Seven myths of e-mobility
Too expensive, hardly any range, not environmentally friendly? Electromobility is surrounded by at least as many myths as it is opportunities. We looked closer at these myths and revealed whether or not they are true.
Myth #1: “Nobody can afford it”
Electric cars are often said to be far too expensive. When electric cars were still in their infancy, the models on the market were priced higher than diesel or gasoline vehicles. Today, electric cars bring numerous benefits that ultimately ease the burden on consumers' wallets. These range from purchase premiums and tax breaks for electric cars to cheaper insurance for sustainable vehicles.
One of the most significant factors affecting the purchase price of an electric vehicle is the lightweight steel required. Thanks to established and flexible production processes, the lightweight steel required for the body and battery housing becomes increasingly affordable. Today thyssenkrupp Steel can produce lightweight steels up to 50% cheaper.
Today, many incentives and benefits offset the initial cost of an e-car in the long run.
Thanks to modern and flexible production processes, lightweight steels offer many advantages - from emission savings in production to more favorable purchase prices for electric cars.
Myth #2: “You can't drive into the car wash”
Anyone who has to smile when reading this myth is already on the right track. Nevertheless, the misconception persists. After all, we all know that electrical appliances and water do not get along well. Therefore, it is only natural that some people wonder whether you can drive an electric car through a car wash without electrocuting yourself or your car.
There is no need to worry: Neither is the case in reality. If that were the case, every car would have to suffer damage when driving through a car wash. Today, all new cars are adequately insulated and extensively equipped with electronics anyway, regardless of whether they are internal combustion, hybrid or electric cars.
Myth #2 is clearly a misconception. Nothing stands in the way of washing the electric car!
Myth #3: “Germany does not have enough charging stations”
Many people interested in e-cars are still hesitant because they fear that the infrastructure for charging stations in Germany has not been developed far enough to ensure nationwide charging options. Is the concern about being stranded on longer routes justified?
According to a study from 2022, the German Federal Network Agency has seen a steady increase in the number of charging stations for electric cars available in Germany in recent months. In 2021, for example, over 7,600 charging stations were put into operation in the Federal Republic. That is a good thing because according to the forecast; there will already be a need for over 250,000 charging points by 2025. For many potential e-car buyers, this expansion of the infrastructure is necessary for their purchase decision.
Yet, not only the infrastructure for e-mobility grows but the efficiency of batteries and charging stations also improves continuously. The grain-oriented electrical steel of the powercore® brand from thyssenkrupp Steel is of central importance here. This is because a certain amount of electricity is lost during each transformation process. Grain-oriented electrical steel can significantly reduce these losses. That is why it is used in electric motors and charging terminals for e-vehicles and in distribution transformers and wind turbine generators.
Concerns are justified, at least based on the current state of e-charging point infrastructure. However, considering the growth rate of the expansion of charging points in Germany and the continuous development of the technology, we can be confident that the demand for 250,000 charging points will be met in 2025.
Myth #4: “Electric cars take forever to charge”
Concerns about infrastructure are often accompanied by concerns about the charging speed of e-cars. And indeed, fully charging an electric car at so-called wall boxes can sometimes take a little longer at home. Car manufacturers now promise charging times of 30-40 minutes with fast-charging variants. The crux of the matter is that the batteries are only charged to around 70-80%. Many consumers are therefore left with a certain amount of uncertainty: "What if the charge isn't enough after all and I break down on the way to work?"
In fact, the fast-charging function of an e-car does not have to be used as often as one might think. According to estimates by the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW), around 85% of all charging currently takes place in the private sector. A steadily growing proportion of charging now even takes place at the workplace. In addition, high-tech materials specially designed for electromobility such as thyssenkrupp Steel's powercore® electrical steel already allow faster and more efficient charging than a few years ago.
So, for everyday undertakings, the charging speed of wall boxes is quite sufficient.
Myth #5: “Electric cars catch fire easily”
Are the horror stories about exploding batteries turning the interior of an e-car into a flaming inferno within seconds true? When electromobility was in its infancy, both battery cases and batteries were much more susceptible to fires. Things have changed in the meantime.
Today, highly stable and safe battery housings from thyssenkrupp Steel ensure that the most sensitive part of the electric car is adequately protected. This is not just about crash or intrusion protection: Fire protection, electromagnetic shielding, and corrosion protection are also key criteria at thyssenkrupp Steel in the development of the steels used.
The battery housing is designed for excellent performance. The use of ultra-high-strength steel allows the efficient crash structures to be made particularly slim and thin-walled. This saves installation space and creates room for large batteries with even greater range.
Myth #5 can now be clearly disproved due to technological advances. If a fire occurs, the battery housings are now protected in such a way that the occupants have just as much time to get to safety as in the case of combustion vehicles.
Myth #6: “Electric cars put less power on the road”
E-cars are often said to be less fun to drive than standard combustion engines. In fact, some electric cars even have several electric motors (e.g., one per axle) and thus often have more horsepower than gasoline and diesel models. The perception of a lack of power is therefore often more related to the fact that e-cars are less noisy. The lack of engine flare-up may falsely contribute to the persistence of this myth.
Incidentally, a particularly important component for the performance of e-cars is the rotor shaft. It is the heart of an electric drive and ensures that torque is transmitted from the electromagnetic to the mechanical range. The correct design of the rotor shaft determines the speeds and torques that an electric motor can achieve. Our drive specialists at thyssenkrupp Dynamic Components develop rotor shafts specifically for the requirements of electromobility and thus ensure more power and driving pleasure behind the wheel.
Conclusion: The fact that e-cars put less power on the road is therefore just a myth. What is true, however, is that they are much quieter than other vehicles. But those who can get used to the lower noise level will have a lot of fun with an e-car.
#Mythos 7: “Electric cars make unpleasant noises”
E-cars are said to not only lack the typical engine noise but also have annoying inherent noises that reduce driving enjoyment. These noises are often described as an unpleasant "electric whirring". The experts at thyssenkrupp Steel have developed a solution to reduce this noise:
With bondal®, thyssenkrupp Steel provides a proven sandwich material for noise reduction in vehicle construction. The latest application tests with the innovative composite material in electric vehicles also show potential for use in optimizing the acoustics of electric drive motors and their power electronics. This will make it possible to reduce unpleasant noises in the future.
The bondal®, which is formed into a small and space-saving component, also has airborne sound-absorbing properties, among other things, and can minimize the unpleasant noise in electric cars. This effect is achieved by the special structure of bondal®: the material is a steel-plastic-steel composite. A thin, adhesive plastic layer is continuously applied between two steel sheets under high contact pressure. This sandwich structure achieves a considerable noise-reducing effect.
Those who do not want to compromise on noise do not have to do without electric cars. Technological developments, such as the new bondal® material, show that the acoustics in electric cars will soon also be able to offer optimum driving pleasure.
Electromobility offers more opportunities than disadvantages
Many myths surrounding electromobility are based on understandable concerns. However, technological progress and the continuous development of the technology are increasingly making e-mobility a competitive, sustainable alternative to conventional combustion engines. thyssenkrupp is supporting this mobility revolution with affordable, safe, and sustainable innovations. Read more about New Mobility at thyssenkrupp in our stories.