EV Myths

Most manufacturers offer extensive battery warranties, for example Nissan offers an 8-year, 100,000-mile battery warranty on the new LEAF. Nissan has in fact recently stated that the battery pack of a Leaf will last for approximately 22 years; 10-12 years longer than the average life of the car itself. This is based on recent battery degradation data from 400,000 Nissan Leafs sold across Europe.

There are first generation Nissan Leafs still in use which have driven over 150,000 miles. A well looked after vehicle, which has driven in excess of 100,000 miles, will normally have only lost up to 10% of its battery capacity. This figure is likely to improve as battery pack innovations are introduced into the next generation of EVs.

This is not the case. The latest EVs such as the Hyundai Kona, Kia eNero and Jaguar i-Pace can travel over 250 miles on a single charge in ‘real world’ driving conditions.

EVs are currently more expensive than their petrol and diesel counterparts but purchase prices are decreasing as EV manufacturing volumes increase and battery production costs decrease. According to Whatcar? electric cars are now cheaper to own, run and hold on to more of their value than petrol or diesel cars. This is based on the total cost of ownership of cars over four years, including the purchase price, depreciation, fuel, insurance, taxation and maintenance.

EVs have much lower fuel costs, as electricity is significantly cheaper than petrol or diesel. In terms of maintenance costs, EVs have fewer moving parts that need replacing while their regenerative braking systems means brake pads need to be replaced far less often.

In the UK, the annual cost saving of running an EV is around 10% lower than the equivalent costs for a petrol or diesel car.

According to Zap Map the total number of locations across the UK, which have a public charging point installed is 9,282, the number of devices at those locations is 14,713 and the total number of connectors within these devices is 25,057 (August 2019). Some Charge point providers have argued that demand is broadly matched to supply given that currently less than 1% of vehicles on the roads are EVs while many charge points are only used on a handful of occasions each day.

However, we are now seeing a significant increase in public charge points installations across many localities in the UK including fuel station forecourts, supermarkets, public car parks, shopping centres, leisure centres, pub and hotel chains etc. On an average month approx. 340 new charge points are added to the Zap-Map database, which equates to over 600 new connectors.

However, it is fair to say that availability of charge points is patchy across the UK with some rural areas having few if any rapid chargers.

The speed at which vehicles can be charged is continuing to improve with the first Ultra-fast 150kW chargers now being installed by BP Chargemaster at locations across the UK. These chargers can deliver a 100-mile range charge in approximately 10 mins.

Ionity has also announced that it will begin to install 350 kW ultra-rapid chargers at UK sites. There are no EVs currently available that can charge at up to 350 kW, so this is very much a future-proofing measure and an indication of how charging rates will increase over coming years.

If undertaking a long journey it’s important to plan ahead – EV drivers are likely to want to visit Rapid (50kW) chargers which can charge a battery from 0-80% in 30-40 minutes. New EV drivers sometimes make the mistake of not checking the charge rate of a charge point they plan to visit and then become frustrated by the slow rate of charging. For example, fast chargers (7-22kW) are aimed primarily at destination drivers planning to spend time at a location for work, leisure, shopping trips etc, and are not intended for rapid charging as part of a long journey.

According to recent research by What Car? new electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars are now the country’s least-depreciating models, outperforming petrol and diesel vehicles. Their research found that electrified vehicles retain 47% of their value on average after three years and 30,000 miles, while petrol models were found to retain 43% and diesels just 40%.

The residual values of older EVs have recently shown an increase as more people are starting to consider purchasing an EV for the first time. This has, in part, been driven by the announcement of clean air zones in UK cities such as the London Ultra Low Emission Zone.

Research by the National Grid has concluded that the UK’s energy network can cope with the extra demand placed on it by a wide scale switch to EVs. However, we will see a greater emphasis on ‘smart charging’ with owners incentivised to charge their vehicles overnight rather than at peak times of the day.

We are also likely to see ‘Vehicle to Grid’ schemes with drivers earning income from allowing the energy stored in their electric vehicle’s batteries to be fed back into the national grid to help supply energy at times of peak demand.

For the first time since the Industrial Revolution, Britain is obtaining more power from zero-carbon sources than fossil fuels. The milestone has been passed for the first five months of 2019. According to the National Grid 48% of energy generation is from zero-emission resources, against 47% for coal and gas. We will see this trend continue with vast strides being made towards grid decarbonises utilising a greater proportion of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar often supported by energy storage schemes such as large scale battery plants.

A number of charging networks such as Ecotricity and the POLAR network use only renewable energy.

Simply not true! It would be interesting to know where this urban myth originates!

There are a surprising number of myths that seem to be circulating about EVs. In this section we dispel some of the inaccurate statements sometimes made about EVs.

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