We May Have Gone Overboard on EVs
So last week, our main man Jeff Perez had a few things that he had to get off his chest regarding EVs. Additionally, we had an editorial on the death of the muscle car. Each brought up great points bout it being sad that we may not see V8 cars in a decade, as well as why fully electric vehicles may not be the way of the future. I can't help but think that these two arguments are related, and the vision for the future of the automobile is somewhere in the middle. PHOTOS: See More of the Tesla Model S First thing's first- I am all for conservation of fuel and the minimizing of CO2 emissions in an effort to stifle climate change. I am also an avid car nut. If I weren't driving Jaguars, I'd be on a Greenpeace mission trying to save Jaguars- real ones. Not even five years ago, it seems these two interests could be seen as contradictory. A lot has changed in a half a decade. With the advent of the Chevy Volt and Fisker Karma, we have seen how several forms of green technology can be combined in a single car. In the case of the Karma, and forthcoming Atlantic (below) we have seen how such an equation can be used to illicit a visceral response through spirited acceleration.
Additionally, cars like the Infiniti M35 Hybrid have found ways to use a formula intended to save fuel, for increddible performance. Due to the fact that 100% of the torque in an electric motor is available at zero RPM, a heavier car can potentially rocket from a standstill, until the car reaches a speed that the gas engine can take over in its optimal power band. Flip a switch and this system operates in such a way that it can get from zero to sixty in under five seconds, while returning fuel economy in upwards of 28-29 MPG. The supercar makers have seen this and responded with a new class of car. The top vehicle from McLaren, Ferrari, Porsche and Jaguar will all have some form of hybrid tech in the next year or two.
So what does the future really hold for us? I recently spoke with Henrik Fisker (yes, of the Fisker Karma) and he envisioned the next decade as one where hybrid tech becomes so commonplace on cars, that they no longer label some cars hybrids– its just standard equipment on all cars. The battery tech will get better. It will become less-flamable, and through the understanding of Moore's law (which states that computer chips become twice as fast every year), they will become more capable at an exponential pace.
So how does this all come together with the two previous rants? Well, I see a Mustang GT ten years from now. It is powered by an EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 making somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 horsepower. That might not seem like a lot, but with the help of affordable carbon fiber, the car is supremely light. Through use of regen braking, and electric motors in the front wheels, the car can generate power and rocket from a stoplight. When not needed, it can achieve fuel economy in the mid-30's, and can still rocket to sixty from a standstill in under four seconds. If this is the inevitable future that I cannot escape, then I welcome it.