Common misconceptions about electric vehicles
Common misconceptions about electric vehicles
1. Electric vehicles (EVs) are too expensive
EV can save £176 in running costs for every 1,000 miles driven. This means it can cost as little as 2p a mile to run an EV when charging on off-peak electricity. This is compared to over 20p per mile for petrol and diesel.
2. EVs do not have the battery range to travel as far as people need
For those travelling further, there are over 20 models available with a quoted 200-plus mile range. There are also some new electric cars coming soon with a range of over 300 miles, enough to get from Exeter to Leeds.
3. Building an EV generates more greenhouse gas emissions than it saves
A new battery-electric car has just a third of the lifetime greenhouse gas emissions of an equivalent new petrol car, even when taking into account battery production and disposal.
4. The battery will need replacing after five years
There are well over 10 million EVs on the world’s roads already. There is no evidence to suggest their lifespans are any different from a petrol or diesel vehicle. Most EV batteries have warranties of around 8 years (or 100,000 miles) but are expected to last much longer, and their lifespan continues to improve.
5. Batteries cannot be recycled and will all end up in landfill
Existing regulations ban the disposal of EV batteries to landfill and incineration. Car manufacturers are obligated to take back EV batteries free of charge and ensure they are treated at permitted facilities that meet the required recycling efficiency standards.
6. Materials used in batteries come from questionable sources
The UK is part of international efforts to secure a transparent, sustainable and ethical supply of raw materials, protecting the lives and livelihoods of miners. EV manufacturers are already committed to the responsible sourcing and reduction of ‘rare earth’ raw materials in their supply chains.
7. There is not enough lithium to manufacture the batteries needed
There are more than enough global resources for EV batteries to meet the UK and global demands until at least 2050.
8. EVs cannot be driven or charged in the rain
Not true. EVs have to comply with tough technical rules prior to entering the market, including crash and electrical safety. This means they are safe to drive and charge in a wide range of weather conditions.
9. EVs cannot tow or be towed
Like all other cars, electric vehicles need to be ‘type approved’ to tow a caravan or trailer. An increasing number of EVs are coming to market with this capability. A caravan or trailer towed by an EV can also display a green number plate.
10. There are not enough chargepoints to meet demand
Research has found that the UK has one of the most extensive rapid charging networks in Europe. Industry statistics show that there are over 31,000 public chargepoints available across the UK, a significant increase from 7,211 in 2017. There are also more than 5,800 rapid chargers
11. It takes too long to charge an EV
Most charging will be done at or near home overnight. However, some new cars are capable of charging up 200 miles in as little as 20 minutes
12. Only people with off-street parking will be able to easily charge their EV
The On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS) is available to all UK local authorities (LAs) to provide public chargepoints for their residents without access to private parking. This year, £20 million is available under the scheme to ensure more LAs and residents can benefit.
13. There are loads of chargers in London but hardly any in other cities or in rural areas
Government will also be providing additional funding to install chargepoints for small accommodation businesses, which are disproportionately found in rural areas.
14. Public chargepoints are all broken
EV users should expect a reliable public network wherever they drive in the UK. Having chargepoints out of action is inconvenient, frustrating and can be unsafe. However, according to Zap-Map, 9 out of 10 chargepoints are working at any point in time.
15. There are too many different apps and different types of connectors
We legislated in 2017 to ensure all new and replacement public chargepoints must offer standardised connectors (plugs). This means that the vast majority of EVs can charge on the entire UK public charging network.
16. The grid will not be able to cope if everyone switches to EVs
The Committee on Climate Change suggests that electrifying the vehicle fleet could result in road transport making up 15% to 20% of total electricity demand in 2050. Government has given Ofgem, the energy regulator, legal responsibilities and powers to deliver an energy system fit for both current and future consumers.
17. EVs are not ‘greener’ because of emissions from electricity generation
Since 1990, we have reduced greenhouse gas emissions in our electricity system by over 70%. Taken together, renewables and other low carbon generation, such as nuclear, currently provide over 50% of our electricity. Our plans could see 95% of our electricity come from low carbon sources by 2030.
18. You will have to dig up all of the country to lay more cables
Ofgem, ensures that electricity network companies are funded to meet the additional demand from EVs. This incentivises them to plan and deliver the work as efficiently as possible. This includes minimising unnecessary disruption and expense, for example by laying larger cables to avoid reopening roads twice.
19. You could easily just switch all petrol and diesel cars to burn hydrogen without going to all this trouble
As set out in the government’s hydrogen strategy, we expect hydrogen to play a significant role in decarbonising transport.
Read the full leaflet from the Department for Transport common-misconceptions-about-electric-vehicles-leaflet