Bob Dylan sang that the times they are a changing and certainly in the automotive world nothing could be further from the truth. The whole world has and is experiencing change due to the Covid-19 pandemic, regardless of whether you believe the conspiracy theorists or agree it’s one of those freak things that comes along every now and now then to shake up mankind, shaken up we have been.
In the car world it has almost changed the landscape, showrooms shut down not just because of car production stopping but because we could no longer just ‘pop in’ at a local dealer for a nosey at the latest models and so we have seen a huge growth in online car purchasing. In truth it was inevitable regardless of the pandemic, after all we have been buying everything else online for quite some time now. With information available from your desktop pc to your phone on the latest Cars, how they drive, look and feel, even down to what colour ambient in the interior is all available, it’s all online.
When we launched Enzari 3 years ago we took the decision not to be another ‘average car mag on the shelf’ but to be an online only publication and bring the latest Italian car stuff to our readers direct whether through our website or social media channels, it is what people want and now carmakers offer the same to purchase their latest models, so much so that Volvo has launched one of their models as available exclusively to online only.
So not only has purchasing your latest car changed, delivered straight to your front door, but over the last couple of years how your car is driven or rather how it is powered has also changed. Electric is the future so we are told and it’s time to plug in and get onboard but the truth is as much as this new technology is a step forwards from the combustion engine, the world isn’t ready or rather the infrastructure isn’t there yet. If I live in a house with a driveway I can plug my electric car in no problem but should I live in say a terraced house or flat with no designated parking space then what? And what if I do more mileage than just city living? In a previous job I would regularly travel several times a week from one end of the country to the other in a single day, stopping off for a quick ‘splash and dash’ for fuel taking no more than a few minutes. However should I do that in an electric car, even with Tesla’s fast chargers you’re going to spend at least an hour recharging, really not what you need, add on top of that the small number of charges at service stations available then you could very easily find yourself with no charger to use at all as when you pull up they are all in use.
Times are changing then and like any kind of change it can take time to get everything in place and running smoothly, so as much as driving on electric avenue might be the future (that’s one for another blog!) the real alternative for the here, now and immediate tomorrow is hybrid, the self charging way to travel. If you didn’t know, a hybrid electric car is powered by an internal combustion engine and an electric motor, which uses energy stored in batteries. A hybrid electric car is not plugged in to charge the battery. Instead, the battery is charged through regenerative braking and by the internal combustion engine.
What all this means is basically you drive around on electric locally in the city, up to speeds of around 15-20mph and when you have the need to go a little further and a little faster so the petrol or diesel engine kicks in, the self charging hybrids offered by some car makers seem a good option.
So other words, thank god for the combustion engine because right now we still need it.