The rise of the electric vehicle (EV) is gathering pace and there are now a wide range of options, shapes and sizes to choose from.
However, like anything new, EVs have attracted a lot of speculation and caused debate. Meaning the idea an EV could leave its passengers stranded at the side of the motorway with a flat battery, has put some people off.
But are these concerns myth or reality?
Range anxiety – the fear that your EV doesn’t have the battery capacity to reach its destination – is probably one of the most spoken about stumbling blocks when it comes to buying an EV.
While it is true EVs on the market in the UK at the moment don’t have the same range as their petrol and diesel-powered counterparts, they are more than capable of handling the daily commute. The average UK worker travels around 17 miles per day, with most batteries holding around 120 miles of charge.
Range anxiety is also being reduced thanks to the ever-growing availability of publically available charge points, with almost 17,000 accessible around the country.
Verdict: For the average motorist, the car’s range shouldn’t pose many issues.
Poor charging infrastructure
If there’s nowhere to charge your car when out and about you’re at a serious disadvantage. Thankfully the UK has a high number of publicly available charge points to keep the juice flowing.
There are around 17,000 public charge points available around the country and that number is growing all the time. In addition, 96 per cent of motorway service areas have rapid chargers available, meaning the UK has one of the largest rapid charge networks in Europe.
Verdict: A myth that is being consigned to the history books
This is in fact the complete opposite of the truth. Pure electric cars are more often than not quicker off the mark than their fossil fuel counterparts.
This is because an electric motor can generate power much quicker than an internal combustion engine, meaning you’ll have no problem pulling away at the lights and getting up to the speed limit joining the motorway.
Verdict: A complete myth, EVs are much quicker off the mark than typical petrol/diesel cars
It takes longer to charge an EV than it does to fill up with traditional fuel.
However, the technology used to charge EVs is evolving as fast as the vehicles themselves, with most rapid charging points able to charge most EVs up to 80 per cent capacity within 30 minutes, meaning that hanging around for large periods of time waiting for the car to be ready just wouldn’t be an issue.
Verdict: Although it does take longer to ‘refuel’ an EV than a traditionally powered car, it is nowhere near the level of hold up that has been speculated.
They’re too expensive
The initial cost of EVs has proven a stumbling block for a lot of people, with their retail price higher than the normal amount.
However, once the car has been purchased you (and your wallet) may start to see a positive impact. All EVs escape paying fuel duty as this is only applied to combustible fuels, and electricity only incurs a 5 per cent level of VAT.
Pure EVs – cars powered by a battery alone – also escape paying Vehicle Excess Duty (VED) because of their zero emissions rating. However vehicles with a list price of £40,000 upwards will incur a yearly tax supplement for their first five years, but it is worth noting this charge is applied to all vehicles above the £40k bracket, so EV owners paying this supplement would still be exempt from the standard rate of tax.
Verdict: The initial outlay might be more than you’d expect, but the long-term savings could make this one a myth.
They’re not for today’s drivers
There is an argument that EVs haven’t taken off in the UK because they are ‘one for the future’, but in reality the switch to electric is well underway.
By the end of October 2018 there were more than 12,000 new pure electric vehicles purchased in the UK in 2018, taking the total number on the road to well over 40,000. With this number expected to continue to grow, the time for the EV is upon us and potential owners could benefit greatly by being one of the first adopters.
Verdict: Myth. The uptake of EVs has been on the rise over the past 12-months and looks to continue for years to come.
Hopefully this guide has helped clear up a few of the myths that have been floating around the internet over the past few years. If an EV fits your lifestyle, it could very well be a smart choice for your next car.