A little over a year ago, BMW delivered my 100 percent electric ActiveE. I had no idea this car would slap any trace of a midlife crisis approaching me out the door. Even my wife, who at the outset was quite skeptical, is now aggressively pushing EVs to unsuspecting soccer moms here in Marin County and protests driving a petrol car whenever she has to.
Yet, I keep coming across downbeat articles from writers who've never driven a Tesla or BMW ActiveE. That's about as good as me criticizing national health policy in Botswana from my office in San Francisco.
Granted, a lot has happened in the electric vehicle space since Tesla introduced the Roadster in 2008. As with all emerging technologies -- especially one as significant as transportation -- there have been a fair amount of thermobaric explosions along the way.
I'm not going to make excuses for companies like Better Place, which swallowed $850 million with very little to show for it; or Coda Automotive, which tried marketing a Chinese sedan here in the US with the jaw-dropping "largest trunk in its class." Most of us in the industry saw these disasters coming from a mile away and I guess the one upside of this hubris is in clearly demonstrating what technologies and business models not to focus on.
Despite some of the rubble, it's time we pay our respects and move on. There is a lot to be excited about with EVs, and the rewards for those who finish the marathon are only getting larger. Here's what I'm optimistic about:
More Hot Models
Tesla has set the bar really high on performance. Elon Musk is not selling green cars. The Model S is a better-than-petrol performing rocket. The control, ease of driving, and of course torque are unreal. Once you drive a Model S, you'll get what I'm talking about and appreciate that all of the petrol cars you see on the road are so 1985. Before then, please don't judge EVs based on a Prius misconception (love the Prius, but it's obviously not targeting performance car drivers).