The excitement surrounding electric vehicles has caused a whirlwind of concerns and misconceptions, giving rise to many common EV myths.
The rise of EV myths is understandable. People are rightly concerned about investing in an important technology that is different than the one they’ve relied upon. However, it’s best to have the facts first. So, let’s do some EV myth-busting and dispel many of the common misconceptions.
EV myth #1: electric vehicles aren’t safe
There are two common EV myths regarding safety: they are prone to catch fire and are less safe during a crash. Neither is true.
While EV fires do occasionally happen, combustion-power vehicles have a much higher rate of doing so. The U.S. government doesn’t keep data on the number of EV fires, but the Swedish government does. According to their data, between 2018 and 2022, EVs accounted for 0.4% of passenger vehicle fires annually, compared with 98.1% of combustion vehicles despite EVs being more than 50% of registered vehicles in 2022.
Furthermore, in the U.S., all vehicles sold must meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Battery packs also have to meet separate safety standards, and EVs must be designed with extra safety features that shut down the vehicle’s electrical systems when a collision or short circuit is detected.
Take for example the shock switch installed on a RIZON chassis. In the event of a large jolt, the switch disconnects the high-voltage system automatically. Additionally, there is a manual switch on the side of the chassis.
It’s true that lithium batteries have caused fires. This is why you can’t pack spare lithium batteries in your suitcase any longer.
Battery chemistry has a lot to do with this. The Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries used in our RIZON trucks are known to be more resistant to thermal runaway events compared to other chemistries.
EV myth #2: electric vehicles are worse for the environment
EVs have no tailpipe emissions, and thus produce no CO2 while driving. So Where do these EV myths come from?
Critics are quick to point out two issues:
1) The factory production of an EV generates more CO2 than the production of a combustion-powered vehicle.
2) Using an EV powered by an emission-producing energy source is no different than using an emission-producing vehicle
Critics do have a valid argument to an extent with the first point. EVs typically generate more emissions when produced on account of their batteries.
However, critics fail to compare the carbon footprint of both vehicles over a lifetime. Depending on the size of the battery pack, it may take more than a year for an EV to surpass a combustion-powered vehicle in terms of less emissions.
The more each vehicle type is used, the greater the disparity in the size of the carbon footprint of each. In other words, over a lifetime of use, the EV produces much less emissions that its counterpart.
As for the second point, the amount of CO2 an EV produces varies depending on how the local power source is generated: natural gas/coal generated vs. renewable sources. Even using a non-renewable source of electricity generation, over time will create a lower carbon footprint than that of a comparable combustion-powered engine.
As renewable power sources stand to increase over time, the disparity of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from each vehicle type will only grow more pronounced as EVs increasingly use renewable energy sources.
EV myth #3: electric vehicles have insufficient range
One of the most common concerns about investing in an electric vehicle is the range. This is frequently cited as one of the greatest obstacles to the wider adoption of EVs.
See our article about overcoming range anxiety to learn more.
While a fully charged EV has less range than a fully fueled ICE vehicle, the stored range may be within your daily driving range. Instead of considering how much range can be stored on the vehicle, think about how much range is needed until you can recharge. You may have to “refuel” daily instead of weekly, but you’re still able to use the EV for your operations.
Commercial EV range and why it’s different
While electric cars in the U.S. have almost a 300-mile average range, commercial electric vehicles such as buses and medium-duty trucks have a shorter range due to their weight and load-bearing nature.
For its part, RIZON has four models of electric trucks. Our e16L can travel between 115-160 miles when fully charged, while our e18L’s range is 110-155 miles, followed by our e16M and e18M with a range between 70-110 miles.
One might look at those numbers with skepticism, but in actuality, they hit the sweet spot.
According to aggregate commercial vehicle data collected by the State of California, a majority of commercial vehicles in urban routes drive fewer than 100 miles per day. RIZON is also capable of charging at public chargers so you can always top off in the middle of the day for a few more miles.
While most EVs have enough range for daily use, research into battery technology is advancing every day, and range anxiety may soon be a thing of the past.
