Don’t let the rumors about electric vehicles keep you from purchasing a plug-in vehicle (PEV). Just like many other products, there are a number of things being said about electric vehicles that just aren’t true. Some may be loosely based on fact or completely made up. Let’s clear up a few of these myths and get the real facts behind them.
MYTH 1: PEVS run off dirty power plants, so they aren’t “clean.”
FACT: PEVs create less greenhouse gasses than gasoline-powered cars. In addition, the process to make the electricity used to power PEVs has lower carbon intensity than fossil fuels such as gasoline and diesel.
PEV’s could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 450 million metric tons annually in 2050. This is the equivalent of taking 82.5 million passenger cars off the road.1
MYTH 2: Power grids will not be able to handle large numbers of PEVs.
FACT: Most vehicles will charge in the evening, when there is less demand, optimizing the availability of off-peak power sources, like the growing abundance of wind energy.
MYTH 3: PEVs are not as safe as gasoline-powered vehicles.
FACT: The safety and reliability standards that PEVs offer are equal to or better than those of traditional vehicles. They are held to the same national safety standards set by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) that gasoline-powered vehicles are held. There are electrical and safety standards set by the Society of Automotive Engineers and the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Working Council that PEVs adhere to. The charging equipment is evaluated and tested by certified and independent labs (i.e. Underwriters Laboratories and Edison Testing Laboratories).2
MYTH 4: Batteries for PEVs are expensive and don’t last long.
FACT: The advanced technology of the batteries used in PEV’s come at a higher cost than regular automotive batteries, but the price is coming down and will continue to drop as the technology develops. Additionally, most major automakers offer warranties on the batteries for eight years or 100,000 miles of driving.
1 Electric Power Research Institute, Natural Resources Defense Council & Charles Clark Group, Environmental Assessment of Plug-in- Hybrid Electric Vehicles, Volume 1: Nationwide Greenhouse Gas Emissions. July 2007.
2 Highway Loss Data Institute. “Hybrid models have lower injury odds than their conventional counterparts.” http://electricdrive.org/index.php?ht=a/GetDocumentAction/id/29985. 17 November 2011