Myths and Misconceptions of EVs 
In our previous blog we discussed the difficulty in comparing an electric vehicle (EV) to a vehicle with an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) but the industry is plagued by myths and misconceptions around EVs. Here we will attempt to demystify the misconceptions! 
Refuelling time 
 
Firstly, refuelling time. Yes it takes longer to refuel an EV that an ICE, but you are highly unlikely to have a petrol or diesel pump at your home. If you have private parking then you could well be able to have a home charger fitted, allowing you to charge your EV overnight while you sleep. 
Charging Infrastructure 
 
If you are unable to charge at home, then the public charging infrastructure is your likely go to, unless you are fortunate to have an employer that allows charging at work! While on the surface the public infrastructure may look poor, it’s actually much better than you might imagine. Yes, if when you are refuelling your ICE and you look around the forecourt, you might notice a distinct lack of chargers! You will be correct in your assumption however, did you know that most EV charging points are not located in traditional fuel stations currently? 
 
There are more and more being developed but you are more likely to find an EV charger at the local supermarket than the local fuel station. You’ll find them in shopping centres, gyms, restaurants, pubs and even just randomly on the side of roads in some places! 
 
According to Zap-Map, one of the leading EV charging point location apps, at the end of January 2024 there were over 55,000 EV chargers spread over more than 31,000 locations in the UK, so while not perfect, it is certainly more extensive than most people realise! 
Another consideration the type of charger available where you refuel. You can charge some EVs from 20% to 80% charged in as little as 10 minutes with a DC charger at a rate of 350kW. However these chargers are only available in limited places like motorway service stations, they can be a more expensive option and will derogate the battery in the EV quicker than using a lower kW charger. Ultimately whilst there are multiple charging options available, your choice at a particular point in time will depend on how much time you have and what is nearby and available for use. 
 
The key thing is to see the refuelling of your EV as a parallel activity, it’s something you can do while you’re doing something else at the same time, whether it's sleeping or shopping! 

Battery range 

Battery range continues to be something that people cite as a reason for not getting an EV but with a slight adjustment to your thinking, this is much less of an issue than most people realise. There have been several studies that have identified that the average daily mileage in the UK is approx. 28 miles! With this in mind, most people will be travelling less than 200 miles per week, so when combined with the potential of charging at home overnight then battery range becomes a moot point. Even for those unable to charge at home, if the approach of ‘grazing’ on electricity at every opportunity is adopted then this kind of daily/weekly mileage becomes feasible with some changes to their thinking. In the event of the occasional higher mileage journey then with some additional planning (using either the vehicles sat nav or an app like Zap-Map) the driver can ensure that the battery is kept topped up accordingly. 

Cost 

Whilst it cannot be argued that the purchase cost of an EV is higher than an equivalent sized ICE, there are some key considerations that can help to mitigate some, if not all, of the additional cost. It’s important to look at the overall cost of ownership which includes not only the cost of purchase (including devaluation) but also things like fuel, servicing and running costs. 
Currently in the UK EVs are still afforded zero road fund licence costs - this is due to change in the future but it’s likely that an EV sold today will have this zero road tax as a legacy moving forward). Refuelling costs are lower (obviously depending on where the refuelling is done) - home charging off peak tariffs that can  
charge a 77kWh battery (this is around the size of a battery found in a medium sized family EV) cost around £7.00 per ‘tank full’. So even with a lower range than an ICE, the cost per mile travelled is considerably lower! 
With fewer moving components in an EV, the servicing costs are generally lower (certainly in the first 3 years of ownership), for example brakes do not wear out as quickly due to regenerative breaking and there is no engine oil to replace! 

Environmental impact 

This can be quite a contentious subject so before I go any further I’d like to point out that if humans wish to travel over distances that are greater than we can walk, run, cycle or ride a horse then we are most likely to have a negative impact on the environment, whether it’s mining for crude oil or rare earth metals, we are damaging the environment in some way. 
 
There are many studies that cite different figures regarding the environmental impact of vehicle manufacture, and particularly the CO2 output. To be clear, every vehicle whether EV or ICE has a significant carbon footprint due to the manufacturing processes used to create them. ICEs continue to produce CO2 at the tail pipe (along with other dangerous gasses and particles) every time they are driven but until we produce 100% renewable electricity, CO2 emissions will also linked to the production of electricity to charge the EVs. 
 
One of the most environmentally friendly things we can do is to keep our vehicles for longer! As a nation we have got into the habit of changing our cars every three to four years. This is partly driven by the way we finance the vehicles, but this drives the need for more and more cars to be produced (linking back to the CO2 impact of manufacturing). The longer we keep a car, whether EV or ICE, the CO2 impact of manufacturing is spread over a longer period of time and therefore lowers the overall impact on the environment. Given that the quality of cars produced nowadays is so much higher than ever before, it’s not unreasonable to expect reasonably carefree motoring for 10 plus years so the habit of having a new car so frequently is, for most people, completely unnecessary. 
 
Neither is a perfect solution and so long as there is a desire to travel while not having access to teleportation, there is likely to be some degree of negative impact on the environment. 
Summary 
To summarise this series of blogs, the topic of Electric Vehicles is a complicated subject that raises various emotions in people, so there is no simple solution. If we want to keep our current lifestyles, or something that closely resembles it, then we must accept that there is some kind of environmental impact
 
The current direction of travel (no pun intended!) of the UK government’s legislation plan is here to stay. Whether we like it or not, it’s happening so embracing it as much as possible is surely a better mindset than digging in and resisting change. Current EVs can work for most people if they are willing to adjust their lifestyles accordingly but let’s face it not all of us want to make changes like this so, fortunately you are still able to buy ICE vehicles. 
 
For those who are currently resistant to EVs, all you can do is hope that the technology advances quicker than the government target date arrives as in 10 years’ time we’ll be looking at a complete ban on the sale of new ICE vehicles and we will therefore have no choice. 
Dave Bownes 
Director, 
Haynes Oliver Limited 
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