Do electric cars spell the end of the love affair for car enthusiasts?

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As a lover of cars the inevitable electrification of cars scares me and depresses me at the same time for a lot of different reasons. Most people look at cars as means of getting from point A to point B, but for people like me that are afflicted with the condition known as petrol headous cars are far more than mere transport, they are an inexplicable and incomprehensible obsession.

Cars are well established in my fondest of memories. When I asked a musician I knew  why he decided on music as an occupation, he told me that music choose him, that’s the best explanation I can use to answer when a normie asks why I love cars so much. Let’s try and break it down to some of the component parts that make cars so attractive to people like me. The looks, the sounds, the smells, the tactility and interaction, the sensations such as vibrations, all of those are under threat with electric cars which makes me feel nervous, really nervous. The socially conscious, responsible part of me encourages and applauds the electric movement but the non sensical part of me isn’t ready to place a rose on the coffin of internal combustion power just yet or ever. Up to now the offerings of pure electric cars hasn’t really got car lovers the pulses racing or palms sweaty in anticipation, to my eye most of them have looked weird and had about as much sex appeal as a microwave oven, sure Tesla’s go pretty quickly but for some reason the magic is missing. Evo magazine, one of the most highly respected and well written car enthusiast magazines says about the Tesla Model S after a road test, Tesla being probably the most accomplished electric car producer at the moment, “The Model S combines such incredible performance with an effortless driving experience making it an astoundingly effective machine for covering ground. With a maximum real world range from 200 to 300 miles (depending on which spec you choose) and an expanding network of supercharger points that allow the Model S to top up its battery in a remarkably short space of time, it’s also one of the most usable electric cars on the market.” Which all sounds really, good and practical, but they add “but equally the Model S isn’t a car that comes alive in a corner or allows a driver to really get under its skin.” Hmm.

There have been a few electric super cars announced with well over 1000 horsepower, but I have to admit they leave me feeling cold and unmoved, I am sure the technology behind them will be impressive and the acclerative forces will be mind bending, but my lack of excitement has convinced me that massive bhp figures are not the only factor to building are car that is going to capture the hearts and minds of car freaks such as myself. Is my worry and fear misplaced?

The automotive industry has a track record for adapting to imposed and market imposed changes, but will the enthusiasts needs be side lined by market forces? Although not fully electric, but hybrid hyper cars, the Mclaren P1, Ferrari LaFerrari and Porsche 918 are utterly sensational and used electric power to improve the spiciness of the dish, however those examples are so expensive and rare that they are only accessible to 1% of the 1% and they still rely on combustion power for the majority of their power, but for the defence I remember when the Porsche 918 Spyder was in its development stage, I can remember reading one journalist’s review after a  passenger ride in a development mule and it was not the usual gushing praise for a new Porsche, I think the weight and synergy of the electric and combustion powertrains were less than Porsche’s stella standards. I shit myself. We were being sold on hybridisation and the sports car masters were struggling to get it right. When the 918 was finally released after a lengthy gestation period it was received with international praise and acclaim. It looks amazing and is as seriously desirable as any combustion only supercar I know, and in fact more so in some respects for reasons I won’t expand on in here for fear of boring car civilians, if anything I am aware that my love for 4 wheel modes of transport isn’t shared by everyone. Porsche has just released its first full electric production car, not its first electric car though, Ferdinand Porsche the founder of Porsche an accomplished engineer built an electric petrol car in the early 1900’s. The newly released Porsche Taycan apparently handles and has the tactility of a Porsche which shows promise for future electric only models. Evo magazine,says, “there is no escaping the fact that the Taycan sets a new benchmark for electric vehicles in how they are constructed, designed, developed and how they should drive. Its performance figures will always dominate and be a focus point for many, but beyond that it feels like there’s a level of driver interaction in the Taycan that’s missing in all other electric cars built to date.” So there is hope? There are issues though such as the lack of a supercharger network, unlike Tesla and I am the only one that is apprehensive about having to  wait for my car to charge and doesn’t usually relish the thought of having to hang around at charging stations like at numpty waiting to replemish batteries. The price of progress maybe, but I do quietly have faith in the extremely talented engineers working throughout the car world that charging times will come down, ranges will grow and most importantly passion and soul will be captured and injected into our favourite and most revered brands. One thing is for sure though is the burning of fossil fuels in cars for the masses is coming to an end soon and will probably be a reserve of the well heeled on racetracks around the world. So please car makers, you are the custodians of dreams. Don’t let us down.

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