Common myths about electric vehicles

Myth #1: Electric vehicles (EVs) don't go far enough on a single charge.


One common reason people do not purchase EVs is because they have doubts about range. Many people believe EVs can only travel short distances before running out of power. However, most Americans drive 40 or fewer miles a day. Most of today's battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have ranges of over 250 miles. This means that a BEV has enough range to cover your daily needs without recharge during the day. Alternatively, range limitations are a non-issue for plug-in electric hybrid vehicles (PHEVs). PHEVs can drive up to 300+ miles on a combination of electricity and gasoline.

EPRI article: Electric vehicle market revs up

Myth #2: Electric vehicles are too expensive to own and operate.


When considering costs for an EV, it is important to look at the "whole life cost," meaning the purchase price and operating expense. EVs cost much less to run than gasoline engine or diesel engine vehicles. EVs also have fewer maintenance costs, making them cheaper to maintain throughout their lifecycle than an internal combustion vehicle. And BEVs never need an oil change!

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) maintains an EV comparison tool, with many models costing less than $30,000!

Department of Energy calculator: Can a hybrid save me money?

Myth #3: Electric cars don’t help the environment.


Unlike internal combustion vehicles, EVs have zero tailpipe emissions. This means that when your EV is running, no carbon is exhausted into our air. Generating the electricity used to manufacture and charge EVs may create a carbon footprint, but even today EVs have a lower greenhouse gas emission impact compared to internal combustion vehicles. This is because the source of electricity across the nation is becoming increasingly renewable. Alliant Energy is on a path to produce more of its electricity from renewable energy sources, such as renewable natural gas, hydro, wind and solar. Check out our Clean Energy Blueprint to learn how we're working toward a clean energy future.

Department of Energy: Emissions from Electric Vehicles

Myth #4: Widespread charging infrastructure needs to be built before purchasing an EV.


Electric car owners often cite home and work as the two most convenient locations for charging their vehicles. That's why we are working on programs to make home and workplace charging easier and more affordable. But if you do need to charge up on the go, public charging infrastructure has expanded considerably. lists public charging locations across the country. In addition, the U.S. has recognized a need for charging infrastructure. Governments, manufacturers and utilities are working together to build an extensive network of fast charging stations along highways and public spaces.

Myth #5: The electricity grid cannot handle EVs.


Our engineers are constantly looking at new technology and customer use to design the grid for the future. Keeping the lights on is one of our top priorities. Utilities and regulators work hand-in-hand to focus on reliability. Working closely with your utility is a great way to learn how EVs can add reliability and strength to the electricity grid and lower your electricity bill.

Myth #6: Electric vehicles don’t work well in a cold climate.


It's true that EV battery range may decrease in frigid conditions; however, even under these conditions, most vehicles are left with sufficient range to get you where you want to go. 

You can minimize the drop in range by pre-heating your EV while it's still charging. It is important to note that internal combustion vehicles also experience a drop in range in cold weather. Manufacturers are working on technology to address these concerns and improve battery performance in all weather conditions.