, the BBC has urged travellers to forsake public transport in favour of electric cars.

In a quiz posted online ahead of the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow, readers are invited to find out “how can you play your part at home, and what changes would have the most impact?”.

Question 3 reads: “What’s the best transport choice for the climate: buying an electric car or using public transport as much as possible?”

While 74 per cent of respondents select public transport, the “correct answer”, according to the BBC, is the electric car.

The article explains: “Driving a battery-powered car charged with renewable energy saves about two tonnes of CO2 each year – more if you are swapping from an SUV.

“Using public transport still means creating carbon emissions – unless you live where all the buses have been converted to electric vehicles.”

The implication is that a commuter who wants to limit their impact on the environment should give up rail, bus and tram travel and instead buy an electric car.

But the compilers of the quiz do not appear to take into account the whole life carbon costs of an electric vehicle (for example, the greenhouse emissions produced during the manufacturing process).

The quiz has staggered experts on transport and the environment.

Thomas Ableman, founder of the Snap inter-city bus service and now director of innovation at Transport for London, tweeted: “OMG! A BBC quiz says switching to public transport is WRONG choice for the climate versus driving an electric car.

“This is absolutely extraordinary!

“Most rail journeys are made on electric trains! And all cars have vast embedded carbon.”

A BBC spokesperson said: “Answers to the quiz are from research published in the Environmental Research Letters journal last year.

“The study’s authors screened thousands of studies to identify the options that would have the most impact on reducing CO2 emissions.”

On Monday a new train operator, Lumo, launched services between the English and Scottish capitals. The company says it aims to reduce carbon emissions “by encouraging travellers to use greener, electric rail travel”.

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