5 common myths about electric cars

Published by The Editorial Committee on 06.27.2018 - 5 min

Electric cars have numerous advantages, which include being easier to drive, silent, and environmentally-friendlier. That said, deeply-held biases against this type of transport remain. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of the main myths and misconceptions about electric vehicles.

Myth #1

A hybrid car and an electric car are the same thing

Electric and hybrid are two distinct mechanisms

Some deeply-held biases remain against electric vehicles
Some deeply-held biases remain against electric vehicles

The latter does not possess a tank nor a combustion engine, but rather an electric motor and a battery. As for the hybrid car, it features both a petrol or diesel engine along with a small electric engine and a battery. The latter relies on recycling the kinetic energy generated by decelerating or braking and transforming it into electricity. The recycled energy is then used during the electric mode, especially when driving in reduced speed areas.

Myth #2

Electric cars are expensive

Maintenance and energy costs are actually lower

Buying an electric vehicle means a lower maintenance budget
Buying an electric vehicle means a lower maintenance budget

The purchase price is sometimes higher for an electric model, but tax incentives aimed at improving air quality make it easier for drivers to buy these models. Furthermore, the maintenance and energy costs of an electric vehicle are lower than those of a traditional car.

Myth #3

Electric cars are dangerously silent

Electric cars come with artificial engine sounds

As they are, by definition, silent, electric vehicles can surprise pedestrians, who still aren’t very used to seeing them around the city. Various regulation will require all manufacturers in the European Union to create an “artificial” engine noise for all electric models by 2019. Renault’s electric vehicles already emit a light drone at low speeds, just enough to warn pedestrians who unexpectedly decide to cross the street.

Listen to the engine sounds of the Renault ZOE

Myth #4

Charging an electric vehicle is a challenge

Charging stations are spreading

The Z.E. Trip app on the R-LINK navigation system
The Z.E. Trip app on the R-LINK navigation system

A few years ago, charging stations were few and far between. Today, there are over 131,000 charging stations for electric vehicle drivers across Europe. The Z.E. Trip app, paired with the R-LINK navigation system, allows you to locate and choose charging stations along your route and get there easily, and the smartphone app Z.E. Pass makes it easy to pay for your charge regardless of the station.

Myth #5

Electric vehicles are only suitable for the city

Battery life and charging times keep getting better

Paying with the Z.E. Pass is quick & easy
Paying with the Z.E. Pass is quick & easy

The electric car is often considered to be a purely city-based car that’s unsuitable for long journeys, on account of its supposedly low battery life and lack of charging infrastructure. However, battery life is getting longer and some electric cars, like the ZOE, are able to travel more than 300 km on a single charge.

Also, whereas first-generation electric cars required a full night of charging, it is now possible to choose between slow, fast or accelerated charge. By allowing power levels of up to 43 kW, smart chargers like the Chameleon™ can charge the battery of an electric vehicle up to 80% in just 30 minutes. Most fast-charging stations being located on main roads and motorways, a short stop while leaving the city will suffice to power a long ride with complete peace of mind.

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