Saturday, 3 December 2016

Electric Cars: Embrace the Future!

by Douglas James

Electric cars. The next form of transport. Cheaper to fuel and comes with a massive amount off your taxes. More expensive, but when it comes to a car like the Tesla, it’s so worth it. Yeah, ok maybe it’ll all go to pot and the dream of a road without cars pumping all sorts of stuff all over the place will go down with it, but probably not. Look, it’s my opinion. And many others. I suppose, I am a bit biased, my father owns a Nissan Leaf, but I’ve always supported the idea, and why wouldn't you? It’s far better for the environment. I can’t really think of any cons apart from that they’re more expensive… at the moment. But whenever I say to people, “Oh, my Dad’s got an electric car.”, the reply is normally, “What if it runs out?”. Well that's the thing, even petrol cars can run out (believe it or not) and it’s the same thing, just a smaller range. The new Nissan Leaf can go for about 136 miles, but even the one we have, which has a range of round about 80, is plenty. That easily gets you from Southampton and back, then back to Southampton. From Hayling. We don’t need to go much farther than Southampton in the first place. And on the rare occasion that we do, we can either charge up at a charging station (people seem to forget about that) or take a petrol car. Nissan (I believe) offer a petrol car for ‘free hire’ for up to two weeks of the year. Doesn’t seem like much, but if you're going on a summer holiday to Scotland, then it’s ideal. What I also hear is that many people thinking it takes 8 hours to charge up the battery. Yes it does. From 0-100. If you plug it into a three pin plug. But if you install a fast charger at home (free from British Gas (at least I think it still is)) then it’ll take about 3-4 hours. From 0-100%. Which shouldn’t really happen anyway, if you’ve got your battery down to 0% you’re not a great driver. No offence.

Arguably the best fully electric cars on the market are the Tesla Motors cars. Their model S can do 409 miles without air con on, at 55 mph and using their smaller 19” wheels. It has been rated the safest car in the world, it’s nearly impossible to tip it over as the battery lines the bottom of the car, keeping the weight there. This also stops objects (such as lampposts) from coming into the side of the car and smashing into the driver. Both the bonnet and the boot are both containers (act as a normal boot would) and these act as excellent crumple zones. Not to mention their “Bio-weapon defence mode” filter stops 99.97% of ‘particulate exhaust pollution and effectively all allergens, bacteria and other contaminants’ from getting into the cabin. I don’t think they are legally allowed to say 100%, but we can assume this is the case. So basically, as the name suggest, you could drive it through a place infected by bio weapon… infection… stuff and you’ll be completely fine. This is the pinnacle of electric car technology, and just technology in general.

If you drive around Hampshire, I can almost guarantee you that you’ll see an electric car, most likely a Nissan Leaf. I see one nearly every time I make a journey, and that’s not including my father's one. We’ve test driven a Tesla, and a bunch of others, and I can safely say it’s the future. I think at the moment people are just a little bit scared, of either the price or the technology. Oh, and did I mention the speed? It’s incredible. The Vulcan, that supercar shown on Grand Tour last week (episode 2) costs £2.4 million and has an acceleration of 2.9 seconds. The £117,200 Tesla model X, an estate car does it in the same. The top of the range Tesla S does it in 2.4 seconds. Embrace the future guys, it’s damn fast.

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