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The struggle to debunk electric car myths

Nissan Leaf

Car manufacturers are facing an uphill struggle to convince Brits to go electric, claims new research.

A survey for leading karting company TeamSport revealed that there’s still an issue about separating fact from fiction when it comes to electric cars.

For instance, half of drivers (50%) think electric cars are unreliable and a further 65% said they believe that electric vehicles are slower than petrol cars.

Nearly two-thirds of the nation (62%) also believe that petrol cars give a better driving experience than electric cars.

Half of respondents (47%) incorrectly believe that electric cars will put a strain on the national grid, despite that most home electric charging happens during off-peak hours.

Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine

The majority of drivers still don’t fully understand the performance capabilities of electric vehicles, with almost three-quarters (73%) believing that electric cars are only suitable for short distance driving.

Another common myth is that there will not be enough docking stations for electric cars to ever become mainstream, with 72% of respondents believing this to be true. However, there are currently around 12,194 connectors for electric vehicles, in more than 4,303 locations across the UK.

One of the biggest myths around electric cars is that the batteries can’t be recycled. However, this is not the case. For instance, Renault recently announced a new recycling scheme aimed at reusing batteries from old electric vehicles to power home electrical storage systems.

A third (36%) of respondents also believe that electric car batteries will only last few years until they need replacing. According to the AA, batteries in older electric vehicles (EVs) are ageing better than expected and a number of manufactures are also offering warranties on batteries in new EVs.

“Electric vehicle technology is still not understood by the public, which is ironic as in the early 1900s, all the best vehicles were electric,” said Sylvain Filippi of the Formula E team, DS Virgin Racing.

“Statistics show that once someone tries an electric vehicle, the feedback is most of the time very positive.

“On a personal level, I drive a high performance electric car that definitely provides a fantastic driving experience. Instant torque is addictive, even compared to high performance petrol cars, and EVs designed from the ground up with the batteries under the floor provide excellent chassis dynamics as well.”

Formula E driver Sam Bird added: “Electric vehicles are the future. It’s exciting to think where technology might be in 10 years, and being involved in Formula E means we’re part of that journey.”

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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