Sales of electric vehicles have surged in recent years, fuelled by the urgent need to take action against climate change, as well as government and utility-funded incentives. Yet, many potential buyers remain hesitant to go electric, thanks to misconceptions about EVs and outdated information. Here we set the record straight on eight common EV myths.
Common EV Myths #1:
EVs are more expensive than gasoline-powered vehicles.
While the sticker price of an EV can be higher than a gasoline guzzler’s—owed, in large part, to the cost of its powerful battery—EV owners ultimately save money over the lifetime of their vehicle. That’s because an EV’s charging, maintenance, and repairs costs can be much lower than the fossil fuel equivalent. Even when charging at public stations, which is typically pricier than plugging in at home, the fuel efficiency of electric batteries delivers more bang for your buck than gasoline or diesel. As well, EVs are frequently eligible for rebates, tax credits, and other incentives to offset the initial purchase of a vehicle or charger.
Common EV Myths #2:
EVs are worse for the environment than vehicles that run on fossil fuels.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the U.S. and other major institutions have concluded that driving a low or zero-emissions vehicle has a significant net benefit for the environment compared to a gasoline or diesel-fuelled alternative—even in areas where owners can’t rely on renewable energy for charging. So, where does this myth come from? As we discussed in our recent post on climate change, it has origins in two facts. First, some regions of the world still rely on fossil fuels to provide the electricity that powers EVs. The greener the energy source, the greater the positive impact of switching to an EV. Second, making EV batteries leaves an ecological footprint from the mining of necessary minerals and power consumed during manufacturing.
Common EV Myths #3:
EV batteries don’t last.
The standard warranty for an EV battery covers eight years or 160,000 kilometres (100,000 miles), which protects the owner if the battery’s capacity drops by more than 30% during that period due to factory defects. With a little TLC, the lifespan of the battery could extend well beyond the warranty term. For example, in most battery types on the market, maintaining the battery level between 30% and 80% whenever possible promotes longevity.
Common EV Myths #4:
EVs don’t have sufficient driving range.
EVs travel roughly 60% as far as a gas-powered vehicle before needing to refuel, a figure that has caused some would-be EV owners to worry about “range anxiety”—the fear of not having sufficient power to reach a destination. With the battery capacity of newer EV models, however, range anxiety is becoming a thing of the past. The median range for 2021 EV models was an impressive 377 kilometres (234 miles) on a full battery—more than enough for a family’s daily needs or a weekend trip. For comparison, a 2019 survey by BC Hydro found that, on average, British Columbians travel just 20 kilometres per day by car.
Common EV Myths #5:
EVs take a long time to charge.
Most EV drivers plug in routinely at home or work, or get a top-up from a public charger while they’re out, which greatly reduces charging times. If you did need to quickly fill up an empty battery, a Level 3 charger could provide a full charge much faster, while a Level 2 charger can fully replenish a battery by the end of a workday or overnight. For an in-depth look at how fast Hypercharge charging stations top up batteries, check out our Batteries 101 post.
Common EV Myths #6:
EVs can’t handle cold weather.
As a Canadian company, we can debunk this one through first-hand experience—and our friends in Norway would agree! Despite its chilly climate, Norway has the highest rate of EV ownership in the world, with EVs accounting for nearly two-thirds of new vehicle sales. While it’s true that frigid temperatures can reduce an EV’s range, and that both extreme cold and heat may slow charging times, these impacts vary considerably between EVs and can be minimized by choosing the right model for your climate. In 2020, the Norwegian Automobile Federation tested twenty popular EVs under wintery conditions and found that the Hyundai KONA was among the better-performing models, losing just 9% of its range in the cold—and that was without mitigating actions, such as prewarming the battery and cabin.
Common EV Myths #7:
The power grid can’t handle EV demand.
Do governments and utilities need to invest in power grids and renewable energy to support the widespread adoption of zero-emissions vehicles? Yes. Will the existing power grid collapse if EV ownership continues to grow exponentially? A resounding no. There are numerous strategies for maximizing a region’s current capacity, such as incentivising charging during off-peak hours. For example, Electric Mobility Canada estimates that Ontario could support the charging of up to 10,000,000 vehicles overnight at its present generating capacity.
Moreover, a growing number of vehicles capable of “bidirectional charging” (known as Vehicle-to-Grid or V2G) may one day serve as a support system for the power grid. Bidirectional charging returns electricity from a battery to the grid, transforming EVs into mobile power reserves that could be deployed during outages.
Common EV Myths #8:
EV chargers are hard to find.
As noted above, most EV owners do the bulk of their charging at home or work, either through a personal charger or one shared with other tenants or coworkers. For charging on the go, there are over 54,000 public charging stations now available across Canada and the United States, and more than double that number of charging ports. Public chargers can be found at malls, grocery stores, hotels, gyms, golf courses, office buildings, campuses, parking lots, municipal street parking, and more. Hypercharge’s mobile app makes finding and using the nearest Hypercharge charging station fast and easy.
Contact Hypercharge today to learn how you can support EV adoption and grow your business by investing in smart charging solutions.