A future with no new petrol and diesel car sales is not so far off anymore. The UK Government has set a target to phase them out by 2030. And from 2035, all new cars will be zero-emission at the tailpipe. This ambitious plan has cast a spotlight on electric vehicles (EVs) that shines brighter by the day. With more than 20 new EVs (and counting) launching in 2021, the public has more questions than ever before about the benefits of electric vehicles. We’ve filtered through the overwhelming information to bring you the 12 most common myths about electric cars – and why switching to electric has its perks.
Myth 1: Running an electric car is too expensive
Drivers often overestimate the running costs of electric vehicles. It’s true that EVs have a slightly higher P11D price (the value of the car including VAT, options and the delivery fee – as well as its CO2 emissions), however there are a number of ways that this cost can be counteracted (more on this below).
In the grand scheme of things, if you value the whole life cost of an electric vehicle, it’s substantially less than fuel cars. Contrary to popular belief, EV’s work on lower maintenance, service, and repair costs. And if you’re driving an EV as a company car, expect to save thousands per year on BIK tax, too. In addition, you have the option to choose the charging points; home, work, or public charging points. According to Pod Point, one of UK’s leading providers of electric vehicle charging, below are the costs for a typical electric car with a 60kWh battery and ~200 mile range:
- Home charging: Will cost around £9.20 for a full charge.
- Charging at work: Depending on your employer, workplace charging points are usually free to access and use during working hours.
- Public point charging: Public chargepoints are appearing in car parks and supermarkets across the UK, with Volkswagen recently striking a deal with Tesco to provide free 7kW EV charging bays at 400 Tesco stores. You can also use Pod Point to find the nearest public charging points to you.
- Rapid charging: Normally found at motorway service stations and some smaller petrol stations, these charging points usually cost £6.50 for a 30 minute, ~100 mile charge. However, these are offered by various providers such as Ecotricity who you will have to sign up with prior to use.
To top that off, EVs have proved to hold their value well, which means that you likely won’t lose out when it comes to selling the car on.
Myth 2: Electric cars are not as powerful as diesel or petrol vehicles
If you still associate the power of a vehicle with the loud revving of an engine, it’s time to get logical. Almost half of UK drivers believe that EVs aren’t as powerful as fuel cars. The notion of putting the pedal-to-the-metal with smoke churning out of the tailpipe has long been considered the marker of proof for performance. Wrong!
In fact, the silence of electric cars is deceiving. EVs have the ability to generate power and accelerate quicker than their petrol or diesel comrades. Six seconds is the time it takes for an average electric vehicle to accelerate from 0-60mphs. The Tesla Model 3 Long Range does it in just 4.2 seconds whilst the higher-end models; Porsche Taycan Turbo S, and Rimac Nevera go 0-60mph in 2.6 and 1.85 seconds, respectively.
How is this? Electric cars are designed and built simpler than traditional vehicles with an internal combustion engine (ICE). A traditional vehicle will take much longer to get engine-generated power to the wheels – requiring you to rev up to reach the torque you need to catch speed. Electric cars can go full torque-mode with instant acceleration, without the need to send power through other moving parts. This makes them quicker and more efficient.
Myth 3: You can’t drive long distances in an electric car
Several studies on consumer feedback to electric cars have revealed that the main reason drivers are apprehensive about switching to electric is “range anxiety”. Deterred from purchasing an EV by thinking that it won’t let you drive long distances, or that the battery will run out whilst you’re on the road – fear not. All electric cars come with a minimum range of 100 miles and some have a larger range offering of up to 400 miles – so you could even complete a return drive from Manchester to London without needing to stop for a charge.
Today, many electric cars are able to cover between 200 and 300 miles on a single charge. The Vauxhall Corsa-e does up to an impressive 209 miles on a single charge, whilst the Volkswagen ID.3 does 260 miles on the medium 58kWh battery, which goes up to 336 miles on the larger 77kWh battery.
Plus, what is the point of having a car that isn’t built to take you on road trips? With more than 4,000 rapid chargers across the country, and more public charging points at supermarkets and in car parks, you can easily plan a stress-free journey on the motorway. Not only that, electric vehicles are quieter and more enjoyable to drive – and the motorway might just be the perfect place to reap these driving benefits.
You’ll get plenty of warning from the car when it’s running low and needs a charge. Additionally, you’ll find that the sat nav in most electric cars will guide you to the nearest charging point too.
Myth 4: I can avoid buying an electric car and carry on opting for diesel and petrol
The majority consensus amongst drivers is that electric cars won’t entirely replace petrol or diesel cars. However, under the UK government’s new 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, new cars and vans powered completely by petrol and diesel will not be sold in the UK from 2030. After this time, only used fuel-run vehicles will be on sale. It may be wise to switch to electric now if you want to familiarise yourself with the ins and outs of EV driving. However, it is likely that EV prices will continue to become more affordable as manufacturers launch competitive models on a frequent basis.
Myth 5: There’s not a huge choice of electric vehicles
This may have been true a decade ago, but thanks to the development of hybrid and electric tech, and government backing with new regulations and subsidies, EVs are now growing in prominence on the road. The electric car boom was by and large sparked by the Tesla Roadster back in 2008, and has fast-grown to become the most-searched, most-talked about topic when it comes to cars. As a result, the electric car market has rapidly expanded. Today, most of the industry’s main car manufacturers offer electric or hybrid vehicles, with whole ranges being designed and launched, and many more on the way. At Hippo Leasing, we offer nationwide leasing deals on a wide range of electric and hybrid vehicles. Search the right deal for you here.
