Not long ago I was asked as to whether or not I would actually pony up the cash and purchase an electric car. My knee jerk reaction was HELL NO! Then after thinking about it for awhile I started to rethink the question in terms of; what would an electric car have to become in order for me to purchase it? So much of what I love about the automobile is visceral. The looks, feel, sounds and smells are all part of what make an automobile attractive to me. For me to like a car you can better believe that it needs to have one hell of a presence to it. Today’s cookie cutter jelly bean rides are crap, and although they do serve a purpose, they have no place in my garage. Seriously, my version of hell would be having to drive a Toyota Camry everyday for the rest of my life… dear God that would suck.
Right now there are very few electric car offerings on the market. We’ve got the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt, Tesla Roadster, as well as the upcoming Fisker Karma. The Leaf and Volt are for the masses, with the Tesla and Fisker serving the higher end markets. Keep in mind that the end goal here is still the same as it was when the automobile was created over 100 years ago, meaning that it still has to get us from point A to point B. The real question though, aside from overcoming range anxiety, is will these cars be fun.
Cars for me act as many different things. They’re my therapist, my vacation, my money pits and my punching bags. They provide me with an outlet whether I’m tinkering or driving and they can do this because from a technology standpoint, they’re still simple machines. Electric cars though… well ladies and gents, that’s a whole different ball game. Say goodbye to the dirty, loud and obnoxious internal combustion engine and get ready to be greeted by the sound of silence.
Don’t get me wrong, there are those out there who are going to embrace the electric car with both arms. I’m curious though as to how many artificial sound effects manufacturers are going to have to build in over time to win over the enthusiast crowd. I can see it now… my exhaust note will come from the radio, my smokey burnout will be attributed to a smoke canister in the rear bumper and my feeling of g-forces will come courtesy of an electric seats with twitchy electronic bolsters. Like I said, the future has some very interesting things in store for the automobile.