NEARLY one in five motorists are put off going electric because they fear being electrocuted by rain or lightning, according to a study.
Research into the myths surrounding electric vehicles (EVs) found 22 per cent would not feel safe during the charging process and 12 per cent worry about plugging in their phone.
Nationally, 18 per cent think it might not be safe to drive through an electric storm and 29 per cent of Londoners have the same concerns about the rain.
Hyundai conducted the research as sales of pure electric cars rose by 151 per cent in October.
Of the 2,000 petrol, diesel and alternatively fuelled vehicle (AFV) drivers polled, 56 per cent said the government was doing the right thing by encouraging motorists to switch to AFVs by 2040.
It follows another study by the car manufacturer which found that 46 per cent of motorists cited range anxiety as one of their major concerns about buying an electric car.
This is despite the average Brit driving just 20 miles per day.
The existence of myths could be down to a lack of education about electric cars, with 28 per cent of those questioned by OnePoll admitting they don’t know enough about EVs.
Sylvie Childs, senior product manager at Hyundai Motor UK, said: ‘It’s been fascinating to hear about some of the misconceptions that people still have about electric vehicles.
‘We’ve all been told you don’t mix electricity with water, but when it comes to EVs there’s absolutely no extra risk of driving in a lightning storm — they are just as safe as a petrol or diesel car.
‘Range anxiety is also an interesting one. When electric cars first came out, the range was an issue we had to tackle, but these days you can get almost 300 miles on a single charge and this will increase further in time.
‘The Nexo hydrogen fuel cell car can travel even further with a range of over 400 miles and takes less than five minutes to re-fuel with hydrogen.
‘But despite these common misconceptions, our research, along with the growth in sales figures, shows there is a real appetite for low-emission vehicles in the UK.
‘It’s for us in the industry, working together with government and electricity providers, to make sure drivers understand the reality of EV ownership.’
Hyundai offers hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric cars alongside petrol and diesel, and is launching its Drive Different campaign, which looks at our attitudes towards eco mobility, what impacts our driving style and how this changes in an AFV.
The top ten concerns and myths about electric cars:
1. Range anxiety bringing you down?
Don’t panic. A typical EV covers between 100 and 200 miles on a single charge and even longer on some models with ranges of more than 300 miles. Hyundai’s Kona Electric can actually go as far as 279 miles with one charge.
2. Worried you won’t find anywhere to charge?
No need to be! There are currently more than 14,500 public charging points in at least 9,000 locations in the UK and the network is growing rapidly.
3. Think an electric vehicle is too expensive?
Think again. With more and more affordable and competitive options and fewer moving parts to fail or need replacing, EVs are in fact cheaper to run than conventionally fuelled vehicles.
4. Worried that electric vehicles are too sluggish?
Not true! Instant torque delivery means EVs can accelerate just as quickly, if not much quicker than their petrol or diesel counterparts. For example, Hyundai’s Kona Electric can accelerate from 0-62mph in just 7.9 seconds.
5. Think you can’t take an electric vehicle through the car wash or drive in a lightning storm?
Of course we’ve all been told that you don’t mix electricity with water, but when it comes to EVs it’s perfectly safe to use a car wash and there’s no extra risk of driving in a lightning storm.
6. Not enough choice in the market?
The electric car market is expanding rapidly. In fact, Hyundai has the largest e-mobility fleet in the world including the latest in electric, hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
7. Worried that electric vehicles’ batteries are adding to the landfill crisis?
EV batteries can be recycled just like the batteries in petrol or diesel cars. EV power cells can be used to store solar and wind energy, or they can be broken down with their more valuable elements reused.
8. Doubting the safety of electric vehicles?
Rest assured that EVs undergo the same rigorous testing and meet the same safety standards required for petrol or diesel cars.
9. Worried about your breakdown cover?
No reason to be. The majority of breakdown suppliers now provide services for all EVs.
10. Don’t think an electric vehicle will fuel your petrol-head needs?
You won’t be disappointed. As soon as you push down on the accelerator, the transition from stationary to speed is almost instantaneous.