From the Volkswagen ID.3 to the Volvo XC40 Recharge, the Audi e-tron GT, and the BMW iX3, there are now more than 130 fully or part-electric vehicles available to buy or lease in the UK. So, variety is not a problem!
Myth 6: There aren’t many places to charge an electric car…
Think again! Whereas home charging is the most convenient option with an electric vehicle, most workplaces also offer charging points or places to plug in. As the range of EVs has grown, you might even be able to go a whole week’s worth of commute without needing a charge. If you do need to charge on the road, the UK now has more than 30,000 charging points – public and at service stations. You can check where your nearest public charger is using the Zap Map.
Some charging points may have different chargers which can be run by different networks, and they may also have slightly different ways of charging. However, the app can simply show you results and help you select the charger you want to use.
… and they take too long to charge (Myth 7)
Computer says, false! It can take as little as 30 minutes to charge an electric car (using a supercharger), and this can go up to more than 12 hours if you’re using a three-pin electric point. However, the time really depends on the size of the battery and the speed of the charging point that you choose.
It’s very rare that you will need to charge an electric car from empty. Usually they require a top up. For example, you could set up to charge the car from 20 percent to 80 percent overnight and this will take six to eight hours depending on battery size and charger type. So, whilst you get your beauty sleep, the car gets its dose of power too.
In the instance that you would want to charge from 0%, a 7kW home or workplace charger will charge the Hyundai Ioniq Electric to full in around 5.5 hours, and the Mini Electric Hatchback in 4.7 hours. If you’re on the road, a 50kW rapid charger will give you 80% charge on the Hyundai in 36 minutes, and the Mini in just 30 minutes.
Myth 8: Electric cars get damaged in the car wash
It’s rather astonishing how many drivers are convinced that an electric car will fizzle to a stop or get damaged if you take it through a car wash. It’s important to remember that before any electric car can be sold to consumers, they are vigorously tested, and this includes a soak test to ensure durability against high-pressure water. To put it simply, it’s just as safe to take an electric car through a car wash as it is a normal car.
Myth 9: Electric cars cost more to insure
This perception is usually related to the fact that electric cars come with advanced technology and economical features. And it’s a little but true, and false. In comparison to ICE (internal combustion engine) models some electric vehicles such as the Renault Zoe, can be up to 8 percent cheaper to insure than its petrol-powered equivalent. In the case of electric models costing more to insure, research by LV= found that this hardly exceeded a 10 percent difference in premium costs. For example, the Hyundai Kona (£299 EV vs £283 petrol) and Kia Niro (£307 EV vs £289 petrol) are only 6 percent more to insure than their ICE counterparts.
Myth 10: Electric cars are unaffordable
Switching to EV has its incentives. Many drivers are unaware that the government offers a ‘plug-in-grant’ of £2,500, available on electric cars costing less than £35,000. This is a discount on the price of brand new low-emission vehicles through a grant given to vehicle dealerships and manufacturers.
The grant is designed to make the transition to electric car (EV) ownership more affordable for more drivers. The incentives are in place because the large battery packs involved in manufacturing plug-in models currently make electric cars more expensive than petrol and diesel-powered models.
The best thing about the grant is that you don’t have to do anything. The manufacturer or dealer will apply the grant discount and claim this back from the relevant authority. In the long term, electric car prices are predicted to move on par with petrol and diesel models, so grants are likely to reduce.
To top that off, green number plates are being added onto new or existing zero-emission vehicles. This will help drivers unlock a number of incentives and assist local authorities when rolling out zero-emission zones and free parking for electric cars.
Grants for electric vans and motorbikes are also available.
Myth 11: Electric cars are less durable than traditional vehicles
False! Electric cars are just as robust and reliable as traditional cars. But, if you’re still sitting on the fence with this one, Ford has the encouragement – and proof – you need. There is little talk about the hardiness and safety of electric models. However, Ford recently changed this perception by torture-testing the Mustang Mach-E. Ford subjected the car to rigorous challenges including 60 passes through a brutal, suds-free automatic conveyor wash.
The team also studied varying weight loads on the seats using a wide range of programmed robotic “butts”, or “robutts”. This simulated a person getting in and out of the car – at least 25,000 times. There was extensive chemical testing on material, hammer-tests on the 15.5-inch touch screen, and even 300 miles of stone-chip testing on gravel roads. Read Ford Mustang Mach-E: torture testing proves durability of electric vehicles to view the results of Ford’s harsh testing methods!
Once more, electric cars are put through their paces by long-standing professionals. It is their job to ensure that the cars meet industry and international safety guidelines before they go on sale to the public.
Myth 12: Electric car batteries are not environmentally friendly
How do you dispose of electric car batteries? This is a fair concern – but one that shouldn’t hold you back from switching to electric. You can dispose of Lithium-ion batteries in an environmentally-friendly way. These batteries are covered by the Battery Directive, which confirms that at least 50 percent of the battery in its entirety must be recycled. Many manufacturers are also planning to use second-hand batteries for energy storage.
Also, electric-car battery life can be anything up to 10 years before it needs to be replaced. Many manufacturers also offer long warranties when it comes to batteries. So, this is just another reason for you to seriously consider switching to an EV.