Of all those that electric cars have to impress, the toughest crowd to crack has to be gearheads. Brought up on a diet of power, speed, noise and passion, it's tough to get into the clean, green and silent world of electric cars.
And we should know - here at AllCarsElectric we aren't just electric car enthusiasts, we're nuts about cars in general. And bikes. And boats, and planes. In fact, anything you can drive, ride, pilot or command. So here are our 8 reasons why even gearheads should love electric cars.
1. You don't have to sacrifice speed
If there's one thing that brings all motor vehicle enthusiasts together, it's a love of speed. We drive quickly because it's exciting, and we watch motorsport for the action, talent, and engineering - and the speed. And you really don't have to give that up with electric cars. The Tesla Roadster is proof enough of that with acceleration to shame many a supercar, but even a standard electric family car has enough urge away from the lights to make its gasoline or diesel counterpart feel pretty slow.
2011 Tesla Roadster Sport 2.5
2. Electric cars love corners
Obviously such subjects as handling are subjective, but EVs certainly aren't shamed on the cornering front. With most manufacturers mounting the large, heavy battery packs low in the car, the center of gravity is often nice and low which makes for grippy and stable cornering and good balance. Manufacturers can even ensure the battery pack is in the right place for great weight distribution, too. The smart electric drive illustrates the benefits well, with handling and ride that shames the regular version.
Tesla Model S Sedan
3. Great design is as important as ever
Whether you want an EV that stands out or just one that looks stunning, you're catered for. Again, Tesla got this right with the Roadster and Nissan are displaying the jaw-dropping ESFLOW at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. Tesla's Model S sedan isn't bad either with looks that wouldn't be out of place on an Aston Martin or Jaguar. And thanks to the adaptable nature of an electric drivetrain, you can still have a car that looks like any other if you don't want to stand out in a crowd - step forward cars like the Ford Focus EV, BMW ActiveE, or even the Rolls Royce Phantom 102 EX...
2011 Nissan ESFLOW Concept
4. There's real engineering in them, you know...
Mechanical stuff fascinates most gearheads, and part of the excitement of a car is in how manufacturers can think outside the box to find solutions to problems. Electric cars are an entirely different box and the engineers and technicians are having a field day - freed from the constraints of an engine and transmission combination, designers and engineers are free to entirely re-think the construction of a car, the materials of its construction, and the technology it can include. New challenges lead to innovation, and innovation is always exciting and benefits the industry as a whole.
2012 Tesla Model S body-in-white
5. Electric drivetrains are... well, better
Now, don't get us wrong here - we love the shriek of a V12, the burble and roar of a V8 or the howl of a good V6, and a good dual-clutch or manual transmission can be a joy to use. Just thinking of the mechanical interaction in a Mazda Miata makes us want to grab the keys and head for a twisty road. We aren't referring to those cars. The trouble is, only a very small proportion of cars are really like that. The majority are crushingly mundane, with recalcitrant gearshifts, lazy auto transmissions or wheezy, buzzy four-cylinder engines that do absolutely nothing to further driving enjoyment and offer about as much aural pleasure as radio static. So why not replace that overwhelming averageness with the near silence, total smoothness and enthralling surge of electric drive?
Opel Ampera central display
6. They make the tedious journeys less tedious
There comes a day in every gearhead's life when you have to do a journey you really don't want to do. Maybe the weather is making you consider building an ark, maybe you have to pick up your mother in-law and drop them off somewhere other than off a cliff... you know the sort of journey we're talking about. Well bingo, the electric car is just the tool for the job. When you want nothing more than to be doing something else, a car as relaxing and quiet as possible really takes the edge off a stressful journey. And even better, you're not wasting fuel doing a journey you didn't want to do.
2011 Nissan Leaf
7. You don't have to give up your favourite car
One thing that worries all gearheads is a future with no mechanical music or visceral interactivity. An engine is the heart and soul of a vehicle and we're reluctant to give that up. The great news is, you don't have to. Electric cars aren't replacing your favourite vehicle, simply adding to it. You can still have that hot rod in your garage or that Ferrari parked outside your mansion, but you can use an EV for the everyday journeys - the ones where you're stuck in traffic just idling your money away. Your old sports car can become a weekend toy, something to savour and enjoy. The motor vehicle was the best thing to ever happen to the horse - it went from a creature used for hard work to one of recreation. Think of your good old gasoline car in the same way, and suddenly it has a rosy future.
Volvo's Jakob hot rod
8. ...and you'll have more money to spend on it
Now, we'll admit - electric cars aren't cheap, at the moment. But they'll get cheaper, and as the price of oil isn't going to go down any time soon, running a regular car is going to keep getting more expensive. It may already be stopping you buying the car you really want for fear of the running costs. If you can save it for the weekends though, the cost of gas or maintenance doesn't matter as much. With your daily drive costing so little, you get to spend that spare cash where it counts. Well, after the better half has had their say...
BMW ActiveE Concept charging port
So there you go! It's not easy being a gearhead and an EV-head, but it's not impossible. At the end of the day, electric cars are still cars, which makes them part of an invention that has changed humankind, combining design, engineering, emotion, history, politics and most of all, freedom. So lets enjoy them...
Can you think of any more reasons? Tell us below!