This year, I'll switch to an electric car
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I must admit one thing : I’m one of the monsters that still likes cars.
My favorite kind is the compact sport hatchback because it’s not too big, and not too small. A decade ago, I had a company car that was in the lower tier and I felt very uncomfortable. I’m not claustrophobic, but I always had the feeling to be in a tight tin can in this car. On the opposite side, I deeply hate the SUV we see in cities since years… They’re ugly and puffy and their drivers usually can’t properly handle them without taking all the place on the road.
The sport aspect I like is not for the fast and furious fantasy. I’m not a maniac that’ll drive à 150km/h in a town. I just like a reactive and agile vehicle that won’t feel like moving a mountain when starting. I like to feel the vehicle and the road and play with it.
My current car is the Honda Civic. Previously, I had two Alfa Romeo Giulietta : the 120hp and then the 170hp. The 120hp was already great, but the automatic gear box was available only from the second one. Today, I really like the Civic, very fun to drive and also a great look (of course, it depends of people). As I’m using the leasing to finance my cars, I’ve been used to change them every 3 years. This choice was made after my first car was getting more and more unreliable and cost a lot in repairs… Having an aging car was a problem in my opinion.
So, as the end of this year is the renewal deadline, I was starting to see what will be the next. Last year, I’ve heard that the new Honda Civic will be only a hybrid car in Europe and will arrive on 2022. “That’s great !” I’ve thought, because I’m more and more interested in hybrid and/or electric cars and I still love the Civic. Alas, the timing is bad. The leasing contract ends in October and this model is expected for this period, so I don’t think it’ll make it in time. And Honda’s hybrid technology is like Toyota’s, and that’s worry me because the Toyota I’ve tested were dead donkeys. Maybe their way is better than Toyota’s, but sadly I can’t test it yet to be sure.
Also, hybrid cars are nice but I’ll always thought they are half-choices, like “I’m not sure about this so I want both of the worlds”. So, I’ve checked on some dedicated websites what it the current market offer regarding my tastes. I was very worried about this because the market is flooded by SUVs that are uglier than the previous (yes, I hate them). And that was very close, the offer in this segment is really short… But, I had some luck and found the Cupra brand. Cupra is Seat’s premium/sportive brand, and last year, they made their version of Volkswagen’s ID.3 electric car, the Cupra Born. I don’t like the ID.3 design, but the Born is better according to my tastes : a good point !
So, I’ve called the local brand retailer and asked for a test tour. And this is how I’ve driven an electric car for the first time (but I’ve had been in electric cars as a passenger, so I was already aware about the quite comfort). I’ve been surprised to see that my driving behavior was already very close to the electric cars’. Indeed, as I’m used to cars that have some power and automatic gearbox since years, I’ve been used to launch the vehicle and let it run smoothly without the necessity to always hit the acceleration pedal, so I’ve naturally learned some eco-driving habits without willingly wanting it. Basically, the vendor told me that the goal is to try to use the less possible power in order to economize the battery power. The engine brake is very interesting because it allow the driver to only use one pedal and forget about the brakes (but use them in emergency case, of course). The acceleration pedal gets really precise when the engine brake is activated and that’s quite comfortable for maneuvers or congested trafic. I was more and more conquered. And, of course, as I like responsive cars, an electric one gives all of the torque directly at the first round.
Regarding the autonomy range, they announce 400km and my current Civic can do 500 with a full gas tank… So what will be the difference ? None !
Oh yes there will be one in fact… The fueling won’t cost anything for me. My workplace has electric cars places so I will be able to refuel for nothing. And even if I install a charging pod in my apartment parking (our property manager initiated the installation as some neighbors asked for it) the monthly subscription is only 20€/month.
So yes, this year, I’ll switch to an electric car.