Myth Busting around Electric cars

Myth 1 : Electric vehicles are too expensive

As manufacturers have reacted to charges in the market place the upfront premium for electric cars in comparison to Petrol and diesel cars is rapidly disappearing. In many cases, on a typical Personal contract plan monthly payments are now very similar to the petrol/diesel equivalent. Electric cars also have the added benefit that the cost of electricity is about a third of the cost of petrol/diesel, they are zero rated for vehicle excise duty and you don’t pay any congestion charges that are now prevalent in many major cities.

Furthermore, maintenance costs are lower as they have fewer moving parts, generally have longer service intervals, don’t require oil (a major component of a Petrol/Diesel service) and benefit from reduced wear and tear on parts such as brake pads and discs due to regenerative braking systems

The BIK rate for electric vehicles is currently 2% of the list price, which includes the price of the battery.

To compare the costs of running an Electric vis a vis a conventionally fuelled vehicle there are many online calculators readily available to do a bespoke comparison for your particular circumstances

Myth 2 : Electrics cars suffer from a poor range

It is true that electric cars have a lesser range than a petrol or diesel equivalent but how important is this in reality to the average driver who typically does 28 miles per day for the first three years of ownership? Assuming a fairly typical 200 mile range on a full charge the majority of people would only have to charge once per week typically. For those that don’t have a home charger or are concerned about the longer trip such as holidays or visiting distant family and friends the charging infrastructure is continuing to improve with 1000s of chargers now being added annually. Tools such ass Zap Map allows you to identify in a click chargers close to you residence or if planning a longer trip the location of charging points along your journey.

Myth 3 – Electric car performance is poor in comparison with conventionally fuelled vehicles

This is not the case – all electric cars offer smooth and immediate acceleration. As a result they feel particularly rapid in towns and cities. Typically 0-60mph is less than 8 seconds.

Myth 4: You need specialist insurance

With the increasing volume of electric cars most Insurers now offer insurance. It comes with all the normal things you would expect but also covers the charging cable cover, battery cover and normally a 24 hour specialist help line

Myth 5 : Electric vehicles use more energy when its cold.

This isn’t the case – batteries are slower in cold weather meaning electric cars can take longer to heat up but that doesn’t mean they use more energy. It is worth noting that Scandanavian countries, particularly Norway have the highest take up of electric cars in the world where cold weather driving is the norm.

Myth 6 : Using Air conditioning and heating drains your battery quicker than an Internal combustion engine vehicle

Yes that is the case but it’s also the same for petrol and diesel cars where air conditioning increases fuel consumption by 4%. So Electric vehicles aren’t unique in this case – it’s just more noticeable in an EV as the indicated available range is much more apparent. Furthermore, many electric vehicles include an eco-mode to reduce acceleration and makes braking more efficient meaning you can heat your car and use other systems without draining the battery quickly.

Myth 7 : Electric vehicles lose charge if you don’t use them

Electric vehicles lose around 1 to 3% of capacity each year. This only becomes an issue when battery capacity drops below 70% of the original capacity. All car manufacturers offer a battery warranty which generally exceeds that for the vehicle itself. To prevent charge loss when not in use you should

  • Don’t let the battery run down – Ideally Charge the car between 50% and 80% capacity
  • Put the car in deep sleep or hibernation mode
  • 7KW most commonly found in homes is best for an overnight charge
  • 22KW found in car parks and supermarkets are good for a top up whilst shopping
  • 50KW /100KW Rapid DC charging – these are available in most areas of the UK and at Motorway service stations.

Its also a good idea to store Electrics vehicles away from extreme heat and cold as this can impact battery lifespan

Myth 8 : Electric vehicles can’t tow trailers and caravans

It is true that Electric Vehicles are not tested or approved by manufacturers for towing as it substantially reduces range and the available distance falls off rapidly. The extra weight from towed items also increases the demands on regenerative braking system which could lead to damage. If you are intending to tow a caravan or trailer you should always investigate further with your Johnsons Dealer for absolute clarity.

Myth 9 :Its not safe to drive an EV in the rain or through a car wash

There is no extra risk compared a petrol and diesel car and there is no issue in going through puddles or a car wash. Electric vehicles battery packs and electrical systems are sealed and isolated and undergo the same NCAP crash and safety testing as a conventionally fuelled vehicle. As is the case with any vehicle, the same judgement should be applied before attempting to drive through a flooded area.

Myth 10 : Electric car batteries take too long to charge

This isn’t the case – Rapid chargers can add as much as 80% of charge in as little as 30 minutes.

There is a range of chargers with different capacities and some Some are more powerful than others

Tools such as Zap map advise where chargers are located in your local area and the capacity of them