Yes, you can be a gearhead and love EVs.
We do a lot of articles on EVs on this website. The reason for this is quite apparent. Almost every automotive manufacturer is going the EV route, and with us being an automotive website, it makes sense. We're not pushing an agenda.
Reporting on new cars is what we like to call "news." There is no pro-EV Goebbels behind the scenes telling us what and what not to write.
I do love the comments after EV articles go live, however. It's a mix of pro- and anti-EV going at each other, discussing the cons and virtues of EV vehicles.
In short, electric vehicles are rapid, quiet, comfortable, and cheap to run. The counterargument is charging times, the lack of a pleasing soundtrack, and the high cost of replacing the battery. Standard stuff.
But then last week, someone made a comment on some EV story about how real car enthusiasts simply don't care about EVs. According to whomever it was, you can't be a card-carrying member of the gearhead clan and love EVs. Said commenter reckons the two are mutually exclusive.
Sorry, but that's just not the truth. At this point, you likely think that I'm a big fan of how EVs are capable of setting rapid 0-60 mph times. To be blunt, I don't care at all. I haven't cared about 0-60 mph or quarter-mile times in a long time.
I remember the exact moment I stopped caring. I was behind the wheel of a McLaren 675LT, and the main emotion was fear. It wasn't a fun kind of fast, but rather the kind of fast that makes you uncomfortable and nauseous after a few standing starts. Good for showing off to your friends, but nothing you'd want to use yourself on a regular basis.
The 675LT is so ridiculously capable that you can't fully unleash it on a public road. If you make a minor mistake at the kind of speeds at which the Big Mac starts to feel alive, it's game over. At most, you're using three-tenths of what it's capable of.
So no, it's not the speed. I'm not even slightly impressed by cars that can do 0-60 mph in two seconds. I'm a much bigger fan of a car that can rev from 0 to 9,100 rpm.
That gives me great pleasure. Even though the Porsche 911 GT3 is by no means the fastest car out there, my first phone call after winning the lottery would 100% be to my closest Porsche dealership. And I'd order a GT3 and a Taycan Cross Turismo.
Why the EV?
Well, first, let me tell you a little about the staff cars here at CarBuzz. The managing editor loves Miatas so much; he has two. An NA and an NB because you've got to have a set. One senior editor has a BMW 1 Series Coupe producing more than 600 hp while another has a Porsche Boxster. One associate editor has two large V8 machines, one of which is a mint CLK 430.
I own a classic Mini and a Fiat 500 Sport, which is the best modern interpretation of the classic Mini. Yup, Fiat builds a better modern Mini than Mini. My wife has a Honda Fit and a boring sedan of some sort.
It's incredibly comfortable and good at taking the kids to school, but it excites me as much as the idea of sitting through another Fast & Furious movie.
All of us are card-carrying members of the automotive fraternity. We love cars, and most of us can see the upside of having an EV in the collection.
There are two cars I'm looking forward to the most in 2022. They are complete opposites, yet I love the concept behind both.
The first is Gordon Murray's new T.50 supercar. It's everything I love about performance cars. A mid-engined supercar with a naturally aspirated V12 that revs to 12,100 rpm. If it's half as good as I hope it will be, it will finally prove that forced induction is a farce.
As you can imagine, not everyone in the office agrees with me on this. Still, I'll take a naturally aspirated car over a turbocharged/supercharged vehicle every day of the week.
The other car I'm looking forward to is the all-new (smaller) Mini. More specifically, the EV version. As long as it has enough range for my daily 40-mile commute, I'll be happy. And the handling and performance are bound to be epic, given the instant torque, the low center of gravity, and the smaller, lighter battery pack. It's a white good that I'll be able to enjoy.
The same goes for the Taycan Cross Turismo. It may be fast, but I couldn't care less. I love that it's a wagon and perfectly suited to the school run and all the other boring driving I have to do daily. With the kids in the back, there's no way I'm even going to try 30% of what it's capable of, and that's fine. That's what the GT3 is for. Back to reality, however.
The Mini EV will serve the same purpose but on a smaller, more affordable scale. It's going to put less stress on my two beloved ICE cars. With the money I'm going to save on upkeep, I might even be able to add a third to the list. I'm thinking Fiesta ST. (I realize I have a type.)
I tried for a year to daily the classic Mini, but it just didn't work out. Even with modern brakes, tires, an updated suspension, and a modified cooling system, it just couldn't do it.
The same goes for the Fiat, though it's a lot more reliable. I enjoy its fun handling characteristics way too much because I go through tires like you wouldn't believe.
Having an EV for the daily grind makes so much sense to me. It's going to require almost zero maintenance.
More importantly, my two beloved small hatches will be tucked away safely at home. Instead of subjecting them to unnecessary wear, they'll only come out on days when the only objective is to have a good time behind the wheel.
So no, sir. You can be a bonafide gearhead and still appreciate EVs. I'm sure I'm not the only one out there looking forward to cheaper EVs for the daily grind. As much as I love my two tiny fast hatches, they are anything but comfortable when stuck in traffic.
The upcoming Mini EV will solve this problem. Yes, it won't make the same glorious noises as my original Mini, nor will it be as engaging and prone to lift-off oversteer as my Fiat.
But there's no rule keeping me from having both, and nothing in the gearhead rulebook that says I can't appreciate both.
Instead of looking at it as an either-or situation, why not think about how having both could have a positive impact on your motoring life?