Automobile Culture Lifestyle June 2, 2016

Go Electric

Automotive sophistication has changed face. Range Rovers, Bentleys, Hummers and Ferraris are no longer cool.

 

Yes, folks. The penny has dropped. People are beginning to realise that these types of cars are irreversibly destroying our atmosphere, at 10 times the rate of other petrol cars. This is because they burn a ludicrous amount of petrol, and in doing so produce far more than their fair share of CO2.

 

Yes, folks. People are starting to understand, finally, that climate change is like … actually a thing, and that we need to do something about it.

 

Instead, these days, coolness is exemplified by Tesla: an electric car company led by genius entrepreneur Elon Musk. Electric cars demonstrate their owners’ mature, rational, forward thinking nature; while next to them Ferraris seem so stuck in the past, such an environmental nuisance.

 

It has become obvious that, in so many ways, electric cars out-perform their petrol powered cousins becasue:

 

  1. They save the planet, while you drive to work

Because they run off electricity, they don’t require petrol. That prevents them from producing C02, a greenhouse gas that is slowly destroying our planet’s comfortable climate. Furthermore, they don’t produce noxious, asthma-inducing smog and they are incredibly quiet, making them vastly less damaging to humans than petrol cars.

 

  1. They’re fast, and handle well

So it turns out electric motors have lots of torque — the thing which gives cars their acceleration — so they feel fast to drive. Electric cars also have large panels of batteries at their bases — this gives them a low centre of gravity which helps with safety and handling.

 

  1. They’re incredibly safe

Electric motors are smaller than petrol ones. This leaves more space for things like crumple zones and air bags — often giving EVs the highest of safety ratings. Sometimes it also leaves space for a second boot at the front of the car.

 

  1. They have more than enough range

The average New Zealander drives around 28 kilometres per day. The newest Tesla has a range 12 times this, at 340 kilometres. Even the cheapest options have ranges in the order of 100 kilometres, which is ample for a city commute.

 

To avoid running out of charge, or if you want to head to the beach for the weekend, simply stop off at fast charging stations, the equivalent of petrol stations. There, you can recharge most of your battery in just 20 minutes. There are already multiple fast charging stations countrywide and more are being added every week. Honestly, who doesn’t like to stop for a coffee anyway?

 

Lastly, some electric cars, like the BMW i3 for example, have small petrol motors on board, that turn on when you are low on charge to give you an extra 200 kilometres.

 

  1. “I need an SUV for the space, and I tow a boat at the weekends”

There’s a solution for you. The Mitsubishi Outlander Half Electric (PHEV) SUV will cost you $59,000 and can tow 1.5 tonnes. It has 50 kilometres of electric range, before switching to the petrol engine and effectively becoming a normal (while efficient) petrol car.

 

  1. You’ll never have to stop for petrol ever again

When you get home at night, you plug your car in. It charges overnight, while the electricity is cheap. Just like your smartphone, it’s ready to go when you are.

 

  1. They’re affordable and prices are declining rapidly

Prices currently range from $12,000 for a Mitsubishi MiEV (near new 2nd hand) to $80,000 for the 2015 New Zealand Car of the Year, the BMW i3.

 

  1. They have cheaper running costs

You will save about $2000 a year in petrol money, which amounts to $20,000 over the cars lifetime. Electric cars are also built more simply than petrol cars, so you end up spending less money getting them serviced and repaired.

 

  1. They are good for our economy

We import foreign oil: nearly $8 billion worth annually. Electric cars don’t consume any oil, so each and every one benefits the NZ economy.

 

>> The revolution is here:

 

In April, records were broken when 200,000 people ordered the latest Tesla… in one day. Orders have now reached 400,000.

 

Closer to home, Air New Zealand recently announced that they would be replacing their fleet of company cars with entirely electric ones.

 


Words: Christopher Sadler

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