Taken in Bristol, UK. Photograph taken by Phil Bambridge. Used with Permission.Enlarge Photo
This month has seen a lot of witty articles about the pros and cons of electric transportation, usually titled ‘Ten reasons why electric cars...’ followed by: "suck" or "don’t work" or "will change your life" ... or even reasons why it’s not worth arguing about it at all.
The focus has been largely centered around the environmental and political merits of electric cars.
While I’d be the first to admit that was why I got into ‘electrics' in the first place, after a year of owning a pair, I’ve mellowed out a little. Now I've found 10 entirely new reasons that you’d enjoy owning and driving an electric car if you had one.
1. Torque: the revenge of the muscle car
Back in the Sixties and Seventie, big hairy-chested men plied the roads of America in big, torque-y Muscle Cars. They didn’t need no stinking SUV with ‘heated, seats’, 'sat nav’ and, 'carpets' to prove how tough they were, just several hundred foot-pounds of torque and a 0-to-60 time of under 5 seconds.
1977 Ford Pinto Cruising Wagon, photo by Wikipedia user VegavairbobEnlarge Photo
That was the domain of the American Muscle Car: “powwwwerrrrrrr," as some would put it. Of course, October 1973 killed it dead. The first oil crisis did muscle cars in, and instead of 400 cu in. and 300 ft-lbs of torque, we soon got the Ford Pinto Cruising Wagon and waved goodbye to 200 of those ‘torques’.
Torque is what produces that shove in the back that only displacement used to bring. These days, see your local EV for those torgues, because that’s where they're all found now.
Better yet, we get access to all of them, right off the line. Yes, the Tesla Roadster will light up the rear end like the best of them. Even the modest MINI E and the 2011 Nissan Leaf will spin a wheel if you’re rough with them.
They may look all cute and cuddly, and sound like they couldn’t hurt a fly but, ladies and gentlemen, take a firm hold of the wheel of an electric car. You have been warned.
2010 Chumpcar Texas Motor Speedway, Friday Garage PhotosEnlarge Photo
2. Clean garage
The modern car represents the pinnacle of fossil-fuel combustion technology, and while they don’t usually drip oil like your dad’s car did, they still have to emit some junk out of the back.
The thing is, that happens the most when they’re cold or when they’re not feeling well, 'cause their smog trap is full or their cat’ is ill.
And, that’s usually when they’re tucked up in the garage at home. Ever stood in the garage while someone starts up a cold car? Want to stay there long? My local Tesla dealer has a workshop in a former art gallery. Yes, they’re that clean, and they certainly don’t soil their own bed.
3. Always full
Each morning I get up and unplug the car. At first it was odd, having to plug in each night and disconnect every morning, but it quickly melted into the background of the daily routine.
To be honest I can’t even remember unplugging this morning... I hope there isn’t a power cord trailing out of the side right now.
And it means that every morning, I start with a "full tank". No worries.