DeBunked: FairFuelUK’s Howard Cox on Electric Vehicles

We correct claims by haulage industry lobbyist Howard Cox on electric vehicles and expose his fossil fuel agenda.
Howard Cox GB News
Howard Cox GB News. Credit: YouTube

First posted on Twitter on 30 January 2023

‘Fair fuel’ lobbyist Howard Cox made several false and misleading claims about electric vehicles (EVs) in a recent column in The Sun. Here’s the evidence for why Cox is wrong about EVs – and his links to climate science denial.

Cox claims “there will be insufficient power” for the national grid to handle the proposed switch to EVs. The National Grid says this is a “myth”. EVs would increase electricity demand by only 10 percent. The UK would still use less power than it did in 2002.

Cox claims manufacturing EVs “creates more CO2 than an equivalent fossil-fuelled car”. But this cherry-picking of data is misleading. Lifetime EV emissions are two times lower than the average car. And CO2 from making EVs will fall as manufacturing is increasingly powered by renewable sources of energy.

Cox uses an anecdote about a family’s experience with a “rented Tesla” to imply EVs run out of power and are unreliable. In fact EVs can go 200 to 300 miles without stopping which is far more than the average car journey. They also break down less than other cars.

Cox claims “the cost of the 2030 ban [on new fossil fuel vehicles] and going EV is five times that of any alleged benefits”. He cites a report paid for by his lobby group FairFuelUK and its climate sceptic allies the Motorcycle Action Group and Alliance for British Drivers.

Howard Cox doesn’t just oppose EVs. He rejects the climate science that informs the need to cut emissions. Cox has downplayed “alleged man-made causes” of climate change, works with climate denial group CAR26 and wrote a report with denial thinktank Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF).

Cox also has interests in the continued use of fossil fuel vehicles. FairFuelUK is funded by the Road Haulage Association. And Cox has promoted fuel additives while being director of a company developing them. (He has denied any conflict of interest.)

Howard Cox is often quoted in mainstream media and is backed by like Craig Mackinlay, who co-led the Net Zero Scrutiny Group of Conservative backbenchers opposed to green policy.

We hope this thread helps make his record of climate science denial and fossil industry ties more widely known. See more in DeSmog’s database profile of FairFuelUK.

This blog is part of our DeBunk pilot project. You can read more about the project here.