Potential EV owners should not be put off by concerns over ‘range anxiety’ despite the hype, according to the AA president.
The proportion of EVs rescued by the AA for being ‘out of charge’ has halved in the last two years from 8% of breakdowns to under 4% of breakdowns today*. However, half of that 4% have not actually run out but the AA has been called out as the EV is low on charge.
In Norway, which has a much higher concentration of EVs than the UK, the percentage of out of charges is just 1%.
The top one third of breakdowns for EVs are exactly the same faults as with petrol or diesel cars – 12v battery problems and tyres. Other EV faults are quite different and cover things such as charging equipment, warning lights, battery monitoring systems or key transponders.
Edmund King, AA president, says: “In twenty years of driving EVs I have only run out of charge once. My first EV was a Ford Think! Car with a 37-mile range and I once tried to drive from central London to St Albans on a dark, rainy night and didn’t quite make it.
“Yes, there have been occasions when I have been low on charge or come across chargers out-of-order, but it is hard to run out.
“Most EVs will flash up an orange ‘check your charging’ warning when around 20%, others will change your sat nav route to take in chargers or put the car into ‘range’ mode.
“If the worst comes to the worst, the AA can always help you out**. Drivers shouldn’t get hung up about range anxiety because it doesn’t match reality. Of course, improvements can and are being made to the charging infrastructure but a little planning can take you a very long way.
“We are also now seeing EVs with much longer ranges and most new EVs can do at least 250 miles.”
King also outlines ‘reasons to be cheerful’ about owning or driving an EV such as:
- Car warms itself and de-ices on a cold morning
- Low tariff overnight has car charged & ready at 7am
- Electricity still fraction of cost of petrol or diesel
- Great performance without burning fossil fuels
- Sound of silence helps you think
- Don’t have to pay car tax, fuel duty or congestion charge
- Can have a green strip on the number plate
- Often can get preferential parking
- More rapid chargers
- Lower servicing costs
- Brilliant state of the art cars to drive
King concludes: “The automobile world is changing rapidly, and we will see more change in the next 10 years than we have in the last 50. Electrification is going mainstream and potential EV owners shouldn’t be put off by myths about range. Once you have tried an EV it is hard to go back.
“Pretty soon, we will think of older diesel cars in the same way we now think about smoking on the top deck of a bus. The AA is the top motoring organisation for EV drivers and can help from learning to drive in an EV, insuring, leasing, selling, servicing, and fixing your EV. We are here to give power to electric drivers.”