I love driving electric, and have done so for a number of years. Personally I met my first EV’s at the London 2012 Olympics. I was a member of the organising committee with responsibility for broadcaster transport and had the pleasure of driving some super little electric Mini’s. I had amazing fun whizzing around silently and surprisingly quickly (yes, I did get Olympic Park speeding tickets before we opened to the public!) I found like so many do that they are perfect for city driving. I will admit that there were less useful at that time to do longer journeys where charging could be more challenging.
So I was hooked and thought we would all be driving these fun vehicles any moment now… However, I seem to still be waiting, however there is a positive as electric vehicles are now finally starting to make an impact. So, as a public service, let me dispel some of the myths of electric vehicles and encourage you to go out and dump the gas guzzlers…
- I don’t want to drive a milk float…
Really, I have honestly heard this from the ‘older generation’ — I say this as I had to explain to my teenage son what a milk float was (and a milkman… ‘Wot like a supermarket delivery just for milk?’)
If you really think that electric motoring can be likened to the dairy delivery vehicle a la Unigate from 1974, well you should be ashamed. And, I have just one word… Tesla.
Yes, there are other amazing electric vehicles, but I really want a Tesla… Quick, efficient, packed with toys for the driver.
2. It’s going to put my electricity bill up…
Well, yes it is. I hear this often, ‘oh, electric vehicles? Your electricity bill must be enormous?’ — You would be surprised. The lovely people at Car Magazine have worked the numbers so you don’t have to believe my potentially bias view. They have an example of a Nissan Leaf costing 4p per mile to run, some rough maths shows that a similar petrol vehicle costs 18p per mile.
Now, add to this the cost of fuel post Brexit — I know we all hate the ‘B’ word, but if we are to believe the scaremongering of fuel shortages and queues at the docks, let alone another war in the MIddle East, need I go on?
Best of all, I no longer wait behind someone at a petrol pump while they do their weekly shop in the mini supermarket!
So, I plug my car in overnight to charge, I have not noticed my bill increase massively compared to the cost of petrol I would be putting in my car, in fact I am up on the deal.
3. The range is terrible and it takes hours to recharge…
This is one of the most common comments I hear. However, whereas in the early days I may have had some range anxiety, today I know how I will be using my car. Like most people my car does the run between the office and home more than anything else. Range is not an issue, I have charged it overnight, and on many of the sites I work at I can even charge while I am in the office. I am not going to trouble the 230+ miles range for a Tesla or even the 133 miles quoted from most average electric vehicles.
If I am doing a longer journey I plan ahead. I use an app and pick rapid charging points where I can add 100 miles in the half hour it takes me to have a coffee and a bun. The side effect is that I arrive at my destination rested and ready to work.
4. It takes forever to charge….
Yes, people say it takes so long to charge. I have touched on this, most of the time my car is slowly charging when I am not using it. Just like having a petrol station at home or at work so my tank is always full.
If you are in a major rush there is a series of rapid chargers being installed across the UK, including the Tesla Supercharger network (these can add 300 mile of range in an hour).
So, it can take a long time to charge, however you need to consider how long your car sits doing nothing and think that is charging time. When you need a rapid top up the technology is there and it is becoming increasingly available.
5. The batteries will die and be expensive to replace…
This is old news! There was a time in the very early days when battery life was an issue, however now there are electric cars which have driven in excess of 500,000 miles without changing the battery packs. Compare this to a petrol engine with an average life of 150,000 miles.
Battery technology is moving quickly, by the time your vehicle requires a new battery there will be a totally different type which will no doubt be cheaper, lighter and more efficient.
So, the time is right for you to make the green and exciting choice. I won’t force you to make what I think is the right decision, however, when you consider the real facts you cannot argue that electric vehicles have arrived!