Top 13 electric vehicle MYTHS busted - Select Car Leasing
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Top 13 electric vehicle MYTHS busted

From fears about charging in the rain to anxieties over range - these are the electric vehicle MYTHS most in need of being busted. 

Sales of electric vehicles, or EVs, are soaring in the UK, with car leasing proving incredibly popular as the channel to get one in 2022.

In September 2022 the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) announced how the number of electric cars on UK roads had passed the one million mark for the first time.

Overall, SMMT data shows registrations of EVs were up 14.5% in 2022 compared with last year.

And at Select Car Leasing, the UK's largest independent specialists for car and van leasing, pure-electric new car sales have exploded - and now account for around a quarter (25%) of all vehicle trade, more than 70% ahead of broader electric buying trends.

Despite the surge in popularity, Shane Pither (above), Head Of Automotive Innovation at Select Car Leasing, says EV enjoyment is still mired by misconceptions that are potentially putting-off motorists from joining the plug-in revolution.

He says: 

“We hear the same common questions all the time - will an electric vehicle work for me? How am I going to charge it? How far will it travel between charges?
“And from talking with customers, it’s clear that some of the myths surrounding EVs are still being mistaken for fact. Those myths need to be busted so that people can really begin to embrace and enjoy electrified driving.”

Here Shane, a proud Tesla driver, reveals some of the most common EV mistakes and misunderstandings he’s come across:

Myths Sections:

Myth: You have to wait ages for an electric vehicle to recharge

“In my view, there needs to be something of a mind-set change when it comes to conversations about charging EVs
You wouldn’t sit next to your mobile phone waiting for it to recharge for several hours, would you? And it’s precisely the same principle with an electric car.
According to many, including the National Grid, around 80% of your EV charging will be done at home, and probably overnight when you can also take advantage of cheaper energy tariffs. And around 60% of motorists in the UK have the ability to charge at home.
What about if you need to charge your EV during the daytime? Well, what would you do if your phone was low on battery during the daytime? You’d probably charge it just enough to get you home, and then you’d charge it fully again overnight.
So with an EV, you might nip to a public rapid-charger to give you enough energy until you can charge the vehicle at home again.
You can also use the mobile phone analogy to answer the question, ‘How long will my EV take to charge?’ Well, what phone have you got, and what charging cable are you using…?
Every single car is different, and it also depends on things like the weather conditions and the state of the battery.”

Myth: It’s easier to fill-up a petrol or diesel car

“When you really think about it, refuelling a petrol and diesel car can sometimes take an age.
You have to drive to the station, perhaps queue for the pump, dispense the fuel, then queue again to pay for it. That process might easily take you 10-15 minutes.
Now, imagine you’re driving the electric Hyundai Ioniq 5 - a really popular EV in the UK. With a 350 kW DC charger you can take the battery from 10 to 80 % full in just 18 minutes.
So, is owning a petrol or diesel car really more convenient?
When you charge an EV at home, you simply get in from work, plug it in, spend some time with your family, and every single day you wake up with a full ‘tank’ of fuel.
Over time, more and more workplaces will have electric vehicle charging points, too, just to make things even easier.
And when you use an app like ‘Zap-Map’ - one of Select Car Leasing’s partner organisations - you can also get directions to the nearest free public charging points, of which there are many.
That’s a really important consideration when household bills are rising and we’re facing a cost of living crisis.”

Myth: With the rising price of electricity it’s cheaper to run a petrol or diesel car

“Unless you’re exclusively using public, ultra-rapid charging stations - which can cost up to £1 per kWh - you’re still going to see huge fuel cost savings when you run an EV.
We’ve done the maths that proves this is the case - check out our online fuel calculator tool.
With the cost of electricity at the Energy Price Guarantee of 34p per kWh, it would, on average, cost around 10 per mile to fuel a typical EV when you’re charging at home.
A petrol or diesel car, on the hand, would cost around 20p per mile to fuel. Extrapolate that figure over a year and 10,000 miles, and you’re potentially saving more than £1,000 in fuel when driving an EV compared with an ICE (internal combustion engine) car.”

Myth: You have to wait with your vehicle while it’s charging

“False - you don’t have to sit in your car while it’s charging. You can plug it in and leave it, free to grab a coffee or comfort break.

Most public charging points, and most EVs, will then send an alert to your phone to tell you when your vehicle is charged.
And leaving your car to charge while you go and do your shopping is a real benefit of EV ownership. Lots of the big supermarkets, like Tesco, have free public charging and a three hour maximum stay.
Three hours on a standard 7 kWh charger would put around 90 miles back into the battery. That’s enough charge for a week’s driving for most people. And it doesn’t have to cost you a penny.”

Myth: Fears about rain, water and electric cables

“This might sound slightly odd, but one of the worries surrounding EVs is the fear of suffering an electric shock.
Rest assured, there’s no chance that you’ll have a nasty surprise when plugging-in an EV. The cable and the EV port have a ‘handshake’ that prevents any sort of shock. They’re very well isolated in the electric ecosystem and you are very well protected. And that includes when it’s raining outside.
“People also worry about going through puddles or standing water in an EV - will I get electrocuted? Will the car shut down? Of course, the answer to these two questions is an emphatic ‘NO!’”

