Rather than addressing ‘myths’ about electric vehicles (EVs), I thought it would be more helpful and less confrontational to ‘address concerns.’ I say this because, as someone who drives a fully electric Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) and drives thousands of miles in it, I recognise that some concerns are based upon genuine concerns, and driving range is one of them.
“EVs are not suitable for long journeys”
An EV's range is the distance it is estimated to travel before it runs out of charge. Much like a petrol or fuel tank estimate, the range is affected by various factors, including driving style, road terrain, temperature, use of accessories and outdoor temperatures. Yes, these factors can reduce mileage on all fuel types.
From here on in this blog, I refer to using a fully electric BEV rather than a hybrid car. Both are EVs, but range concerns most commonly relate to a BEV.
Currently, the average range of a BEV is estimated to be 211 miles, and most cars on the market have a range of anywhere between 100-300 miles.
Typically, this initial range is lower than that for a fully fuelled diesel or petrol car, but it is more than enough for most people’s regular driving.
Research published on January 3rd 2024, shows that cars in the UK are driven an average of 18 miles a day, 127 miles a week, 550 miles a month and 6,600 miles a year.
On this basis, BEVs are more than capable of supporting these journeys, and anyone with a home charger would only have limited reasons to visit a public charger.
As someone who drives a lot for work, I was fascinated to see that there is a lot less business driving nowadays. In the 20 years from 2002 to 2022, business mileage plummeted 77% from 1,300 to 300 miles per year.
“The Public Charger Network is limited and unreliable”
For those long journeys that exceed a BEVs range, planning your journey and checking where your closest charge points are is the way to go, and I will cover this from my experience in another article.
It is where apps come in, which provide mapping that can often link to a car’s sat nav and provide payment capabilities as well.
The reality is that most of the UK has a good and getting better public charging network, and this is being enhanced by the Public Charge Point Regulations 2023, which aim to improve the charging experience for EV drivers with better reliability, more transparent pricing, and a requirement that all chargers over 8kW must offer contactless payments within the next year.
To illustrate how well the charger infrastructure is growing, in October 2023, ZapMaps, which has a very good app, announced that the UK had passed the 50,000 public charge point milestone. The growth trajectory is encouraging, with the 40,000 mark achieved in February 2023. Of particular note, On December 6th, the UK passed the significant milestone of 10,000 rapid and ultra-rapid electric vehicle charging points.
Given the current installation rate, Zapmap’s calculations show that the UK is likely to reach 100,000 charging devices as early as August 2025.
To sum up, the range of pretty much every BEV is more than enough for most people’s daily driving needs, and when you embark on a longer journey with a bit of planning, the public charging network is good and getting better.
And one final note: it is important to recognise that driving a BEV is different. Still, it is nice to know that I am doing my bit for the environment, and personally, the running costs are far lower than my old diesel car. I am not including the tax benefits that I get as a business user within that calculation.
Debbie McKay, Commercial Sales Director