Miss Dashboard - Myth-Busting in the Tesla Model 3

  • Miss Dashboard - Tesla Model 3

Miss Dashboard dispels some popular misconceptions about electric cars by Myth-busting in the Tesla Model 3

Electric car use continues to hit the headlines, with the government recently announcing that within 15 years no more new diesel or petrol cars (including hybrids, as they have petrol engines) will be sold in the UK. And, as I type, according to the industry website goultralow.com, an electric car is now registered here every seven minutes. But the myths surrounding EVs (electric vehicles) still seem to circulate in everyday conversation, on social media and from more traditional media sources.

I recently got my hands on (and they had to prise them off finger by finger) the Tesla Model 3 – the ground-breaking electric car maker’s car for the masses – and it got me thinking that it was time to tackle some of these common misconceptions…

Myth 1 – electric cars run out of electricity

Like any car, you need to keep it topped up with ‘fuel’ (aka electricity) and, just like a mobile phone, charging at night is a simple habit. But a typical electric car now covers 100-200 miles on a single charge and even longer on some models. Hyundai's Kona Electric can drive as far as 279 miles with one charge. You wouldn’t drive 300 miles without stopping for a coffee or a pee, so that’s when to re-charge.

Myth 2 – they’re really expensive

Electric cars are actually considerably cheaper to run than traditional cars, as they barely need servicing (they have fewer moving parts, no oil change), have zero road tax – and electricity is about seven times cheaper than diesel or petrol. It’s true that EVs are currently more expensive to buy (new) than their traditional counterparts, but as more mass production occurs, these costs will plummet.

Myth 3 – they’re slow (and boring)

‘Oh no they’re not!’ Ok, so we can’t all afford the electric Porsche Taycan, but driving an electric car gives so much joy – and acceleration for those who want it. Instant torque means EVs can usually accelerate quicker than their petrol or diesel equivalents. Hyundai’s family car, the Kona Electric can accelerate from 0-62mph in just 7.9 seconds and Tesla Model 3 in as little as 3.2 seconds.

Myth 4 – there’s nowhere to charge them in the countryside

If you live in the middle of nowhere, you’re more likely to have a garage, or space for your own charge point, which is the easiest way to charge an EV. There are more public electric charging points in the UK than petrol stations! zap-map.com lists more than 14,500 public charging points in more than 9,000 locations in the UK – and the Government's pledge to have 5,000 rapid public chargers by 2024 means the infrastructure is going from strength to strength.

Myth 5 – I live on a street, so I have nowhere to charge

If you really want to drive (and charge) an EV there’s always an answer. Websites like pod-point.com give a range of solutions to people who don’t have driveways – from installing a charger in your street, to charging at a petrol station (how old-school), at work and in other destinations like commercial car parks.

Myth 6 – they’re not any greener than diesel or petrol cars

Electric cars are not perfect, and the haters may never be convinced, but let’s not pretend that a petrol or diesel car can claim to have lower carbon emissions, reduce noise pollution and have a minimal effect on air quality. An EV can.

The green credentials of your electric car depend on how the energy you use is generated. Solar panels produce emission free driving. If your electricity comes from a provider that’s powered by fossil fuels, you’re shifting your greenhouse gases emissions from your exhaust to its chimneys – so the simple answer is to choose an energy company that uses renewable sources – like Octopus Energy (approved by Friends of the Earth).

Myth 7 – EV batteries don’t last very long and are expensive to replace

Wrong! Most new electric batteries have an eight year warranty. And there are so many battery recycling schemes that you’re unlikely to be affected. 

Myth 8 – electric cars are the silent killer

Some EV haters call them the ‘silent killer’ as they have no engine noise. But they do have tyre noise (like any car, agreed) and, more importantly, as providers of the latest technology, have huge amounts of safety features to protect pedestrians, including automatic emergency braking if something/or someone happens to get in the way. The real silent killer is air pollution.

Myth 9 – You can’t take an electric car though a car wash and you’ll get electrocuted if you charge in the rain

And the moon is made of cheese! Of course we’ve all been told that you don’t mix electricity with water, but when it comes to EVs it is perfectly safe to use a car wash and there’s no extra risk of driving in a lightning storm, charging your car in the rain, or driving through a puddle…

Myth 10 – there isn’t enough choice

The electric car market is expanding rapidly for both new and used cars. There’s literally an A-Z of availability now, from the Audi-e-tron, BMW i3, Mini-electric, Jaguar i-pace, Nissan Leaf, to the Kia e-Niro, Volkswagen I-D range – and the ZOE, from Renault.

For more details on these and other myths visit the most reputable source on all things electric car and energy related: fullycharged.show

 

And a few words on the Tesla Model 3

Yes please, I’d like one - NOW! Model 3 is Tesla’s smaller, simpler, more affordable car, similar in size to a VW Golf. See it as your typical run-around (well it really isn’t, it’s stupendous) or second family car.

Range – and charging – the range is so good you won’t even have to worry if you forget to plug it in every now and again. The cheapest version has a range of up to 240 miles and the more expensive can drive up to 348 miles on a full charge. Charging at home overnight (or whenever you park) is the simplest option, though if this isn’t possible or you’re travelling long distance, Tesla’s supercharger network (to 180 miles of range in 15 minutes) is expanding – rapidly. There are also ‘destination chargers’ – plugs available at offices, car parks, pubs, leisure centres etc., some are free, others require an app or subscription.

Road tax – £0 – it’s a zero emission car.

Safety – This little beauty is built for safety, as well as speed. It can see things that you, as a driver, can’t and acts upon them (it’ll brake automatically if something gets in the way) – thanks to eight surround cameras & twelve ultrasonic sensors.

Media – The car is operated by the equivalent of a large iPad (you’ve got to drive it to believe it!) – a 15” touchscreen that’s as easy to use as the easiest smartphone – scrolls through media, satnav, climate control – it’s all there. And, for the child in you, the ‘toybox’ button turns your clicking indicator into a fart sound – and you can even have a virtual log fire crackling away on-screen.

This season’s colours – For a ground-breaking car, the five paint options are under-stated (white, black, silver, blue and red) but hey, who wants to be seen in a pearlised sky-blue pink car? It really is the inside of this car that counts – with seats available in ‘vegan’ (oh yes!) leather in black, or a white that’s more opaque than a Hollywood A-lister’s smile.

The drive – It’s a dream to drive, as it’s effortless, comfortable, intuitive. As with all electric cars, when you take your foot off the accelerator the regenerative brakes automatically slow the car down, as well as saving electricity. Switching the Model 3 to autopilot lets the car steer, accelerate and brake automatically when it senses other vehicles and pedestrians, but can always be over-ridden by you.

Warranty – 4 year/50,000 mileage and 8 year battery warranty.

Price – The Model 3 Standard Range Plus starts from £39,490, Model 3 Long Range from £47,990 and Model 3 Performance from £52,990. But for leasing options (in my humble opinion by far the best way to ‘own’ a new car, especially with technology evolving so quickly) check out websites like www.drive-electric to lease from £420 a month (plus deposit).

Follow Alexandra on Twitter @MissDashboardUK for a refreshing take on cars.