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Are electric cars any good?

Nothing like the sound of a big thirsty v8 firing up in the morning.

The vibration of the engine shaking the entire vehicle as it warms up. The smell of raw power fills the air as you select a gear and rumble down the driveway.

For the next few minutes you only accelerate gently so you don’t force all the cold bits in the engine to escape leaving you with a hefty repair bill but once up to temp its all go…. or is it?

You need to change down gears usually to make the most of the narrow power and torque band and maximize acceleration to overtake or even get up to speed when leaving a 60 zone and moving into a 100 zone.

We can’t argue that the engagement level is high when you have to constantly manage the power, gears and still look where you are going!

Hit the fast forward button to the future….

You hop into your EV. You push the button that says Drive and before you can say “but I like petrol’ you are already on your way to work or your favorite weekend destination.

Zero vibration and noise, seamless power with no gear changing and no smell apart from the cheap magic tree you purchased to hide the stink of oil burning engine (you forgot that you don’t need this anymore).

Now the question is – how long does it take to adapt to this new technology.

Well around 300kms is my experience.

Having only experienced EV’s on the track before I felt they were fun and fast but lacked character and on a race track its more about the driving experience then the actual outright pace (for us driving enthusiasts anyway).

My first experience driving them on the road was a lot different. They are smooth, quiet and most impressively they deliver instant power and torque at very low speeds. What this means is getting around town is effortless. They accelerate instantly and smoothly so you can focus on just driving rather then managing the engine and gearbox which is trying to compensate for each others inadequacies.

When you hit the open road its just as good. When you slow down for a corner as soon as you touch the accelerator you are off again. No waiting for gear changes or revs to build back up.

Why do we like this so much – its because you can focus on driving and it actually makes you more switched on (excuse the pun!).

Although at first the quietness seems a bit strange it was a pleasant experience and soon you became adjusted to the lack of noise and vibration associated with traditional vehicles.

Range anxiety has been a big topic with EV’s but with many now in the 500km range it really is not an issue. Top that off with 80% recharge in 20 minutes with no need to clean up the mess the fuel makes when it splashes back down the side of your car its a win in my books.

After a few days behind the wheel I returned to my own cars. My 336kw Mercedes C63 has always put a smile on my face but all of a sudden it seemed a bit clunky and unresponsive. I am not sure if this made me love or hate the EV I had just been driving!

In all seriousness it is fair to say EV’s are here to stay and that the future isn’t at all a bad place to be. The driving experience is different but its actually quite fun.

As for the track – I think I will stick to my dinosaurs for now but its fair to say eventually even those will be replaced with some high tech battery powered toys in the future!