6 Electric Vehicles Myths Busted

Interest in the electrification of transportation is growing. However, many are still hesitant to make the transition and electrify their fleet. Let’s demystify some beliefs to reassure all those looking for an economical, sustainable and environmental transportation solution.

Electric buses and electric trucks don’t have the range to meet my needs

Electric buses and electric trucks don’t have the range to meet my needs

While this may have been the case a decade ago, electric vehicle (EV) battery technology has come a long way in recent years. Electric school buses now have ranges up to and exceeding 155 miles on a single charge.

That’s much longer than most routes require. In fact, according to a 2013 SAE study, the average school bus route is less than 32 miles, with over 99% of routes being under 78 miles. Electric buses can also be charged mid-day while not on the road as needed.

Modern electric heavy-duty trucks have even more significant range, of up to 250 miles.

While electric trucks don’t fit every single need such as long-haul one-way transportation, they are able to cover short and medium length freight routes very effectively – and considering that more than 43% of all trucking consists of ranges less than 250 miles, there is quite a bit of opportunity for electric trucks today. Finally, as battery technology improves, so will range capabilities in the future.

EVs don’t work in extreme weather

This is another case of technology having advanced significantly in recent years. Early mass market passenger EVs did suffer from some range degradation and the reputation still circulates to an extent today.

The reality is that not all batteries are created equal. Lion Electric buses and trucks suffer almost no range degradation, even in sub-zero temperatures. Our battery packs are engineered with cold and hot weather in mind with appropriate heating and liquid cooling to keep them in the window of optimal operation. Lion Electric has developed its own BMS (battery management system) and BTMS (battery thermal management system) to control and access the full capability of its batteries, and drivers can expect full range in all conditions.

Electric vehicles are too difficult to maintain

Lion Electric All-Electric Urban Commercial Trucks

This can be a bit counterintuitive, but while EV technology is quite different in many ways to internal combustion drivetrains, EV drivetrains are actually vastly simplified by comparison. The number of moving parts in an EV drivetrain is measured in dozens, while it is measured in the thousands in its internal combustion counterpart. There can be up to 100 times fewer moving parts in an electric vehicle.

Because of this, maintenance is greatly reduced – by up to 60% versus combustion drivetrains. There is no oil to change, timing belts to replace, spark plugs and ignition, or emissions controls maintain, as well as fewer bearings and seals, just to name a few. Lion Electric bodies and cabins are made out of composite for not only weight reduction but also rust resistance, with minimal water infiltration.

Because of these simplified platforms, electric vehicles are not only more affordable to maintain, but also require less downtime for maintenance – one of the most important considerations for fleets.

As a result, fewer vehicles can be on the road more often, at less cost. It’s a win, win, win.

EVs are too expensive

The upfront cost of an electric vehicle can appear significant – but there is much more to the equation that ultimately makes them the more affordable choice. First, there are the aforementioned maintenance savings, which on average equate to a 60% reduction over diesel or gasoline vehicles. Second, energy costs (fuel) are significantly lower – up to 80%. As a result, the total cost of ownership for an electric vehicle is significantly lower than diesel or gasoline vehicles, with a shorter ROI timeline.

Available incentives should also be taken into account, as they can be significant. Many governments and municipalities have committed to aggressive carbon neutrality goals in recent years and offer significant incentives for switching to zero-emission vehicles. These differ based on location and available funding but can result in an immediate payback upon purchase of a large percentage of the vehicle cost. In some cases, zero-emission buses can be purchased for nearly zero overall cost to the operator once all of the incentives are taken into account.

Charging electric vehicles takes too long and is too complicated

Electric vehicle charging can seem complicated at first glance, especially for those new to EVs. There is a small glossary of new terms that immediately appear such as kilowatts and kilowatt hours, as well as charging speeds. Lion Electric takes the worry out of all of this with its Lion Energy division, which helps customers determine charging needs and manages the installation and implementation of charging infrastructure so that customer fleets are ready to roll on day one.

However, in practice, once you have your infrastructure in place, charging becomes an afterthought. EVs can be plugged in whenever parked, and smart charging features such as those built into Lion Electric vehicles can be programmed so that vehicles only charge when energy costs are low. Vehicle-to-grid technology (V2G) equipped on Lion Electric products even allows for energy in batteries to be sold back to the grid – similar to solar – for a profit.

One of the biggest advantages to EV ownership is waking up to a “full tank” every day.

Lion Electric LionM All-Electric Transit Minibus

If I switch to EV, I will need to train all my drivers to operate them

EVs drive just like their gasoline and diesel counterparts – and in many ways are actually simpler to drive. There are no gears to worry about, power delivery is smooth with instant response, and electric vehicles are also nearly silent, with reduced noise, vibration and harshness typically associated with diesel or gasoline drivetrains. As a result, drivers are more comfortable throughout their day and less stressed.

Drivers don’t need to learn any fundamentally new procedures to operate an electric vehicle, and in fact there are new onboard data and diagnostics tools which can give drivers more information than ever before.

So, are these myths officially busted? To find out more about heavy electric vehicles or the electrification of your fleet, Lion Electric, the leader in North America, is here to support you.

Contact us.