Electric Car Myths Debunked
With their low running costs and increasingly long ranges, more and more people are starting to seriously consider buying electric cars. But whether your motivation is to save the planet or save a few quid, there are a number of myths out there that are still deterring prospective buyers.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at a few of the myths that abound and explore just how much truth there is to them…
Myth 1 – Electric cars create more particulates than conventional cars
Let’s start things off with a little bit of science. The theory is that the heavier the vehicle, the quicker it wears away the roads and the more particles are released into the atmosphere. Electric cars have heavy batteries, so it seems plausible that their use could create more particulates than conventional cars.
However, the truth is that virtually all of the small particulates in the atmosphere (those less than 2.5 microns in size) are created by internal combustion engines. The extra weight associated with electric cars (around 500 lbs) is negligible so they do not do significantly more damage to the road surface.
In regard to larger particulates (those up to 10 microns in size), they are primarily caused by brake dust. Electric cars use mechanical brakes much less frequency than conventional cars. Instead, they use regenerative braking, which recharges the battery as the vehicle slows and creates much less brake dust.
Myth – debunked
Myth 2 – The range is restrictive
In the early days, when even the best electric cars only had a range of 50 miles or so, this was difficult to argue with. However, these days, it’s just not true. The UK’s most popular electric car, the Nissan Leaf, can now travel 200 miles on a single charge. Over time, battery capacity will continue to grow, prices will come down and any concern about range will become a thing of the past.
If you’re planning a long journey then after 200 miles you’ll certainly be ready for a refresh. In just 45-minutes, a rapid charge point at a service station will refill your battery to 80 percent capacity so you can hit the road again.
Myth – debunked
Myth 3 – Electric cars still cause pollution, just in a different way.
Electric cars use electricity – no surprises there – some of which is generated by burning coals. By burning fossil fuels, critics argue that all electric cars do is move pollution from the cities, which petrol and diesel cars pollute, out to the suburbs, where the power stations are.
However, this assumption overlooks the fact that renewable energy sources are currently in the process of making coal-fired plants obsolete. In fact, more electricity was produced by wind and solar in the UK than any other source last year, with renewables’ share of electricity generation shooting up to 29 percent. Overall, that means the total emissions produced by electric cars are between 25 and 65 percent lower than rival vehicles.
Myth – partly true
Myth 4 – Electric cars are expensive
It’s true that at the moment, the upfront cost of new electric vehicles is more than that of equivalent petrol or diesel cars. However, second-hand electric and hybrid cars are much more reasonable. There’s also much more to consider than just the price you pay in the showroom. Vehicle tax, fuel and servicing costs all need to be taken into account, and in all of these areas, significant savings can be made.
Myth – partly true
Ready to switch to electric?
Many of the myths that make people reluctant to buy electric cars have been oversimplified or are just plain wrong. And, as the energy grid gets cleaner and battery recycling improves, the benefits of electric cars will continue to grow.