Myth: It’s best to recharge your battery to 100%

“A lot of people think they’ve got to charge their cars to 100% each time to make the most of the vehicle’s range. But that’s not the case. Manufacturers often talk about charging in terms of taking the battery from 20-80% full. And there’s a good reason for that. Because of the way battery technology works, the last 20% charge might actually take just as long as the first 80% charge. The charging rate slows as it gets to the top end.
There’s also an important consideration when it comes to ‘regenerative braking’ - the energy recovery process that works to slow down a moving vehicle, converting kinetic energy into a form that can be put back into the battery.
If your battery is at 100% capacity, there’s nowhere for the regenerative energy to go, and so the regenerative braking capability is completely removed. When you lift your foot off the accelerator, you’ll coast like you would in any other car. And to slow down, you’ll now have to hit the brakes, rather just simply lifting your right foot.
You’re nullifying one of the key features of driving an EV!
You’re also wasting time and money putting the final 20% into the battery when it might only give you back an extra 10 or 15 miles in range. It makes no sense.
You only want to be taking the battery to 100% if you know you’re going to be doing a long motorway journey where you might not be braking as often.”

Myth: It’s more expensive to maintain an EV than a petrol or diesel car.

“Again, this isn’t true.
First of all, the wear and tear on your brakes is generally less because EVs use regenerative braking to slow the vehicle down (see above). I can drive to work and back without ever even touching the brake. You become a one-pedal driver.
And remember that replacement of worn discs and brake pads is a key part of vehicle maintenance and servicing.
And in general, EVs also have fewer moving parts than a petrol or diesel combustion engine, making them easier to maintain.
When you lease an EV with Select, you can add an affordable, optional ‘Maintenance’ package to your monthly fee, which covers you for servicing, maintenance, and the replacement of worn tyres. And getting the correct tyres on an EV is really important when it comes to things such as range, noise reduction and safety. With a maintenance package, you don’t need to shop around - you’ll get exactly what you need, at the first time of asking.”

Myth: EVs are dull to drive

“Electric vehicles are extremely quick off the mark, making almost all of them exhilarating to drive.
There’s no need for combustion to take place, as you get with a petrol or diesel engine, which means there’s no lag in the power delivery.
You put your foot down in an EV, and there’s instant power.
This isn’t about encouraging people to break the speed limit, but for me there’s an important safety consideration here.
I’m sure we’ve all driven cars that were underpowered. And we know how dangerous that can be when you’re pulling away from a junction, for example. ‘Am I going to make it in time…?’
You don’t have to worry about that with an EV.”

Myth: EVs are hard work in the winter

“Yes, it’s true that cold weather can have an impact on an EV’s performance. The chemical reactions that take place inside a battery’s cells slow down when the mercury drops, causing charging times to increase and maximum ranges to dip.
But there are still some great up-sides to driving an EV when the temperature plummets.
Most EVs allow you to ‘pre-heat’ your vehicle from the comfort of your home, by simply using the car’s dedicated app. EVs will often get warmer faster than an internal combustion engine (ICE) car will, too.
So, you can defrost the windows and get your car nice and warm before you even step inside it. Or, you can set a timer to make sure your car is ready for you to leave on the dot at 8:30am.”

Myth: EVs still don’t have a long enough range

“Be honest with yourself - how often do you do more than 60 miles in a day?
And be truthful here.
You might think, ‘But what about when I have to visit my relatives at the other end of the country?’.
Well, how often do you do that? Once or twice a year? And for those sorts of trips, you’ve got the rapid public charging stations.
Again, for me anxieties about range can often be eradicated with a simple mindset change.”

Myth: EVs are more expensive than petrol or diesel cars

“The EVs that command the higher fees are often those with the biggest batteries and the most amount of range. And, again, we’re back to the question of whether or not you really need that larger range. Are you paying for something you’re not going to use..?
There are also more and more affordable EVs coming to market from manufacturers such as MG. The MG4 EV, for example, has a range of up to 281 miles between charges, which is right up there with more expensive rivals.
And, of course, leasing - as opposed to purchasing outright - can be a much more affordable way to drive an EV, because you pay a fixed monthly fee rather than having to stomach a large capital outlay followed by costly depreciation.
You also have to consider where you save money elsewhere, including lower fuel prices and tax savings with an EV, such lower Benefit in Kind (BIK) tax for company car users and a reduction of the car’s ticket price when it’s put through a business’ books.”

Myth: Battery life on EVs is a concern

“The manufacturers themselves have been pleasantly surprised about how robust EV batteries really are. The Tesla Model 3, for example, comes with a warranty that covers the battery for a period of 8 years or 99,500 miles, whichever comes first, with a minimum ‘70% retention of Battery capacity over the warranty period’.
Tesla has also run tests where the data has been extrapolated to suggest that the battery would be good for at least 500,000 miles.
I myself recently had a Tesla Model S which lost just a few miles of range after five full years of ownership and charging - which includes regular ultra rapid charging, which can be detrimental to battery health.
And battery technology is improving all the time.”

Myth: I can always plug my EV straight into the mains socket

“The issue of charging cables is a big one, and it can be quite confusing.
There are a few different charging cables out there. You might also need your own cable to access a public charging network - and not all cars come with a cable as standard.
The good news is that if you use a public rapid charging station, they typically have their own cable, so you don’t need to bring your own.
You also need to understand the difference between ‘tethered’ and ‘untethered’ charging stations, which is all about convenience vs aesthetics.
With a tethered charging unit, you have a cable that runs from the unit straight into your car, and that cable is always there, often wrapped around the unit when you’re not using it.

With an untethered charging unit, you need to get your cable out of your boot, plug it into the unit, and then plug it into your car, when you need to recharge.
An untethered unit is perhaps a little more inconvenient, but the unit looks neater as you don’t always have a cable hanging down from it.
The other thing you need to know is that the charging cables with the three-pin plug on the end - which fit into any household socket - are NOT designed for regular use, only occasional use. And don’t ever plug that three pin cable into an extender.
The advice is to get a dedicated home wallbox, whether you’re charging a full EV or a plug-in hybrid. And here at Select we can help you with that installation, thanks to our special relationship with the UK's top nationwide installer network, ChargedEV. We can also bring you a £100 discount on a variety of high spec charge points."

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Friday, 17/05/2024