These EV Myths are Full of Bunk – We Debunk 'em!
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These EV Myths are Full of Bunk – We Debunk ’em!

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There’s a lot of misinformation out there. Some of it is well-intentioned and comes from well-meaning people who don’t know how to separate fact from falsehood, and some of it is— less well-meaning. In this post, we invite you to sit back, relax, and let the information flow into your eyeballs as we debunk some of the most persistent EV myths.

With the introduction of full-size electric pickups and the dawn of the plug-in muscle car, the conversation about electric cars has gone from a fringe topic merely whispered about by fans of Ed Begley Jr. in a San Francisco vegan coffeehouse to one that’s talked about in the mainstreet diners of Anytown, USA.

Heck, one of our 75-year-old neighbors asked us about getting a fast-charger installed at his house the other day – and he doesn’t even own an electric car! It’s probably safe to say, then, that electric cars are here, but there’s a lot of misinformation out there that’s muddying the waters and slowing down adoption, and it’s probably time that North America’s largest eMobility festival (The Electrify Expo!) says something about them.

 

Myth 1: Electric vehicles are ‘dirty’, producing as many carbon dioxide emissions as an internal combustion vehicle.

Image courtesy Science.org.
 

Like a lot of the myths we talk about here, this one sounds like it could be true at first glance – and that’s what makes these myths so persistent: if you like soundbites, but don’t like research (ProTip: YouTube isn’t research), you might fall for something like this. “Just think of all the pollution that comes from digging for the minerals used in electric car batteries,” they say. Or, another variant on this, “the electricity still comes from coal and fossil fuels, so you’re just moving the emissions from the tailpipe to somewhere else.”

While there may have been a grain of truth to these claims a decade or so ago, the reality is that modern EV battery materials are often mined using provably sustainable techniques, low-emissions equipment, and get transported minimal distances by high-efficiency rail. What’s more, we’re making breakthroughs in recycling those materials that were almost unimaginable back in— let’s say 2005. In the decade and a half since, America’s energy production grid has gotten significantly “greener”, we’re using half as much coal and petroleum to generate electricity in 2020 as we did back then, and we’re generating more electricity overall, as well.

Don’t take my word for it, though. Here’s some of the most current math coming straight from the EIA.

 
 

Over the course of those same fifteen years, we’ve also learned that how internal combustion cars behave in the real world often leads to pollution that’s many times worse than what we, as consumers, were originally led to believe. That doesn’t just apply to diesel, but to just about every other combustion-based energy source as well, from “clean coal” to LPG.

And, like, windmills can’t set the ocean on fire. (Just sayin’.)

 

Myth 2: Electric vehicles are not suited to long journeys.

Image courtesy Porsche.
 

This is another example of outdated, fear-based information that simply doesn’t hold up to scrutiny – and not the least of which because a team from Porsche completed a coast to coast journey in an all-electric Porsche Taycan, during which they spent a mere 2 hours, 26 minutes, and 48 seconds plugged in to a charger.

That was a record-shattering run with a high-end, ultra-efficient EV. Still, it makes the point pretty well. If you’re still not convinced, though, the best way to see that an EV will be able to handle just about any road trip you plan on throwing at it is to go download an app called Chargeway.

If you’re here at Electrify News and reading about EVs, you’ve probably heard of Chargeway, since Matt Teske is a big part of the Electrify News Podcast family. Matt designed the app specifically to enhance the ownership experience of an electric car and replace “range anxiety” with Range Confidence™.

With Chargeway, you can select an EV, enter the location data, and plan a trip using real-world temperature and driving speed data, as well as up-to-date, network agnostic information about the best places to charge the EV you’re looking at.

How well does it work? To prove out his app, Matt drove his personal electric car from Portland, OR to Chicago, IL and back along two different routes, covering more than 4400 miles in five days, and tweeted about it at every charging stop.

Fun fact: Matt’s longest charging stop was about 30 minutes. Check it out!

 
 

Myth 3: There are not enough public charging stations/the infrastructure just isn’t “there,” yet.

Image courtesy, CleanTechnica.
 

This one feels kind of similar to the long-distance driving one, but strikes a little closer to home. The reality is that more than 95% of the charging someone will do with an electric vehicle will probably be at home, through a standard 110 or 220 wall outlet.

That’s right. You absolutely do not need a special charging station or fast charger to “top off” your tank at home. You just plug your electric car into a standard outlet, and let it juice up overnight. In many cases, you’ll wake up with a full tank of electrons, even if you don’t have a special charger in your garage.

