It can sometimes be hard to shake off one’s preconceptions of something.
Long before I went anywhere near an electric car, I was certain of two things: one, they couldn’t go very fast; two, they couldn’t go very far.
Where I obtained this information, I am not sure. I don’t watch Top Gear – at the time of writing no-one does – but I can’t help but feel that this programme (or more likely, the views of one of its presenters) somehow informed my view of electric mobility.
What a nice surprise, then, to have these initial perceptions completely overturned.
Last summer I spent no more than 15 minutes as a passenger in a Tesla Roadster. Perhaps it was the fact that the top was down, or that it was a beautiful May evening (there may even have been a beer or two involved). Whatever: the Roadster can move. I remember not only the wind in my hair, but the slightly anxious feeling in my stomach (I am not a born adventurer, even after alcohol consumption). We were travelling fast – but the most amazing thing was that we barely made a sound. Almost a year later, I still don’t really understand how all that acceleration could have been quite so silent.
As for range, during the same May weekend I had the privilege of hitching a ride in a world-record breaking vehicle: Metron 7, a converted Mazda 5. Barely six months after it transported me around southern Germany, Andrej and Jasna’s creation had travelled a whopping 726 kilometres on a single charge, all the way from Bled to Dubrovnik (for a fuller account, check out www.capscovil.com). An amazing achievement, and one that deserves to hold the world record for years to come.
So, there you have it. Electric vehicles can go fast. Electric vehicles can go long. Most importantly, however, electric vehicles can be different from another: some are built for speed; others are built for endurance.
But don’t take my word for it (writers can be an unreliable bunch); get out and see for yourself!