Discussion: What is your opinion on electric cars?
Let's gather to discuss one of the hottest yet controversial genres in the automotive landscape.
Cliché scenario time!
You're at a light enjoying a cruise in your burly, V8-powered sports coupe. A sleek sport sedan arrives next to you eyeballing your Five-Oh badge as the face behind the wheel nods in approval. You can't help but feel like there's something off about him/her. You may even find that sedan to be looking awfully sus. They seem as though they wanna have a smidge of fun tonight, and you kindly oblige. The light flashes green, and you strain to nail a solid launch, but all that exhaust noise and power shifting is in vain. There's an EV among us! The sedan, which flashes the "Dual Motor" badge on its decklid, surges forward as if the driver gave the order to, "Punch it, Chewie!" It enters hyperspace in near silence leaving you with your tail between your legs. However, you still smirk knowing that launch probably clobbered its range and the nearest charger isn't for another twenty miles. Hopefully, that sedan doesn't need it.
Time for a friendly discussion (or wage a verbal war) on a topic that will continue to divide the community like automatics vs. manuals: What's your take on electric vehicles? It's arguably the hottest, fastest-growing segment in the current automotive landscape, yet, there seems to be continuous controversies related to the genre whether its the cars themselves or the infrastructure to support them.
I was having a brief conversation with a fellow DriveTriber about his take on EVs where he came to a heavy-fisted conclusion on his disdain: they're a threat to automotive enthusiasm. A few friends of mine share in this opinion as well standing proudly against the tsunami of electrics flooding the market.
I understand many people in the U.S. may live where electric cars are utterly useless. Small towns, rural communities, and even some suburbs with bounties of space may have zero need for their proposed benefits, and that's completely fine. Those relying on the utilitarian nature of trucks and SUVs can also rule out electric as well. Others, however, take up EVs and don't see themselves commuting in anything else. Even professional know-it-all, Jason Cammisa, the purist among purists with an Elise and a 190E 2.3-16 Cosworth, lives and dies by his e-Golf.
Their appliance-like nature and public perception as "green" vehicles have piqued many peoples' interest, and hot-ticket items like Teslas and Taycans have rapidly broadened their appeal. High range, impressive performance, and increased refinement have garnered acclaim from even the most jaded journalists, yet their lack of support and questionable claims of environmental friendliness draw equal criticism and create further divide.
Yes, it's true that the support just isn't here, and it won't be for a while. The proposed bans on new ICE cars around the world are unfeasible mainly because our infrastructure can't develop as fast the cars. Los Angeles still battles occasional rolling blackouts, and don't even start on Texas when Mother Nature spilled her coke stash on the region. My home of Las Vegas can still suffer the occasional outage, yet officials expect us to place faith that we'll be 100%-ready for some EV transition? Nope. Sorry. Get the fuck out of here. Even if it were to go into effect, good luck getting everyone to transition any day soon in a country where the average age of cars on the road sits at a ripe twelve years.
On the smaller, enthusiast-oriented scale, EVs just aren't what get the octane flowing. Both literally and figuratively. There's no gears to shift. No sensation of revs building and an engine working its heart out. No sonorous exhaust to reward the senses for our efforts. There's a general sensation of numbness further perpetuated by the masses consistently demanding more isolation in their commuters. In many ways, EVs are not only a flawed concept, but they are the antithesis to the car enthusiast ideology.
Hop in the comments for another friendly chat: How feasible is the next big change that's supposed to happen?
Yet, even so, I've come to wholeheartedly love them. I wish the very best for their future, and others should too. Before the traditionalists crucify me and call on their hell hounds to fetch them my soul, hear where I'm coming from.
I used to loathe electric cars as the dreary golf carts they were when I was a pipsqueak. Nissan Leafs and Mitsubishi i-MiEVs seemed like all we had. Even the Tesla Roadster didn't really do it for me.
But then Emperor Elon, his empire looming overhead, launched the Tesla Model S. All of a sudden, shit got groovy. We had an electric car that didn't accelerate at a glacial pace and could shuttle its occupants over a respectable range in relative luxury. Love it or hate it, the Model S is the pathfinder for electric cars today, and its influence encouraged the development and launch of every new EV today, cars that are genuinely quality products.
Porsche's Taycan shattered expectations for how a performance EV can drive and feel. Ford's Mach-E put naysayers in their place with strong performance and value in a family-friendly package (I still won't call it a Mustang). Trucks from the revived Hummer brand and startup company, Rivian, aim to bring electric power off pavement and into the wild. Even little guys like the Volkswagen e-Golf and Chevrolet Bolt have proven themselves to be practical, surprisingly fun urbanites.
Of course, growing up always drooling over Shelby Mustangs and Porsche GT cars, I still had my reservations. That was until I drove a Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor from Turo, and then my perception had completely flipped.
Learning to love electric cars in one of the best ways possible.
In short: it was the shit. Seriously. There was effortless torque, a fancy iPad dash, and silent commuting all rolled into a package that could zip up and down the Reno-Tahoe twisties and still waft down the highway with a sense of ease no car this side of a Rolls-Royce can match. Of course, it was a total isolation chamber. It was like sitting on your hands until they fell asleep then going for a drive. But I found that it left plenty of room for the enthusiast toys on the weekends while being nearly everything I'd want in an everyday car. And that's the key.
Electric cars are not a threat. Or at least I don't think they should be treated as such. Electric cars should be welcomed as an alternative for those who want them. To those who don't, your options are still there, and hopefully, optimistic new technologies like e-fuel continue to develop to ensure that they stay there.
Rejoice! ICE cars could still have a future long after the last drop of dino juice is burned.
People like to believe that a full EV takeover is an inevitability. Perhaps it is, but it sure as shit won't come for decades as we climb the Everest of preparing our cities. Internal combustion will stick around, and even if the new ICE stop-sale happens right-the-hell now, guess what? There's a good chance you and I will still be driving ICE cars for quite some time. Technological shortcomings will ensure ICE cars and EVs will coexist rather than the latter swiftly killing the former, and that gives us the choice of a garage more diverse than the cast of a Netflix adaptation.
Go stupid. Go Crazy. Go get a flat-plane Shelby or build that giant-killer Miata you've always wanted to build. Make a diesel-powered desert prerunner or snag that used, gated-manual Gallardo you've dreamt of as a kid and run for the hills. For the gridlocked I-95, enjoy that EV and the utter peace at mind of not wearing any mechanical items as you blast music over the ambient sound of nothing.
Think of it this way. With all that ease and serenity coming home from that 9-to-5, it makes our gas burners seem whole lot more special, don't you think? Every exhaust burble and every rev match become more theatric. There's solace to be had when able to live with one foot in the future and one in the present, perfectly balanced.
That is my take. Once more, I understand electric cars can't and will not fit into everyone's lives, but it can fit into mine just perfectly. What about you? Share your opinions on electric cars in the comments below!