The 8 EV myths everyone should stop believing
3rd November 2021
As any new technology that comes to the market, electric vehicles (EVs) have had their critics. The EVs we see on our roads today are far more advanced than those we saw entering the market five to ten years ago. But as technology and infrastructure has developed, the limitations that EVs once had are still being thrown around as warning-off statements.
The transition to electric can be daunting enough; add to it some outdated obstacles and, for some, it could be too much to face. That’s why we’re here to put some facts straight.
Myth #1: Electric vehicles can’t travel far enough
One of the most outdated myths of all is that EVs are limited in their range. While range was a concern for some a few years ago, advances in technology, rapidly falling costs and greater investment mean when it comes to distance, EVs have few limitations.
- Most drivers can get where they need in an electric car because 99% of car journeys in England are under 100 miles
- If you’re travelling further, there are over 20 models that have a 200-plus mile range
- Some new electric cars can travel 270 miles before needing to charge
- A recent study showed that the UK now has more rapid chargers every 100 miles of main roads than any country in Europe
- Industry statistics show there are now over 25,000 public chargepoints available across the UK and over 4,500 rapid chargers
- Lastly, it’s worth remembering that public charge stations are supplementary to the more convenient home charging
Still worried about range for your commercial fleet? Read our article for the latest on batteries, charging and range.
Myth #2: Electric vehicles are too expensive
The environmental benefits of EVs can’t be ignored, but what about their price? Another common misconception about EVs is that they’re too expensive. While there can be an initial upfront investment, looking at the total cost of ownership (TCO) actually makes them cheaper than many of the standard internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.
- EVs do cost more to buy, but their running and maintenance costs are a fraction of petrol and diesel cars
- EV journeys cost as little as 1p a mile for off-peak electricity
- Production costs are reducing – by the mid to late 2020s, EVs may cost the same to buy as petrol or diesel cars
- EV owners don’t pay Vehicle Excise Duty
- New cars under £35,000 qualify for a government grant of £2,500
- Some EV manufacturers have reduced their prices so buyers can benefit from the grant
Find out more about grants, subsidies, and incentives for your commercial electric fleet here.
Myth #3: EV batteries need replacing every 5 years
We’ve read plenty of headlines putting EV batteries under scrutiny, with claims they need to be replaced as often as every five years. This couldn’t be further from the truth, with most EVs currently on the market having an eight to ten year warranty.
- With currently over 10 million EVs on the world’s roads, there’s no evidence that their lifespans are lower than petrol or diesel vehicles
- Most electric vehicle batteries have warranties of around eight years (or 100,000 miles), but are expected to last much longer
- New batteries’ lifespans are continually improving
And when your EV battery does reach the end of its life, it can be broken down and re-used in a second life – in renewable energy storage, for example. Find out more about batteries and renewable energy storage here.
Myth #4: EV batteries are unsustainable and end up in landfill
Many question how ‘green’ EVs truly are - and rightly so. The materials used in batteries raise some environmental concerns; right from the raw materials used, through to production and end use. The fact of the matter is, laws ban the disposal of batteries in landfill, plus there are lots of uses for batteries beyond their life in an EV. Plus, manufacturers and Governments are actively addressing these concerns with stricter regulations and transparency.
- The UK is part of international efforts to secure a transparent, sustainable, and ethical supply of EV battery materials
- Existing regulations ban the disposal of EV batteries to landfill and incineration
- Battery producers are obliged to take back EV batteries free of charge and ensure they are recycled according to regulatory standards
Find out more about the sustainability of commercial EV fleets here.
Myth #5 It takes too long to charge an electric vehicle
One of the most noticeable differences between an EV and an ICE is the time it takes to refuel. And while it can take longer to refuel an EV, some basic pre-planning can mitigate the impact on your operations.
- Most charging is done at or near drivers’ homes overnight
- New cars can typically travel 120 miles on just a 20-minute charge
- Charging speeds have increased by a factor of five in the past few years as engineers have started to focus on EVs as the future of transport
While refuelling isn’t yet done at the same pace as filling up a petrol tank, EV fleets can be built and installed to suit your business operations – maximising cost and operational efficiency.
Myth #6: The electricity grid won’t be able to cope if everyone switches to electric cars
How will the grid cope with all this extra demand? The UK energy grid is undergoing a huge shift right now, and the adoption of EVs is just one part of it. EVs will increase demand, but extensive plans are in place to balance supply and demand.
The Committee on Climate Change suggests that electrifying all vehicles could mean road transport will comprise up to 15% to 20% of total electricity demand in 2050
The Government believes the grid will be able to cope if changes to the infrastructure are delivered on time
- That said, smart charging reduces the need for new infrastructure, so EVs could bring benefits through technologies such as vehicle to grid
Find out more about the smart grid here.
Myth #7: Battery swapping is the best way to transition to zero emission cars and vans
We’ve heard on the grapevine that battery swapping – that is, replacing a depleted battery in an EV with a fully charged one - is the way forward. While the concept sounds great, there are multiple limitations that mean it’s unlikely to lift off anytime soon…
- Battery swapping poses various technological challenges when it comes to standardising batteries between models and makes
- The commercial case for battery swapping hasn’t been proven yet, especially as EV range and charging speeds improve
Myth #8: There are too many different sockets on EVs so drivers can’t charge at any charge station
There’s no denying that the charging infrastructure has been a challenge for the EV evolution up until this point. Different – and sometimes competing – charging infrastructure has slowed the UK’s electrification journey, but standardisation is now well on its way.
- Government legislation now ensures all new and replacement public charge stations must offer standard connectors
- This means the vast majority of EVs can charge on the entire UK public charging network
- Exceptions include the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi Outlander, which can charge at 99% of public charge stations
When it comes to electrifying your fleet, having your own on-site charging network will help cut through any uncertainty and make it easier, more efficient and cost-effective for your organisation.
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Whether you’re a fleet, facilities, or energy manager, we can support your journey to a more electric future. To learn more about our end-to-end electrification offering - including My Electric Vehicles - get in touch.Find out more