Following its launch of the market’s first car insurance product developed solely for electric cars, new research from LV= General Insurance (LV=GI), one of the UK’s largest car insurers, exposes the unfounded reasons people are hesitant about making the move to a fully electric.
More than a quarter (27%) of drivers are considering switching to an electric car within the next five years, rising to two fifths (38%) among those aged 18-34 years old. Despite this, a fifth (18%) state they’ll never consider buying one due to a host of concerns such as: worrying the battery will run out of charge (51%), that they’re too expensive (48%) and the running costs are too high (25%) and thinking they can’t be used for long distance journeys (45%).
LV=GI dispels the 10 biggest electric car myths:
1. Electric cars aren’t as powerful
Interestingly, more than half (55%) of UK adults believe an electric car isn’t as powerful as petrol or diesel, however this isn’t true. An electric car can generate power quicker and most accelerate quicker than a petrol or diesel equivalent. The fastest road car in the world has been revealed as an electric car, revealed at the Geneva Motor Show
2. You can’t drive an electric car on a motorway
More than one in 10 (12%) people are convinced you can’t drive an electric car on the motorway, but that is false. Ecotricity has 145 public stations at motorway and A-road services around the UK, providing around 300 individual chargers. LV= GI has also partnered with Zap-Map, an interactive map of the 20,000 public charging points across the UK, to help drivers easily locate one closest to them.
3. You can’t wash an electric car in a car wash
One in five (18%) people are convinced you can’t wash an electric car in a car wash. Although electricity and water tend not to mix, it’s completely safe to do so. Before electric cars are sold, they’re heavily tested which includes a soak test. Therefore, it’s just as safe to take an electric car through a car wash as it is a normal car.
4. Electric cars shouldn’t be used during heavy rain
Although one in ten (12%) think electric cars cannot be driven in the rain, this is a myth. Electric cars have all been extensively tested by their manufacturers to ensure top performance in a range of conditions. Electric car chargers are weatherproof, and all charge points have been through rigorous safety testing and are installed in accordance with the relevant regulations.
5. Electric car battery’s need to be replaced every five years
A common misconception is that electric car battery’s need to be replaced every five years, with nearly a quarter (23%) believing this is true. The current prediction is the battery will last at least 10 years and perhaps even up to 20 years before needing replacement. What’s more, many manufacturers offer lengthy warranties to prove their certainty around the longevity of the batteries.
6. Electric cars are dangerous
One in 17 (6%) wouldn’t buy an electric car because they believe they’re dangerous and there’s a risk of electrocution. Any piece of electrical equipment can potentially be dangerous; however, electric cars are just as safe as a standard car. Instead of fuel, they have a Li-ion battery, which is a larger version than what is found in a phone or laptop. These can catch alight, but manufacturers have installed devices to disconnect the battery if there is a collision. Additionally, drivers shouldn’t look to make any repairs themselves though and should instead take it to a garage with an electric car specialist. Access to a network of specialist electric car repairers across the country is provided as part of the new product from LV= GI.
7. Electric cars can’t be used for long journeys
Nearly half (45%) of those who wouldn’t buy an electric car are deterred from purchasing one because they can’t be used for long journeys. However, most electric cars are currently capable of about 100 miles of driving before they need to be recharged, while some of the latest models are closer to 200 miles or more – which is approximately the drive from London to Manchester. If you find yourself out of battery, the LV= Electric Car insurance
offers UK-wide recovery for customers who run out of charge, to the nearest charging point.
8. Electric cars are more expensive to run
One in four (25%) wouldn’t buy an electric car because the running costs are too high, and although drivers are able to accurately describe the average running cost per 100 miles of a petrol or diesel car, drivers overestimate the average running cost of an electric car by at least 100%. According to the Energy Savings Trust, on a full charge an electric car can run for 100 miles at a cost of £4 to £6, compared to 100 miles in a petrol or diesel car costing £13 to £16
. Electric cars are also exempt from road tax and London’s Congestion Charge, although you need to claim the discount.
9. There are no incentives on offer for buying an electric car
Two in five (40%) people are unaware of the incentives available for buying an electric car. The Government has introduced a ‘plug-in grant’
– a discount on the price of brand new low-emission vehicles through a grant given to vehicle dealerships and manufacturers. The maximum grant available for cars is £3,500.
10. Petrol and diesel cars won’t be banned anytime soon
Seven in 10 (70%) appear to be unaware that petrol cars are to be banned by 2040, with 15% believing electric cars will never entirely replace petrol or diesel cars. Yet, all new cars in the UK will be “effectively zero emission” by 2040 in a plan to tackle air pollution. Although the Government is under pressure to bring forward this deadline and ban all sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2032.
Martin Milliner, Claims Director at LV= General Insurance said:
“There are over 200,000 plug-in electric cars on UK roads
, but our research proves there is still a huge amount of confusion about what owning one actually means. Moving to an electric car will mean a change of habit for drivers, but there are several benefits to making the switch, including lower fuel costs and reducing our impact on the environment.
“The myths surrounding electric cars will ultimately impact a driver’s decision to purchase one. Tackling air pollution and emissions are key issues on the Government’s agenda and eventually, as new diesel and petrol vehicles are banned in the UK from 2040, industry wide we need to tackle these misconceptions and help people embrace the move to electric.
“It’s important for drivers to remember that electric cars have very specific needs. Our new insurance addresses this and drivers can be confident of making the change to these cars of the future, knowing they have the right cover to protect them.”