3 myths about the electric car that will remain in 2023

3 myths about the electric car that will remain in 2023

Insufficient autonomy, far too long charging time, polluting batteries or even untraceable charging stations, these are the classic words of those who oppose electromobility. Is there any truth to the popular beliefs about electric cars, or are they just rumors from the past?

While sales of new electric vehicles continue to rise in France and elsewhere, some refractory materials still only see the flaws. Mindsets change as discussions progress between owners and interested parties, but prejudices persist.

The best-selling car in the world in the first quarter of 2023 may be electric, but there are still big untruths. Excessive price, restrictions on charging, ecological footprint larger than a thermal car, what are the most persistent prejudices about the electric car today?

“The electric car is too expensive”

It’s classic to hear discussions around the most popular electric cars in recent months (Tesla Model Y and Model 3 in particular) claiming that they are cars for the rich, above $100,000. The reality is different, with a Tesla Model 3 including the ecological bonus available today for 36,990 euros, and a Model Y for 40,990 euros.

However, the average purchase price of a new car in France is much lower, at less than 33,000 euros at the start of 2023. There is a certain choice of electric cars that count less than 30,000 euros towards the ecological bonus, which therefore places them below the average purchase price of a new car.

The second-hand market is also starting to expand, with old Renault Zoe or Nissan Leaf selling for between 5,000 and 7,000 euros. In addition, depending on the situation, these vehicles are eligible for government and local support, which can reduce the price to be paid by several thousand euros.

For example, residents or people working in low-emission zones can combine local support with national support, which can reach up to 80% of the price of the electric vehicle in question by adding the ecological bonus, conversion bonus and bonus ZFEm.

Of the new electric vehicles, some models are trying to convince customers looking for low-cost, connected cars. We can of course mention the little Dacia Spring, offered today from 15,800 euros including the ecological bonus, or only 12 euros per month in long-term rental by combining all the help.

As you will have understood, the electric car “reserved for an elite” is no longer relevant – even though there are of course very expensive models – where certain models are available for a very competitive price.

“Charging your electric car: quite a hassle”

This is undoubtedly one of the most common comments about the electric car, so much is the fear of newcomers. How do you charge your car when you have decades of thermal cars behind you?

People who can charge at home have far fewer daily limitations with an electric car than with a thermal car. Indeed, it is possible to start every day with a full battery, without having to go anywhere to restore all its autonomy.

In practice, owners of an electric car do the same as with their smartphone: their car charges while they sleep, every day if necessary. That is for the daily life of those who have the opportunity to charge where their electric car is parked. For the others, it must be admitted that the experience is less pleasant.

Charging and parking posts // Source: Raphaelle Baut for Numerama

While the ritual of gas stations can fill a tank in minutes at the most, for an electric car this is often counted in hours. We are not talking about fast charging, which can restore about 80% of the battery in about thirty minutes in many electric cars, but about charging slowly at alternating current.

Without the possibility to charge at home, you have to rely on public terminals, which can be found in certain city car parks, in villages, in shopping centers or hotels. It may be appropriate to leave your car on the charger for a few hours a week in a place where you usually go, be it shopping, sports, etc.

To find charging points, there are applications and websites such as Chargemap, which list the different available terminals where you are. Beware though, in order to charge yourself at the 100,000 or so charge points open to the public, it may be necessary to have one or more charge cards.

In terms of price, it is also higher than at home, with rates ranging from 0.20 to 0.40 euros per kilowatt hour. With city consumption (15 kWh/100 km), the costs of charging in this way vary between 3 and 6 euros per 100 km. In comparison, it costs about 8 euros to cover 100 km in a thermal car while being optimistic. Electric is also more economical in such a case.

“The autonomy is insufficient and the batteries get dirty”

Last bullet in the anti-VE gun: autonomy and ecology. Electric cars have much less autonomy than an equivalent thermal car, especially for city cars. The first Renault Zoe or Nissan Leaf from 2014 (and before) had a real range of no more than 100 km.

Even if this seems insufficient, it should be remembered that the national average is around 12,000 km per year traveled by private car, or about 35 km per day. If the few major annual journeys are far too long to cover without charging in between, electric cars with a small battery are more than sufficient for everyday needs.

Today, many electric cars have a WLTP range of between 400 and 600 km and can charge quickly, making it easy to hit the road when needed. But you don’t always have to try to have the largest battery in your electric car.

Dacia Spring // Source: Dacia
Dacia Spring // Source: Dacia

Finally, although the carbon footprint of the electric car is not zero, we should not fall into one of the generally accepted ideas that most harms electric mobility, namely saying that it would be more polluting than a thermal car.

Serious studies on the subject are unanimous: even in the worst cases (battery made with carbon electricity, then charging the car with carbon electricity), an electric car has a better carbon footprint over its entire life cycle than a thermal equivalent.

If you want to go further on this topic of the famous clean vehicle, a file is available from our Frandroid colleagues, clarifying the true from the false. Be that as it may, in France, where the electricity mix is ​​very low carbon, driving an electric car does not significantly increase an individual’s carbon footprint, unlike the same journeys in a thermal car.

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