What if we, petrolheads, made electric cars beautiful?
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Except electric cars, of course, which aren't beautiful at all. And that gives me an idea...
If I were to decide the three things that make a car great to me, I'd say looks, driving experience and the feeling that you need one after driving it. In that order. So, yes, if a car looks pretty, I'll love it even if its seats were made of barbed wire.
However, it seems like the way a car looks isn't the top priority for electric car manufacturers. Sure, I understand they need to be more aerodynamic than a normal car, but I suspect the real reason is because their designers don't love cars as much as they love daffodils or polar bears. I mean, I once saw a paperclip that was more interesting than the EQC. And I wonder why the person who designed the Cybertruck decided to do it at night with the lights off.
This is worrying news for someone who knows that throughout the history of the automobile there have been some extraordinarily looking cars. Take, for example, the Ferrari 275 GTB, or the Lancia Stratos, or the Alfa Romeo 8C, or the Jaguar F-Type. Just by looking at them you know that their design was fuelled by passion. Sure, there were some ugly ICE cars too, but can you name one electric car that you would take a picture of and put it on a wall? I can't.
Aah, the Nissan Leaf... Quite a looker, isn't it?
Still, I think there may be a solution to this problem. In about 10-20 years, the only vehicles allowed on the roads will be bland vacuum cleaners. So while everybody who doesn't like cars will be driving one of those, why don't we, petrolheads, prepare for that moment? What if, instead of buying new electric cars in the future, we buy older cars, remove the engine - which environmentalists say is the root of all evil - and fit it with an electric motor? Sure, they will sound like toothbrushes, but at least they won't look like one. And while your neighbours will be driving around in their new dishwashers in 2035, you'll give them a smile and get in your fully-electric 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia.
Now, I know this whole process is going to be difficult and cost quite a lot of money. But think of it this way. Governments won't be giving grants to people who buy electric cars in the future, and since cars with internal combustion engines will be banned, this means they'll be very, very cheap to buy used. I reckon you'd be better off modifying an old car by putting an electric motor in it, than buying an all-new electric car. It's also even better for the environment. Let me explain.
Car manufacturers make their bits everywhere around the world. This obviously won't change in the future for electric cars. Shipping those bits to the car manufacturers' assembly plants means using huge boats which, ironically, aren't at all electric. And they can't ship them by land because it'll take 400 years. By reusing a car's body, you're already doing the planet some good. Furthermore, the CEOs of electric car companies will notice that nobody buys their four-wheeled printing machines, and they will fire the designers and hire somebody with a passion for cars. And eyes.
So, there you go. By reusing the body of an old car, not only are you helping Mother Earth, you're also helping car enthusiasts, because we'll be able to look at them. And by the way, if all cars will be electric, will we still be called... petrolheads?