Electric vehicles – myths and misconceptions

Round & About


Dave Lamont of Plastic Free Home shares his reasons for finally deciding to go electric, can he persuade you by dispelling some of those myths and misconceptions?

This autumn, after much research and careful deliberation we finally took the plunge and ordered our first electric vehicle (EV).

In the UK, that still very much makes us ‘early adopters’. Of the 33 million cars on our roads, just 462,050 are battery electric vehicles (BEVs) according to the RAC. But the picture is changing. The number of BEVs registered in September rose 16.5% in September, with around 15% of all new cars registered now fully electric. With the sale of petrol and diesel cars and vans banned in the UK after 2030, and hybrid sales banned from 2035, that trend should only gather pace.

One thing that becomes quickly apparent when you delve deeper into things is there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding the electric vehicles. We thought it might be helpful to clear a few of them up…

The range isn’t good enough

How often do you jump in your car and go for a 200-mile round trip, or further? Not often would be the answer for most of us. In fact, according to the Department for Transport, the average car does just 5,300 miles per year, or 15 miles per day. So simply charging at home isn’t an issue for most.

Do you fill your petrol or diesel tank every time, especially with fuel prices high? If not, you’ll be lucky to get a range of 200-300 miles, comparable to many newer EVs.

They are powered by fossil fuels

EVS are not a perfect solution, but end to end they are better and, unlike fossil fuels, improving all the time. Zero carbon power formed nearly half of Britain’s energy mix last year, with the proportion coming from fossil fuels down from 75% in 2010 to 35%. In 2020, renewables accounted for over 43% of the electricity generated, overtaking fossil fuels for the first time. Growing demand for EVs will inevitably lead to growing demand for clean energy and only help to speed up that transition. Solar panels and other adaptation can also enable you to generate your own electricity at home.

You need specialist insurance

Most major insurers will happily provide you with cover. Sorting ours was as simple as with any other car in the past. Given the typically higher value of EVs, expect to pay a little more in the short-medium term.

The battery will drain

Listening to music or using your wipers won’t have a noticeable impact on your battery life but air con, for example, probably will. However, that’s not really any different to in a petrol or diesel vehicle, where air con can mean using an extra 5-10% of fuel. EVs can also hold their charge for long periods when not in use.

Charging is difficult

For most people charging at home will be the most convenient and cost-effective option – around a quarter of the price of charging on the go. On average, it will cost you around £1,000 to buy and have a home charging point installed but consider it a longer-term investment, like installing solar panels or fitting a new boiler. We opted for an Ohme Home Pro charger, as it’s compatible with the new Intelligent Octopus tariff which provides six hours per night of charging at 10p/kWh. It is true that much faster progress needs to be made on installing public charge points across the UK. According to ZapMap, there are currently 42,000 across the UK but The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders estimates that we will need around 2.3 million charge points by 2030 to satisfy demand. But, as above, how often will you need to charge publicly if you can generally do so at home?

Charging is too slow

Whilst a home charger (typically 7kW) will charge more slowly overnight, public chargers range from 25kW to 350kW and can charge a car’s battery from 0-80% in as little as 20-30 minutes. So, by the time you’ve picked up a few groceries or had a toilet break and grabbed a coffee you could be underway again.

The grid can’t cope with demand

In fact, electricity use in the UK has been falling (around 17%) since peaking in 2005 as technology continues to improve and as a result of energy saving and efficiency measures. From heat pumps to induction hobs, and of course EVS, it is clear that demand for electricity looks set to increase though. However, the ability to charge EVs when energy demand is at its lowest can help to smooth out and manage any pressure on the grid, and EVs can even store electricity to sell back to the grid. And, as above, you might consider generating your own electricity.

EVs are expensive

As with any new product, car companies will want to recoup the significant investment associated with bringing EVs to the market. They will also charge those at the front of the queue a premium. Expect EVs to gradually become more and more affordable over time but also remember that they can be around 70% cheaper to maintain over their lifetime.

EVs are unsafe

Firstly, our new EV has an NCAP five-star rating, the highest possible. Secondly, EVs are subject to the same stringent safety standards as other vehicles and their batteries are battery packs and system are sealed and isolated, meaning that whether you’re navigating a thunderstorm or the local car wash, you should be safe. A major US study also suggested that the risk of fire is on a par with or lower than in a petrol or diesel car.

Wallingford vehicle rally

Round & About


The popular annual Wallingford Vehicle Rally & Parade has been cancelled this year but the organisers are keeping their fingers crossed for a ‘mini lockdown parade’ on August 2nd.

They say: “We are currently in negotiations to hold a short driving tour around the area on Sunday 2nd August for all those purchased any ticket for this year’s event.

“We are currently working on a route that won’t cause disruption to the usual traffic and will contact everyone via email very soon with details.”

It will be free of charge, but they ask you make a small donation in the collection buckets on the day or via the crowd funder link that will be set up nearer the time so we can then share this with the local charitable causes who usually benefit and are struggling for funding during these trying times.

Organisers added: “Thank you for your patience, we are disappointed we are unable to hold the event this year but the health of participants, traders, staff and general public have to be our prime concern. Stay safe and we will be in touch with ticket holders this week and please keep an eye on our social media for updates for Sunday 2nd August 2020 mini lockdown parade.”


All those who purchased tickets for the 2020 event can either request a refund (follow the link on your ticket confirmation) or your purchase will be valid for the 2021 event which will be held on Sunday, 9th May 2021. If they don’t hear from you, they will simply send you information and wrist bands in April for the event.

Wallingford Car Rally

Round & About


Rev up for rally: Hundreds of vintage and classic cars are set to take to the streets for this year’s Wallingford Car Rally

Petrol heads and fans of vintage vehicles will be lining the streets to get a look at the hundreds of cars set to roll through town as part of this year’s Wallingford Car Rally.

Thousands watched last year as the colourful, classic and quirky drove through the town before parking up at The Kinecroft for a fun-packed day celebrating all things motor-related.

Wallingford’s hugely popular classic car rally and parade is rolling back in to town on 12th May and is set to feature hundreds of amazing cars and motorbikes.

Last year almost £18,000 was given to local good causes – Wallingford Scouts, The Corn Exchange, Riding for the Disabled, SeeSaw, MacMillan and Wallingford Fire Service among others and brought the total raised overall since the event started to almost £120,000.

Entries for the parade, which starts at 10.30am, are now full – they sold out in an impressive 23 minutes – but everyone is welcome to come along on the day and watch the parade drive into the Kinecroft before enjoying the day’s events there which run until around 5pm.

In addition to the cars, visitors will be able to enjoy a great selection of fun activities for the whole family including a climbing wall, penny arcade and many food traders.

Admission is free but buckets are on site for donations directly to local causes.

Visitors on the day can also enjoy rides in a classic or supercar courtesy of The Sporting Bears Motor Club which offer rides in the cars in exchange for a donation.

For more information visit the Wallingford Car Rally site