Save the petrol for those who actually want it
Banning fossil fuels? I have a better idea...
I can’t pretend this hasn’t been said before. But with California banning the sale of new fossil-fuel cars from 2035, and in my own Australia, the ACT Greens avowing to ban it by 2040, I had to let it out.
Electric cars do make a lot of sense. When you flick a light switch, the light turns on. Unless it’s the fluorescent tube in my study in which case it will flicker ‘um’s and ‘ah’s for about 30 seconds before deciding, that yes, it will turn on today.
When you press the pedal in a car powered by electricity, there’s no consulting of the fuel-injection system, the throttle housing, the intake manifold, the gearbox, and I’m sure I’ve missed something, before you have movement. Instead, there's a wire to the batteries, another to the wheels, and in between, wires to a single rotating shaft. It’s fast, cheap, clean, and elegant.
Personally, and with my neck still sore from having experienced the acceleration in one, I don’t think I would mind something like a Tesla at all.
However, over 60% of car enthusiasts are male and as we know, boys like explosions and fire, which is exactly what powers internal-combustion engines. And you can hear every single one of them. The most noise you get from an EV is from the tyres kissing the tarmac. They’re not romantic kisses either; more like the mechanical peck on the cheek you’d get from an Arab.
But here’s the thing – if you are to look out over the gormless faces of most people on the roads today, you’ll find that many of them don’t really care about how their car gets them to where they want to go as long as it does. Those that do care are either thinking about Greta Thunberg or Jeremy Clarkson.
Photo by Viktor Theo on Unsplash
You could break into the average garage at night, replace the motor of the Mazda 3 that’s inside with one from a blender and the owner might wonder why it doesn’t make ‘starting noises’ in the morning but that would be it.
Dinosaur puree or zappy stuff? Cost and Convenience are really the only ones on the jury.
Meanwhile, the number of petrolheads is dwindling, which we’ve always looked at as a travesty. But right there, is also the bulk of motorists, and in turn, emissions, dealt with.
I will admit that if our numbers fell too far, economies of scale would render sports cars pointless. And the price of petrol would rise to be even more exorbitant than it already is. The days of the cheap and simple hot hatch would be over. And that will be very sad.
But how many of us actually own a Ferrari 488? Or even a Mustang GT? The point is, they can still be here, cheering us on from the back to keep going and work hard.
It will be the end of an age, yes, but the dinosaurs can still live on with the deer.