The 11 biggest electric car myths

Myth 1: Electric cars won’t be able to go far enough on a single charge.

Fact: The new Chevy Volt which will be available in 2010 will be able to go 35-40 miles before fuel is used for the electrical charge. However, many estimate that the range will be improved to 80 miles before any gasoline will be burned. The cars can be plugged in and recharged during the day for a gasoline-free commute home in the evening.

Myth 2: Electric cars will still harm the the environment.

Fact: As electric cars are more efficient, even with 52 percent of our electricity being generated by coal-fired power plants, plug-in cars reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and most other pollutants compared with conventional gas or hybrid vehicles. Besides, on a daily basis consumers are moving towards using more renewable energy to power our electricity.

Myth 3: They are too slow to be on the roads.

Fact: Electric vehicles can be fast. The linear power delivery characteristics of electric vehicles can make them extremely quick. Torque is instantly available at all RPM ranges, without the usual lag we are used to with combustion engines. Currently, Tesla roadster, which is under production can reach 0-60 kms in flat 3.9 seconds

Myth 4: Customers won’t buy cars with less than 200 miles range.

Fact: So-called ‘range anxiety’ disappears, when people get used to driving EVs on a daily basis. It’s just like charging a cell phone overnight. You plug it in, and in the morning it’s ready to go, fully charged. Recently, electric vehicle portal THINK announced a new standard for fast charging – zero to 80% charged in just 15 minutes – to help cover those rare situations when an EV will be needed for more than 100 miles in a single day.

Myth 5: The batteries won’t last.

Fact: EV batteries are designed to last at least 10 years and more than 100,000 miles. Electric vehicle portal THINK has cars on the road in Europe with batteries approaching the 10-year mark and brings that experience to modern Lithium batteries to ensure they meet that target.

Myth 6: The technology is too complicated

Fact: A modern electric car has only about five main moving parts compared with hundreds in an internal combustion engine. There are no regular visits to the dealership for an EV. No oil changes, no filters – even brake pads last two-to-three times longer than in conventional cars, because electric vehicles use regenerative braking to recapture the energy that would otherwise be lost while braking.

Myth 8: I don’t have the right kind of plug for an electric car

Fact: Plug-In Electric Hybrid Vehicles are plugged right into ordinary household outlets (120 volts). Most can be re-charged in 30 minutes or less. Government agencies and employers are leading the charge to install re-charging stations on streets, in parking garages and at park-and-ride facilities to increase convenience.

Myth 9: Fast charging EV batteries will wear them out quickly.

Fact: Modern prismatic lithium batteries can be developed with fast-charging. The critical technology is in the cell design to manage battery temperature during charging. Limiting fast charging to the 0-80% range also protects battery life. The view is that 95% or more of all EV miles will be driven on EVs charged during overnight off-peak periods when electricity is cheaper and readily available.

Myth 10: The hype over electric cars will pass and then I’ll have an obsolete vehicle.

Fact: No, this time electric cars will not be killed. Gas prices have gone up too much and dependency oil has also gone to high. The governemnt has also made an investment of $2.85 billion in electric vehicles. Department of Energy is investing $2 billion in US-based manufacturers to produce advanced vehicle batteries and drive train components, $400 million to purchase, test, and deploy different types of electric vehicles to test their viability in the marketplace, and $300 million in cost-share projects under the "Clean Cities" program

Myth 11: Plug in hybrids are the best solution.

Fact: Carrying around the extra weight and cost of two powertrains makes little sense. In some ways, a ‘hybrid garage’ (where one car is an EV and the other a relatively fuel-efficient ‘normal car’) is probably most economical for a typical family. As plug-in hybrids get bigger and heavier, they need more batteries and stronger gas- or diesel-powered generators or engines. It becomes a ‘vicious circle’ of more cost and more weight to achieve acceptable range and performance in both modes.