Breaking down the myths of low emission vehicles: separating facts from fiction
Breaking down the myths of low emission vehicles: separating facts from fiction
As low-emission vehicles gain popularity as a more sustainable transportation option, it's important to separate facts from fiction and dispel common myths associated with these types of vehicles.
The main types of low-emission vehicles are:
- Hybrid: Powered by both an internal combustion engine and an electric motor, hybrid cars reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency. The electric motor is powered by a battery that is recharged by the engine and regenerative braking.
- Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV): Much like a hybrid car, plug-in hybrids have larger batteries charged by plugging them into an external power source. This allows them to operate on electric power alone for a certain distance before the petrolengine kicks in.
- Electric: Also known as battery electric vehicles (BEVs), electric cars are powered entirely by electricity stored in a battery. They have an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine and are charged by plugging them into an external power source - such as a charging station or wall outlet.
Low-emissions vehicles play an important role in improving public health, positively impacting the environment, and can be a financially sound transportation option. The fuel savings that can be made are significant, in addition to lower maintenance and servicing costs.
However, some myths surrounding EVs and similar cars can affect their adoption. Let’s find out more.
Electric car facts
Electric cars run on electricity, which means they produce no tailpipe emissions and can be powered by renewable energy sources like wind or solar power.
A common electric car myth is that they have limited range and are not practical for long-distance driving.
The driving range of an electric car varies depending on the model and battery size, but many can actually travel up to 250 miles on a single charge. According to a study by the International Council on Clean Transportation, the average daily distance driven by most people is less than 40 miles, which is well within the range of most electric cars available in the market today.
Many electric cars have fast charging capabilities, which means they can be charged to 80% capacity in as little as 30 minutes. The number of public charging stations is increasing all the time making it easier to travel longer distances in an electric car.
You can often achieve an extended driving range with EV’s regenerative braking systems - allowing the car to recover energy when the brakes are applied.
Electric cars are often cheaper to operate than petrol or diesel-powered cars. This is because the cost of charging an electric car is typically less than the cost of filling up a fuel tank. Electric cars can be charged at home using a standard 120-volt outlet or a dedicated 240-volt charging station.
Another electric car myth: electric cars are not reliable and have expensive maintenance costs.
With less moving and complex parts, electric cars require less maintenance than their traditional counterparts. Electric cars do not require oil changes, transmission maintenance, or exhaust system repairs, which can reduce maintenance expenses over time.
Electric car myths
Electric cars are too expensive: while electric cars can have a higher upfront cost than petrol or diesel cars, they can be cheaper to operate and maintain over their lifetime.
The overall cost of electric cars can be competitive or even lower than traditional cars when considering factors such as fuel savings, tax incentives, and lower maintenance costs.
Consumer Reports conducted a study comparing maintenance and repair costs of electric vehicles with traditionally powered vehicles, and it was found that electric vehicles generally had lower maintenance and repair costs over a five-year period.
It can cost as little as 2p per mile to run an electric car when charging on off-peak electricity. A multitude of government incentives and tax credits can help reduce the cost of purchase or lease.
Electric cars are slow: many electric cars are actually faster and more responsive than petrol-powered cars because they have instant torque. EVs are designed to have high horsepower and quick acceleration.
For example, the all-electric Tesla Model S has been known to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in under 2 seconds - making it one of the fastest production cars in the world. Moreover, electric cars often have a low centre of gravity due to the placement of heavy batteries, which can result in better handling and cornering performance compared to traditional cars.
Electric cars aren't as safe: electric cars are just as safe as traditional cars, and in some cases, they may be even safer.
Electric cars often have additional safety features due to their unique design - the lower centre of gravity reduces the risk of rollovers, and advanced battery management systems protect against thermal runaway and other safety hazards.
Several electric cars have also achieved top safety ratings in crash tests conducted by reputable organisations such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Electric cars aren't reliable: electric cars have fewer moving parts than traditional cars, which means they have less that can break or wear out. Additionally, electric car manufacturers offer warranties on their vehicles, just like petrol or diesel car manufacturers.
Electric cars aren't practical: electric cars can be just as practical as traditional cars for many drivers. They can be charged at home, and there are many public charging stations available. Industry stats show that there are over 31,000 public charge points available across the UK - with over 5,800 rapid chargers.
Many low-emission cars have similar features and capabilities to traditional cars - including plenty of boot space and towing capacity.
So, why the myths surrounding low-emission vehicles?
