A 2019 survey conducted by L.V. General insurance  in the UK found that one in ten UK motorists believe that electric cars cannot be driven in the rain!
This is just the tip of the mythical iceberg of misinformation, all unfounded and often inexplicable reasons preventing car owners considering the jump to a fully electric plug in battery powered vehicle.
Whilst full battery powered cars are increasing in popularity, LV have found that 27 per cent of drivers are considering switching to an electric vehicle within the next five years, both for cost benefits and for environmental reasons. Although an innumerable number of car drivers are still cautious about making the leap to an EV, due to mounting propaganda, coming mainly from the petrol and diesel lobby, who have a vested interest in preventing widespread adoption of zero emission electric vehicles.
To ensure car drivers that are thinking about buying an EV, are armed with unbiased facts, LV Insurance has dispelled some of the principal electric car myths below; some based on the responses in their 2019 survey.
MYTH 1 – Electric cars have no power compared to petrol or diesel cars.
According to LV, 55 per cent of UK adults believe an electric car isn’t as powerful as petrol or diesel, although this is not true. Electric cars generally provide power much quicker and most accelerate far more rapidly than their petrol or diesel counterpart. In fact, the world’s fastest road car is the Pure Electric Vehicle: Pininfarina Battista.
MYTH 2 – You can’t drive an electric car on a highway or motorway.
An amazing 12 per cent of people are convinced that you can’t drive an electric car on the motorway, although this is not true. There are more than 150 public stations at motorway and A-road services around the UK, providing more than 350 individual chargers. In the USA, this number increases to more than 5,000 DC rapid chargers.
On normal roads and towns, there are more than 20,000 public charging points across the UK, and in the USA the total to date is more than 50,000 and this number is expanding daily.
MYTH 3 – You can’t use an electric car in a car wash.
18 per cent of people believe that you can’t wash an EV in a car wash. Although electricity and water are not natural partners, it’s completely safe to do so and all cars licensed for road use have to conform to stringent safety tests, the same as conventional cars do, including a soak test.
MYTH 4 – Electric cars and chargers shouldn’t be used during heavy rain.
Not being able to drive an EV in the rain is a complete myth. All EVs have to be extensively tested by their manufacturers to prove compliance with a range of safety conditions, prior to being allowed on the roads.
Public and domestic EV chargers are weatherproof too, and all charge points must endure demanding safety testing. All charge points are deployed in strict accordance with the relevant electrical and safety regulations.
MYTH 5 – Electric car batteries need to be replaced every five years.
A common misunderstanding is that all EV batteries must be replaced five yearly, with more than a quarter of respondents believing this is true, according to LV’s survey.
The truth is that current battery technology will last at least 10 years and feasibly even up to 20 years before needing replacement. Moreover, most manufacturers offer great warranties that prove beyond doubt, their confidence in the longevity of their batteries.
MYTH 6 – Electric cars are dangerous and unsafe.
LV’s survey suggests that 6 per cent of respondents wouldn’t buy an electric car because they consider they pose a danger and that there’s a risk of electrocution. Of course, any electrical apparatus can be a potential hazard, but electric cars are at least as safe as a regular car.
Instead of flammable fuel like a standard vehicle, EVs are equipped with a lithium-ion battery power pack, just like a larger version found in a phone or laptop. These could ignite if misused, but EV manufacturers have installed devices to disengage the battery should there be a collision.
The agencies responsible for crash testing US and European vehicles respectively, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Euro NCAP, found that electric models like the Nissan Leaf, Tesla S and Jaguar iPace are exceptionally safe vehicles, awarding them all five-star ratings.
MYTH 7 – Electric cars can’t be used for long journeys.
The LV survey also found that 45 per cent of people who said they wouldn’t buy an EV, are discouraged from purchasing one because they think they are not capable of traveling long distances and consequently no good for long journeys.
Most of the latest breed of EVs now provide between 200 to 300 miles of range per charge in real world driving conditions – which is approximately the drive from New York to Washington DC or London to Manchester on one charge.
