25th July 2023
“Don’t Believe the Headlines – EVs Are the Future” – by InstaVolt CEO Adrian Keen
As the media continues to ‘fuel’ the scepticism around the feasibility of switching to electric vehicles, InstaVolt CEO, Adrian Keen gave us his take on some of the myths we hear daily at InstaVolt.
Bad news sells.
It’s an irrefutable fact. And it might go some way to explain why there have been so many horror stories about electric vehicles (EVs) in the press lately.
While the tabloids are often accused of scaremongering, the motor trade is getting in on the game now too.
Articles claiming that we’ll never meet the UK Government’s 2030 deadline for the ban on new petrol and diesel cars – or that going electric isn’t the answer at all – are becoming all too common.
Do they represent the true facts of the matter? No.
But this negativity could lead to these headlines becoming self-fulfilling prophecies if we’re not careful. If everyone believes these scare stories (some verging on anti-EV propaganda) then adoption of EVs will falter, and we’ll be doing a disservice to our planet and the generations to come.
Maybe we can take a minute to tackle some of the myths I hear day in, day out…
Myth: EV charging has to be complicated.
From our very first charger installation, we’ve been passionate about keeping things simple for EV drivers. We were the first to introduce contactless payments and have never required sign-ups to convoluted apps or schemes.
Many charging networks across the UK have now followed suit. And those who haven’t will soon have to.
New laws coming into play will require a minimum of 99% reliability across public charging networks (we’re safe at a steady 99.9%) and that all chargers delivering over 8kW accept contactless payments. This ensures that there will be very little chance that you’ll come across a broken charger that’s hard to use.
Myth: People aren’t buying EVs
Another mistruth I hear is that people aren’t buying EVs. In June 2023, over 31,000 EVs were registered in the UK. That very same month, the best-selling car in the country was the Tesla Model Y.
Looking back at 2022, over 265,000 EVs were registered – an increase of 40% compared to 2021.
A recent AutoExpress editorial claimed not enough people were buying EVs to make them viable.
But if no-one was buying EVs, these statistics simply wouldn’t exist – and an electric car wouldn’t be the top selling car in the UK in the month before that article was published.
Myth: EVs cost too much
In October 2012, LG started selling the first Ultra High Definition (4K) TV in the United States – an 84-inch, LED-backlit LCD flatscreen – for an RRP of $19,999 (£15,535).
Today you can walk into Curry’s and pick up a comparable 85-inch Samsung TV for £1,249.
What’s this got to do with EVs? Well, when a new technology is introduced, the price is often high. That naturally comes from the time and money taken to innovate and invent.
Just as there were early adopters of 4K TVs, willing to pay higher prices, so too were there people who waited until the prices fell.
The same can be said for EVs – another technology that (compared to internal combustion engine-powered vehicles) is new to the market.
Yes, some electric cars will remain expensive – but so do many petrol and diesel models. Yet no-one is lambasting Ferrari for not producing an everyday, five-door people carrier for ferrying the kids to school.
The technology is becoming more widespread, charging infrastructure is continuing to grow quickly and we’re seeing exciting new brands from manufacturers including BYD and Dacia, who are bringing new cars to the market at much more accessible price points. There is also the wave of superminis, including the VW ID2.all, the CUPRA Raval and the BYD Seagull which will all enter the market in the coming years.
In March, Autocar highlighted that the cheapest EVs on the market in the UK cost from £7,696-£28,995. That’s well within the range of similar sized petrol and diesel cars.
Myth: We’ll never meet the 2030 deadline
Most EV detractors say that the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars in the UK is unattainable; that the infrastructure isn’t in place to support such a change, or the technology doesn’t exist yet.
We’re still seven years away from that deadline and the rate in which we are addressing these core factors is accelerating.
Those naysayers just lack ambition.
InstaVolt is committed to having at least 10,000 chargers active across the UK by 2030 and we’re not the only network making promises like this.
EV infrastructure is being installed up and down the country at an incredible pace and – coupled with new advances in batteries and other technology – range anxiety is fast becoming a worry of the past.
You only have to look at the EVs on show at the Goodwood Festival of Speed to see the innovation – the care and attention – that’s going into developing new EVs for the market. As advances happen at the top end – in electric supercars and Formula E – that new technology trickles down to the everyday consumer.
Audi, Porsche and Polestar showcased some extraordinary cars, and new brands are coming to the table with EV offerings all the time. Alpine is just the latest, unveiling the A290B at Goodwood.
Recent news of Jaguar Land Rover’s plans to build its flagship electric car battery factory in the UK demonstrates the commitment from leaders of the industry.
And why is meeting this deadline so important? For the good of everyone.
There’s no denying the effects of climate change and it’s vital that we do everything in our power to save the planet for future generations.
EDF Energy says it best: “With no tailpipe, pure electric cars produce no carbon dioxide emissions when driving. This reduces air pollution considerably.
“Put simply, electric cars give us cleaner streets making our towns and cities a better place to be for pedestrians and cyclists. In over a year, just one electric car on the roads can save an average 1.5 million grams of CO2. That’s the equivalent of four return flights from London to Barcelona.”
Consider those 265,000 EVs registered in 2022. That’s 397.5 billion grams of CO2 removed from the atmosphere. Or over one million of those return flights.
Imagine how much we would save – how much cleaner and safer the air we breathe would be – if we all embraced the EV revolution.
Myth: EV charging costs too much
Broadly, there are two types of EV charging out there: at-home and public networks. (We know this can be broken down much further, but let’s keep things simple.)
Rates for charging at home are low. In fact, many electricity providers will give you special rates to charge your EV at home overnight. But speeds tend to be slow.
Conversely, rapid charging networks like InstaVolt deliver the energy your car needs to get back on the road at lightning fast speeds.
Our charging costs are somewhere in the middle of the pack – we’re certainly not the most expensive, but we acknowledge that we’re also not the cheapest. That’s partly because of our proactive approach to maintaining our network, with engineers visiting sites each month to complete regular checks. Secondly we’re focused on building. We’re growing faster than any other UK network and are committed to rolling out more sites and bigger hubs, to give our drivers the best possible charging experience.
Incredibly, even though our network is 100% powered by renewables, the electricity price is controlled by the price of gas. So if costs rise across the whole market, ours do too.
Similarly, VAT for home EV charging sits at 5% – while it’s four times higher for public charging, at 20%, meaning drivers who own their own driveway unfairly advantage from the current system and pay less than those who rely on public charging.
We are constantly pushing the Government to reduce the VAT rate so that it is equal with home charging, and will always put our customers first to maintain the exemplary reliability of our network.
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