Even though electric vehicles (EVs) are more popular than ever, there are still several misconceptions that surround them. As the future is firmly electric, it’s about time we put some of these concerns to bed once and for all. From range issues to the cost of electric cars, read on as we debunk six of the most common electric car myths out there.
You can’t drive very far in an electric car
We may as well get this old chestnut out of the way first. Range anxiety is a thing of the past. We repeat, a thing of the past. Around 15 years ago, electric cars were typically only capable of covering less than 50 miles on a single charge. These days, some new releases like the Tesla Model S Long Range boast WLTP ranges above 400 miles.
A more typical ‘real world’ range for most new EVs is in the region north of 150 miles. That’s more than enough for most of us. However, if you cover greater distances in a day, you can quickly replenish your battery at one of the many rapid charging points which are now prevalent right across the UK.
EVs are just city cars
Most of us are aware of the environmental benefits of EVs, which have led the UK government to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, and incentivise electric vehicle use through 100% discounts on London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and Congestion Charge. This London centric (though understandable) policymaking combined with concerns those new to electric cars have about range might make you wonder: Are electric cars are only suitable for city driving? This couldn’t be further from the truth. EVs are also a great option if you don’t live in London, you will still make savings on fuel, vehicle maintenance (company car tax if you’re a business driver) and reduce the impact your journeys have on your local air quality too.
Electric vehicles are too expensive
Another ‘becoming more outdated by the minute’ myth which modern EVs are proving to be untrue. Electric cars were pricey in the early days, partly because they were packed with a new technology that was expensive to produce. Since then, prices have come down as this tech has become commonplace and far higher demand has driven down prices. This is to do with both improved and streamlined manufacturing processes, as well as greater competition between carmakers.
Better still, EV running costs are much lower than their traditional counterparts. Electric car cost per mile figures are far cheaper than petrol or diesel vehicles due to EV efficiency and electricity costing much less than fuel. Maintenance costs are also lower, while the rising value of second hand EVs means leasing them is cheaper than ever (this is down to the reduced depreciation, you can read a guide about that here ‘Do electric cars depreciate?’). Electric car battery replacement cost can be a worry for some people, but most new EVs come with lengthy warranties covering their power packs. This means you don’t have to worry about replacing batteries for a long time, if ever, should you decide to lease an electric car.
EVs are a luxury item
There are indeed plenty of options out there if you’re looking for a luxury electric car. However, it’s far from the case that all EVs are premium cars. Perhaps the impact of the pioneering brand Tesla is a little to blame, but nowadays there are all different types of electric cars available to suit all manner of budgets.
From inexpensive Smart cars to popular hatchbacks like the Nissan Leaf, you can also choose from a range of fully-electric vans. Of course, if you do want to have a luxury EV or two as part of your fleet, that option is always there too.
Electric cars take all day to charge
This can be true if you charge an EV with an enormous battery (hello premium SUV options from Tesla, Mercedes and Jaguar!) using a regular 3 pin plug charging cable. This cable will charge your EV at speeds of up to 3kW, this is called slow charging for a reason. Most home charge points are 7kW, allowing you to charge a car like the Volkswagen ID.3, which has a 62kWh battery, in around nine hours.
This is ideal for most people who leave their cars plugged in overnight, taking advantage of what can be the cheapest off-peak energy costs. Rapid charging is only available at public stations, with 50kW speeds available on networks like Polar and Ecotricity, whereas the latest Tesla superchargers operate at 250kW. These can add around 75 miles of range to a Model 3 Long Range in just five minutes. For non-Tesla drivers IONITY chargers, capable of charging a car at 350kW are becoming more common across the UK.
You need a driveway to own an EV
Although we do recommend EVs as being more suitable for people who can park on their drive at night (so you can have a home charge point), there are plenty of instances where this is not necessary. One of these is when businesses have charge points installed on their premises, allowing employees to charge either their personal or fleet vehicles. There’s even a government grant you can take up at present, which contributes up to £350 per charge point installed through the Workplace Charging Scheme for businesses. And if you do have a driveway or your own off street parking, there is a government home charger grant ‘Electric Vehicle Home Charge Scheme’ also offering £350 towards buying and installing a charger.