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More and more UK motorists are buying electric vehicles (EVs), and manufacturers are investing more into either beginning or extending their EV ranges. 

However, though motorists are gaining more knowledge about EVs, there are a number of misconceptions surrounding this type of vehicle that could potentially stall a customer from purchasing. 

Earlier this year, we conducted a survey of more than 2,000 UK motorists to find out what customers really think about EVs. This uncovered some interesting attitudes around the advantages and disadvantages of owning an EV. We also discovered some common misconceptions surrounding charging time, range and acceleration. 


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In this article, we’ll discuss four of the biggest misconceptions drivers see when contemplating buying an EV: 


Misconception 1: EVs take longer than an hour to charge

Our survey revealed that many drivers feel EVs take longer to charge than is preferable. 24% of those surveyed stated it would need to take 60 minutes to fully charge if they were to buy an EV, and this was the most common answer among all respondents. 

A further 23% said it would need to take 30 minutes to recharge their EV if they were to consider buying one.

When we consider how long it actually takes to recharge an EV, these expectations show a potential lack of knowledge. Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how long it takes to charge an EV, but a typical motor would take just under 8 hours to fully charge using a 7kW charging point. 

That said, the length of time it takes to recharge an EV will depend entirely on the size of the battery and the speed of the charger. Some EVs can be charged to full capacity in just half an hour, whereas others can take up to 12 hours to fully recharge. 


Misconception 2: EVs should be able to drive 300 miles before needing to be recharged  

The findings of our survey implied that many UK drivers expect EVs to be able to drive 300 miles before needing to be recharged. 

The majority of our respondents said that they expected an EV to be able to drive 300 miles before needing a charging point. 

However, those aged under 25 had the highest expectations, with 20% saying they would expect an EV to be able to travel 500 miles on one charge. 

Despite these expectations, limited range was seen as one of the biggest disadvantages of electric vehicles. However, 52% of those we surveyed agreed that range is improving and perhaps won’t be a cause for concern in the long-term. 

In truth, battery technology is advancing rapidly, so EV range is improving all the time. In addition, the average mileage per car in England is 7,600 miles per year, which works out at around 21 miles every day. With that in mind, EVs may not need to be charged as often as many drivers perceive. 


Misconception 3: How good is EV acceleration?

Our survey also found that there was a lot of confusion about the acceleration of electric vehicles. 

28% of drivers said that EVs have excellent acceleration, but 24% admitted that they didn’t know how good acceleration was. This suggests a need for greater understanding for motorists when it comes to EV functionality. 

EVs are known for quick, quiet and smooth acceleration and, as a rough guide, most electric cars can do 0-60mph in less than 8 seconds. Some can even do so in less than 3 seconds.


Misconception 4: How environmentally friendly are EVs?

Although it’s one of the most celebrated benefits of EVs, our survey revealed some slight uncertainty about whether they are environmentally friendly. 

The vast majority of our respondents agreed that EVs are better for the environment due to having zero emissions, but 5% disagreed with this statement and 11% had a neutral attitude. 

Although these percentages are relatively small, there is an argument that generating electricity is harmful to the environment. However, the way we generate power has improved over time, and our energy system is continually getting cleaner. In fact, 2019 was a record-breaking year, with more electricity being generated by clean sources than fossil fuels

There is also an argument that the manufacture of EVs uses a lot of energy. Studies have shown that manufacturing EVs generates more carbon emissions than the creation of petrol or diesel vehicles. However, the lifetime emissions are still much lower than they are for ICEs. 

EVs actually contribute towards higher quality air in towns and cities. Fully electric vehicles don’t have a tail pipe, which means they don’t produce carbon emissions when they’re being driven. 

Find out more about electric vehicles and the opportunities for dealers, fleets  and insurers 


Download the full whitepaper

Want to get more insights into what UK drivers really think about electric vehicles? Download our whitepaper to read about perceived advantages and disadvantages, misconceptions and more.