Electric Cars: Here's what I think.
I have to admit that I'm growing tired of car manufacturers constantly talking about 'electrification' for the future. As a petrol head, I'm sick of the relentless assault against everything we know and love about the traditional car. Engine downsizing, death of the naturally aspirated engine, death of the manual gearbox, autonomous driving systems.
I feel that it's difficult for someone like me to ever fully embrace the concept of a vehicle powered solely by electricity. However, it's not that I don't understand or agree with the reasons as to why the industry is heading this way. For the average person who sees their car simply as a tool to transport them from point A to point B, electric cars will (eventually) be a fantastic solution for them. Extremely cheap to power, zero emissions and above all, fantastic performance. For those people, I imagine they cannot wait to pay their monthly subscription fee to lease a fully autonomous, electrified Audi A3 that will chauffeur them around to any location, at any time, with the swipe of a smartphone app. However no amount of technology will change the fact that I will always love driving and I have been passionate about cars for virtually my entire life. I have certain requirements that fuel my passion and electric cars simply do not meet them.
Nissan leaf offers acceleration with zero excitement.
For the last 4 years or so, I have enjoyed a 5 cylinder soundtrack to aid my drive to work. And it's the soundtrack it's self that is perhaps my favourite thing about my current car, and is most definitely my favourite thing about the internal combustion engine as a whole. The faster you go, the louder and more intense the soundtrack becomes. And what a huge variety of sound the internal combustion engine offers. Straight 5 growls, V8 rumbles, V10 screams, V12 symphonies. Noises that awaken the senses. This aspect is something than an electric car simply cannot, and never will be able to replicate. Sure, we might be able to run from 0-60 in 2.8 seconds in a Tesla P100D, but we do so with the accompanying sound of a faint monotonous whine. It's like turning on the TV, watching the best game of Football you've ever seen in your life, but with the volume on mute... A disconnecting experience for something that in every other way should be amazing.
The exceptionally fast Telsa Model S.
Tesla have certainly made some fantastic achievements in their short time in the market and I think it would be unfair of me to slate Tesla as a company for bringing electric cars into the mainstream. This has always been Musk's passion. It's clear they've put everything they can into making their cars the best they can be and I certainly cannot argue with the insane level of performance on offer in their model range. Also, I think that Telsa have virtually covered all of the bases when it comes to the other downsides of electric vehicles. There must be a huge amount of people in this country who could easily live with Tesla ownership (or any other electric vehicle) on a daily basis without running out of electricity etc. From a practical side, they're totally usable and work well.
However, I have always felt that a true petrol head does not operate on the sole basis of practicality, and if I were given a choice between the keys to a brand new Audi R8 V10 plus, or a Tesla P100d, I would without a moments hesitation take the naturally aspirated and less powerful Audi. It's such a shame when time and technology start to make your favourite things obsolete but I guess we've just got to enjoy what's left of the good old internal combustion engine before they take their place (alongside the horse) in transportation history books.
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