Electric cars have grown hugely in popularity over recent years, with more than 212,000 plug-in electric vehicles registered in the UK up to the end of 2018.
However, there’s still a fair bit of confusion around these vehicles. We’ve spotlighted the 12 best hybrid and electric cars to buy in 2019 elsewhere, but if you’re still not convinced that electric is the way to go, this article might just help you see things differently.
Keep reading to see 10 of the biggest myths around electric cars busted…
1. It’s too soon to be driving an electric car
It’s always a bit of a risk to take the plunge on new technology, particularly if you’d be one of the first to use it, but electric vehicles (EVs) have been on the market for a number of years now, so there’s really nothing to worry about.
On top of that, the most popular EVs are manufactured by some of the world’s best car makers, so you’re in safe hands whichever one you choose.
2. Electric vehicles don’t have enough range for my day-to-day life
Where exactly does your day-to-day life take you? For most of us, it’s a short commute to work, or running errands in the local area. Even on a busy day of to-ing and fro-ing, you’d be surprised if you covered more than 100 miles.
The vast majority of EVs advertise a total range of well over 100 miles, with some even tipping 250 miles before the batteries go flat.
What about tomorrow though, right? Think of an EV like you would a smartphone – plug it in before you go to bed, and those batteries will be full up by the morning, ready for another day of driving!
3. Electric cars are slow
If you think electric cars are slow, you clearly haven’t driven one! Unlike petrol and diesel engines which will only reach maximum power at a certain number of revs, an electric car’s full power is usually available immediately. Put pedal to metal and you’ll get everything the batteries have to give!
4. There aren’t many models to choose from
The majority of manufacturers now offer at least one electric or hybrid vehicle, and in fact, many are now offering hybrid or electric versions of their most-loved vehicles.
Kia, for example, have an electric or hybrid version available in three model line-ups; the Soul EV, Optima Sportwagon Plug-in Hybrid, and soon-to-be-released e-Niro are all different shapes and sizes, giving you plenty of choice.
5. The charging infrastructure isn’t good enough yet
Charging at home is one thing, but what about when you want to go on a long journey? You will need to charge at a public charge point, but just how often will you come across one?
Just like all new things, driving an electric vehicle will require some minor adjustments in the way you’d approach a long journey. Using a website like ZapMap – and the fantastic route planner on their app – you can chart your path from point to point while also factoring in stop-offs to charge your vehicle.
Take one look at the ZapMap site, and you’ll see just how many charge points there are across the country. According to their stats, there are 11,177 charging points in 6771 locations, and hundreds of new ones are installed each month.
Right now, there’s definitely a concentration in urban areas, but as EVs become increasingly commonplace, more and more chargepoints will appear. There’s no doubt they’ll be as widespread as petrol stations before too long.
6. Electric vehicles take too long to charge
Just like charging any other battery, the length of time it takes to reach full capacity depends on the rating of the charger itself.
Different charge points or charging methods will have different charging speeds. What you need to look for is the kilowatt number on the charging point. Basically, the higher the number, the faster it will charge the battery.
Rapid chargers are rated at 43kW or more, which can charge the majority of EVs up to 80% in less than an hour.
At the bottom of the scale are slow chargers, which are rated for up 3kW. These are best for overnight charging, since fully charging via this method can take up to 12 hours.
7. EVs and plug-ins are too expensive to buy
It’s true that there isn’t yet a ‘budget’ option in the EV/plug-in sector, but there are plenty of options at a range of price-points.
The smart EQ fortwo, for example, is available for a shade over £20k. For that, you get funky personality and a seventy-mile range from the 96 on-board Lithium-Ion battery cells.
At the top end of the market, there’s the Jaguar I-PACE – a heavenly marriage between design and technology that has seen the model win awards from all walks of industry, including the Brand with Best Features in the Auto Trader New Car Awards 2019. The all-electric Jaguar will set you back around £65,000.
8. I can’t drive an electric car in the rain
We know – electricity and water are not a good match. Fortunately for you, car manufacturers are aware of that fact, and have given batteries and electronic workings plenty of insulation to ensure that their vehicles are absolutely weather-tight, so you can rest easy driving in the rain, sleet, or snow.
9. Using the radio and AC in my car will drain the battery
Well, yes. But have you noticed how your fuel economy takes a hit when you turn the air-conditioning on in a petrol-powered car?
All features of a car draw power, and electric vehicles are no different. Turn the AC off and you’ll see power consumption drop and range increase. It’s just maths.
10. My utility bill will skyrocket if I charge at home
It’s true that your monthly electricity bill will rise if you start charging a whole car off your home’s circuit.
But don’t forget, charging at home has two key benefits.
One, you don’t need to travel to ‘refuel’ your car, and two, by switching to an electric vehicle, you no longer have to spend money on expensive petrol or diesel on the forecourt.
Believe us, the numbers really do stack up in favour of an electric vehicle.
Sold on the idea of an electric car? Need some guidance about which one is right for you? Check out our post – Which hybrid/electric vehicle suits your lifestyle?