Top 5 misconceptions around electric vehicles revealed - and debunked

Ben Stevens Photography
The biggest misconceptions around electric vehicles have been revealed – including a higher risk of vehicles catching fire and not being able to charge them in the rain.

Other mistaken beliefs include electric cars breaking down more than normal cars and batteries needing to be replaced every three years or sooner, and some don't think the electricity grid can handle an increase in electric cars.

The poll of 2,000 motorists found 35 per cent were unsure how long you could drive for on one charge, while one in 10 (11 per cent) believe that EVs still only last a couple of hours when charged once.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Phil Hall, senior editor at heycar, which commissioned the study and published an EV guide to debunk the myths said: “There’s still a huge amount of inaccurate information floating around about EV ownership, and concerns around reliability are a prime example. Most manufacturers provide a minimum eight-year, 100,000-mile, warranty on batteries – that’s longer than most combustion engine warranties.

“And compared to a petrol or diesel engine, there’s significantly fewer moving parts on an EV, meaning there’s much less chance of something breaking or needing to be replaced.”

It also emerged 55 per cent are relieved at the recent petrol ban delay as they don’t think they could afford an electric car any time soon.

But there is uncertainty around running costs, with half believing that they are more expensive to run – when in reality there could be savings to be made.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Debunking the EV facts

The heycar spokesperson explained: “It’s understandable that the cost of transitioning to an EV is a big concern right now, but there are some great options on nearly-new EVs – you could even end up paying less for one compared to a petrol or diesel equivalent. It’s not just the upfront cost of ownership where you could save money either, as depending on how many miles you cover each year, your running costs could easily be over half of what they are right now.”

However, 40 per cent said they’d be more inclined to switch if there were more charging ports and stations around. It was found 30 per cent believe electric cars have a negative reputation in the eyes of the public.

And social media (34 per cent) and the pub (17 per cent) were the top places people think electric vehicle myths are spread the most.

Three quarters (74 per cent) admit their knowledge of EVs is shaky. In fact, 42 per cent feel they know more about interest rates and over a third 31 per cent about mortgages, while politics (38 per cent) and taxes (30 per cent) were also topics people feel more confident about.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Over two thirds (69 per cent) think the government could do more to offer grants for drivers to make the switch to an electric car, and of those who took part in the study by, 16 per cent believe EV myths are spread more at Christmas compared to any other time of the year due to people socialising more.

The spokesperson for heycar added: “We’ve all come across people on social media or at the pub who tend to share misconceptions about topics they're not actually that familiar with or qualified to talk about. That’s why we’re starting out on a myth-busting mission to be a source of fact amongst the EV fiction.”

The top 5 biggest EV misconceptions debunked

  1. The battery needs changing every two years: Most manufacturers provide a minimum eight year/100,000 mile warranty on batteries - that’s longer than most combustion engine warranties.  
  2. The electricity grid won’t be able to handle the increase in EVs: According to the National Grid, this won’t be a problem.
  3. EVs are at high risk of catching fire: Recent studies have shown EVs are actually less likely to catch fire than petrol cars.
  4. EVs break down more than normal cars: As they have fewer moving parts, EVs have actually been shown to break down less than petrol/diesel cars.
  5. You can’t charge EVs in the rain: They’ve been designed so that this isn’t a problem – simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.