As the UK ramps up the race to NetZero, the announcement that new petrol and diesel cars will no longer be sold after 2035 suggests we’re getting promisingly closer to the finish line. Electric vehicles are (quite literally) the future - a triumphant feat as the world works together in tackling climate change.
But with the media sharing fear-mongering and inaccurate reflections of this positive movement, it’s no surprise that many drivers are feeling increasingly concerned about making the switch. Thankfully, we know better.
In this article, we’ll clear the air on these five common EV myths:
- EVs are at high risk of catching fire.
- EVs still require tanking up with unsustainable fuels.
- EVs can easily run out of charge.
- EVs are more expensive than diesel.
- EV batteries are expensive to replace and can’t be recycled.
Here’s the thing. Electric vehicle technology is continuing to advance at a rapid speed, considering all factors of a driver’s need. That includes cost, efficiency, performance, and safety. We’ve come a long way over the last decade - and the next seven years hold even more developmental success.
However, have a scroll through the recent EV news, and the stories would suggest otherwise. Turns out some are hanging on to these outdated issues tighter than a petrol pump in a fuel cap. Both of which just so happen to be highly toxic and unnecessary.
From EVs being more likely to ‘suddenly burst into flames’ than diesel right through to them being ‘boring to drive’ (really?), we’ve heard it all.
It’s time to put the fire out on these claims.
As the UK’s leading pioneers in the EV industry, DriveElectric is here to make sure you feel confident and reassured during every step of your NetZero journey.
So, strap in and read ahead as we break down five of the recent EV myths to provide you with the clarity you need to put your mind at ease. Let’s get this show on the road…
Nothing sets fear alight like the claims about EVs being more likely to catch fire than petrol and diesel cars. You may have seen headlines about lithium-ion batteries being notoriously dangerous - which has unsurprisingly sparked safety concerns for those yet to make the switch.
Thanks to new data from the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, we’re happy to report that this is miles from the truth.
When you compare the 23 EV fire incidents (that’s a mere 0.004% of Sweden’s fleet of over 611,000 electric cars) to the 34,000 fires from 4.4 million petrol and diesel cars (so, 0.08%) - this means that EVs are 20 times less likely to result in fires.
What’s more, thanks to car manufacturers developing more resilient anti-fire functions in newer models, EV fires continue to decrease. With just 20 reported EV fires a year over a three-year period, the likelihood of your car filling up with smoke mid-journey is highly unlikely. Charge on.
Let’s get one thing straight: EVs are pure electric - so they don’t need a single drop of petrol to see you through your journey. Hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), on the other hand, still require fossil fuels to top up their tanks. It’s when people blur the line between these two huge differences that leads to the false idea that electric cars are not up to the sustainability standard.
While PHEVs are an improvement from traditional petrol and diesel cars, they’re still built on a high-carbon model. Think big tank, small battery. Many claimed them to be the ticket to zero emissions when they were first released - however, climate campaigners have revealed that they’re significantly more polluting than originally believed.
So, when true EVs are brought into the picture, it’s easy to assume that the same applies to them. But let’s not put them under the same garage roof. Electric cars are all batteries, no tank. They’re not relying on anything other than green, reusable energy to power up - meaning you can rest assured that the drive to electric in 2030 is for extremely good reason.
Ever heard of ‘range anxiety’? This describes the anxiety that EVs will run out of charge before they reach the next charging point - and it turns out that it’s actually a common concern amongst conventional vehicle drivers. It’s also one of the biggest factors holding them back from switching to electric. With circulating stories around EVs ‘advancing backwards’, we can confirm that the reality is quite the opposite.
Carmakers today are refining their newer models to work harder, better, faster, and stronger. This means extending the range so that you can travel further - without feeling like you'll be stalling before the next stop.
While 68% of our yearly journeys are under 5 miles and 99% under 100 miles, longer trips are just as achievable with electric cars. The range of an EV can hit up to 300 miles before requiring more energy - providing the perfect balance between cost and travel efficiency.
Considering you’ll most likely be ready for that pit stop coffee and stretch after hitting a couple of hundred miles, you can use that half hour to power up using the ultra-rapid chargers available.
If you feel uneasy, we’d always advise planning ahead by checking to see where the best charging stations are in your journey - and simply timing your breaks in with them. No stress.
Sure, the upfront costs of today’s electric vehicles are typically higher than your average diesel or petrol car. But this is purely down to the fact that they’re produced using the very latest cutting-edge technology to drive maximum impact.
However, given the fact that in under seven years, they will be the most mainstream option available (and will therefore be made in higher volumes), it’s highly likely that we’ll see these prices fall. In fact, research suggests that EVs could cost the same to buy as conventional cars as soon as the mid to late 2020s. What’s more, EV battery prices are already becoming more affordable - which says a lot in itself.
Now let’s steer the focus away from initial investments and more towards the overall whole life costs. This factors in how much they cost to run during their life cycle. When you consider the increasingly high costs of fuel - EVs can run at a refreshing 2p per mile when charged at the right time of day or night. And because they’re more technologically streamlined, they have less oily engine parts that will need servicing - helping to keep your maintenance costs to a minimum.
Still feeling uncertain? By the time it comes to 2030, there will be plenty of second-hand EVs for you to choose from. And of course, there will always be government grants and business incentives available to support you in your EV journey - no matter your budget.
Some say that EV batteries need to be replaced every five years. After all, you need to regularly replace the batteries in your remote control - so EVs must be the same, right? Not quite. Made with a similar lithium-ion technology to your smartphone, EV batteries are specifically developed to last far beyond five years. That’s why you’ll find many with warranties of up to eight years.
According to National Grid, EV battery packs are expected to retain its charge capacity from an impressive 100,000 to 200,000 miles. In fact, some batteries have actually proven to withstand the life of the vehicle - so you needn’t panic next time you see a misinformed headline about EV batteries being expensive to maintain.
The constant advancements mean manufacturers are working to extend battery lives even further. That means if you’re planning on holding out till the petrol and diesel ban to make the EV switch, it’s very likely that by the time you do, your battery will be the strongest yet.
And even when (and if) they do need replacing, there’s still plenty of life left in them. Despite claims that electric vehicle batteries end up in landfill, they can in fact be recycled or repurposed and resold for home or business energy-saving purposes - storing the electricity solar panels produce. Now that’s what we call resourceful.