Myth #1: Electric vehicles are worse for the climate than gasoline cars because of the power plant emissions.

  • FACT: Electric vehicles typically have a smaller carbon footprint than gasoline cars, even when accounting for the electricity used for charging.

Electric vehicles (EVs) have no tailpipe emissions. Generating the electricity used to charge EVs, however, may create carbon pollution. The amount varies widely based on how local power is generated, e.g., using coal or natural gas, which emit carbon pollution, versus renewable resources like wind or solar, which do not. Even accounting for these electricity emissions, research shows that an EV is typically responsible for lower levels of greenhouse gases (GHGs) than an average new gasoline car. To the extent that more renewable energy sources like wind and solar are used to generate electricity, the total GHGs associated with EVs could be even lower. Learn more about electricity production in your area.

Myth #2: Electric vehicles don’t have enough range to handle daily travel demands.

  • FACT: Electric vehicle range is more than enough for typical daily use in the U.S.

Electric vehicles (EVs) have sufficient range to cover a typical household’s daily travel, which is approximately 50 miles on average per day.1 The majority of households (roughly 85%) travel under 100 miles on a typical day. Most EV models go above 200 miles on a fully charged battery, with nearly all new models traveling more than 100 miles on a single charge. And automakers have announced plans to release even more long-range models in the coming years.

Myth #3: Electric vehicles only come as sedans.

  • FACT: Electric vehicles now come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are now available in many vehicle classes, extending beyond small sedan/compact models. There are currently more than 50 PHEV and EV models on the market. More models are being released in the coming years, so vehicle class options are likely to expand.

Myth #4: There is nowhere to charge.

  • FACT: Electric vehicles can be plugged into the same type of outlet as your toaster! When you need to charge while on the road, you’ll find over 45,000 stations in the U.S. available to the public.

Many people can meet their driving needs by plugging in only at home. Most electric vehicles (EVs) can be charged with a standard 120 V (Level 1) outlet. To charge the vehicle more quickly, you can install a dedicated 240 V (Level 2) outlet or charging system. And for those who live in apartments or condominiums, EV charging stations are becoming a more common building amenity.

Myth #5: Electric vehicles are worse for the climate than gasoline cars because of battery manufacturing.

  • FACT: The greenhouse gas emissions associated with an electric vehicle over its lifetime are typically lower than those from an average gasoline-powered vehicle, even when accounting for manufacturing.

Some studies have shown that making a typical electric vehicle (EV) can create more carbon pollution than making a gasoline car. This is because of the additional energy required to manufacture an EV’s battery. Still, over the lifetime of the vehicle, total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with manufacturing, charging, and driving an EV are typically lower than the total GHGs associated with a gasoline car. That’s because EVs have zero tailpipe emissions and are typically responsible for significantly fewer GHGs during operation (see Myth 1 above).

For example, researchers at Argonne National Laboratory estimated emissions for both a gasoline car and an EV with a 300-mile electric range. In their estimates, while GHGs from EV manufacturing are higher(shown in blue below), total GHGs for the EV are still lower than those for the gasoline car.

Estimates shown below are from GREET 2 2019 and are intended to be illustrative only.

Myth #6: Electric vehicles are not as safe as comparable gasoline vehicles.

  • FACT: Electric vehicles must meet the same safety standards as conventional vehicles.

All light duty cars and trucks sold in the United States must meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. To meet these standards, vehicles must undergo an extensive, long-established testing process, regardless of whether the vehicle operates on gasoline or electricity. Separately, EV battery packs must meet their own testing standards. Moreover, EVs are designed with additional safety features that shut down the electrical system when they detect a collision or short circuit.

There are no myths about regulatory compliance. Spencer-SHE has been providing Safety, Health, and Environmental Compliance Guidance since 1980.  We can assist you in identifying your workplace compliance responsibilities.    

Contact us here.


Electric Vehicle Myths | US EPA