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Debunking Electric Car Myths

The world is going electric, yet there's so many myths out there surrounding electric cars. In this video Rory Reid explores the reasons not to buy and suggests reasons you should.

Ask yourself this question: “What’s stopping me from switching?” We want to get to the bottom of your concerns when it comes to electric cars. So, let’s debunk some electric car myths together.

Myth #1 Electric cars are more expensive.

Well, at the moment you’re not wrong. Upfront costs for battery-powered models do tend to be higher than their internal combustion engine (known as ICE for short) counterparts. For example, a new Mini Hatchback would set you back £16,995, whereas you’d have to fork out an extra £9,005 for the Mini Electric. Comparatively, the petrol Hyundai Kona costs £21,265 with the electric model sitting at £27,950, and that’s with the government chipping in with a £2,500 OLEV grant. You can find out more about OLEV grants here.
However, total cost of ownership can be far less for electric cars. Using official fuel economy figures, let’s take another look at the Mini Hatch VS the Mini Electric. Most people in the UK drive around 8,000 miles per year. Doing that would cost on average £1,000 for the year in petrol, which works out to be £83 a month. The Mini Electric is far cheaper, costing as little as £9.52 per month to run, or £114.24 a year! That’s a whopping saving of over £800 a year on fuel costs. You’ll benefit even more if you run a company car too. You’ll have to pay BIK (benefit in kind) which (if it’s petrol or diesel) requires you to pay hundreds every month on top of the cost of the car. For an electric car, the tax is next to nothing so the EV works out even cheaper. Petrol and electric vehicles are actually a lot closer than you might think in terms of price, taking into consideration maintenance costs and savings on congestion fees, and that’s now. In the future, batteries could actually get far cheaper, meaning electric cars could become as affordable compared to equivalent combustion engine cars.
White Nissan Leaf Electric Car
White Nissan Leaf Electric Car

Myth #2 The range and recharge are rubbish.

There are plenty of electric cars out there that can go a long way but, in general, most don’t go as far as their petrol, diesel or hybrid equivalents. For example, best-case the Mini Electric can cover around 140 miles, whereas its petrol counterpart can do around double that distance and you can refill it in minutes. Recharging a Mini Electric takes half an hour to get from 20 to 80 per cent if you use a rapid charger.
But here’s the thing - most people in the UK have a commute of around 22 miles a day. Electric cars can do that easily. And if one electric car doesn’t have a good enough range, there are plenty of others out there to meet your needs. The Tesla Model 3 can go 350 miles – that’s a trip from London to Edinburgh in one charge.

What if I don’t have a charger at home or off-street parking?

Well, again, most people don’t drive that far. Even a Fiat 500e with a shorter range of 84 miles per charge can cover you for at least a few days, so you only need to charge it a couple times per week whilst you’re out and about. It’s not perfect, but most people don’t fill up their petrol cars every day and you don’t necessarily have to do that with electric cars either.
Electric car charging
Electric car charging

Myth #3 Electric cars aren’t actually that green

We know that electric cars aren’t perfect. They definitely aren’t as green as riding a bike or walking, but there’s no denying that EVs wipe the floor with their fossil-fuelled counterpart when it comes to ‘local’ emissions (or lack thereof).
Electric vehicles emit far fewer pollutants, and zero tailpipe emissions, than petrol or diesel vehicles. Yes, EVs rely on power stations to generate their electricity and the energy grid isn’t totally green, especially in places like America, but in the situation is better in Europe and it’s improving every day. Back in 2008, in the UK only 10 per cent of our power came from sustainable sources. In 2018 that figure reached 33 per cent. If we continue on that trend, the majority of our power will soon come from renewable sources and you don’t actually have to wait. There are plenty of energy providers that can put you on energy tariffs that use 100 per cent renewable energy, such as Bulb or Octopus Energy, which can often be cheaper than regular tariffs. There’s still a lot of work to be done on the production of batteries, from the extraction of raw materials to the recycling of them when they reach the end of the road, which brings us to your next concern.
Fiat 500 electric car with a green plate
Fiat 500 electric car

Myth #4 Electric car batteries can’t be recycled

According to some estimates, only five per cent of lithium-ion batteries are currently recycled, but that’s inevitably going to change.
By 2030 there could be as many as 30 million electric cars on European roads, so this is something that manufacturers and governments alike will definitely have to tackle sooner rather than later. Volkswagen already has a pilot recycling plant in Germany, and Renault is now recycling all of their electric car batteries, so it really is only a matter of time before other big names follow suit. So, what do you think? Have we answered your questions and addressed your concerns? Check out our video here and sound off in the comments.

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