When it comes to driving a brand-new car, it’s all pretty familiar.  

There might be some subtle differences between a diesel and a petrol, or a manual and an automatic, but overall the experience is fairly similar. And that goes for vehicle technology, too – other than the introduction of automatic transmission, one could argue that there haven’t been any fundamental changes to vehicle technology for decades. 

With the electric vehicle (EV) revolution, that’s all changed. Everything is different. Not in a bad way mind you. In fact, it’s all for the better. 

But it is change, and change can sometimes bring confusion or even concern. A situation that isn’t helped by many of the general misconceptions that surround electric vehicles. 

recent study carried out by Savanta ComRes on behalf of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) found that the biggest concerns holding drivers back from going EV are the higher purchase price (52%), lack of local charging points (44%) and fear of running short of battery range on longer journeys (38%). 

Many of these concerns are either outdated or blown out of proportion, which is probably why, despite this, almost a third of respondents (37%) are optimistic about driving a full EV by 2025. 

With EV technology and infrastructure improving exponentially, optimism is likely to increase dramatically over the next few years as drivers become more familiar with EV technology and the new driving lifestyle it brings. 

With that in mind, here are some popular EV misconceptions - along with some facts that should dispel the myths – that should clear up any confusion and banish deep-seated fears about electric vehicles. 

Electric cars can’t do long journeys 

This one is simple. Of course you can – it just takes a little more planning than usual. EV range is improving all the time. Towards the current top end of the EV range chart is the Tesla Model 3 Long Range, which can drive a manufacturer-quoted range of 360 miles on a single charge, while even at the very lowest end, small city cars like the Honda e are capable of a respectable 105 miles. In fact, there are now more electric charge points in the UK than petrol stations, so it’s a simple case of factoring in a couple of top-up charges during your usual service-station rest breaks. 

Charging infrastructure is inadequate 

The number of charge points available within the UK is increasing at a rapid pace. The latest EV charging statistics from Zap Map show that there are 13,918 charging locations throughout the UK and 38,001 charge points. That’s an increase of 744 over the previous 30 days, so things are literally improving by the day. In the last Budget, the Government also announced a £500 million commitment to improving EV charge points, with the stated aim of working with the operators of major service areas to ensure that charging provision is in place ahead of customer demand. 

I need to charge the car every night 

Not true. Based on the latest figures from the Department of Transport 2019, the average weekly mileage works out at 142 miles. So even an EV without super-long range can manage a week’s driving with a single top-up charge. In most cases, unless you are a heavy user, you will be charging once every 10 days or so.  Of course, driving style and weather conditions can affect how far you’ll get per charge, but range is one area where technology is increasing at a rapid pace. As an example, the Tesla Model S Plaid + which launches in 2022 has a maximum quoted range of 520 miles. For an average mileage driver, that's a single charge every few weeks. 

It costs a lot to charge an EV at home 

Wrong again! EVs offer fantastic economy. Using Zap Map’s Journey Cost Calculator we carried out a comparison between two popular models - the Volkswagen ID.3 and the Volkswagen Golf. If you were to drive 30 miles every day, over the course of a year you could reduce your fuel bill by 61% - from £1,223 in petrol to just £475 in electricity. That works out at 11.2 pence per mile for the Golf against just 4.3 pence per mile for the ID.3. These figures are based on charging at home. If you’re lucky enough to have a driveway you can take advantage of the Government’s EVHS (Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme) grant to reduce the cost of installing a home charge point by £350. For residents in Scotland, The Energy Saving Trust also offers an additional grant of £300. 

Energy suppliers are also beginning to offer special EV rates which allow you to charge your car cheaply overnight, so your savings could be even greater. So charging at home is still cheaper than filling up with fuel, and you don’t have to wait in line at a busy filling station. 

Electric cars are too expensive 

No denying this one. Electric cars are more expensive than petrol or diesel cars. However, the cost differential is already dropping in line with increased sales and increasing production volume. You also need to consider that the actual running costs of an EV are much less because electricity is much cheaper than petrol or diesel. Furthermore, a service costs less on an EV because there are fewer moving parts. And leasing an EV is a clever alternative to buying - especially when you consider the pace of technological improvement. For an affordable monthly rental over a three-year lease term you could enjoy all the benefits of an EV. At the end of the agreement, you can replace it with a brand new model featuring the latest technology, including the likelihood of better range. View ICL’s Electric Car Leasing page for a full overview of the latest cars and EV prices. 

Electric cars are slow 

This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. EVs are extremely nippy. Without a conventional engine, power is transferred to the wheels almost instantaneously offering a driving experience with lots of torque (instant driving power). Taking the average acceleration of 102 EV models listed on website EV Database, the average acceleration is just 6.7 seconds - that’s just 0.5 seconds slower than Volkswagen’s current Golf GTI hot hatch. At the top end of the EV performance charts, there’s Tesla’s forthcoming Model S Plaid that boasts g-force inducing acceleration that will take you from zero to 62mph in just 2.1 seconds. That's anything but slow! 

Electric cars are complex and difficult to drive 

While EVs are heralding new and exciting technology, such as side-mounted cameras instead of door mirrors and the ability to unlock your car with your smartphone, they are not more complicated to drive. Again, quite the opposite in fact. The Volkswagen ID.3 has ‘play’ and ‘pause’ icons on its accelerator and brake pedals respectively as a nod to how simple it is to get in and go. When it comes to managing battery charge, an EV is no more complicated than managing your fuel level; you simply charge it up when it gets low. Manufacturers are leveraging technology to simplify the driving experience while making EVs smarter and more reliable than ever before. 

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