In late September 2021, I took delivery of my first fully electric car. I’ve been driving for decades, so it was a brave step for me, but EVs are the future, and this feels like the right thing to do. I’ve successfully carried out charges at home, and at a local rapid charger, and I’m looking forward to trying some longer journeys involving a charge en-route. They will need a little bit more planning than the same journey in an ICE car but stopping for a break while the battery gets a fifteen-minute top-up is no great hardship.
There are so many myths about EVs doing the rounds, some of them hilarious. If memory serves, it’s the same whenever a radical new piece of technology appears. I remember strange claims about how computers would destroy society during the home computer revolution of the early 1980s. Similar bizarre statements have been made about mobile phones since they started to become prevalent.
One of the most common ones for EVs is the one about batteries being more harmful to the environment than burning oil. When you ask people who are making this claim to elaborate further, they never seem able to. I assume they’re referring to the batteries needing precious minerals. However, these are exactly the same minerals needed in the batteries our mobile phones use. In fact, the main mineral used in a battery is Lithium and that is mostly generated from salt water.
The environmental impact of EVs is massively lower than ICE cars. VW have had external auditors confirm their claim that the ID.3 is manufactured carbon-neutral including almost all of their supply chain. My car is also effectively zero carbon while I’m driving, as I’m with a 100% renewables electricity supplier. According to a study by the European Federation for Transport and Environment (article published March 2021), EVs also consume far less raw materials (metals) than ICE cars over their lifetime. Only about 30kg of metals from an average EV are non-recyclable at the moment (about the size of a football), and that is improving all the time. Compare that with the 17,000 litres of petrol/diesel an ICE car burns over it’s lifetime (equivalent to a 90m high stack of oil barrels).
First Four Weeks
I did 273 miles in my first week of EV ownership, and achieved an average of 4 miles per kWh of electricity. For me, that worked out at 5.5p per mile, versus 17p per mile in my old diesel car. It’s worth reiterating that I’m on a 100% renewable energy tariff which is quite expensive. On a cheaper overnight tariff it would be possible to get that down to just over 1p per mile, which is excellent.
After driving it for exactly four weeks, I took the above screen shot, showing that it’s still averaging about 4 miles/kWh. Winter is fast approaching, and that will be the real test for it, but I’m happy so far, and have experienced no issues whatsoever as a result of driving a fully electric car.
It even works in heavy rain – another EV myth busted!
A massive thank you to the talented Michael Dunbar, who produced the featured image at the top of this post.