Less than four per cent of EV breakdowns in 2020 were for “out of charge”

Tyres and 12V starting battery top two causes of EV breakdowns

Almost all UK drivers overestimate the number of breakdowns as a result of problems with EV charging infrastructure and vehicle range, according to the AA.

In 2020, the AA attended around 13,000 electric vehicle breakdowns, of which just under four per cent were for vehicles running out of charge – a figure that’s halved in the last few years.

However, only one per cent of 14,500 drivers polled could correctly estimate the infrequency of this issue, with the average guess being two thirds (65 per cent) of all EV breakdowns due to the main driving battery running out.

The reality is that the top two breakdowns for combustion engine vehicles and EVs are the same, with tyres and the smaller 12-volt battery being the main causes of faults.

Drivers were also asked what they believed to be the average distance an EV could travel on a single charge, with a quarter correctly identifying a range of up to 200 miles.

Only one in 16 were expecting less than 100 miles from a single charge.

AA president, Edmund King OBE said; “As we fast approach the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel sales, more drivers are thinking about electric cars.

“However, there are still concerns about the existing charging infrastructure and single charge range.

“Likewise, most drivers totally over-estimate the percentage of breakdowns due to running out of charge.

“The reality is far better than drivers think, with very few EVs failing to reach a chargepoint.

“In fact, EVs and combustion cars share the same top two reasons for breakdowns which are tyres and the smaller 12 volt battery.

“As more chargepoints, especially rapid chargers, are installed across the country the number of cars failing to reach one will further reduce, providing more confidence to drivers to help them make the switch.”


  1. as a garage owner and master tech, I can not understand why you are all getting sucked into electric cars,they are not the answer, the fuel companys need help in research and production of alternative fuels and development of hydrogen
    electric cars are both unclean to produce and short lived life spans
    somebody needs to wake up to the fact they are going down the wrong route

  2. Electric cars are very expensive to produce and cause more environmental damage than any internal combustion engine this is due to the lithium ion battery packs as the manufacturing process to obtain all the special metals required by open mines which can now be seen from space. They also only have a limited lifetime on the batteries which have to be replaced and recycled correctly causing more pollution. Will will also require many hundreds of power stations wind turbines and solar energy to charge millions of these Electric Vehicles. Every one knows that something has to change because the internal combustion engine is well over 100 years old now but is it completely finished as our UK GOVERNMENT keeps telling us by 2030 no more internal combustion engine’s will be allowed to continue in production in the UK. Does Graham Cox have a very good point regarding the internal combustion engine and electric battery Vehicles. We have had over 100 years of the internal combustion engine and know there weakness is just exhaust emissions which surely the fuel companies and scientists are able to produce a engine which is clean as these electric vehicles are new technology to us and may turn out to be a dangerous path for everyone to follow. Hopefully something will happen for the future but a knee jerk reaction by the British Government to go green and buy electric vehicles is not going to happen anytime soon. There is no vehicle which doesn’t damage the planet to produce and drive then recycle. We still need the internal combustion engine together with other types vehicles like Graham said don’t just give up on the internal combustion engine yet as battery vehicles won’t sort out our problems.


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