12 myths of e-mobility

There are several myths surrounding the topic of electromobility. We find: It's time to counter prejudices with facts.

Myth 1: “Nobody can afford it!”

Electric car costs: An electric car can be as cheap as an equivalent diesel car.

Electric cars are becoming increasingly attractive and affordable. For example, the cost of a battery has fallen by around 80 percent in the last ten years. With the ID.31, Volkswagen is introducing an electric car that costs exactly the same as an equivalent Golf TDI. On top of this, buyers can often apply for a government grant and the running costs of an electric car are lower. This is because electricity costs less than petrol and diesel, there is less tax to pay, and the costs of service and maintenance are only about a third of those for vehicles with conventional drivetrains. When you look at the total cost of ownership, electric cars are a worthwhile acquisition for an increasing number of people.

Myth 2: “There are not enough charging stations!”

Charging opportunities: The number of electric charging stations is growing rapidly.

The number of electric charging stations is growing rapidly. Today, there are already more than 17,400 public charging stations in Germany – and that number is growing by the day. Supermarkets, hotels and car park operators are installing charging stations for their customers, while companies are doing the same for their employees. With the Volkswagen We Charge card, customers will be able to receive electricity from roughly 100,000 stations around Europe in the future. Incidentally, an electric car can also be charged slowly with little power at any professionally installed domestic socket. Interestingly, about 70 percent of all charging processes take place at home or at the workplace, meaning that recharging on the road is often unnecessary.

Myth 3: “Charging takes too long!”

Charging time: High-power charging stations already mean short waiting times.

You don’t actually need to quick charge an e-car as often as you might think. Around 70 percent of all charging processes take place at home or at work. Therefore, you will usually be setting off with a fully charged car. And if you do have to quick charge your car on a longer journey, the rapid-charging ability of the ID.31 means it can be charged with a maximum 100 to 125 kilowatts of power. During a 30-minute stop at a service station, this amounts to enough electricity for a range of at least 260 kilometres. And the charging process itself is really simple: The app and car not only show you the way to the nearest free charging station, they also provide information on the different sockets available. And one thing is certain: With development progressing rapidly, it is becoming easier each day to run an electric car.

Myth 4: “E-cars can only travel short distances.”

Range: Electric cars are also capable of long routes.

The range issue has long since become a thing of the past: The latest electric cars have ranges of up to 550 kilometres. The charging infrastructure is also improving continuously – particularly on motorways and highways. There are already about 2,000 public rapid-charging stations in Germany, at which e-cars can be charged within a matter of minutes. IONITY – a joint venture between German car manufacturers – is currently installing a high-power charging station every 120 kilometres along Europe’s motorways. It goes without saying that the charging network will continue to grow over the coming years.

Myth 5: “E-cars are far too dangerous!”

Safety: E-cars are just as safe as conventional cars.

Electric cars guarantee the highest possible degree of safety – as do all cars authorised for use in Germany and Europe. Special safety systems avoid the risk of fire and electric shock. For example, in case of a crash, the electricity flow from the battery is terminated immediately. Furthermore, Volkswagen installs its batteries in a large, crashproof block in the underbody, thus protecting them from deformation. ADAC tests have repeatedly shown that the risk of fire is far lower with an e-car than with combustion engines. The charging process is completely safe at all times and can also be performed in the rain without any issues.

Myth 6: “E-cars do nothing for the climate.”

CO2: Electric cars have the best climate footprint of all drive types.

Electric cars make a valuable contribution to climate protection. They produce far less CO2 than diesel- and petrol-powered cars. This holds true even when you take into account the production of the car. Over its life cycle, a Golf TDI produces an average of 140 grams of CO2 per kilometre. The e-Golf2, run on the EU electricity mix, produces a mere 119 grams. The battery-powered car also fares well compared to vehicles running on hydrogen and eFuel (synthetic fuel). Over the next years, this environmental advantage will become more and more important, as an ever-increasing amount of green electricity is fed into the grid in all major markets. As a result, e-cars will automatically be charged with renewable energy. With the ID.31, Volkswagen is taking this a step further by manufacturing a completely carbon-neutral car for the first time. This makes the ID.3 a pioneer in sustainable mobility.