Heck, some people who street park in front of their homes will sometimes trickle-charge their cars overnight (above), or skip the home-charging aspect of EVs entirely and do what they’ve always done – go somewhere else to fill up! Instead of a gas station, EV owners can plan to plug in at a public fast charger and fill up in 30-40 minutes while they enjoy lunch, go grocery shopping, etc.

Add to that that there are more than 40,000 public charging stations in the US (with many more to come) and you’ll start to see even more flaws in this myth.

 

Myth 4: The grid cannot support an increase in electric vehicle charging.

Some people believe that lotteries are a tax on people who are bad at math, and it might be a safe bet that the people who talk about the charging grid being unable to handle EVs the most probably have a few Powerball tickets in their glove compartments.

The reality about these kinds of EV myths is that EVs only account for 2.6% of global car sales and about 1% of the global car stock. Until 15% of the vehicles on the road go electric (sometime around 2030-2035, even on the most optimistic scales), there won’t be any real impact on the current grid.

Source: BloombergNEF.

Note the emphasis on “current” grid, because the US national energy grid, as we pointed out (above), has been through some dramatic changes in recent years. Changes that will only continue to accelerate the sustainability and durability of the grid as technology improves.

Finally, companies like Nissan, Ford, and Tesla – with many more sure to follow! – have already debuted technology called V2G, or vehicle-to-grid.

There’s a lot to read about on the topic, but the short version is that the electrons stored in your car’s battery are the same kind used to power your refrigerator, tv, or wifi. In the event of a natural disaster or grid failure due to extreme weather like the ice storms we saw in Texas in 2020, a vehicle like the Ford F150 Lightning could be used to keep the lights on and the food safe from spoilage for days at a time, potentiall saving lives without the carbon monoxide poisoning and noise pollution of a gas generator.  When they’re plugged into their chargers this way, electric cars can actually help support the grid, keeping the lights on when they’d otherwise go out.

 

Myth 5: EVs are too expensive.

Image courtesy Kia.
 

Real talk, everything is stupid expensive these days – but electric vehicles? Whether you’re talking e-bikes or automobiles, the reality is that electric vehicles are less expensive to own, less expensive to maintain, and – yes, even less expensive to actually purchase than you probably realize.

Let’s look at a few real-life examples of how these EV myths play out, starting with electric cars. The average transaction price of a new car in the United States in Q4 of 2021 was $47,077. That’s the average, not the median— which means it takes all those Bentley and Ferrari outliers and waters them down with all those hundreds of thousands of trucks and SUVs and Camcords, too. And, amid all of that, a brand-new 2022 Kia EV6 can be had for as little as $33,400*. And that’s before any state, municipal, or local utility company rebates get factored in.

For those of you who are bad at math, that Kia EV6 – one of the finest cars ever made with a standard 10-year warranty, a chassis designed by the former head of BMW’s M division, and styling by a guy with Audi and Lamborghini in his resume – can be had for some $13,677 below the average transaction price of a new car.

If someone says electric cars are too expensive to buy, watch out. They’ve probably got a gas car they’re trying to sell you!

On the two wheeled side it’s more of the same, with Specialized offering its Turbo Creo SL Comp E5 electrified road bike for about $6000 on their website. Which is low compared to the $12,500 asking price for their Roubaix SRAM Red model— and you’ll probably go a lot farther, a lot faster on the e-bike!

 

Conclusions

If you’ve gotten this far, clicked through to our sources, done some scrap paper math, and still come out believing some of these popular EV myths, we’re not sure how to help you.

Sure, we could take the low road here and attack the credibility of your sources, tell you to get smarter friends, mention that Joe Rogan’s show is what happens when you confuse “having thoughts” with “being smart”, but we won’t do any of those things.

What we will do is ask you to pick the track, bring your favorite mid-engine, V12 powered compensator, and line up it alongside one of our drivers in an electric car. If watching a family hatchback Kia blow the doors off a Lamborghini doesn’t make you give electric cars a second look, maybe they were always too good for you, anyway.

 

Kia EV6 vs. the World

 

If you like what you’ve read and you want to hear more about these EV myths, here’s a great episode of the Electrify News Podcast where Matt Teske and Jo Borras talk through some of these myths and more. Enjoy!

 

Electrify News Podcast

ORIGINAL CONTENT FROM ELECTRIFY NEWS, SOURCE LINKS IN POST.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. Learn more.



AUTHOR: 

JO BORRAS (EIC)

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