Guide | Article

5 myths about electric vehicles

010 Mar 2023

We address some common misconceptions around electric vehiclesperfect if you’re considering making the switch

Electric vehicles (EVs) have been gaining popularity in recent years – indeed, in the UK, there are now more than 680,000 battery-electric vehicles (as of end of January 2023), with more than 265,000 battery-electric vehicles registered in 2022. The UK government is encouraging adoption: new diesel and petrol cars will be phased out by 2030, and more than £1.8 billion has been invested in infrastructure and grants to increase access to zero-emission vehicles. Despite this, some misconceptions about EVs persist. Here, we address five common concerns.

1. The switch to EV is far off

The UK government’s commitment to phasing out diesel and petrol car production by 2030 is an indication that the switch to EV is fast-approaching. Numbers of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) has been steadily increasing in recent years: in 2022, a total of 267,203 battery electric vehicles were registered, up 40% in 2021. This number is expected to rise in 2023, with some estimates predicting 448,000 BEV registrations by the end of the year.

Those who have adopted EVs appear to be converted: according to a UK government survey, 79% of EV drivers reported using their EV as their main vehicle, while nine in 10 respondents reported driving their EV frequently (3+ times per week). And adoption isn’t unique to the UK, either: worldwide, there are over 10 million EVs on the roads.

2. There aren’t enough charge points to meet demand

Concerned about finding a charge point while you’re on-the-go? Fortunately, the UK has developed an ecosystem of charge points for EV drivers across the country, with more than 600 chargers added to the country’s road network each month, of which 100+ are rapid. Drivers who want easy charging away from home will be reassured to learn that, today, the UK has one of the most extensive rapid charging networks in Europe.

The bp pulse network is one of the UK’s largest. We’ve also committed to investing £1 billion in electric vehicle charging in the UK over 10 years, to help meet fast-growing demand for EV charging. Use our Live Map to see chargers across the country in convenient locations. Alternatively, download the bp pulse app to search for charging points on-the-go, as well as manage payments and track charging activity. Register and upgrade to a full bp membership to enjoy our lowest on the go prices for just £7.85 (inc. VAT) per month*.

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3. EVs are more expensive

According to the UK government, EVs can cost more to buy outright – but typically have a lower cost over four years. According to one industry estimate, it is suggested EV buyers may enjoy a potential saving of around £176 per every 1,000 miles, compared to motorists who select petrol or diesel vehicles. And, while EVs might once have been more expensive than traditional vehicles, today, lower-priced models have made the switch to EV more accessible. As of May 2022, 24 EV models were priced under £32,000 – up from 15 in 2021. With more manufacturers are making electric vehicles, drivers have greater variety and price points to choose from.

In addition, there are initiatives and incentives to make the switch to electric vehicles easier and less expensive – including road tax exemption, and favourable company car tax rates (until 2025). In areas with low emission zones, EVs can be exempt from charges: in London zero emission vehicles that meet criteria are eligible for a 100% discount on Congestion Charge, until 25 December 2025, with some boroughs providing free or reduced-charge parking for EVs. Drivers may also be exempt from charges travelling through Clear Air Zones in Bath, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Greater Manchester, Portsmouth, Sheffield and Tyneside.

Finally, the government also offers grant schemes for EV charging infrastructure, which can help to alleviate costs. Individuals and businesses eligible for grants can receive funding towards the cost of installing electric vehicle chargers at properties across the UK.

4. EVs have a limited battery range and are not practical for long trips

While range anxiety is a common concern, most EVs now cover between 100 and 300 miles when fully charged, depending on factors such as the vehicle make and model. With 99% of journeys car journeys in England under 100 miles, EVs are suitable for most daily commutes as well as longer journeys.

Today, there are multiple models of EV that boast a range of over 200 miles when charged – with some extending to 300 miles or more. Models offering a range in excess of 300 miles include the Tesla Model S, which delivers up to 412 miles of range, through its 100kWh battery. The Ford Mustang Mach-E promises 379 miles from a single charge, while the BMW iX offers 373 miles.

5. EVs are slow and lack power

Contemporary EVs can provide acceleration and top speeds to rival their diesel and petrol equivalents. For example, the Kia EV6 GT can go from zero to 60mph in 3.5 seconds, while the Tesla Model S Plaid can go from zero to 60mph in an impressive 2.1 seconds. Depending on the make and model you select, a switch to EV doesn’t have to mean a compromise on performance.

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