I WAS talking to a friend recently about his recent car purchase in which he changed his diesel Porsche Macan for a petrol version. I asked him if he considered going electric, seeing he lives in London and rarely drives more than 100 miles in one go. His resistance to this was based entirely on old information and ‘fake news’, yet he is utterly convinced that driving an EV would be a world of pain.
This week a study into EV driving called ‘Full Charge’, compiled by Octopus Energy and National Grid popped up in my inbox. This myth busting document is well worth reading, but I thought a summary here would be useful for anyone considering going electric and wanting the latest facts.
The report does not cover in detail the generous financial advantages for company car drivers, as it is more about living with an EV. If you are a company car driver, we recommend spending time reading articles here on fleetandleasing.com to understand the tax advantages and different options available to you. I will insert a selection at the end of this article.
If you would like to read the Full Charge report, you can download it from here.
Myth 1: The range is inadequate
Battery technology is improving rapidly. With an average battery capacity of 62kWh, EV cars currently have an average range of 215 miles. Many new models have ranges of well over 300 miles, similar to cars with a traditional internal combustion engine. EV ranges have more than doubled in the past 10 years.
In the UK, the average daily journey taken by car is 20 miles. As such, a home charger can be used for day-to-day charging, with the public network being used on longer journeys. The driving range of an EV can be impacted by factors such as driving style or the cold. However, technological developments including regenerative braking and pre-warming of the battery can already minimise the impact of these factors, and are expected to increasingly do so over time.
enabled EV cars to
have extended driving
ranges, rapid acceleration
and extensive manufacturer
Myth 2: EVs aren’t as much fun to drive
Unlike in a conventional car with gears, an EV’s motor delivers instant torque with extremely fast and quiet acceleration. This means that some EVs such as the Tesla Model 3 can go from zero to 60mph in about three seconds. If fast acceleration doesn’t do it for you, the ease of operation and smooth ride are also big attractions. With no clutch, many EVs are similar to traditional automatic cars, except for the regenerative braking that provides smooth deceleration when the foot is taken off the accelerator. This contributes to the overall ride quality and extends the driving range.
Myth 3: Chargers are difficult to find
Two-thirds of English and Scottish households have access to on-site parking. In Wales this rises to over 75% of households. EV users with low daily average mileage are very likely to favour home charging due to its convenience and lower cost of electricity (as low as 5p/kWh). Home chargers are typically regarded as ‘slow’ (3-7.4kW) and often used overnight.
See: Connected Kerb Unveils Ambitious £1.9bn Urban EV Charging Plan
A driver is never further than 25 miles away from a rapid charge point anywhere along England’s motorways and major A roads. Across the UK this number will continue to decrease as more charge points are installed. As of 2021, there were 26,682 public charge points in the UK, about 5,000 of which were rapid or ultra-rapid chargers. This is more than double the number of public charge points in 2018, demonstrating the rapid growth in infrastructure.
By 2035, the UK government is planning for there being around 6,000 ultra-rapid charge points across England’s motorways and major A roads. In September 2020, it announced the Rapid Charging Fund as part of a £950 million commitment to EV charging infrastructure.
A further £620 million is being invested in EV grants and street charging points as part of the government’s Net Zero Strategy. Wales and Scotland have equally ambitious plans. For example, by 2030 Wales wants to have 4,000 rapid or ultra-rapid public chargers, and between 30-55,000 fast chargers.
In England you are
never more than 25 miles
from a rapid charge point
on the motorways and
major A roads, and nearly
£2 billion has been committed
to increase the number
of ultra-rapid chargers
Myth 4: Batteries don’t last and cost a fortune to replace
Many manufacturers provide a full battery warranty of five-eight years, or 100,000 miles. However both the vehicle and the battery typically operate for a period much longer than this. Depending on battery health and mileage, batteries may need replacing after 10 or more years to maintain the range. The price of batteries has fallen considerably over the last decade, from about £50,000 for a 62kWh battery in 2010, to under £6,000 for the same battery in 2020. The cost of battery replacement is expected to fall further in the future, and used batteries can be repurposed and eventually recycled
Myth 5: Charging is expensive
Average charging cost:
Charger type Cost Charge time
Home (slow) 5-18p/kWh 5 hours
Car parks etc (fast) 25p/kWh 2 hours
Motorway hubs (rapid) 30-41p/kWh 45 mins
Dedicated mobility hubs (ultra-rapid) 30-64p/kWh 5-20 mins
Myth 6: EVs are expensive
The sum of the initial purchase price of a car and its operational expense — for example purchasing a car in 2021 and running it for 15 years in the UK — reveals a favourable
outlook for EVs. The example below demonstrates a saving of over £8,000 if using overnight home charging.
Leasing is the most cost-effective way to access a new EV without facing the up-front cost, as well as incorporating the servicing and maintenance expenses. Many leasing deals last 2-4 years, after which the EVs are sold on the second-hand market at a significantly lower cost than new EVs.
The lifetime cost of
an EV is now generally
lower than that of an
Support for EVs
A number of subsidies are available for EV users in 2021. These include:
Plug-in Grant up to £2,500 discount on eligible EVs and low-emission vehicles.
EV home charging scheme a 75% contribution to the cost of purchase and installation (capped at £350 per installation) for one charge point.
Urban charges exemption with zero tailpipe emissions, EVs are currently exempt from London’s congestion charge and ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) charge.
Reduced parking charges EVs pay reduced or zero parking charges in many places across the UK.
Vehicle Company Car tax and Excise Duty zero-emissions vehicles receive favourable company car tax rates and are exempt from vehicle excise duty until March 2025.
Green licence plate initiative since December 2020, EVs can use bus lanes and enter zero-emission zones in some cities/towns.