Are the biggest prejudices about electric cars justified?

Those who are reluctant to take the plunge into electricity very often have many arguments against the vehicles offered today. We will see if the biggest prejudices about electromobility are justified.

Source: Frandroid

The perfect electric car still does not exist and it must be admitted that there are concessions to be made in relation to a thermal vehicle. Whether it’s about managing long journeys, about accessibility to charging stations or even at prices, there is still work to be done before arriving at an experience that approaches what the majority of motorists know.

However, some ideas received are no longer relevant and it is important to qualify them. We will therefore review the biggest negative points about the electric car that are generally put forward and determine whether it is just simple prejudice or whether there is still a large part of the truth.

Long trips by electric car, really impossible?

It’s a great classic that we hear and read wrong and through: Electric cars are good for the city, but it stops there. While it is true that the vehicles with the most autonomy for many years hardly allowed you to travel more than 150 kilometers with peace of mind, the landscape in 2022 is fundamentally different.

An average electric vehicle today carries a battery of at least 45 kilowatt hours, which can easily drive 250 kilometers. The most popular models in France in 2021 all had batteries of more than 50 kilowatt hours: Tesla Model 3, Renault Zoé and Peugeot E-208.

In the WLTP cycle, their autonomy of 510 kilometers, 395 kilometers and 362 kilometers, respectively, is announced. If it is true that in real conditions it is rather necessary to consider a third less in relation to the estimate of the cycle, this gives a radius of action of between 250 and 360 kilometers.

Are the biggest prejudices about electric cars justified?
A Fastned station that facilitates long trips by electric car

The majority of French people travel less than 500 kilometers to get to their resort, and it therefore seems possible to make this trip at once with certain electric cars. Many references also show sufficient autonomy to travel up to 400 kilometers at once, but in some cases it will still be necessary to recharge to reach your destination, which is becoming increasingly easier.

Many fast charging operators are now present throughout Europe, and motorway service areas receive very high power charging points (up to 350 kW), allowing up to 200 kilometers of autonomy to be regained in about fifteen minutes. Of course, those who are used to sitting behind the wheel for six hours and arriving at their destination without the slightest break, need to change their habits, but with a minimum of planning, long electric trips are already a reality. .

Do you find a charging station, light or headache?

Another cliché that has persisted for many years: finding a charging point is an impossible task, while gas stations are very easy to find. This received idea is more and more erroneous, knowing that the number of gas stations distributing fuel has been steadily declining in France for forty years. In 2018, there were only 11,000, where Avere, during its last national barometer of charging infrastructures open to the public, listed 22,870 charging stations in France.

Are the biggest prejudices about electric cars justified?
Tesla Model 3 Charging Thanks to Porsche Destination Charging Network // Source: Bob Jouy for Frandroid

As of today, there are therefore more than twice as many charging stations for electric cars as petrol stations in national territory, and the number of available charging stations was 57,732 in April 2022. This number has increased significantly in the last 12 months, with a development of 54% according to the Ministry for Organic Conversion.

Of these more than 57,000 charging points, 40% were located in public car parks, 30% on roads, 27% in shopping malls and 3% in businesses. The vast majority of these charging points are intended for slow charging in alternating current, when only 8% of the installed terminals offer fast charging.

Many applications allow you to find a charging point in France. We invite you to consult our file on ways to get out of it if you want to charge outside your home. Although it is improving, the public charging situation is not completely resolved. It is true that the available stations are not necessarily always in working order and that some require a specific sign to function.

However, the future should be even better, with some major players in the retail sector who will massively install charging stations in the coming years. We can also highlight the gradual opening of the Tesla Superchargers to all electric vehicles, which will eventually make it possible to add about a hundred additional stations spread across the metropolitan area of ​​France, offering more than 1,000 fast charging points.

Charging an electric car would take way too long

It is a fact that an electric car takes much longer to recharge compared to the time it takes to fill up with gas. On the one hand, it is possible to be back on the road for hundreds of kilometers in a maximum of a few minutes, and on the other hand, it is without a doubt much longer.

