There’s this common perception that battery electric vehicles have a lot of quirks, are more costly to run and maintain, and are essentially more complex compared to regular-fueled cars. As if this wasn’t enough, a lot of people think that BEVs drive like a golf cart and are slow and boring—something for the leisurely folks at the country club.
To a certain extent, all these hold true—some two decades or so ago. Nowadays, technology has made electric vehicles just as fun to drive, space and cost efficient, and pretty much like a gasoline or diesel powered vehicle. The only difference being the absence of emissions coming from the tailpipe. Or the absence of a tailpipe. Period.
With electric motors being very different from their internal combustion counterparts, maintaining a EV is much cheaper. You don’t have the usual moving parts to think of. You don’t even need to fill up on petrol or diesel, for that matter. The only concerns are tires and topping up on electrical charge. The latter can even be done using a regular wall outlet. And once the battery has reached its maximum lifespan, you simply need to change it at your friendly dealer.
How do we know all this, you ask? Carmakers like Nissan Motor Co. and its LEAF electric vehicle are a good example of this. Being the best-selling mainstream EV since it was introduced in 2010, the LEAF has allowed some 400,000 motorists from around the world to enjoy the zero-emissions benefits of driving an EV—minus the compromises that come with it.
Apart from lower running costs, the hatchback configuration means you can stow all your gear in the car just as you would a regular, fuel-powered hatch. Not that we encourage putting all that weight in your vehicle and making it your mobile closet. The point is that the improved battery packaging allows owners to get the most out of their environment friendly hatchback.
And of course, the inherent traits of electric motors, particularly instantaneous torque delivery, translates to smooth and fun times behind the wheel—akin to a performance car, mind you. Moreover, Nissan’s e-Pedal allows for one-pedal driving. You simply press on the pedal to go and lift off to slow down and stop.
With all these, driving a fully-electric vehicle might not be much of a compromise after all. It might just be the best of all worlds. It’s the future of motoring, today.