Electric cars are not the answer to air pollution, says top UK adviser
Prof Frank Kelly says fewer not cleaner vehicles are needed, plus more cycling and walking and better transit systems
Cars must be driven out of cities to tackle the UK’s air pollution crisis, not just replaced with electric vehicles, according to the UK government’s top adviser.
Prof Frank Kelly said that while electric vehicles emit no exhaust fumes, they still produce large amounts of tiny pollution particles from brake and tyre dust, for which the government already accepts there is no safe limit.
Toxic air causes 40,000 early deaths a year in the UK, and the environment secretary, Michael Gove, recently announced that the sale of new diesel and petrol cars will be banned from 2040, with only electric vehicles available after that. But faced with rising anger from some motorists, the plan made the use of charges to deter dirty diesel cars from polluted areas a measure of last resort only.