Myth 7: “Too many E-cars will overload the grid!”

Electricity: E-cars also guarantee safe energy supply.

Could the German electricity grid cope with an e-car boom? The answer is: yes. Reputable studies have concluded that even a million additional electric cars would have no effect on the German electricity grid. The annual power consumption in Germany is about 520 terawatt hours. One million e-cars consume about 2.4 terawatt hours per year – equivalent to just 0.5 percent of the total demand. Today’s electricity grid can absolutely manage that. Furthermore, Germany is currently producing more electricity than needed. Incidentally: The land of e-cars, Norway, demonstrates on a daily basis that there is no need whatsoever to be concerned about the electricity supply.

Myth 8: “It costs jobs!”

The Volkswagen e-offensive is actually securing employment.

Manufacturing an electric car requires around 30 percent less effort than producing one with a combustion engine. Therefore, in the long term, there could be fewer jobs in the automobile industry. This makes it all the more important to establish a good market position in the early stages of electromobility. After all, the more successful a company is on the e-car market, the more secure its jobs are. For this reason, Volkswagen is actively pushing ahead with this transformation and, with its new e-offensive, is creating new, long-term prospects for many thousands of employees. Almost all the Volkswagen sites in Germany are involved in the production of the new ID. family. At the Zwickau plant alone, around 8,000 people will be work on the ID. models. With the automobile industry in the midst of a structural transformation, e-cars are vital to securing jobs in a sustainable manner.

Myth 9: “E-cars are a danger to pedestrians!”

Urban safety: The electric car produces artificial sounds.

Unlike conventional cars, electric cars do not have a combustion engine, which is why they are very quiet. In general, less noise is an advantage – and no reason for e-cars to be a risk to pedestrians. At speeds of up to around 30 km/h, the ID.31 will produce its own, futuristic sound. At higher speeds, the noise generated by the tyres will suffice. Incidentally, this sound will be mandatory for all e-cars as of summer 2019. In addition, e-cars like the ID.3 use comprehensive assistance and safety systems to meet very high safety standards.

Myth 10: “They’re no fun!”

Electric cars are not only fast, but also comfortable.

Electric cars are fun. E-engines have plenty of power, particularly when accelerating. Anyone who pushes the “Play” pedal is pushed firmly into their seat – almost like being on a plane. This is because electric engines have access to full torque from the start. Add to this the dynamic road holding: As the batteries in the vehicle floor really push the car onto the road, the ID.3 offers a sporty ride. The ID.R has shown what is technically possible: The world record holder accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 2.25 seconds. Furthermore, e-cars offer more leg room, as they need neither a combustion engine nor a gearbox or centre tunnel.

Myth 11: “Electric cars look boring!”

Design: The cars in the ID. family are real eye-catchers.

It’s true: To date, electric cars have looked rather unremarkable. For example, only experts can recognise the difference between an e-Golf and a normal Golf. But all that is changing: The Volkswagen ID. family will have a modern, almost futuristic design, with light elements and fine edges. The interior, too, is receiving a revamp: As e-engines take up significantly less space, the proportions of the interior design and space can be completely redesigned. In future, there will be an e-car for every taste and every requirement. The ID. family ranges from a compact car and SUVs to a lifestyle van.

Myth 12: “There are not enough raw materials!”

Batteries: There is sufficient lithium, cobalt is being used less and less.

There are sufficient raw materials available. With the current technology, there is enough lithium to produce batteries for billions of e-cars. And that is not even taking into account the fact that batteries are being further developed all the time. For example, the amount of cobalt required will be reduced by about 12 percent to six percent in the medium term. Therefore, the supply of raw materials does not pose a problem. Plus, old batteries will be recycled. In the long term, a recycling rate of up to 97 percent is possible, so rare resources will need to be used less and less.

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1 This vehicle is not yet for sale in Europe

2 e-Golf: Power consumption combined 13,8 - 12,9 kWh/100 km - CO2 emissions in g/km: 0 combined - efficiency class: A+