Electric sheep

FF_CES_Racecar

I for one can’t wait to get my hands on an electric car. Faraday Future’s concept (see picture above) fits the recent trend of manufacturers trying to outdo one another from a desirability perspective. In the beginning there was Tesla — with the Lotus designed Roadster and then the Model S and Model X — all aimed at typical buyers of luxury and sports cars, particularly when Elon Musk added ‘Ludicrous’ mode. Then there was the brief shooting star of Fisker Karma, and more recently the mainstream car companies have got involved — the Porsche Mission-E is still a concept but is one of many high end electric cars that will hit our roads in the next few years.

Of course, I have no hope of being able to afford any of these cars. I’m a huge fan of Tesla (and own shares) because I think they’ve built for the long term and will reach the mass market in the end. The key inflection point will be the Model 3 which will be unveiled this year. If it’s under £20,000, has a range of 200+ miles and desirable, I think the switch to electric amongst ‘ordinary’ car owners will be very fast.

Having said that I want one I don’t see the need to buy a car though. We use cars quite often, but generally by renting them from Avis, Zipcar or (more recently) DriveNow. DriveNow have a few electric BMW i3’s in their fleet but they never seem to be in the right place. If one of the major hire car firms made renting electric cars affordable, I’d start using them in a heartbeat.

With most of London being street parking, I don’t quite see how charging will work. If we had a garage (a rare luxury in London) then it would seem easy but I remember visiting the Google offices in California and seeing the rows of charging points in the car parks and realising we’ll need something similar in London boroughs. If a local authority was to help make this happen, I’d even think about moving there.

I think it might be urban air pollution that swings it in the end with major cities realising they can save lives by switching to only allowing electric vehicles into their central areas. If either of the two main candidates for London Mayor committed to making central London zero emissions only by 2020, I’d vote for them.

Basically I’m a bit of an electric sheep at the moment. I really want to be able to use electric cars and I’ll follow the companies and people that make that possible.

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