The Earth is flat, man didn’t land on the moon and the Twin Towers were destroyed by the Americans to start a war. Yes, we’ve all heard some absolutely wacky conspiracy theories. The Covid pandemic showed how easily people were led to share and believe inaccurate statements. Often passing them off as an absolute truth.
Unfortunately, the world of electric vehicles is not immune. We at EVision have had to battle some absolutely ludicrous fabrications. We don’t know how they start but we know that they can catch on and spread very easily amongst the uninformed.
So, with this in mind, here are my top 6 myths about electric cars and what the truth is.
Myth 1 – Electric Vehicles are Worse for the Environment Than Petrol or Diesel
This is one that makes me squint my eyes and tilt my head. Usually as I consider whether the commenter is being serious or not. Unfortunately, this is a myth that has even appeared in some unmentionable daily rags (you know the type I’m talking about).
The basis of this myth is that the electricity to fuel electric vehicles will produce a higher carbon footprint than running a petrol or diesel car.
While electric vehicles produce no tailpipe emissions and are undoubtedly cleaner on the road There is some truth that the production of electricity produces a carbon footprint. However, the UK uses a large amount of renewable energy, such as solar and wind power. Only around half of our electricity is produced using other means. Coal, it should be pointed out, is rarely used in the UK for producing electricity.
However, it seems that some people have omitted the fact that oil needs to be pumped out of the ground to produce petrol or diesel. Using large machinery that it. The oil needs to then be refined, again using large machinery. The petrol and diesel then needs to be transported to the fuelling stations. Using large diesel powered tankers of course.
All of these processes produce a carbon footprint, and not a small one either. When compared side by side, taking in all factors from the well to the wheel, petrol vehicles produce 211g of carbon per kilometre, diesel vehicles produce 179g of carbon per kilometre and electric vehicles produce just 73g per kilometre over a lifetime. The difference is massive and the electric vehicle wins with ease.
Myth 2 – The Electricity Grid Cannot Cope with Everyone Driving Electric Vehicles
I cannot tell you how many times I have read one social media platform or another that the UK will need to build numerous more power stations to cope with the electric vehicle switchover. This is simply not true at all though.
If everyone switched to an electric vehicle tomorrow the demand for electricity would only increase by 10%. The National Grid operates well below capacity. They have stated time and again that the Grid is ready for the switch already.
Add to this that there are more renewable solutions being added every year, with wind farms and solar farms appearing around the country. There are also an increasing number of private individuals and businesses that are already utilising solar power. The idea that more power stations would need to be built is simply fantasy.
Myth 3 – Electric Vehicles Don’t Have the Range I Need
Even at a recent event I had two people tell me that they would not switch to an electric vehicle until they can do 400 plus miles on a charge. Why? Who drives 400 miles without stopping? You must have a bladder made of steel.
People have been spoiled by the range of petrol and diesel vehicles. However, the number of times the vast majority of the UK would drive anywhere near to 400 miles is very few indeed.
The average daily commute in the UK is less than 20 miles. You don’t need another 380 miles in the “tank” for your daily journey. Even on longer journeys you will have sufficient battery to get you there. You just need to stop to recharge on the way.
To put things in a bit more perspective, the average range of an electric vehicle is currently 197 miles with most able to do way more than 200 miles. In fact there are regularly electric vehicles being released with north of 300 miles of range available. The Kia EV6 and the Ford Mustang Mach-E to name just a couple.
Myth 4 – There Aren’t Enough Public Charge Points
Okay, I will admit that charge points are still a bit of an issue. However, are there really that few of them?
While I would definitely like to see more public charge points, particularly in rural areas, the situation isn’t anywhere near as dire as some would make you believe.
There are currently around 30,000 public charge points available in the UK. This is double the number that were available just 2 or 3 years ago, with a very sharp upwards trend of installations continuing for the next few years. Again, to put this into perspective, there are currently around 8,000 petrol stations in the UK with more and more closing all the time. Finding a charge point will be a lot easier than finding a petrol station in the not too distant future.
Myth 5 – Electric Vehicle Batteries Can’t be Recycled and Will End Up in Landfill
This is another statement that is just not true. Up to 98% of electric vehicle batteries are recyclable and there are companies that are doing just that.
There is something else that stops electric vehicle batteries ending up in landfill. Many old batteries are repurposed as energy hubs for houses, offices and more. Even after the battery is not suitable for use as a car battery, it is still capable of being charged and supplying power for other uses.
There is absolutely no reason for electric vehicle batteries to end up in landfill.
Myth 6 – The Batteries on Electric Vehicles Have to be Replaced Every 8 Years
The root of this myth can be put down to confusion (I will avoid the word “stupidity”). Some people see that the warranty on the electric vehicle battery is 5 years/8 years or whatever the manufacturer decides, and they think that this is how long the battery will last. If your battery only lasts 8 years then you have been incredibly unlucky.
So, what’s the truth? Well, electric batteries will last a very long time. They will last as long as, if not longer, than a petrol or diesel vehicle. The battery on an electric vehicle will degrade by between 5% and 10% over a 10 year period. So, if you buy a car with 300 miles of range on it when brand new, the vehicle will have between 270 and 285 miles of range after 10 years.
As you can see, this myth is just completely baseless and stems from ignorance, false information and, in the case of some oil companies, sabotage. Oil companies don’t want electric vehicles to be successful. At least not yet. You only need to look at what happened to the General Motors EV1 to see what oil companies are capable of. The EV1 was looking like becoming a successful electric vehicle. Texaco bought into General Motors and the EV1 was wiped from the face of the earth.
Tell Us Yours
I love debunking electric vehicle myths. What are the myths (outright lies) that you have heard about electric vehicles that has made your blood boil. Or at least made you sigh in a very British fashion? Let us know on our social media channels.