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"It feels like the future, and the longer I own it, the more the idea of burning fossil fuel seems like the past"
The future is fast, silent and exciting.
Just over a year ago I was in the market for a compact modern hatchback for zapping around Sydney, and on an impulse test drove a 2015 BMW i3 with 26,000 k’s on the clock. About 100m into the drive, I was hooked and ended up buying it. This is the effect it has on every passenger or driver due to the effortless and silent power.
It feels like the future, and the longer I own it, the more the idea of burning fossil fuel seems like the past.
Since then I have completed 14,000.km’s, for a total cost in electricity of $560, charging exclusively from a standard 240v power point in my garage.
The range is about 120k which rules it out for long trips, but it handles every journey I ever want to do within the Sydney metro including to the airport and back from my home in Avalon.
The 2019 version now has more than double the range which provides an indication about how quickly battery technology is improving.
One of the advantages of EV’s is their simplicity. The motor has one moving part, and the one speed gear box has only a few, so the total is small compared to the hundreds in the typical modern ICE ( internal combustion engine ) drivetrain.
And the brakes don’t get used much as lifting off will slow the car to a complete stop while recharging the battery.
All of this is reflected in the running costs which are significantly less. My i3 recently had its’ annual service and all that it needed was new brake fluid, and a window washer bottle top up.
The main appeal of EV’s is zero emissions, but you can’t brag about that if you are using coal fired electricity, so I switched over to Power Shop which provides 100 % renewable power.
Plus the factory where they are made in Germany also runs on 100% renewable energy, so bragging rights are preserved.
This is the second age of electric cars as they dominated car sales in the early 1900’s competing against petrol and steam power. In New York alone there were 15,000 EVs running around and charging stations through out the city. Even Grandma Duck had one !
Speaking of driving between major cities, last Christmas I drove from Munich to Nice with my son in his Tesla model S which is about 1000 k’s. We did not attempt to maximise the range, and hit 200 a few times on the autobahn, but charging did not add any time to the trip as we topped up at Telsa fast charging stations at mid - morning , lunch and mid - afternoon. In each case we did not stop any longer than we would have in an ICE( Internal Combustion Engine) vehicle.
The i3’s battery is warranted for 8 years, but overseas experience is showing that the batteries are lasting a lot longer than any one expected. I read a prediction recently that the battery in my car should be good for 20 years or 800,000 k’s, but I haven’t researched that thoroughly yet. End of life is defined as a 20% drop in charging capacity, so the battery will probably last longer than me.
At present EV’s are much more expensive the ICE vehicles, but that will change rapidly. VW are planning on releasing 30 new EV’s between now and 2025 in every category ( including a super cool Kombi ), and their stated aim is to sell them at the same price as the ICE equivalent.
Every car manufactures is jumping on board as most major cities are going to ban ICE cars in the next few years, there will be no other way to meet new emission and economy targets .
Some may think that EV’s will be boring, but this is the best car I have ever owned including a couple of 911’s.
Norway races ahead because they made a fortune from fossil fuels and invested in a sovereign fund that has allowed them to now rapidly divest from that industry and go 'green'.
The irony is Australia isn't even on the chart below. To add insult to this fact, Norway is having one last slurp of black gold here in the Great Australian Bight so they can afford to make the transition to electric even faster.
Peter Downes 0488 662 445