PSA: The Electric Car will kill transport as we know it, crying won't help.
But I am sad.
Everyone's scared of change.
Often, we find ourselves at a place in life where we are content, and we dislike the idea of disruption to our own ecosystem. There is no example more so of this than the motoring world.
For the last hundred years, the motorcar has been a constantly evolving hive, pushing and breaking its own boundaries in search of more speed, more efficiency, better looks and a cooler reputation.
The Benz Patent-Motorwagen. What my grandma maintains she rode to school in.
And yet, priorities change. As the car became more affordable and mainstream, the targets that used to be headlined became replaced with new needs. The needs of a millennial generation. Hyundai's new Santa Fe will not be any faster or cooler or better looking than the last one. It will simply be a bit more efficient, bigger and have a plastic touchscreen that's an inch bigger than the last gen.
Aah, how I love it.
And then there are the companies that claim to be for petrolheads. Porsche gave the Cayman a flat-four, Ferrari did not make the SF90 to be fun to drive but rather to 'showcase a hybrid powertrain' and the number of money-making special edition supercars that have come out in the last two years alone is incredible. As in, larger than 50.
DBS Concorde Special Edition. Can it fly faster than the speed of sound? No. Does it cost more? Yes.
So it's very easy to mourn the end of a golden age. I mean, if we can get this past 100 years of history to officially be recognised as 'The Car Age', I think it's all been worth it. It's sad, but this is how it will happen...
The sad reality is that combustion cars are already starting to be like electric cars. Think about it. Your dad's Merc C-Class has a small 4-cylinder engine that is as quiet as possible, as efficient as possible and has just enough power to drive without feeling slow. It would really make no difference to him if he drove an electric car, assuming he doesn't drive 150+ miles, which most people don't do.
Enthusiast cars are being hit, and the fact that the Nissan 400Z won't be able to come to Europe or the next Mustang will be electric are just sad facts of life we will have to get used to. The regs will get tighter and the end of the combustion engine will be a fizzle, not a bang. Cars are not like they were 10 years ago, and so the time to mourn was back then.
The car equivalent of an identity crisis? I want to be square and sharp. I want to be bubbly and have round eyes. Result...
I hate this idea. But there is no doubt in my mind it will happen. No doubt.
Uber. Success. Air BnB. Success. Ride-Sharing. Success.
Everyone wants to earn extra money while idle, and ride sharing is how you can. I'm not sure it's something I would buy into, but most people buy cars on PCP now which means you don't own the car anyway! People don't have a problem with that, so they're unlikely to have a problem with this. At a point in which buying is a no-no and renting is common place, it has appeal.
The Chinese, ladies and gentlemen. Looked at the Kia Sportage, and thought - that's a stunner!
There will be a point at which 70% of the population drive electric and it becomes more profitable to tear down your petrol station and replace it with chargers. The issue is that once 95% of petrol stations close, we start to face a bizarre situation. Because there will be, and I'm calling this, a time in which you cannot drive a petrol or diesel car anymore because of range anxiety.
How the tables turn...
Either it's a good focus, a bad photoshop or just a magic blurry pigeon. You decide!
Public and Last Mile Transport
Trains are seen as outdated, but relatively new technologies such as MAGLEV, Bullet Train and Hyperloop show there is a future in the metal tubes. I dislike public transport as much as the next guy, but it will be the best way of traveling cross-country soon. In a world that's already pumped up enough with gases and toxins, taking a flight from one side of the country to another is stupid, and is likely to soon be banned.
Once you've reached the town or city needed, the last mile element comes into play. I own an electric scooter. It does 25km/h, has 30km of range and will carry any size of adult or child in easy comfort. This IS the future, and as much as I will miss the motorcar, I'm excited for the days to come.
I hope this was an enjoyable read!
Share your thoughts in the comments, I'm aware this is a controversial and saddening topic.