Research by Go Ultra Low has revealed the British public is largely uninformed about electric vehicles (EVs) and EV infrastructure, with survey responses identifying a number of myths commonly believed by Britons.

Nearly half of those surveyed (42%) underestimated the amount of EV chargers available in the UK, with the average respondent thinking there are 6,000 charging points in the UK. In reality, the UK has one of the largest charge networks in Europe with a total of around 17,000 – more than double the estimate, representing 96% coverage of Motorway Service Areas.

Over half (52%) suggested they wouldn't be able to describe a pure electric car (powered by battery) to another person. Surprisingly, a significant proportion (42%) also believed that electric cars cannot be put through a car wash.

Cost is another area with big differences between perception and reality. One in four (25%) of respondents think that maintenance costs for a pure electric car, compared to petrol or diesel, is higher over the vehicle's lifetime. While upfront purchase costs may be higher, operating a pure electric car can cost 70% less in actuality, with reduced tax, fuel and maintenance requirements.

Similarly, people in Britain on average think that fully charging an electric car costs £21.54, rather than the real figure of £3.64.

The average Brit also underestimates the diversity of models available on the market, assuming there are only nine models in the UK, almost half the correct number (17). A further 42% of Brits think there are fewer than 15,000 pure electric cars on UK roads, compared to the correct figure of 40,000 (and rising).

The performance of electric vehicles is also widely underestimated in the UK. Although 47% of respondents think that petrol or diesel cars are faster at accelerating than pure electric alternatives, the opposite is true – most electric cars are quicker off the mark, with electric motors able to generate power more quickly than internal combustion engines.

Poppy Welch, head of Go Ultra Low, said: “The research shows that there is much confusion and misunderstanding with the British public when it comes to pure electric cars. Over half of those surveyed don’t feel confident describing a pure electric car to another person and many aren’t aware of the many benefits electric cars can bring.

“Pure electric car drivers benefit from lower running costs, convenient charging and high-performance driving, all while producing no tailpipe emissions and helping to improve local air quality. Dispelling these misconceptions and highlighting these perks is therefore vital if we are to see more motorists make the switch to electric motoring.”