A prominent energy expert revealed over the weekend that a misleading anti-EV document spread across UK media was created by a public relations firm likely linked to Aston Martin. Dubbed ‘Astongate’ by energy expert, investor and Bloombrg New Energy Finance founder Michael Liebrich in a lengthy LinkedIn post, the emerging scandal relates to a flurry of articles that reported on the results of a PDF brochure that claimed to have found that electric vehicles only ‘pay back’ the emissions used in manufacture after a lengthy distance, quoting in several articles as 50,000 miles (just over 80,000 kilometres). The document (misleadingly referred to as a “study” in those articles) referenced was comprehensively debunked by Dutch EV researcher Auke Hoekstra, in a detailed Twitter thread. Hoekstra found that the document misleads in several ways. Combustion emissions are understimated because the production of the car’s fuel is excluded, and laboratory tests are referenced (notoriously unreliable, though less so recently) instead of real-world emissions.
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