If you are considering switching to an electric vehicle (EV), the chances are you’ve heard some scary stories about the state of EV charging infrastructure in the UK. Rumours circulate that charging is too expensive, there aren’t enough charging stations, long-distance travel is impossible, and switching to an EV is bad choice. In reality, switching to an EV is becoming increasingly viable, the UK’s EV charging infrastructure is improving every year. In this article, we’ll debunk some of the most common EV myths and show why transitioning to an electric vehicle means a greener future.
Common myths about EV charging
Myth #1: The aren’t enough charging stations
This used to be somewhat true, but significant progress has been made in EV infrastructure. According to Zap-Map, at the end of October 2023, there were 51,516 charging points across the UK, with 30,360 charging locations (this doesn’t include charge charge points installed at homes). This is an increase of around 45% from October 2022.
So, while there is still work to be done, the UK government is pushing to ensure that the country has the necessary infrastructure to meet the growing demand. The Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) fund, £381 million in investment, is set to pave the way for tens of thousands of new charging points to be installed across the nation.
Private investments from ChargeUK members alone have committed over £6 billion to support the project. In fact, Europe’s largest EV charging site can already be found in Birmingham, a testament to the progress already made.
The National Infrastructure Commission also predicts that if charge point deployment continues to grow at a rate of 30% annually, the expectation of having over 300,000 public chargers by 2030 will be met easily.
Myth #2: Charging EVs is more expensive than fuelling traditional vehicles
While the dramatic increase in electricity prices over the past couple of years has impacted the cost of EV charging, it is still cheaper
than fuelling an ICE vehicle.
Again, from calculations by Zap-Map, a driver who charges 80% of their time at home and uses public rapid chargers 20% of their time can
pay as little as 10p/mile compared to an internal combustion engine (ICE) driver at 16p per mile. If you take advantage of off-peak tariffs, you can save even more by charging your vehicle overnight.
Myth #3: Long-distance travel in an EV is impossible
This myth is no longer relevant. These days, EV drivers can map out their long journeys via apps that indicate charging stations. EVs have fully integrated battery management systems that track energy usage and optimise driving routes so that you can make it to your destination on a single charge. Even Google Maps has options for the most fuel-efficient route, taking into account hills and corners.
However, it does require some forward-thinking by the driver. Route planning is essential if you’ll be travelling further than one charge. But remember, the average daily journey for most drivers is less than 30 miles, which is easily within the range of the smallest EV battery.
Myth #4: The electricity grid can’t handle an increase in EVs
This is one of those myths that ignores reality. It’s based on the assumption that everyone switches to EVs overnight. In this case, the grid would probably struggle to meet demand. But that isn’t happening in the real world as the transition is happening slowly over years, not days. As a result, the grid can certainly handle an increase in EVs being plugged in. Smart metering and integrating home solar panels into EV charging are also helping make charging more efficient and intelligent. And, if EV drivers charge overnight, it allows the grid to smooth out the loading over 24 hours.
Myth #5: Home charging isn’t convenient
Now, this is partially true, depending on your home. If you have off-road parking, having a charger installed at home is easy. However, it
is more challenging if you park on a main road or live in a block of flats.
This is one key area of research and development for private enterprises. History has shown that companies will develop a solution wherever there’s a problem. Currently, many ideas are in development, like pop-up chargers built into pavements or turning streetlamps into chargers as they already have an electricity supply. Other companies are developing portable chargers that work like shopping trolleys. They’re a big battery pack on wheels, stored in a central location, and you pay to wheel one out to your vehicle to plug in and charge.
Switching to an electric vehicle is not only a green choice, but it’s also a practical one. The UK’s EV charging infrastructure is growing, and the barriers to adoption are increasingly being dispelled. As with any technological advancement, there are going to be concerns and myths that arise, but this shouldn’t stop you from making the correct choice for your transport needs. In the long run, switching to an EV will reduce your carbon footprint, save money, and make for a more sustainable future.
So go ahead, dive in and enjoy the benefits of owning an electric vehicle.