Our Dreary Electric Future: The Skinny with Craig Cole


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Electric power offers many, many benefits over internal combustion.

Battery-operated vehicles generally require less maintenance, offer instant torque and are appreciably quieter, all while being cleaner to operate, so long as the electricity used to power them isn’t generated by burning heaps of used tires. The only real downsides to EVs are their lengthy charge times, limited range and higher initial cost, but you can bet engineers are hard at work addressing these issues.

SEE ALSO: Just Offer me a Damn Manual Transmission!

However, there is one other downside that should have enthusiasts worried. It has nothing to do with recyclability or crash performance, styling or amenities — it’s character that’s got me concerned. What’s it going to be like when most vehicles are electrically driven? It sounds like the bleak dystopian future laid out in some post-apocalyptic action movie.

How boring is it going to be for gearheads when every vehicle whirrs along like a golf cart or mobility scooter. Whether you’re driving a luxury sedan or a commercial van, their powertrains are going to feel pretty much the same, and to me, that sucks! Plus, when everything goes electric, the manual transmission will truly be dead, gone like Abe Lincoln or Laika the space dog.

For more of my thoughts on this topic, make sure to watch the embedded video above. Am I off my rocker about all this, or will automakers really be able to differentiate electric cars and make them interesting? Good or bad, let us know in the comments down below.

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  • Null66

    What an arguement: its better in every way, but it won’t have flaws it doesn’t need?

  • Jonny_Vancouver

    I think electric cars will have character in their own way. It wont be the same kind of character that internal combustion engines have, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be bad. Change is hard, especially if you’re a car person in this case, but it just takes some getting used to and I don’t think it’ll be that bad. The transition is gradual and I would think car companys will still remain competitive with each other and that translates to different cars, each with their own character.

  • Jonny_Vancouver

    I see your point, but look on the bright side, Craig! the benefits and future of electric cars outweigh the perceived negatives.

  • earl

    the video isn’t working… but besides that, if every car out there were plugin electric, where would all the electricity come from? Where electricity usage is often near capacity, it would incur a massive shortage and price increases. The electric car people never say what an overnight electric charge costs them….they talk like it’s free to run…

  • Kamaka

    There’s a quite a character difference between a MItsubishi iMiev and a Tesla Model S. We’ll probably never see a manual transmission in EVs. It’d be very retro arcade to have a 2 speed transmission for an EV with just low and high. It will be easier to have RWD(even the Smart and iMiev are RWD) and AWD because the EV motors are lighter and smaller.

  • Kamaka

    A Nissan Leaf uses 30 kWh to go 100 miles, at the national average $0.13/kWH it costs $3.90 to fully charge and $0.04/mile. Yes, some grids are strained but most can deliver the extra demand at night off peak when electric demand is down and people are home to plug in. Nothing’s perfect but it’s possible.

  • smartacusⓊ

    video didn’t work for me either :*(