The question I am most often asked – on an almost equal footing with “how do you stay so young, vibrant and virile at your age?” – is what EV should I buy?
Many people, who obviously mistakenly think that journalism is better paid than being a school teacher, or a cat groomer, follow this up with the secondary question of what EV I would buy, if I haven’t got one already.
But here is the sad, awful truth – there is not, at present, a single electric vehicle on the market in Australia that I would, or could, buy. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t like an EV, nor that I don’t like driving them, I’m just saying that every single model currently on sale is knocked out of my consideration set on the basis that they either don’t align with my personal desires, or they’re too expensive, or in many cases both.
Now, before the Musk lovers get all a twitter up the back, yes, the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y are very fine machines, particularly the Performance variants, and I can see why so many of you have bought one (although I don’t know why you need to bang on about it so much).
Personally, it’s about $30,000 more than I’d be willing or able to spend on a new car, but the fact is I wouldn’t buy a Tesla anyway, because if I did I’d look in the mirror and see a sheep in man’s clothing, and a wankerd (a combination between a wanker and a nerd). A Tesla aligns with my personal brand the way a Make America Great Again baseball cap does, sadly.
I could almost, almost be tempted by the Genesis GV70 Electrified, because it’s a surprisingly fine vehicle that I found enjoyable to drive and borderline stylish, but it is immediately struck down by it’s price and the far more important fact that it’s an SUV, and I plan to buy one of those just after it starts snowing in Hell (I like to picture Scott Morrison and Cardinal Pell throwing snowballs at Tony Abbott and Hitler in this particular snow storm). I really like the look of the GV60, too but it’s also an SUV, so no dice (the shortage of station wagon shaped vehicles, my personal preference for a family car, in the EV market is a real problem).
While we’re shopping in Korea, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Kia EV6 are also cars that I quite enjoy driving (the EV6 GT is hugely entertaining, in fact), but there is no way I would buy one even if I had the money because they look like they were designed to shout one thing and one thing only “Look, look at ME! I bought an EV! Love me! Admire me!”
I’m not saying they’re ugly, but I might be heavily hinting it.
The Polestar is one vehicle that’s not been smacked with the ugly stick, and I don’t mind it, but I can’t get excited about it, looking at it wouldn’t thrill me on a daily basis, nor would driving it, and for the kind of money it costs I’d want to be tumescent every time I touched the key.
At the very top end of the price problem is the Porsche Taycan range, but again, even I won the lottery repeatedly, I wouldn’t go there. The Taycan is very clever, it is absurdly fast and it might just be the best EV a lot of money can buy, but it’s still too big, too fat, too Panamera-esque to be a proper Porsche, and for as long as there’s still a 911, I’d be slapping my money down on one of those.
If Porsche had a Cayman-sized EV in the showroom (an EV Porsche sports car is in the works), then I might start to be tempted, but again, only post Lotto wins.
Obviously, there are cheaper electric cars on the market, but, for now, they are all Chinese and I’m not just reticent about buying a car made in that country, I’m resistant. Indeed, I think I’d rather set fire to my money while standing in an asbestos shower than buy any of them.
The EV I’ve probably enjoyed the most was the Hyundai Kona EV, and I’m aware that there’s a new and better one coming, but while it’s small and borderline cute to look at it, it’s still an SUV, and when you feel the interior plastics and ponder paying almost $60k for one, you experience the kind of emotions you’d feel if someone asked you to pay $45 for a Big Mac.
Sure, it’s fair to say that my personal restrictions – no SUVs and nothing expensive – make it difficult for me to find any cars that I would actually buy with my own money, and I’m basically restricted to buying second-hand vehicles by my financial tightness, but even on that list, there is not one single EV.
I’m very glad that other people are buying them, people with money, but for me the wait for an EV I’d actually want to buy goes on.