NATIONAL press reports that electric vehicles are too expensive, create range anxiety and have charging issues are wide of the mark, at a time when the world’s leaders are meeting to agree new climate control targets.
So says EV salary sacrifice and fleet management specialist, Fleet Evolution, which believes that such scare stories are neither helpful nor constructive in the move to growing uptake of EVs and the road to net zero.
In recent months, despite the growing uptake of EVs, some national media reports have suggested that they are more expensive than ICE equivalents, that there will be insufficient numbers of chargers to meet the growing demand and that there will be a shortfall in electricity generated to meet expected consumption levels.
Fleet Evolution said none of these claims are true and the myths need exposing for what they are, especially set against a backdrop of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow with EVs set to play a major role on the road to decarbonising UK transport.
The first big myth is that EVs are more expensive than comparable ICE models.
“But this simply isn’t the case,” said Fleet Evolution founder and managing director, Andrew Leech. “Take an entry level Skoda Enyaq fully electric SUV, for example, which after the Plug-in Car Grant of £2,500 has a list price of £32,000. This compares with an entry level Skoda Kodiaq diesel SUV which is priced at £31,000.
“That £1,000 differential will be recouped in a matter of months because of the much lower running, fuel and maintenance costs of the electric model,” said Leech, who added that he often found the misleading national press reports ‘frustrating and self-fulfilling.’
“Very recently we have seen the national media create the fuel shortage crisis simply by reporting that a number of filling stations were low on fuel. That led to everyone jumping into their cars to rush out and fill up. Result – complete chaos and a proper national fuel crisis!”
Another perpetuated EV myth is that there is insufficient charging infrastructure to cope with current demand.
“Again, not true,” said Leech. “Our research amongst our customer base shows us that EV drivers who can charge at home in their driveaway or in a garage only need to use the public charging infrastructure five times a year on the occasions when they travel 200 miles or more.
“However, there are currently over 30,000 public charge points in UK in over 11,000 locations, with typically around 500 more being added every month on average.
“And the rate of deployment is now increasing with Zap-Map, a UK-wide map of charging points, reporting 841 new charge points added in the last 30 days alone, with 139 of these being rapid chargers.
“So there is the capacity when it is needed, especially for those drivers who can charge at home. Where the Government does need to step up to the mark is the wider installation of kerbside charging, in say lamp posts, for those drivers without access to a drive or a garage.”
To help this cohort of drivers, Fleet Evolution is currently offering free installation of two-port chargers at the office car park of any customer with more than five of its cars on the fleet.
Leech said: “That way, employees without access to home charging can charge their vehicles for the one or two days a week they now go to the office.”
The other myth that also seems to be widely perpetuated is that there is insufficient capacity in the National Grid to meet growing EV demand.
In fact, electricity consumption in the UK is actually falling, particularly in the last decade, while more and more of UK power requirements are being generated from renewables such as wind and solar. Indeed, from 2019, renewable energy actually overtook fossil fuel generated power, according to the National Grid – see charts.
Leech added: “With growing electricity demand comes increased capacity from renewables as a proportion of our energy production – and this will undoubtedly increase over time.
“Only by continually debunking these national media myths will we get a true picture of the growth in the EV car parc and the full extent of the nation’s move to electrification,” added Leech.