More people are planning to ditch the petrol and diesel engines in favour for an eco-friendlier electric option, yet myths surrounding the technology still exist. Whether it’s range anxiety, the charging infrastructure, or the longevity of the battery – many drivers are still wary of making the switch.
Electric vehicles (EV) are growing in popularity among drivers, with EV’s now accounting for just over one in ten sales (10.7%) of new cars – surging from just 1.1% in 20151.
IAM RoadSmart has unpicked the most common misconceptions to debunk, whilst setting the record straight on electric vehicles.
Myth 1: Electric vehicles don’t have enough range
Although in the past it may have been a legitimate concern, range anxiety is becoming less of a problem as the UK charging infrastructure catches up with demand and battery technology improves.
With most journeys being less than 50 miles, the documented range of a fully electric car is currently between 100 – 300 miles (depending on the make and model).
Myth 2: Electric vehicle batteries don’t last long
An American study found that the average decline in energy storage is 2.3% per year. That means an electric vehicle with a range of 150 miles will lose 17 miles of accessible range after five years – the rate of decline slows down in later years.
Unlike the electric vehicle, internal combustion engine’s (ICE) also lose performance with age, but this is mainly due to avoiding vital servicing inspections. So whether it’s not maintaining your car battery, changing filters, or replacing spark plugs – these are all ways that the typical ICE can lose performance over time.
Myth 3: Driving an electric vehicle won’t save money
It’s fair to say that the upfront cost of an electric car can be significantly higher than an average petrol or diesel vehicle, but there are key savings you can make over time.
Electric car drivers can instantly benefit from up to £3,000 in government grants towards the cost of buying a new vehicle, and a ‘Plug-in Car Grant’ reducing the list price of an EV. On top of this, there are some handy tax breaks that can further help EV drivers keep costs down.
But here are some typical annual costs for a fully electric model, assuming you travel 7,400 miles a year – the average among British motorists, according to government figures – and charge the car at home.
These are the typical running costs for a petrol-powered Vauxhall Corsa, the most popular car sold in the UK, assuming annual mileage of 7,400.
Myth 4: Electric cars are costly to maintain and repair
Just like fuel, servicing costs tend to be cheaper. Electric vehicles generally work out cheaper to service and maintain than the equivalent petrol and diesel models, mainly because they have fewer moving parts and fewer items prone to wearing out over time. Electric cars don’t need oil filters and have no cambelts that can be expensive to replace.
Myth 5: The power grid won’t be able to handle it
If 80% of all passenger cars become electric, this would lead to a total increase of 10-15% in electricity consumption.
The projected growth in e-mobility will not drive an immediate or substantial increase in total electrical-grid power demand, according to a study by McKinsey & Company. This means EV’s aren’t likely to cause any abrupt surprises or disruptions in our power supply and there is no need for new electricity-generation capacity in the near future.
Lloyd Jones, Corporate Training Manager at IAM RoadSmart, said:
“Electric vehicles are the future. Manufacturers are spending billions of pounds on the research and development of these vehicles and we are starting to see the benefits of this development. They are easy to drive, have fantastic performance, have a range that is greater than my own daily demand and importantly, for the eleven-year-old boy in me, they are fun to drive.”
1 Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)