It is worth noting that you need to check the real-world range of electric cars, rather than manufacturers often inflated ranges, and the best guide is to use the latest world standard – WHLV test (World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test) rather than using the older NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) method of measurement.
MYTH 8 – Electric cars are more expensive to run.
Another myth according to the recent LV survey, is that electric cars are too expensive to run with 25 per cent saying they will not buy an EV because the perceived running costs are prohibitively high compared to a traditional petrol gas or diesel car.
But according to the Energy Savings Trust, with a full charge, an EV can run for 100 miles at a cost of around £4 to £6 or in the USA $5 to $7 USD, compared to 100 miles in a petrol gas or diesel car costing £13 to £20 in the UK or $10 to $18 in the USA (based on lower petrol/gas prices).
MYTH 9 – There are no incentives on offer for buying a new electric car.
LV found that a further 40 per cent of respondents in their 2019 survey were unaware that incentives were available when buying a new electric car. In the UK and mainland Europe, many governments have introduced a ‘plug-in grant’ – effectively discounting the price of brand new low-emission vehicles through a grant provided to vehicle dealerships and manufacturers. In the UK, the maximum current grant available for electric cars is £3,500. In the USA there are many state specific incentives available for BEVs, especially green states such as California.
MYTH 10 – Petrol and diesel cars won’t be banned completely.
The LV survey found that 70 per cent of people were completely unaware that the sale of new petrol gas and diesel cars is due to be banned by 2040, and 15 per cent believed that electric cars will never entirely replace vehicles with combustion engines.
Yet, in a bid to tackle pollution, all new cars sold in the UK will be ‘effectively zero emission’ by 2040. Although there are moves for the UK Government to bring this deadline forward and ban all sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2032.
MYTH 11 – EVs don’t have much range and you will run out of battery power very quickly.
UK drivers average 20 miles per day, whilst Americans drive an average of 40 miles a day according to the UK government and US DOT . Even the shortest-range electric vehicles currently available can travel more than twice that distance before needing to be charged by the mains supply or alternative power source. Amongst affordable EVs, the Nissan Leaf averages 150 miles per charge, while the Chevrolet Bolt EV is even better with a claimed 238 miles and the battery only version of the Hyundai Kona and Kia E Niro boasts a real-world range of 258 miles each. For the more affluent amongst us, the Jaguar iPace provides 250 miles on a charge, while the premium version of the Tesla Model 3 has 310-mile range. In the near future, many EV manufacturers are quoting 400mpc (Miles Per Charge) plus on their new models.
MYTH 12 – EVs are as slow as golf buggies or milk floats.
This is a truly unfounded myth, based on people’s perceptions of golf buggies and milk floats. Electric vehicles are generally faster than their petrol gasoline-powered competitors. This is because an electric motor provides 100% of its available torque instantly. When the driver of an EV floors the accelerator pedal, the conversion from stationary to high speed is almost immediate. At the fast end of the production car scale, the top range version of the Tesla Model S, when switched to its “ludicrous” mode, is one of the fastest production cars in the world. It has a 0-60 mph time in the fastest mode of an incredible 2.5 seconds.
MYTH 13 – EVs are really expensive.
The single most expensive component in an EV is its battery pack . Although costs are expected to drop dramatically over the coming years, at the moment, this one factor is slotting most EVs in the premium price bracket, compared to similar petrol gas-powered or diesel cars. But most EVs are eligible for a one-time grant. In the US there is a $7,500 USD federal tax credit granted to EV buyers, helping to introduce an equilibrium in comparative pricing. In the UK and many other European countries, there are ‘plug in’ grants available, which in the UK is currently set at £3,500.
A few US states offer specific grants to EV buyers. California residents can get a cash rebate of between $2,500 and $4,500 from the state, which is means tested. While in Colorado, residents are eligible for a $5,000 state income tax credit.
