As consumer interest in electric vehicles has increased, a tsunami of incorrect and misleading information has swept across social media, well-known publications, and local newspapers like the tides in the Bay of Fundy.
Our friends in the EV press also frequently publish factual information that refutes much of the prevalent anti-EV blather here on the EVannex blog (see my most recent three-part series, Debunking EV Myths, parts one , two and three , as well as my more lighthearted piece, Snarky answers to stupid EV questions ). We can talk with authority because we have owned EVs for a long time and frequently consult with industry professionals on the difficulties associated with e-mobility.
However, in some ways we are preaching to the choir because a large portion of our readership is made up of EV experts. The average driver might be more likely to obtain information from an article titled Thinking about buying an EV? in a local newspaper (written by a mainstream journalist who, while well-intentioned, lacks expertise on the subject), or, even worse, from one of those articles titled “EVs dirty little secret” (bought and paid for by the oil industry or some even more sinister entity).
Governments who are paying tax dollars to encourage EVs and automakers that (finally) want consumers to buy their EVs both need to do much more to educate the driving public. Common Misconceptions About Electric Vehicles , a new publication from the UK’s Department for Transport, is a step in the right direction.
For better or worse, I’ve become into something of a professional EV-myth buster, and in my opinion, this paper is rather strong. It addresses all of the prevalent myths as well as a few that even I had never heard before which seem to be unique to the UK. As befits the intended audience of EV-curious motorcar buyers, it delivers the facts concisely, in clear language, and includes links to more in-depth resources.
The misconceptions to debunk (or, more accurately, the objections to dispel) are provided in the right sequence, beginning with the most frequently heard. The major barrier to broader EV adoption at the time is Item #1, which isn’t really a myth: EVs are too expensive. The DfT’s experts accurately point out that while EVs do cost more to buy, they have a lower lifetime cost of ownership because they use less gasoline and require less upkeep. In the UK, tax incentives are an added benefit.
The authors effectively address no fewer than 19 typical pet peeves. Too little range There are more than 20 models with a range of more than 200 miles that are available on the UK market, while 99 percent of automobile trips in England are under 100 miles. Does the production of EVs produce more emissions than they reduce? No, actually. This has been refuted in a number of credible research. What happens to batteries after five years? Not even close. There are well over 10 million electric vehicles (EVs) on the road in the globe, yet there is little evidence to imply that their lifespans differ from those of gasoline or diesel vehicles.
The objections get increasingly illogical as we go down the list. Can you operate or charge an EV in the rain? According to the authors of the research, EVs must abide by strict technical regulations, especially those relating to electrical and crash safety. This indicates that they are secure for use and charging in a variety of weather conditions. I was a little let down that I didn’t catch a glimpse of the well-known British irony here, but one can’t always get what one wants, can one?
Some of the items in the list, in contrast to the previous item, are valid causes for concern. Car owners who don’t have access to off-street parking do struggle with charging, and the current reliability of public chargers is far from ideal. The authors of the study acknowledge these issues and underline the actions that the government is doing to address them. The On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme offers local governments grant money so they can add more on-street charging stations to residential streets without off-street parking. Later this year, lawmakers plan to draft legislation that will require a 99 percent reliability threshold for rapid charging sites.
Publication from the UK government here: UK Department for Transport, Common Misconceptions About Electric Vehicles
EVANNEX published the original version.
Authored by Charles Morris
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