Electric storm on the way

An opinion piece published in the Sydney Morning Herald’s ‘Drive’ section (written by Top Gear’s former ‘Stig’) explores and reports
on test drives carried out on electric vehicles and sports cars. The article
contains interesting comments on the technology and supporting infrastructure
of the electric car, but we were mostly struck by the apparently inevitable
shift to electric.

“The kind of range you can expect from the current
generation of mainstream EVs is at least 160 kilometres. That’s more than
enough for 90 per cent of our journeys. As for recharging, you can restore 80
per cent of the battery on the new Nissan Leaf from a “Quick Charge”
station in about 20 minutes.

“The brakes feel perfectly normal in spite of the
complex systems working to regenerate “lost” energy every time you
touch them. A tiny solar panel charges onboard electronics. Once supermarkets
start installing charge points in their car parks for folks to fill up in the
time it takes to buy a sirloin, the pace of uptake in electric will happen

“Hybrid vehicles that combine electric and combustion
motors will act like Nicorette during the transition period from petrol to
hybrid. Driving electric may be more challenging in the short-term while the
support infrastructure develops but the rewards in the pocket and the air we
breathe should compensate.

“The electric revolution is under way. Even Formula 1
is embracing electric power to assist drivers in overtaking each other. A few
more ripples in the oil price sparked by world events should urge energy
companies to get with the program.”

Today, electric vehicles represent a new dawn in
motoring, running on clean energy that can be sourced locally and refuelled for
as little as $5. It’s going to be exciting to watch as vehicles develop and
improve rapidly and infrastructure is rolled out in parking stations –
commercial, retail and residential – to support the shift to electric vehicles.

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