In part, it’s likely down to a lack of information. As EVs and similar vehicles are a relatively new technology, people may not have the latest data about their potential performance, capabilities, and benefits. This lack of information can lead to misconceptions and continued myths.
Hybrid car facts vs myths
Hybrid cars combine two or more power sources - usually an internal combustion engine (ICE) and an electric motor, to propel the vehicle. They are designed to offer improved fuel efficiency, reduced emissions, and in some cases, offer increased performance compared to traditional cars.
As with electric vehicles, there’s some common misconceptions and myths surrounding hybrid cars:
Hybrid cars are expensive: while hybrid cars can be more expensive than their petrol-only counterparts, they often have lower operating costs. Moreover, hybrid cars typically have higher gas mileage than traditional cars, which can save drivers money on fuel costs over time.
Hybrid cars are slow: hybrid cars are designed to be efficient, but that doesn't mean they can't be quick. Many hybrid models have powerful electric motors that provide instant torque and can accelerate quickly.
Hybrid cars require special maintenance: hybrid cars require the same maintenance as petrol-powered cars, including oil changes and brake pad replacements. There are no special maintenance requirements for the hybrid system.
Hybrid cars can't go very far: most hybrid cars have a range similar to that of petrol-powered cars, and many models also have regenerative braking that captures energy that is normally lost during braking and use it to recharge the battery, which helps extend the driving range.
Low-emission vehicles, such as hybrid, and electric vehicles, offer several environmental benefits, including:
- Reduced greenhouse gas emissions: low-emission vehicles produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide and methane compared to traditional vehicles. According to the UK Government's Department for Transport, EVs on average emit 58% fewer CO2 emissions per mile compared to conventional vehicles.
This helps mitigate climate change by reducing the amount of heat-trapping gases released into the atmosphere.
- Improved air quality: low-emission vehicles emit fewer pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds, which are harmful to human health and contribute to air pollution. Using low-emission vehicles can help improve air quality - especially in urban areas where air pollution is a concern.
- Decreased dependence on fossil fuels: low-emission vehicles use alternative sources of energy, such as electricity, hydrogen, or a combination of electricity and petrol, reducing the reliance on fossil fuels. This can help decrease our dependence on oil and contribute to greater energy security.
- Energy efficiency: low-emission vehicles often have higher energy efficiency compared to traditional vehicles. They may use regenerative braking, energy monitoring systems, and other technologies to optimise energy use and reduce waste, resulting in improved overall efficiency.
- Sustainability: low-emission vehicles can promote sustainability by reducing the environmental impact of transportation, which is a significant contributor to global emissions. They can also help spur the development of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, which can be used to generate electricity for electric and fuel cell vehicles.
- Reduced noise pollution: low-emission vehicles are often quieter than traditional vehicles, which can reduce noise pollution in urban areas and make for a more pleasant driving experience. On average, EVs produce about 40% less noise compared to traditional vehicles.
Adopting low-emission vehicles offers significant long-term benefits for the environment and society which can contribute to a more sustainable, resilient, and prosperous future for generations to come.
One of the most significant ways low-emission vehicles can save money over time is lower fuel costs. Low-emission vehicles typically have fewer moving parts and simplified powertrains compared to traditional cars with internal combustion engines. According to a study by a UK-based organisation, low-emission vehicles can have maintenance costs that are up to 70% lower compared to traditional vehicles.
At the time of writing, the UK Plug-in Car Grant provides a discount of up to £2,500 for eligible EVs and PHEVs, thus making them more affordable for consumers. There are also exemptions from vehicle taxes, lower rates of road tax, and reduced rates for company car tax for low-emission vehicles, further contributing to cost savings.
We’ve debunked several low-emission car myths - including safety, reliability, charging, cost, and more. It’s clear to see that these vehicles have plenty to offer the modern and environmentally-conscious driver.
If you’re convinced of the debunked myths, why not consider a car subscription with Drive Fuze?
Offering a range of hybrid and electric vehicles, it’s the perfect sustainable transport solution. For example, try an electric car out, then swap it for a hybrid model whenever you like. You get all the benefits of testing different vehicles without the headache of long-term, fixed contracts (not to mention maintenance, new tyres, insurance, servicing and breakdown cover included as standard).
Low-emission car subscriptions from Drive Fuze are a cost-effective and flexible answer to your driving dilemmas. Feel the freedom with your sustainable driving future with a car subscription.