Busting some of the myths around electric vehicle charging

There are many misconceptions around electric vehicle (EV) charging and the costs of owning or leasing an EV that act as a barrier to ownership.

With EVs becoming more popular and people's interest in them increasing, we’ve put together a list of common myths that are often part of discussions around this topic.

Myth: EVs are an expensive option

Reality: Take into account the real-life costs of a vehicle. So that means purchase / leasing costs, plus all running costs. Through careful selection of electricity providers - with off peak rates for electricity - smart charging an EV at night and taking advantage of lower electric rates has a major impact on vehicle running costs. Some energy providers, such as Octopus Energy, deliver peak and off peak energy supply options. Using smart charging, off peak, with the tariff system, can deliver great savings.

Along with the above benefits, an EV has fewer moving parts, so that reduces servicing costs. Then add in road tax benefits as EV cars are exempted from this. For those employed or in business, accessing the Salary Sacrifice option can mean high tax savings as the scheme rewards EV drivers. When considering purchasing an EV car it is worth comparing the real-life costs of petrol / diesel v EV. This article by the RAC has compared vehicles and the costs involved.

A number of surveys have shown that at least 90% of EV drivers would never go back to a petrol or diesel car, including a report by EVA England in December 2023 which states that 91% of EV drivers have no intention of returning to a petrol or diesel car. 92% of EV drivers would likely recommend an EV to friends and family. 86% have found owning an EV cheaper to run.

Myth: If I get an EV I will have nowhere to charge it

Reality: If you do not have off street charging capability, then there are public EV charging options. Whilst the EV charging infrastructure needs significant development both locally, regionally, and nationally, there is already a provision of EV charging that with some sensible route and time planning should allow any EV owner to charge and get full benefit from their EV.

Across the borough, there are currently 199 Public EV chargers, with 40 of those chargers classed as rapid, meaning their output is at least 25kW or above. As an example, if your EV had a 54kW battery and you used a 50kW direct current (DC) charger, then it could take around 45 - 50 minutes to reach 80% charged. There are often many alternative current (AC) fast chargers available in town centres / sports centres / hospitality providers, for example, and their output ranges from 7kW to 22kW. For a 7kW charger, that would take around seven hours to charge a 54kW battery. For context, it’s important to know that, whilst most people charge at home or at work, the UK’s public charging infrastructure is also continually growing. You can view your closest EV charging point on the Zap Map website.

Myth: Charging an EV takes a long time

Reality: This does depend on whether you are AC charging or DC charging, and the connector for your vehicle. Most EVs now have the rapid charging capability. This means that the electricity goes straight onto the battery, as DC charging – ie. not via the inverter (as is with AC charging). For example, if you have a 54kW battery, then when rapid charging from a 50kW DC charger, your charging takes just 48 minutes from empty to reach 80% full. That 80% threshold is important, as EVs are designed to charge quickly to the 80% level then much slower for the remaining 20%. So, being 80% charged is a good level to be at and the protects the life of the battery.

Myth: I will get range anxiety with an EV

Reality: There are public EV charging points available for all journeys. It is wise to plan in advance where you want to stop and re-charge, and Zap Mapsis a web portal that allows you to plan and give real time updates on the status of selected EV chargers. This gives you the option to charge as frequently as you would wish. The range of EVs is also increasing. It is standard now for EVs to have a range over 200 miles. With improved battery technology, that vehicle range is increasing, with many models having a real-world driving range of 300 miles or more. Read this article by the Green Car Guide for more information. Think about how far your normal journey usage is with a car? The average car journey in the UK in 2019 was 8.4miles*. That means on an 80% charge you could take an average of 19 journeys before needing to charge.

*Average Car Journeys in the UK | NimbleFins

Myth: Batteries have a short life and are not eco-friendly in their manufacture

Reality: Some EV manufacturers are now guaranteeing 100k miles or eight years for a battery life. As the cycle of mainstream EV ownership has not yet reached eight years, it is hard to know for sure what performance life is left in the battery beyond this point. That said, all the evidence points to batteries probably continuing to perform well post-eight years. There are early Nissan LEAF cars, from around 2010, still on the road. In terms of battery production, much progress is being made to make battery production more sustainable and with improved end-of-life battery solutions. Read more about the progress in this area on the Electric Vehicle Hub website.

Find out more at our upcoming EV awareness event

If you are interested in investing in an EV and would like to know some more about them before purchasing, the Council is hosting an EV awareness event on Tuesday, 21 May at Ellesmere Port Civic Hall. For more information about the event and to sign up for tickets, visit the Council’s website.

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