It’s the week of Frankfurt Motor Show, and just like the Geneva Motor Show earlier this spring, the buzzword is electrification. European automakers are scrambling to meet looming fleet emissions standards, and the most expedient way to offset the pollution from petrol and diesel engines is to produce many emissions-free electric cars. Major players like Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz are investing billions, and it seems much of the industry is hell-bent on making this electric revolution happen, consumer demand be damned.
From a utility perspective, I have nothing against electric cars; I’d love to own one as a daily runabout. However, the electric car infrastructure remains highly inadequate, especially for apartment dwellers like me who lack the ability and space to charge a car “at home.” EV charging stations are nowhere near as ubiquitous as the age old gas equivalent, and the few charging spaces at work gets taken up by the super early birds.
As it stands, an electric vehicle is unfeasible for me, and I assume, a significant many other as well. What I’m seeing at auto show like Frankfurt and Geneva is heavy action on the supply side from manufacturers, but no movement on incentivizing the demand side of the equation. Tax rebates aren’t going to do anything for me with regards to the lack of charging ability.
From a thrill of driving perspective, I have everything against electric cars. The low decibel whirl of electric motors cannot compete with the melodic crescendo of my GT3’s naturally-aspirated flat-six that revs to 9,000 RPM. I fell in love with cars for their mechanicalness and the sweet noises those oily bits make, and electric vehicles represents the absolute antithesis. For sure, the accelerative forces of a Tesla Model S is something to behold, but car enthusiasm is far above and beyond simply pure straight-line speed.
In the past decade, there’s been a movement amongst car geeks to save the manuals, to preserve the manual gearbox option in interesting cars; maybe it’s time to start another movement: save the combustion.
Who needs a proper garage anyways. This owner of a Honda Beat in Japan doesn’t think so.