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Electric car myth buster: 5 common misconceptions around EVs

New research published today by Go Ultra Low reveals a huge misunderstanding of pure electric cars by the British public.

EV charging

Speed, cost and charging points were in the top five common misconceptions around electric vehicles, but on the more humorous side was confusion about EVs and the car wash…

Some 42% of Brits admitted they aren’t sure if you can put a pure electric car through a car wash, even though, just like a petrol or diesel car, it isn’t a problem.

The research, published by Go Ultra Low, also showed half of Brits (52%) think they wouldn’t be able to describe what a pure electric car (a car powered solely by a battery) is to someone else.

Underestimating an EV’s performance is also quite common; nearly half (47%) think a petrol or diesel car accelerates quicker than a pure electric, even though, in many cases, the opposite is true.

Are electric cars more expensive?

Cost is a big area where people are also undervaluing their potential: one in four (25%) Brits think, over the lifetime of the car, maintenance costs are higher for pure electric cars than they are for petrol or diesel, when, according to Go Ultra Low, a pure electric can cost around 70% less.

Concerns around the cost of charging an EV also came up – on average, people think it costs £21.54 to fully charge a pure electric car, even though charging at home could cost as little as £3.643, says Go Ultra Low.

Poppy Welch, Head of Go Ultra Low, said: “The research shows there is much confusion and misunderstanding with the British public when it comes to pure electric cars.

“Pure electric car drivers benefit from lower running costs, convenient charging and high-performance driving, all while producing no tailpipe emissions and helping to improve local air quality.

“Dispelling these misconceptions and highlighting these perks is therefore vital if we are to see more motorists make the switch to electric motoring.”

Despite there being almost 40,000 EVs on UK roads, most people underestimate the number of models available – the average Brit thinks there are just nine models available in the UK when there are in fact 17.

And there’s also some confusion about the different methods for charging a pure electric car – over a quarter don’t realise you can charge it through a charge point installed at home (29%).

Top five myths about electric vehicles busted:

Myth 1: Pure electric cars are slow

Fact: Electric cars are quicker off the mark!

While 47% of people surveyed think petrol or diesel cars accelerate faster than pure electric, the opposite is true. Because an electric motor generates power quicker than an internal combustion engine, most pure electric cars accelerate quicker than a petrol or diesel equivalent. The 2018 Nissan Leaf accelerates from 0-60mph in just 7.4 seconds!

Myth 2: They’re too expensive

Fact: An electric car could save you money

Pure electric cars may have higher upfront purchase costs, however you could save around £650 a year in tax and fuel if you choose pure electric over petrol or diesel. Maintenance costs are around 70% less over a car’s lifetime. The UK government provides a grant of up to £4,500 off the purchase of eligible pure electric cars.

Myth 3: There aren’t enough public charge points

Fact: There’s close to 17,000 charge points across the country

The average Brit thinks there are only 6,000 charge point connectors in the UK, when in fact there are more than double this, at 16,738. As well as this, there are rapid chargers at more than 96% of Motorway Service Areas, and the UK has one the largest rapid charge networks in Europe.

Myth 4: There are only a few of models to choose from

Fact: Not anymore! The market is ever-growing

When it comes to buying pure electric cars, people don’t realise how much choice there is. Go Ultra Low’s research reveals the average person thinks there are nine models to choose from, but in fact there are now 17 pure electric car models available in the UK.

Myth 5: Pure electric cars are a technology for the future!

Fact: Here in the UK, the switch to electric has already begun

Though the average person in the UK thinks that pure electric cars are still a novelty on our roads, many motorists are already driving zero emission electric cars. There are nearly 40,000 already on the roads today and this figure is on the rise – around 6,000 have already been registered in the first five months of this year.

If you want a new eco-friendly car, or you’re looking for one that’s greener than your current model, our eco car comparison tool gives a side by side comparison – and shows how much money you could be saving.