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Are the tales you hear about electric cars true?

By Stephen Turvil | July 13, 2021

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Discover which electric car rumours are true and false as zero-emission models become increasingly common in the UK

Are the tales you hear about electric cars true?

Stop the nonsense! Dodgy rumours make electric cars seem mysterious, confusing, and complex. But there is no need to be puzzled...

Rumour One: Electric cars cannot be charged in the rain.

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This is false. An electric car can be charged in the rain without fear of electrocution. Chargers and their cables are water-resistant. So too is the electric charger itself that has a minimum waterproof rating of IP44. This means it can withstand water splashes from all directions. Some vehicle chargers far exceed this minimum standard.

Rumour Two: Electric cars cannot be taken through a car wash.

This is false. An electric car can travel through a car wash without issue. It can also handle heavy rain, hailstorms, and deep puddles that splash its undercarriage and a slightly flooded road is no more problematic than in a petrol, diesel, or hybrid vehicle. 

Rumour Three: Rapid electric car chargers are not always ‘rapid’.

This is true. When connected to a rapid charger, a car’s battery does not always charge at the fastest possible rate. The rate can slow steadily as the battery charges then sharply once it reaches 80%. Slowing the charge rate minimises wear to the battery and extends its lifespan. 

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Rumour Four: Electric cars can still be inefficient.

This is true. A small, light electric vehicle is likely to only use a small amount of electricity but a more powerful model can quickly get through its charge. And as electric power still has to be harnessed from somewhere - coal-fired plants provide 37% of electricity globally - electric cars aren't always as clean as they're perceived. 

Rumour Five: Electric cars cannot be towed.

This is true. An electric car can be damaged if towed. Typically when the car is decelerating, its driven wheels generate electricity to charge the battery. However, when the car is turned off and being towed this ‘regenerative braking’ system might generate too much heat. Such heat might damage the electric motor so electric cars will always be recovered from a breakdown using a trailer. 

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Rumour Six: Electric cars are slow.

This is false. The Tesla Model 3, which is a good electric car but by no means a high-performance model, hits 60mph in 3.1 seconds. It even comes with low suspension to optimise the handling, and ‘track mode’ to fine-tune its behaviour to suit the motorist’s capabilities. You can read our review here.

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