In 2017, transport accounted for 29% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in France – the highest percentage of any sector. Among the means that can allow France to achieve its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, electric vehicles hold a prominent place. Their mass adoption is absolutely crucial in the fight against climate change.
Yet there are lingering myths that prevent many drivers from engaging in e-mobility. The best way to dispel false information is often to bring it to light. So here are five of the most common myths about EVs and today’s reality.
MYTH # 1: EVs don’t have enough range
REALITY: This common belief was already not true in the early years of the mass-market EVs, so it’s astonishing that it persists today. In 2011, the average range of an EV was 117 km. Today’s battery electric vehicles (BEVs) commonly reach 450 km or more on a single charge. In addition, most people charge at home and at work, which ensures that cars are always charged and usually start a journey with sufficient capacity. And if we consider that the French travel on average for 10 hours a week, to cover a total of 400 km, we can say that this misconception that electric vehicles do not have enough autonomy is, and has always been , a non-subject that must finally be buried.
MYTH # 2: EVs aren’t affordable
REALITY: While the purchase price of an electric vehicle has always been higher than that of an equivalent internal combustion engine (ICE) car, this is not the only variable to consider when it comes to the charges inherent in the purchase of a vehicle. In fact, it is also necessary to take into account the bonuses granted by the government and local communities (ecological bonus, conversion bonus, etc.), but also the much lower fuel and maintenance costs. Thus, according to fleet management specialist Fatec, who compared the maintenance and use costs between an electric car and a thermal car over a period of 3 years, the cost of maintaining an EV would be 4 times lower in terms of recharging costs.
With the supply of electric vehicles growing each year (in 2020, nearly 65 new models were launched on the European market, and around 100 new models are expected in 2021), there is a good chance that there are an affordable option for most drivers.
MYTH # 3: There aren’t enough places to recharge the batteries
REALITY: This misconception is based on outdated beliefs about refueling the vehicle. Charging an electric vehicle is much more like powering a mobile device than filling a car with gasoline. In fact, most EV drivers plug their device in where they spend the most time: at work or at home. If we consider that a car remains unused on average for 159 hours per week, the only excuse most people have when they run out of fuel is that they forgot. For those who need extra energy for long journeys, charging points are available throughout France. There are also more and more rapid charging points. There were 30,838 charging points open to the public in December 2020, according to figures from Avere, and the government has set itself the goal of equipping all areas of the motorway network with charging stations by January 1, 2023, and intends to allocate a budget of 100 million euros for this purpose as part of the recovery plan.
MYTH # 4: Electric vehicles don’t perform well in cold weather
REALITY: The performance of electric vehicles is not affected by the cold. In fact, thanks to instant torque and digital traction controls, an electric vehicle typically outperforms a traditional car regardless of the season. On the other hand, it is true that the lithium-ion battery requires more energy to heat the passenger compartment in very cold weather, thus reducing the range (around 19%). It is also true that EV batteries charge more slowly in cold weather. But, as with any new device, EV drivers quickly learn to compensate by using preprogrammed heating systems to warm the vehicle up while it charges, driving responsibly (as it should be anyway), and driving responsibly. monitoring tire pressure, which can help recover up to 13% of lost range!
MYTH # 5: EVs aren’t green because most electricity comes from non-renewable sources
This has been one of the arguments favored by skeptics since the very beginnings of electric vehicles. Opponents complain: “Why bother driving an electric car when most of the electricity comes from coal?” Obviously, this kind of reasoning ignores the fact that it is better to do something positive for the environment than to do nothing and that the more EVs on the road, the less carbon and less pollution in general there is in the atmosphere. Besides, that’s not even technically true either. According to National Grid, 2019 marked the point of no return for fossil fuels. Today, there is more energy coming from carbon-free sources than ever since the start of the industrial revolution. Take that, killjoy!
I repeat, “range anxiety” should be the preserve of exceptionally anxious people (in fact, many EV drivers report that they like to start each day with a “full tank”). When you factor in the incentives and lower operating costs, today’s EVs are priced on par with their internal combustion engine counterparts. Refueling an EV is as easy as plugging in an appliance and there are plenty of places to do it, with new charging points appearing every day. IHere in France, where temperatures are mild most of the time, driving an EV in winter is like driving any car. : special precautions must be taken. Moreover, is it too early to start referring to renewable energies by the simple term “energy”?
One more thing: An AAA study found that 96% of current EV drivers in the United States plan to buy or lease another electric vehicle. I guess what they say is true: “Once you drive an electric vehicle, you will never go back to gasoline.” Don’t forget to tell your friends about it.