Common misconceptions & FAQ’s about EV technology


At Freight in the City Expo, we were asked to give a #techtalk and chose to address some of the common misconceptions and frequently asked questions we hear when first talking to businesses interested in electrification in the medium-duty market – namely urban distribution.

Here, we de-bunk the top misconceptions and answer the frequently asked questions:

1. "Lithium batteries are bad"
It depends what kind of lithium battery you are referring to; there are many different types of lithium battery, each utilising a slightly different chemical make-up BUT if, like Tevva, you use a Lithium Iron Phosphate battery, it is low cost, has excellent longevity and thermal stability and, importantly, uses no cobalt.
2. "EVs are only suited to short-range applications"
Wrong! In fact, the bigger the scale you look at in terms of mileage, the better electric vehicles become – after all, the more miles you’re doing, the more harmful greenhouse gas emissions (including CO2 and NOx) are eliminated. What’s more, Tevva calculations show that EV technology saves an average of 30p per mile in costs so more miles means more savings.
3. "An extended range EV is a hybrid"
At its core, Tevva’s technology package offering is a pure electric vehicle; Tevva’s REX range extender is an optional extra that simply increases the functionality of its vehicles – with or without REX, the road wheels of a Tevva truck will still always be driven purely by electric traction motor; removing the range extender means it will operate in exactly the same way, just with less flexibility.
4. What is geo-fencing ?

Geofences are virtual boundaries that define a geographical area and can be used by connected autonomous vehicle control systems to dictate and guarantee operational modes of a vehicle; thereby ensuring absolute compliance with the emissions standard for any given zone. Further, advanced telematics enable a city authority to monitor a suitably equipped vehicle for enforcement purposes without the need for expensive ANPR technology.  Tevva’s patented Predictive Range Extension Management System (PREMS) is integral to its offering and uses geofences autonomously to control deployment of the REX for the bare minimum period (if at all) each day and NEVER within a geofenced low/zero emission zone.  New geofences can be easily added at any time.

5. "All electric motors are basically the same"
This is not correct and Tevva’s latest generation of motors use a unique High Density Switched Reluctance technology which eliminates the need for permanent magnets, resulting in no use of rare earth metals, easier end-of-life recycling options, cooling and lower cost.
6. "Regenerative braking isn’t that important"
On the contrary, this element of Tevva’s technology has a particularly significant effect on the medium duty urban distribution industry because it involves so much driving in inner city environments that are most heavily impacted by Clean Air Zones – in urban areas, the stop-start nature of the driving typically utilises up to 25% of energy, as opposed to 5% on motorways so using vehicle momentum to put energy back into the battery is important and in the case of Tevva, regenerative braking is responsible for upto 25% of the total daily energy requirements.
7. "EVs are too expensive for mass deployment"
This is not accurate: actually, operating costs for a 7.5t box-bodied truck with a tail-lift with an average duty cycle of 250,000kms over seven-year lease term subject to a typical repair and maintenance regime show that a traditional diesel vehicle will give a lease plus fuel cost that is £90 more per month than for a range-extended EV.
8. "EV technology is evolving fast so it’s better to wait"
Not really; range, operational capability and battery longevity are already more than fit for purpose. Ongoing development is focused not on adding capability, but on removing cost in anticipation of the eventual removal of grant assistance.  Furthermore, vehicles procured after 2020 and certainly by 2023 will still be in service, even with their first owners in 2030 when zero emission zones are expected to be the norm.
9. "EV technology isn’t 100% as safe as existing diesel tech"
Yes it is.  Tevva has worked hard with external authorities to ensure that its battery technologies meet the most stringent of safety regulations, including UNECE Reg 100 Rev 2, Parts 1 & 2 for battery safety, and at the module level to UNECE 38.3,  and is working towards ISO 26262 for overall vehicle functional safety.

Tevva Electrify campaign, is an opportunity for fleets to put into service a fully electric, range extended 12tGVW medium duty vehicle and see how this advanced ev technology performs for their business and industry sector, whilst working towards a clear specification for volume procurement. Tevva is offering a number of vehicles on short-term rental through the campaign.

Find out more about Tevva electrify campaign, or contact one of our fleet electrification experts today. Email: