- A Leaf
Now after writing about hybrids and then reading about the Nissan Leaf I am of the opinion that totally electric cars (not hybrids) of the near future (anything less than 5years from today) are actually going to be troublesome for most of us. Firstly, if you read their specs they have the range of about 2 feet on a single charge. Really. A supposed 160 kilometers range (like the Nissan Leaf) is actually useful if you work within a radius of 20km and you don't do any outside appointments. This is because in our climate, humidity, heat and traffic will mean that batteries will not last as long as cooler climates and a theoretical 150km mileage could be much less. If you travel a lot, which this writer over here does on a daily basis, a totally electric car isn't practical at all. And not all drivers are sensible drivers. Last week I witnessed a Toyota Prius which was piloted by someone who absolutely was trying to overtake every other car on the highway. I don't think any hybrid or totally electric car will save the world if Lead Foot Larry was doing the driving.
Secondly, a fully electric car will be a pain if you have to open the socket cover on an electric car, take a power cord and plug in to recharge every time it goes flat or every time you reach home. Most of us already find it tedious going to the gas station to queue up, pop open the filler lid, reach for the pump and them pump petrol or diesel into the car at least once or twice a week. Now, with an electric car, we are supposed to do something dreary and totally dull almost everyday. Unless electric cars have a battery life of your average cellular phone, which is at least three to five days between charges, most long haul drivers will keep away from electric cars. Maybe it could work in a country like Singapore, where most commutes are short distances, most of the time.
Thirdly. Have you heard your blender or your vacuum cleaner lately? They sound utterly and terribly boring, even if they may be noisy. Their electric motors spin at thousands of revs per minutes but they just sound monotonous. How interesting would a sports car be if it were powered by a blender? Look at the Tesla Roadster, yes its green, yes its fast (to a point) but it is so quiet but if the electric motor were to make a sound, it would sound like those appliances or a large version of the R/C car you bought for your kid last Christmas. They would just go 'wheeeeeeeeeee' and nothing else. One of the points of actual sports car driving or ownership is the aural thrills it would give you. If you've heard a Zonda, or a SL55 or a 911 GT3 RS or even a F430, all of which I have had the opportunity of hearing their exhaust notes on song, you'd never want a silent car, ever. The sound made by all of these cars, you will never find in a Tesla or even a Prius. Or maybe they should make all electric cars sound like those pod racers in Star Wars. Especially Sebulba's pod racer. Or then again, make it sound like a TIE fighter. Then I'd buy an electric car. Go watch Star Wars and choose your favourite sounds for your electric car's noise making speakers, if they ever installed speakers to liven up electrics/hybrids. It actually would make people buy them if it sounded like something from Star Wars.
- Let's put speakers on quiet electric cars like the Tesla and make them sound like....
So does that mean that I will never go green? I hereby promise to keep the potted plants on my apartment balcony alive by watering them so that they absorb carbon from the atmosphere, buy a British Racing Green coloured car, put paper/aluminium/glass waste in their respective bins and then save up and buy a C63 AMG as it has catalytic converters in its exhaust system that will actually clean the air that it consumes to make that beautiful Messerschmidt-like AMG V8 sound.
- an 'environmentally friendly' car I'd buy.