Top 5 electric car myths busted: Not like smartphones and they don’t catch fire spontaneously

A new form of mobility - a transition from engines to motors if you will - would take some time to create itself a positive reputation especially with rampant myths that deter buyers from opting e-vehicles. Hence, we'll try to bust some.

By: | Published: July 12, 2019 4:47 PM
hyundai kona electric Hyundai Kona Electric

Electric mobility is inevitable. Whether we embrace it now and later, the future of people and goods moving is electric as the world collectively cries and tries to lower air polluting emissions. India recently saw the launch of its first all-electric SUV Hyundai Kona EV recently, and this could mark the beginning of an era. However, a new form of mobility - a transition from engines to motors if you will - would take some time to create itself a positive reputation especially with rampant myths that deter buyers from opting e-vehicles. Hence, we'll try to bust some.

Like smartphones, battery life decreases over time

Over time, the battery life on a smartphone decreases drastically and it is true both EVs and smartphones use the same types of lithium-ion batteries. However, battery tech is now more advanced and is improving every year. First of all, the battery pack in an electric car is much larger than a smartphone and its health is very minimally affected over time. Hyundai, in fact, offers an eight-year warranty on the battery pack of the Kona EV.

Electric vehicles aren't safe – battery pack can catch fire

Even ICE (internal combustion engines) carry highly flammable fuel in them, but we don't easily believe that they'll catch fire. While there have been instances of electric scooters spontaneously catching fire while charging in China, electric cars have a much more sophisticated cooling system to keep the battery pack and electric motors performing without a furnace. However, it is true that if an electric catches fire, the fire takes days to go out. Remember Rimac Concept One and Richard Hammond?

Electric cars are silent and hence unsafe for pedestrians

There is no engine so there is no sound. It's true electric cars don't make a noise, however, manufacturers have taken account of this problem and EVs now come with artificially created sounds. Hyundai Kona EV too has been given an additional sound so its arrival is announced before it creeps behind a pedestrian.

Fun fact: BMW has gone overboard with this idea and has employed Hans Zimmer to compose the sound that its electric cars will make. For those not in the know, Hans Zimmer is an ace film score composer who's written music for several Hollywood movies, including Lion King and Inception.

Electric cars aren't as fast as petrol-powered cars

Electric cars can actually be quicker than their petrol-powered counterparts as torque is readily available starting from the lowest end of RPMs. EVs are powered by electric motors which don't depend on moving parts to make power and torque like on ICEs, and hence no time is wasted in power generation and transfer to the wheels.

Another fun fact: Recently at Goodwood Festival of Speed, Volkswagen ID.R beat the 20-year-old record set by a McLaren Formula 1 car on the hill climb track – becoming the first electric car ever to defeat an F1 car powered by a petrol engine.

You may also like: Hyundai Kona Electric Review India: Ushering in an EV Revolution

Electric cars are more expensive to maintain

The truth behind this myth is actually the complete opposite of it. Maintaining an electric car is cheaper than maintaining one with an ICE. Since there are no moving parts in the powertrain, there are lesser chances of things going wrong. While an ICE car needs regular servicing – replacing engine oil, air filter, oil filter – an electric car doesn't. Hyundai claims that the running cost for the Kona EV is 1/5th that of an ICE.

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