Of course, If you want to drive an EV but are on a tight budget you can consider a used model. Pre-owned EVs are fairly low cost. Also, used electric cars tend to be driven fewer miles than their gas-powered counterparts, given the inherently limited ranges in older models, with the added bonus that they’ve typically suffered less wear and tear.
MYTH 14 – EVs are no greener than petrol or diesel cars.
Internal combustion engined vehicles (ICEs) only convert 20 percent of the energy stored in petrol gas. By comparison, electric motors convert on average, 75 percent of the chemical energy from the batteries to power the wheels. Furthermore, EVs produce no direct tailpipe pollution. Some critics and frankly, sceptics, argue that EVs still pollute the atmosphere indirectly, via the power plants that produce the electricity necessary to operate them. But few of these critics take in to account the huge volume and waste of electrical energy that is used to refine petrol gas and diesel.
Recently, there was a whole week when the UK used absolutely no coal powered energy at all. Many countries are heading towards the goal of 100% renewable energy . A study conducted by the Union of Concerned Scientists  cited that EVs are generally responsible for less pollution than conventional vehicles in every region of the U.S and this is generally the case across the UK.
MYTH 15 – Based on today’s petrol gas and diesel prices, driving an EV will not save you money in operating costs.
Even if the cost of gas remains relatively affordable, especially in the USA, it’s still much cheaper to run an EV. For example, in the USA, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains that the Hyundai Ioniq Electric will cost its owner $500 a year to travel 15,000 miles, based on average electricity costs. This amounts to an estimated $5,000 less than the average conventional vehicle owner will spend in fuel costs over a five-year period. In the UK and mainland Europe this saving is at least doubled.
MYTH 16 – Electric cars are expensive to repair and maintain.
Compared to the increasing complexity of conventional cars and the subsequent high cost of maintenance, EVs cost less to keep running than ICE-powered vehicles as they don’t require routine tuning or oil changes and there are far fewer moving parts to eventually fail that need replacing. Most EVs use a simple single-speed transmission and avoid consumables such as spark plugs, valves, fuel tanks, muffler/tailpipe/exhaust systems, distributors, starters, clutches, drive belts, hoses, and catalytic converters.
MYTH 17 – The EV charging infrastructure is not adequately established yet to make owing an EV an attractive proposition.
Generally, electric vehicle charging is done at home or at work. Although, if charge is needed during the day, you can usually find charge points at retail car parks, public parking garages, and new car EV dealerships. While most chargers in town are 230-volt type 2 fast chargers, that take around four hours to replenish an average EVs battery pack, a mounting number of DC Rapid Charging points are also coming on stream. Rapid chargers can replenish to 80% of an EVs state of charge in about 30 minutes (depending on battery pack size and state of charge of your vehicle). For long distance trips, its essential to map a course to your destination that’s covered by Rapid chargers.
MYTH 18 – EV battery packs have a limited lifespan and will end up in landfill.
In the USA, EVs are federally required to carry separate warranties for their battery packs for at least eight years or 100,000 miles . In the UK, most EV manufacturers offer battery warranties for between 8 to 10 years. Published reports suggest that Nissan Leaf models used as taxicabs, retained at least 75% of their battery capacity after 120,000 miles on the road.
Once exhausted, EV batteries, similar to 99% of the batteries found in conventional cars, can be recycled. For example, used EV power cells can be and are used to store solar and wind energy, or they can be recycled to reuse their more-valuable elements, such as lithium.
MYTH 19 – The power infrastructure and grid can’t cope with the forecasted additional EVs on the road.
According to a report conducted by Navigant Research , the UK can add millions of electric cars to the current power system with little impact on the grid and without having to construct any new power plants. The main reason for this is that most electric vehicles tend to be recharged at night during off-peak hours when the grids power demand is at its lowest point. There have been similar reports across Europe and the USA.
Electric cars are better for the environment, regardless for the electricity source used.Fact
The world’s fastest road car is pure electric reaching a speed of 217mph (350kph). It is Pininifarina BattistaFact