The flurry of stories ahead of the release next year of a wave of electric cars has got the internet's lurking trolls in a proper hump over the use of the term "zero emission".
"Electric cars aren't zero emission," they harrumph. "Think about where the electricity comes from - you're just trying to trick people." Although that is the polite version, other versions tend to invite environmental reporters to admit they are committing treason and as such should be shot.
The old "zero emission vehicles aren't zero emission" argument is utterly facetious given the term clearly means electric vehicles are zero emission at the point of driving. No one is pretending the cars are "zero carbon" and if they did anyone with even the most remedial understanding of how energy is produced would quickly put them right (although it is worth pointing out that every independent study has shown electric cars still have a lower carbon footprint than conventional cars even when emissions from power plants are taken into account).
Luckily the Sceptic Tank has come up with a fool proof challenge to help the anti zero emission brigade see the error of their ways.
Anyone insisting a zero emission car is not zero emission is invited to choose between spending five minutes in a locked garage with an electric car with its engine running or spending five minutes in the same garage with a conventional car with the engine running.
Assuming no one taking the challenge has a death risk or an oxygen tank to hand, we're guessing most people would quickly accept that "zero emission" is a fairly accurate description of a car that has zero emissions.
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