The EV industry has evolved rapidly in the past few years – meaning that it’s hard to keep up with just how far these new vehicles have come. But like any new technology, there are lingering myths about the capability of cars powered by electricity.
Here are 5 popular myths about EVs – and how they’re wrong:
- MYTH: EVs don’t have enough range
It’s normal to have concerns about how far EVs can go compared to traditional gas-powered vehicles. After all, most of us grew up comparing MPG ratios – not battery capacity or ranges. However, today’s EVs have more than enough range for the average American woman driver to commute comfortably on a daily basis (about 40 miles/day on average) – without recharging every day. Additionally, women drive fewer miles annually on average compared to men in the same age group, suggesting they may be a better fit for an EV than their male counterparts. Even if you’re the woman that commutes 2 hours each day, picks up and drops off the kids at school, drives to sporting events hours away each weekend – there’s an EV out there with the range that can fit your needs.
Here are a couple examples of ranges of new EVs:
|EV Model||Range at Full Charge|
|2021 Nissan Leaf||149 – 226 miles|
|2021 Chevy Bolt||259 miles|
|Tesla Model 3||353 miles|
Here are more 2019 – 2020 models: CNet’s 2020 Vehicles and their ranges
- MYTH: Charging infrastructure is limited
Charging infrastructure isn’t as prolific as gas pumps of course, but more chargers are being deployed daily. As of March 2020, there were almost 25,000 public charging stations across the US.
That being said, an important part of EV ownership is to have a plan for refueling your vehicle. Online search tools and phone apps like PlugShare, PlugInAmerica, and the U.S. Department of Energy Charging Station Locator are a few of the many ways to find charging stations in your area or to plot your next roadtrip.
One benefit to EVs is that they offer even more options for flexible charging compared to gas-powered engines. You can’t fill up a gas-powered car at your home, parking garage at work or grocery store, but that’s possible with an EV. For women with busy schedules, this means more flexibility about how and when you charge – and hopefully one less errand to a gas station.
- MYTH: It takes too long to charge
One of the biggest concerns I’ve heard is how long it takes to recharge an electric vehicle. After all, fueling up the tank takes a few minutes – why would anyone want to spend more time filling up their “tank”? Plugging in your car when you get home takes 30 seconds.
If you need a quick charge when you’re on the road because you’re in a pinch, “fast charging” stations (known as DC Fast Chargers or Level 3 Chargers) take about 30 minutes to get to 80% of an EV’s state of charge – often providing more than enough to get you back on the road.
Thankfully, more charging options equates to more places to leave your EV charging for longer periods of time. If you have chargers at or near your work or can plug in from home, you’ve saved yourself an additional trip to a charging station. Level 1 (a few miles/hour of charging) and Level 2 (25-30 miles/hour of charging) are much slower charging options compared to Level 3 chargers. Though it takes longer, these charging methods are perfect for several hours spent at the office or overnight at home.
- MYTH: EVs are too expensive
Another complaint is that EVs are too expensive. The challenge with this myth is that it depends on your perspective about what is “expensive”. EVs are like any other cars on the market: there are luxury models (like a Tesla), Nissan Leafs that are ideal for shorter commutes, and even used options available – all which have drastically different price points.
EVs can be affordable vehicles under the right circumstances. When comparing new EV models and their gas-powered look-alikes, EVs tend to have a higher MSRP. This is where federal, state, and utility tax credits and rebates can make a huge difference in reducing an EV’s up-front cost.
However, while EVs may be more expensive initially, they are cheaper to own and operate over their lifetime. EVs can provide huge savings in fuel costs – up to $14,500 in fuel savings over 15 years according to NREL. Electricity prices are much more stable than gas prices – meaning that the cost of recharging your EV can be more predictable for your monthly expenses. In addition, Consumer reports found that on average EV owners save $4,600 in repair and maintenance costs over the life of the vehicle compared with gas powered cars. And of course, used EVs are an option if new models are out of your price range.
What isn’t included in these calculations is how EVs rate on their convenience or environmental impact. EVs are better for the environment than their gas-powered cars. You also may find the EV’s charging cycles more or less convenient depending on where you live and your access to charging stations.
If you’re worried about the overall ownership costs of an EV compared to a gas vehicle, check out the US Department of Energy’s Vehicle Cost Calculator where you can input which cars you’re considering and your driving habits.
- MYTH: EVs aren’t environmentally friendly
There’s some concern as to whether EVs are really that much better than their traditional gas powered counterparts. According to experts like those at the Union of Concerned Scientists, yes – EVs really are that much better for the environment. When driving, EVs don’t emit carbon emissions or other harmful emissions like NOx and VOCs from a tailpipe simply because they don’t have one. Emissions associated with EVs come from the electricity generated to charge them. Thankfully, the electric grid is on its way to becoming decarbonized, so the electricity consumed by an EV over its life is becoming increasingly environmentally friendly.
Have other EV concerns? If you’re worried about EV safety, battery capacity, or if EVs are fast enough to keep up on the road, check out these articles for more information: