No longer a vision of the future, electric cars are paving the way for a sustainable society. However, there are numerous debates as to whether these vehicles are actually beneficial and are they worth investing in. It’s important to consider each potential myth and be able to separate fact from fiction so that drivers can make an educated choice on what type of vehicle suits them best.
Short journey length
One of the biggest myths regarding electric cars is that they are unable to travel long distances. Typically, around 99% of journeys in the UK are less than 100 miles. Cars like the Vauxhall Corsa-e can drive for up to 205 miles without needing to recharge – more than enough to meet the needs of most drivers!
Difficulty finding charging points
The majority of charging tends to occur at home, with this number increasing when accounting for charging units at work. This means there isn’t a need for EV charging points to be as prevalent as petrol stations. Despite this, there are still more than 42,000 charging points in over 15,500 locations in the UK, which is actually higher than the number of petrol stations!
Having a charging point installed in the home is much more convenient, and public charging points are only necessary when travelling exceedingly long distances.
Time-consuming and expensive to charge
The time taken to charge the battery depends on a number of factors like the size of the battery, the power rating of the charger and your charging method. Chargers used at home tend to take longer at around eight hours to fully charge while petrol stations mostly have rapid chargers that can fully charge electric cars within an hour. You only really need to fully charge these vehicles when making long trips and as long as the charge doesn’t reach below 20% then you’re good to go.
Whilst electric cars may be more expensive to purchase initially, running costs tend to be much less, which on average is around half that of petrol and diesel vehicles. Charging the vehicle at a public fee-paying slow charger can set you back a hefty sum. However, planning ahead and using an at-home charger can save you a third of the price. With the forever-increasing price of petrol, electric cars can help you avoid substantial fuel costs.
Require a lot of maintenance
Again, whilst most electric cars have a high upfront cost, maintenance expenses over time are substantially lower than petrol or diesel cars. With electric vehicles, there are fewer mechanical components and so less to check during services. Furthermore, there is no need for oil changes or emissions equipment, and regenerative braking helps to reduce the rate at which brakes wear down.
The more costly aspect of these cars is the battery, but they are typically designed to last around 10-20 years, which is often longer than the car itself.
No environmental benefits
Even in areas where most of the electricity is generated by burning fossil fuels, electric cars are more environmentally friendly than petrol or diesel cars in 95% of the world. Air pollution has become an important discussion recently due to levels of pollution becoming dangerously high and the possible rise of a public health emergency. These cars produce no harmful exhaust emissions when driving, which is especially important for densely populated or polluted areas.
Electric vehicles are also more efficient than traditional fuel-powered cars. The motor in these cars converts electrical energy into movement, as opposed to wasting energy through heat. Regenerative braking is another feature that helps to retain energy by using the process of braking to recharge the battery.