EV myth #4: batteries can’t be recycled
An EV battery pack is judged to be at the end of its life when it has less than 70-75% percent of its original capacity. Many EV batteries have warranties for 100,000 miles or five years.
So, what happens to the batteries when they reach end-of-life? After all, they are composed of a variety of materials including steel, copper, aluminum, and graphite as well as lithium, cobalt, manganese, and nickel. You can’t just take them to your local recycling center.
How do we ensure they don’t end up in landfills?
Rather than trash batteries, auto recycling companies send them to specialists for disassembly. They are broken down into different materials: plastic, wires, cells, etc., and those elements are then crushed so that the various metals can be separated and purified.
The materials in the cells are extremely desirable due to their rarity and high demand. These include manganese, lithium, cobalt, and nickel.
Recycling these materials is advantageous, not only due to the demand but also because they can be considered manufactured in the U.S. Using recycled materials in new batteries could make them eligible for incentives, whereas foreign materials may be disqualifying.
The Federal Government is also interested in propagating the EV battery recycling infrastructure in the U.S. To that end, the U.S. Department of Energy launched a dedicated lithium-ion battery recycling center called ReCell Center, which brings together national laboratories from private and academic sectors to develop advanced recycling technologies.
EV myth #5: there aren’t enough charging stations
EV myths about charging are common, but practically thinking, charging stations are only good if they’re where you need them.
For daily use, most EV users can meet their driving needs by plugging into home chargers, or in the case of commercial vehicles, at their base of operation.
Most electric passenger cars can be charged with a Level 1 120V outlet. For quicker charging, many users install a dedicated 240V Level 2 charging system. RIZON trucks can recharge overnight when plugged into a 220V EVSE making it relatively easy to add a suitable charger at your facility.
The number of chargers has doubled in the past three years alone. Currently, S&P Global estimates there are more than 160,000 Tesla Superchargers and destination chargers in the U.S., and 126,500 Level 2 and 20,400 Level 3 charging ports.
Recently, a group of seven automakers announced the formation of a new company that will begin providing electric vehicle charging in the U.S. This joint venture aims to install 30,000 additional chargers in North America.
In addition to this, the Federal Government designated $7.5 billion to build a network of chargers across the country to establish 500,000 chargers by 2030.
EV myth #6: electric trucks do not have power
ICE vehicles transmit power to the wheels through the gears of the transmission. This process starts when fuel is compressed and combusts.
Electric vehicles, on the other hand, don’t have a transmission. Pressing on an acceleration pedal of an EV generates a large amount of voltage, which immediately turns the wheels at a high speed producing instant torque.
Pressing on the acceleration pedal of an EV generates a large amount of voltage, which instantly turns the wheels at a high speed.
All RIZON trucks have a torque of 317ft-lb/430NM.
EV myth #7: electric vehicles take too long to charge
EV myths surrounding charging are generally attributed to lack of charging experience. It requires a different way of thinking.
There are two ways to charge EV batteries: AC and DC charging.
RIZON Trucks can be charged through level 2 AC charging or level 3 DC fast charging (DCFC). DCFC can fully charge RIZON trucks in 1 to 1.5 hours. AC charging takes 6 to 9 hours.
However, charge time depends on an EV’s use case.
Since ICE vehicles don’t typically require daily fueling, users park them after use and return to them the next day at the start of their shift.
If the vehicle simply sits overnight without further use, charge time isn’t relevant, as a user would charge during downtime.
Skepticism is normal
Any time a new technology enters the market, it raises questions.
“Is this right for my business?” “Will it last?” “What advantages and challenges does it have?”
Commercial EVs are no different. A lack of familiarity has generated a swirl of EV myths.
However, EV technology has been proven for years. And the good news is that it only continues to improve. Batteries are growing in capacity, the electrical infrastructure continues to progress, and our ability to recycle and manufacture batteries has only increased with each passing year.
While questions may remain, it’s safe to say EVs aren’t going anywhere.
For our part, RIZON trucks have been built on the vast knowledge of the Daimler Vehicle Group. For any questions, please reach out to us at email@example.com.