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Common EV Myths and Misconceptions

Kevin Jennings
Jul 2023
There are lots of myths about electric driving out there. Fortunately, your friends at GreenCars have put together our list of the top five most common electric car myths - which we bust in this story.
An electric car plugged in and charging at home

Busting EV Myths & Misconceptions

As we all know, you can find an infinite number of humorous misconceptions on the internet regarding electric vehicles. For instance, the legend that an ancient EV was found when they first blew open the Pyramid of Giza (and that it still was in functioning condition), is absolutely false. They did find a form of early battery, but that’s another story. Another tale suggests that the first electric car was invented by Leonardo DaVinci in 1502. This is completely false, though he did invent a version of the helicopter and may have invented the martini.

The EV misconceptions that we are dealing with here are more modern and include such myths that the ingredients of EV batteries include bat guano that is exclusively mined by 12-year-old little girls in the dense bat caves of Sumatra, or that all green cars are actually some shade of the color green. With your mind in mind, your friends at GreenCars have put together our list of the top five most common electric car myths that we have busted into tiny bits. Enjoy.

vector EVs overlaid on a forest background

#1: "EVs are Worse for the Climate than Gasoline Cars"

Not true. The fact is that all-electric vehicles typically have a smaller carbon footprint than gasoline cars, even when you account for the electricity used while they are charging. First of all, all-electric cars are zero emission vehicles and don't even have a tailpipe.

The only pollutants generated by an EV come from charging the vehicle and that depends on where you live. If the electricity you use at home comes from a plant that uses coal or natural gas to create the electricity, those plants emit carbon pollution. On the other hand, if your electricity comes to you via wind or solar power, no pollution is generated. That’s why it is important for us all to push for cleaner, greener electricity for our homes, neighborhoods and cities.

However, even if your electricity comes from a plant that generates power from coal, the average EV is responsible for lower greenhouse gases than a new gasoline-powered car. The EPA and Department of Energy has put out a Beyond Tailpipe Emission Calculator to help you estimate the amount of greenhouse gases that will be produced by charging your EV where you live. Simply type in the EV or PHEV make and model and your zip code to see the level of greenhouse gases you produce when compared to driving a gas vehicle.

vector map with points A, B and C

#2: "EVs Don’t Have Enough Range for Daily Travel"

Absolutely false. The average American drives approximately 50 miles per day. That’s it. Electric vehicles have more than enough range to cover a typical day of travel. Somewhere around 85 percent of households travel less than 100 miles on a typical day and the majority of all-electric EVs have a range of over 200 miles. Automakers are constantly pushing for more range in new model EVs to eliminate any “range anxiety” that customers might feel. But the simple fact is that EVs are similar to charging your smartphone or laptop. You charge up your car at night while you are sleeping and every morning you awake to the equivalent of a full tank of gas.

The median EV range goes up every year. For 2020, the median range was 259 miles on a charge, more than enough for any family on the go. You can find the range estimates for specific EV models by using the Find a Car tool here. Just click on the car you are interested in and check out the EPA Fuel Economy line. How you drive your EV will also affect your range as does the outside temperature. EV range drops in freezing conditions. For instance, if you are using the car’s heater and driving in below freezing conditions, your range could drop by as much as 40 percent.

cars stopped at the traffic light

#3: "EVs Can Run Out of Power While You are Stuck in Traffic"

Not true. A popular EV myth claims that electric cars run out of power when stuck in a traffic jam, leaving drivers stranded with no heat or air conditioning, lost and alone with a vehicle that is as useless as a depleted laptop. The truth is the EVs use very little power when they are not moving and their energy will last a lot longer than a gasoline-powered car that is overheating and running out of gas in a traffic jam.

“Electric vehicles use very little power when stationary,” David Howey, associate professor in engineering science at the University of Oxford’s Department of Engineering Science, tells us. “The motor doesn’t consume power at zero speed. Only the car electronics and heating/cooling systems use power when the car is stationary, and the amounts are relatively small.” A typical stationary electric vehicle (EV) with full battery could likely run its climate settings and electronics for “at least a day, probably many days,” Howey concludes.

EVs don’t use much power to maintain climate control and have very efficient heating systems. For example, a Nissan Leaf with the heater on and stuck in traffic could provide ten hours of heating even with only half a charge.

an electric truck pulling and Airstream trailer

#4: "EVs are Only Available as Sedans"

This one is just silly. Most EVs today are in fact crossover SUVs, ready to handle whatever your family can dish out! EVs and PHEVs are available in many vehicle classes including pickup trucks such as the popular Ford F-150 Lightning, and the new GMC all-electric Hummer. From the Chevy Equinox and Kia Niro to the Audi E Tron and Jaguar I-Pace, there is every shape and size EV imaginable for you to choose from. There are currently over 50 PHEV and EVs on the market and the vast majority are not sedans.

With automakers on track to stop the production of gasoline-powered vehicles in favor of all-electric vehicles by 2040, the number of all-new EVs in the marketplace will continue to rise very quickly in every variation of vehicle style and type.

a row of EV charging stations

#5: "There is Nowhere to Charge Your EV"

This is 100 percent false. The fact is, EVs can be plugged into a standard electrical outlet. You can plug it in anywhere, just like your smartphone, blender or toaster. There are currently over 43,000 public EV charging stations all across America and another 120,000 charging ports that are Level 2 chargers. Plus, there are more being rolled out every day!

President Joe Biden wants to expand the country’s charging network significantly while research proves that most EV owners charge their vehicles at home with a standard 120V plug. To charge more quickly, you can install a dedicated 240 V Level 2 charger in your garage. For those who live in a condo or apartment, EV charging stations are becoming a common building amenity.

Charging free at the workplace is also widely available and DC Fast Charging stations are sprouting up as well to charge your EV delivering 60 miles or more of range in just 20 minutes. Most EVs have charging station location information built into their onboard infotainment systems and there are many apps available to provide the location of charging stations near you.

Watch for GreenCars to debunk more EV Myths right here in your trusted source of all EV info.