This is a huge issue Ive been grappling with over the last 6 weeks
Today is a bit of a sad day for me, and one I never thought would come, Ive just sold my last V8 engine’ d car and Im convinced that If I do buy another car it will be electric. Even saying those words sounds alien to me.
The answer I’ve found is that…
Im a huge petrol head, always have been, bikes, cars, trucks, anything and everything with an engine.
I like to have control over my own transportation, I like to have the freedom to go where I like, when I like, even if its just for fun.
After some real hard soul searching during this quarantine period, I realize its the freedom and the choice to go as fast as I like, that I crave not the noise or any of the other “artificial” character of the car or the bike.
Ive been conditioned to think that its the gas engine, the noise, the smell of the emissions even that I crave, but its just not the case.
Those feelings are probably the same as the folks who struggled with the transition from Horses to the first cars or Horseless carriages as they were known.
Difference being that a horse is a living being and so does actually have real character as opposed to bits of metal and plastic.
I just like the freedom and the speed and neither of those are tied to Gas.
This current situation has made my mind up
The last 6 weeks in quarantine in a normally pretty polluted city, have convinced me of that. The air is fresh and clear we have no smog and nature is coming back to the roadsides, that’s for me an eye opener.
I don’t want to contribute to pollution in such a direct and negative way when the world turns back on.
What’s more im in the financial position where I don’t have to, I can afford an electric car if I choose and so I now feel that as some one who can, I have a real responsibility to make the transition.
Same with my motorcycle addiction, there are perfectly good electric bikes out there and im pretty sure I can still misbehave on those.
Im an engineer so I can and will look seriously into upcycling bikes and cars into electrics, my mind boggles at the possibilities even though the purists in the bike and car community will line up to kill me.
Do I even need transport?
The other and more disturbing thought for me is what do I even need transport for?
Im not allowed to drive where I live right now and so apart from jumping in a car while on vacation I don’t drive and I work around that, I walk, cycle, use public transport sparingly.
All of which suggest even an electric car I don’t need.
Im not sure at this point, Ive bought an electric stand up scooter as an experiment in low impact personal transport, I think I got 36 hours out of it, before we got shutdown so that’s an experiment to be continued.
I need to look at electric cars and bike for vacations or longer trips or business needs when I do settle down somewhere as a means of effective and efficient carbon neutral travel.
I still have concerns over the viability of things like cobalt mining but technology will evolve and become more environmentally friendly it always does regulation and permitting mean that to drive down costs you need to get better.
Likewise I do think there is a opportunity to upcycle older cars and bikes to be even more environmentally efficient and its something ill take a go at.
Im not a petrol head really ive realized just someone who likes the sensation of speed and so im sure as the technology becomes more accessible Ill be able to tune it for more performance if I wish.
4 months ago I was literally raging against the machine as it looks like governments were trying to impose their will on us with the push towards electrification of personal transport.
Today I think their are many challenges around infrastructure and price that need to be solved for us to meet those target dates but its doable.
And hydrocarbons in general?
Well we still need them, clothes we wear, the technology we use, and much more are possible because of hydrocarbons, we just need to be way smarter in the way we use hydrocarbons to minimize the environmental effect.
Todays pretty emotional for me, in many ways, I love gas cars and I do love the sound and excitement of a big V8, but I can’t continue to knowingly use a gas car when I’m fortunate to be able to use the alternatives.
A change to more environmentally friendly transport wont come over night, its not affordable for most of us for a start, but like very other revolution in humanity, it will come slowly at first then all at once.