As the UK makes the switch to electric vehicles (EVs) ahead of the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans, there are some myths circling around EVs, impacting both businesses and drivers.
From range and charging anxiety, to rumours of a tyre tax, as the journey to EVs picks up pace, there are increasing considerations and questions that drivers and fleet operators have when considering the transition. Here, our Fleet Product Manager for Electric Vehicles, David Watts, debunks some of the common myths surrounding EVs.
I won’t be able to travel long distances due to the range
With EV battery technology and range improving significantly over the last 10 years, EVs are now suitable for long-distance driving, as much as they are for shorter journeys. While range varies across different models, the average real-life range of an EV is often now well over 200 miles, with many family cars capable of doing between 250 and 300 miles or more on a single charge.
This also means many drivers don’t need to charge their EVs every day, with ranges now more than capable of covering a typical driver’s everyday journeys and then some. Being able to charge up at, or close to, your home or workplace will also make day-to-day journeys simple.
While longer journeys may require a stop to charge, these are often rare occasions for most people, and they can be planned for in advance.
EVs produce a higher level of particulate emissions
While EVs have no tailpipe exhaust emissions, there have been recent claims that the particulate emissions (small particles released from tyre and brake wear, which contribute to air pollution) were higher for EVs, due to their increased weight and larger tyres. There was also talk of a ‘tyre tax’ being introduced to tackle this. However, drivers can rest assured, as there’s nothing to suggest the government is going to introduce a ‘tyre tax’, which would put the UK’s EV ambitions at risk.
Concerns around particulate emissions resulting from brake wear, due to the brake pads pressing against the brake discs, are also somewhat over exaggerated. In fact, the majority of braking in an EV is done through regenerative braking, where the motors act in reverse to slow the vehicle down, so brake wear is actually noticeably less than on an ICE vehicle. Additionally, the use of the brakes is so reduced that we are already starting to see the return of the drum brake in EVs, which would potentially further reduce any particulate emissions.
Charging is a hassle
Filling up at a traditional fuel station is very familiar, and it is essentially a standard experience. EV charging, on the other hand, can take many different forms, making it appear more complicated and – to some – a real hassle.
However, if you’re lucky enough to be able to charge up at home or workplace, then charging, for the majority of your daily mileage needs is, in many ways, easier than filling up at a fuel station – as your car is being charged while you are working or sleeping.
For drivers who have to rely on the public infrastructure for their routine charging, this does make living with an EV more difficult, however the public network is constantly growing and improving, with thousands of chargers being installed on the street, in car parks, at supermarkets and retail parks and pubs and hotels across the UK every year.
Charging your EV on those occasional longer journeys, which are beyond the range of the car, does require some slight planning. However, stopping to top up your battery using rapid charging can be built into your natural journey breaks and get you back on the road sooner with minimal disruption. The rapid charging network also continues to grow, and there is now a requirement for contactless payment facilities at each chargepoint, meaning you no longer need multiple RFID cards or apps to top up.
Electric vehicles are boring to drive
Perhaps because of the lack of an engine noise, there is a common belief that EVs are less fun to drive. While taste in cars is subjective, there are many EV drivers who wouldn’t go back to petrol or diesel due to the driving experience.
Firstly, EVs are quick – even the mainstream family cars – thanks to the instant maximum torque and readily available power, which is not possible in a combustion engine. This gives them great acceleration, making them particularly fun in town driving and very useful when overtaking.
With no engine noise and vibration, EVs are also quiet and provide a much smoother driving experience, making it feel like you are gliding through the traffic. This also helps to make longer journeys more comfortable and less stressful.
With the heavy battery pack being positioned in the floor of an EV, they also have a very low centre of gravity, which tends to give them much greater handling performance than the equivalent ICE vehicle, again making them more fun to drive.
VWFS Fleet has a number of tools to help businesses and drivers make the switch to an electric vehicle. For more information please visit:
The Department for Transport and the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles has also published a comprehensive look at common misconceptions about EVs which can be found here.
Our team are also always on hand to answer questions, or provide any other support you need, when seeking to create a truly accessible charging infrastructure for your business.
If you have a specific question or would simply like to discuss your fleet requirements, please contact us.
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