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Electric car breakdowns from running out of power at record low, says AA

The chances of an electric vehicle breakdown being caused by running out of power has reached a record low, figures suggest (John Walton/PA)
The chances of an electric vehicle breakdown being caused by running out of power has reached a record low, figures suggest (John Walton/PA)

The chances of an electric vehicle (EV) breakdown being caused by running out of power has reached a record low, figures suggest.

Just 2.3% of the EV callouts the AA received in the year to the end of October were due to batteries having limited or no charge, the company said.

This is down from 8.3% in 2015 and 4.3% in 2021.

The AA attributed the decrease to the public charging network becoming larger and more reliable, improved range on newer EVs and better education and information for drivers.

The company expects the figure to ultimately drop to 1%, which would be equivalent to the proportion of petrol or diesel car breakdowns due to running out of fuel.

It predicted that range anxiety – whereby EV drivers are concerned they will no have enough power to complete their journey – will become “a thing of the past”.

AA president Edmund King said: “There are still lots of myths being pedalled about EVs running out of charge on almost every long journey.

“At the AA we have the evidence to show this is just not the case.

“It is important that all drivers have accurate information, see improved infrastructure and they are given incentives to switch when they are ready to do so.

“Our polling shows that drivers generally aren’t hostile to EVs but they are hesitant to switch. This is not surprising as the combustion engine has been with us for well over 100 years.

“Once drivers have made the switch they will not look back.”

AA figures show it received 83,000 call outs by EV drivers in the 12 months to the end of October.

The most common faults were related to: tyres (21.5%); problems charging the battery used for driving the vehicle (19.8%); and the 12v battery (16.8%), which is the same type used in conventionally-fuelled vehicles.

Some 16.3% of all new cars bought in the UK during the first 11 months of the year were battery electrics, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

That is up from 15.1% during the same period in 2022.

In September, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak delayed the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans in the UK from 2030 to 2035.

But under the Government’s zero-emission vehicles mandate, at least 22% of new cars sold by each manufacturer in the UK next year must be zero-emission, which generally means pure electric.

The threshold will rise annually until it reaches 100% by 2035.

Failure to abide by the rule or make use of flexibilities – such as carrying over allowances from previous years – will result in a requirement to pay the Government £15,000 per polluting car sold above the limits.