Maybe an Electric Car Isn't for You After All... Or is it?

As more and more Electric Vehicles (EVs) come to market, it is becoming easier to find an EV model to match a wide range of lifestyles. It’s time to bust common myths about EVs.

Myth #1: EVs can’t handle rain, much less snow.

Fact: EV battery technology has improved significantly in the nine years since Nissan introduced the LEAF and 15 new SUV models are now on deck for model year 2020. When including all body types, more than 20 all-electric vehicles currently available boast all-wheel drive. In addition, larger batteries mean that EVs are heavier than gas-powered cars. That extra weight improves traction in snow, even for cars without all-wheel drive. As for the myth about the danger of driving EVs in rain, EVs can be driven and charged in the rain without risk of electrocution.

Myth #2: EVs lack range and can’t be taken on long road trips

Fact: EV ranges have increased dramatically. In 2011, the median range was 73 miles per charge. By the beginning of 2018, the median range had increased to 125 miles per charge. With new EV models planned for the remainder of 2019 and 2020 from nearly every automaker, it will be common to find options with ranges well above 200 miles per charge. To put this in perspective, the distance between Seattle to Portland is approximately 150 miles and takes roughly three and a half hours without traffic, easily within reach for many EVs on one charge. If you needed to stop, you could find a fast charger that could charge your EV in less than 30 minutes while taking a bathroom or food break. The Alternative Fuels Data Center has a map with the many fast chargers located along major highways in the U.S. that make long-distance road trips possible and easy for EV drivers.

Myth #3: EVs are slow and have lower performance than gas cars.

Fact: The fastest ever vehicle is electric. This is because electric motors have instant torque and don’t require gear shifts like gas-powered engines. Most EVs can accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in less than eight seconds, and many can do so in less than three seconds. Immediate, silent acceleration is a hallmark of EV driving.

Myth #4: There are not enough public charging stations to charge my car in an emergency.

Fact: Most people prefer to charge their car at home, and more than half of U.S. homes  have the ability to charge a plug-in vehicle. Plugging in at home allows drivers to avoid an extra trip to the gas station and be assured that their car will be fully fueled and ready to go when they wake up in the morning. According to the Alternative Fuels Data Center, there are more than 22,700 public chargers in the United States, and this number increases every day. Many are located near restaurants, shopping centers, or right off the highway.

As with any new technology, myths about EVs are common. However, EVs are fast, safe, fun to drive, and cheap to refuel and maintain. As more and more EVs come on the market and prices drop, EVs designed for every lifestyle are emerging. So, as this Audi ad for its e-Tron SUV suggests, “maybe an electric car isn’t for you after all… or is it?”

This blog is part of a seven-part series on electric vehicles:

Nicole Larson

Former Research Assistant
Nicole graduated from Pomona College in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Policy Analysis focusing in Environmental Analysis. She wrote her senior thesis on policy mechanisms to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles. Nicole worked as a Project Development Intern at OneEnergy Renewables, where she gained experience working to decarbonize the electricity grid developing large-scale and community solar projects. She also worked on decarbonizing transportation as an intern at Los Angles Cleantech Incubator...
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