Fleet management and car benefit specialists, Fleet Evolution, says that a number of myths surrounding electric vehicles can easily be dispelled which should help to persuade more drivers to choose an EV as their next vehicle.
The AA recently announced the results of a poll of over 10,000 motorists that showed that more than three quarters of them (76%) believe EVs are too expensive; around 85% say that there aren’t enough public charging points; two thirds (67%) think EVs take too long to charge; and 68% say that batteries aren’t reliable.
However, drivers’ perceptions don’t actually meet EV driving reality, believes Fleet Evolution, which now has order banks from customers that comprise almost 50% of EVs.
Myth No 1 – electric cars are too expensive
Many drivers think that EVs are only for the super-rich with a price tag north of £80,000. Not true, says Fleet Evolution, which last November was awarded Go Ultra Low company status for its commitment to boost uptake of electric and plug-in vehicles.
The current generation Nissan Leaf costs around £29,000, even after the recently announced cut in the Plug-in Car Grant. That compares to about £26,500 for a Ford Focus Titanium X.
But the Leaf costs just £10 in terms of electricity used to travel 1,000 miles, while the Focus has fuel costs of around £150 to travel the same distance.
“So, yes, a slight upfront premium for the electric car, but that is soon made up for by the much cheaper running costs,” said Andrew Leech, Managing Director at Fleet Evolution.
“When it comes to a salary sacrifice car scheme, the Leaf costs around £300 per month on our books, compared to £350 per month for the Ford Focus – so the EV is actually cheaper even before the running costs.”
Myth No 2 -there aren’t enough public charging points
Recent figures released at the Battery Technology Show at Excel revealed that 50% of drivers have access to the perfect charging infrastructure – a drive or garage at home, says Fleet Evolution. So that means that many people can charge their electric cars, with a range of up to 300 miles, without ever visiting a public charge point.
However, for those that need to, there are now 17,701 public charge points in the UK as at September 2018, a 27% increase in the last 12 months.
At the same time, many councils are putting in the wiring for public charge points when they carry out essential road or maintenance works in support of local residents who don’t have access to a drive or garage.
And for those cars that need recharging during the working day, Fleet Evolution offers a free workplace charge point to new customers to help increase uptake of pure electric cars and hybrids.
“In addition, we give free home chargers to our customers so that their drivers can charge at home overnight for pennies which will then allow them to drive up to 300 miles -without ever having to visit a public charge point,” said Andrew Leech.
Myth No 3 – EVs take too long to recharge
The fact is that some 80% of motorway service stations now have rapid charge points available on forecourts for drivers to charge their vehicles in double quick time.
“Ecotricity now has 300 electric vehicle charge points at motorway service stations up and down the country which can charge a vehicle in around 45 minutes for around 30p/kWh. Meanwhile, Tesla Supercharger technology costs 20p per kilowatt hour at speeds of up to a maximum of 120 kW,” said Andrew Leech.
Myth No 4 – battery technology is unreliable
While battery technology caused a few issues initially, the latest generation of batteries is very reliable with very few problems, says Fleet Evolution.
“Yes, there were some early concerns and issues with batteries to begin with. But with the latest generation of ultra-reliable batteries, we are seeing very few problems on our fleet. In fact, we have more issues with diesels, particularly with malfunctioning diesel particulate filters where customers haven’t burnt off the excess carbon deposits,” said Andrew Leech.
Where range anxiety is still an issue, on long distance drives at the weekend to see family or relatives or to go on holiday for example, Fleet Evolution offers its ‘electric flex’ option to cover all eventualities.
“Under our ‘electric flex’ scheme, drivers who have chosen a pure electric car through one of our salary sacrifice car schemes can also opt for a larger conventional-engined vehicle, such as an MPV, on a daily rental basis at a preferential rate as part of their package. That way all their motoring bases are covered,” added Andrew Leech.