Would you own an Electric Car?

by Johni Parker (@johniparker)

Is it something you’ve ever considered? Or may in the future?

One thing that’s always puzzled me with regards to electric motoring, is the way that the public seems to have been brainwashed into thinking fossil fuels are the only way.

You start talking about electric cars, and someone always says, oh, but how long can it go for?

People seem focused on the negatives, rather than the huge positives.

It seems strange to me that people seem to complain about how much they spend on fuel, and yet be content to keep on doing so.

You only have to be stuck behind a diesel in traffic that isn't running its best, to know that the immediate environmental effects would be a blessing.

Now, I love the combustion engine, but any true Petrolhead will appreciate that electric vehicles have to be part of the future plan so we can also enjoy combustion. People tend to become engineering aficionados when talking about engines and the way they sound and feel, yet they drive a 1.8 Vauxhall Zafira, something I’m sure we can all agree would be probably much better powered by electricity.

Let’s save the oil for something worth burning it in.

I’d love it if one day, the majority of petrol engines on the road were all 6 cylinder plus, spitting flames and the people driving them would be grinning whilst enjoying every last drop. To me, wasting it in a people carrier, in traffic, seems like utter madness.

Perhaps, one day seeing a petrol car driving around will be a complete novelty, much alike when you see a steam train on the rails nowadays.

Virtually every other part of a car has changed since it’s invention, and all the changes have been welcomed, but what has always held motoring back is the last piece of the puzzle, the chief propulsion method.

I also love old cars, but often more for the styling over their reliability and engineering prowess. I’d even like to see EV conversions of classics, giving them a new lease of life on the road. This video above gives you a great example of what can be achieved with a Mustang.

Test Driving a Tesla

The common misconception is that electric cars are slow, which couldn’t be further from the truth. They can be fast, very fast. I drove one of the first Tesla ‘Model S’ in the country last year and it blew my mind.

Everything I thought I knew about electric cars went straight out of the window, and I’d even go as far to say a lot of what I thought I loved about cars, did too.

Being thrusted forward in an instant surge of power is quite a rush. Especially when eerily smooth and silent, the only way I can describe it, is that it’s like being dropped, forwards.

Range anxiety is a real thing, but so is running out of petrol and it doesn't seem to bother people nearly as much. I think people overestimate their driving habits, how many times do you really drive cross country on a whim?

A car with no road noise is something far more pleasurable than you can imagine, and dare I say it, when you’re used to it, imagining the constant drone of an engine seems barbaric by comparison. Unless it’s a V12 burbling away, which 99 percent of cars aren’t.

The issue that electric cars face now, more than ever – is price.

The Tesla range is great, and powerful, but if you’re spending that sort of money on a car, let’s be honest, you’re not going to be worried about fuel bills that much.

Many of the people who would benefit significantly from the reduced petrol costs may do too many miles to make electric car ownership practical. It’s also difficult to gauge an electric car as an investment prospect, as predicting future value is less straightforward.

When? Not Which Electric Car?

While cars like the Renault Zoe & Nissan leaf are definitely paving the way, it’s only when the segment becomes ultra-affordable, will they start to be universally adopted and be a part of all our lives.

My bold prediction is that we will experience a complete U-turn in the amount of electric vehicles on the planet in the next 30 years, compared to combustion.

The thing is, while everyone (in theory) would like to help save the environment, truthfully, many of us aren't prepared to be out of pocket or willing to drastically sacrifice certain lifestyle comforts to help the cause.

Hybrids, to me have always been an interim solution that bridges the gap, but the complication of having two technologies is always going to be more costly to manufacture than doing one fully.

Also, part of the beauty of the electric car is the simplicity.

No valves, springs, spark plugs or chains…

And the beautiful part of the combustion engine is the complexity.

Valves, springs, spark plugs, chains…

Let us know what you think…