However, a distinction should be made between slow charging, which is often at home or at work, and the fast charging required for long trips. Although it takes a very long time to charge an electric car from an electrical outlet in the home (about 20 to 40 hours to fully charge), this does not pose the slightest problem on a daily basis.

Are the biggest prejudices about electric cars justified?
Charging plug for Peugeot e-208 // Source: Peugeot France

Without specific equipment, it is of course possible to recharge an electric car on a socket. In many cases, the cable that allows this charging mode is also included in the vehicle. If we consider a classic case where the car is charged in the low carpet, at night, it will be between 60 and 100 kilometers of autonomy that can be regained. Thus, for people who do not travel more than 100 kilometers daily, an electric car entails no restriction if there is an electrical outlet near the parking lot.

For electric motorists with greater charging needs, it is advisable to install a home charging station or wallbox so that the full battery can be recovered in about six hours. In these cases, even with daily needs of over a hundred kilometers, you will be able to move around with complete peace of mind.

Are the biggest prejudices about electric cars justified?
Wallbox SB Copper // Source: wallbox.com

For long trips, it is certain that the comparison with a thermal vehicle will be to the detriment of the electrical in terms of the total duration of the trip. Most electric cars today offer fast DC charging, allowing them to go from 20 to 80% battery in about thirty minutes. Some models, like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 or Kia EV6, even recover 70% of the battery in less than 18 minutes, which will reassure those most concerned about the duration of charging.

An electric car would be way too expensive compared to a thermal car

The price argument to date is what still makes the most sense. It is true that the prices of electric cars remain very high compared to a similar thermal vehicle. Among the most popular references we can take the example of the Peugeot e-208, which shows a starting price of 33,950 euros against 17,500 euros for the entry-level thermal version of the Peugeot 208.

Are the biggest prejudices about electric cars justified?
The price difference between the thermal and electrical version of the Peugeot E-208 in “Active” finish

Even if one takes a similar trim level, the petrol version starts at 19,200 euros, which is 14,750 euros less than its electric counterpart. Although it is actually necessary to count on significant savings in use in favor of the electric – which allows a price per. 100 kilometers placed under 3 euros, against almost 9 euros for a thermal vehicle – the difference in price shown at purchase is significant.

Fortunately, there are now purchase incentives in the form of an organic bonus, which can reach up to 6,000 euros, and certain additional aids can be added depending on your situation and your residence. In some cases, no less than 11,000 euros must be deducted from the displayed list price, which may lead to reconsideration of the case.

Are the biggest prejudices about electric cars justified?
Dacia Spring

The cheapest electric car, the Dacia Spring, still starts at more than 12,000 euros including the ecological bonus, which is far from an insignificant sum for many. Certain long-term rental offers in connection with the conversion bonus allow you to drive in an electric vehicle for less than 100 euros per month, which, however, makes the total cost lower than a similar thermal vehicle.

The second-hand market is also becoming more and more popular and offers opportunities to drive electric at a more reasonable price, but manufacturers still need to make an effort to offer an offer that is closer to the purchase price of a thermal vehicle, which in 2022 will still be much lower than for an electric car.

Some prejudices are no longer relevant

As we have seen, certain arguments against electric mobility no longer apply today. Long journeys are possible, although it means planning your route before departure, and charging stations are increasingly present throughout the area.

For people with an electrical outlet in their garage or in the parking lot at the workplace, driving electrically will probably not pose any daily restrictions. However, there is still an effort to be made on certain points, starting with the price, which today remains well above the price of a similar thermal vehicle. Fast charging is also still a possible point of improvement, promised with the advent of new and increasingly efficient battery technologies.

It will be necessary to keep an eye on developments in the coming years to check whether the negative points today will be corrected or not, but in any case, it seems that driving an electric car is attracting more and more people. This is evident from the sales figures, which continue to reach new records.

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