Valentine’s Day Brings Out Love in Many Forms: Which Electric Cars does Mark Love?

Today is Valentine’s Day. A day where couples still in the soppy part of their relationship finally get to see their other half’s reaction to that present they have been obsessing over for the past fortnight and where older couples share a take-away, a Bottle of Red and mumble drunken ‘love yous’ at each other in-between mouthfuls of sub-par Balti.

It’s a special day.

But love comes in many forms – so I decided to bring your my top five electric car loves. Because nothing says ‘I love you’ like ranking things in order.

BMW i3

It is said that love is blind. The great Bard himself once wrote, ‘In faith, I do not love thee with mine eyes,/ For they in thee a thousand errors note’ – and this really does express how I originally felt about the BMW i3.

There is something about the way it looks in photos. Squashed – almost like the ratio of the photo has been messed with. Like someone has taken the car and squashed the nose, pulled and tugged at random panels and somehow stuffed the decor from a 1970’s home inside the car.

The I3's Proportions Look a Little Odd in Photos

The I3’s Proportions Look a Little Odd in Photos

But in person – wow! The car works. It fits together. It’s elegant, refined, sleek. It is both something that is different but yet so right. I’m now becoming convinced that the fact that I still haven’t managed to get behind the seat and drive one is punishment for my pre-judgement.

So, BMW i3 – I’m sorry. I judged you too quickly. You are lovely and I love you. Please can we be friends again?

Nissan LEAF

Nissan recently sold the 100,000th Nissan LEAF – a great benchmark for any EV to pass. This firmly places the LEAF as the best selling all-electric car on the market.

Sure, it may not have the longest range, the fastest 0-60mph time or the edgiest looks but it is an electric car that gets the job done for most people. Including me.

Mark's Leaf Takes Him on a Trip to the Brecon Beacons in Wales

Mark’s Leaf Takes Him on a Trip to the Brecon Beacons in Wales

The LEAF is the only car in my household and it works just fine. In fact, contrary to what most people suggest upon first hearing that I drive an electric car, I can indeed drive to Scotland in it. In fact, Robert Llewellyn and David Peilow did just that the other week.

Renault ZOE

The Renault ZOE was launched to very high expectations and it – in my personal opinion anyway – fell short of them. That’s not to say that it isn’t a very good electric car. It is. But it was hyped to be ‘the car that changes everything’ which is a mantle that no one car can ever live up to.

A Lot of Pressure Was Put on this Small Car

A Lot of Pressure Was Put on this Small Car

But what is it exactly that I love about the ZOE? Is it the aggressive front end looks, giving it that ‘boy racer’ feel I’ve always security coveted? No. Is it the Chameleon charger allowing the car to charge itself off of pretty much any AC power source? No.

It’s the promise it holds for the future. Renault seem to be using the ZOE as a platform to really push the boundaries of what is possible. Renault is using the ZOE to test 4G/LTE integrated systems and it seems that the next version of the ZOE will even come with some self-drive technology built in allowing the user, in stop-start traffic to just let the car take care of everything.

As someone who’s other half has to spend 20+ minutes in a traffic jam each morning due to ‘road improvement works’ – which are scheduled to last a whole year – this car would reduce the amount of stress they’re put through and thus the amount of stress I’m put through when they get home.

Much better all round.

Tesla Roadster

You may think this is an odd choice now that the Model S is out and the Model X is well on its way. But while the Model S is an amazing car – something I am being reminded of right now as I edit our ChargedUp episode on the Model S – it is also, somehow, less ‘fun’.

Just Give me a Winding Country Road and the Keys to a Tesla Roadster and I'll Show You Love

Just Give me a Winding Country Road and the Keys to a Tesla Roadster and I’ll Show You Love

That’s not to say that it isn’t fun. It really is. But given the choice of a Model S or Roadster and an empty race track, I know which one I’d opt for.

Quicker, more nimble and more focused on pure driving, it is a racing car first and an electric car second. This is the car that all young boys and girls should have on their walls and all grown boys and girls should have in their driveways.

The Roadster was the beginning of Tesla. It is the car that said ‘electric cars can be amazing’. It’s the car that captured the imagination – and wallets – of a lot of influential people. These people are still in love with their Roadsters.

I’m still in love with the Roadster.

GM EV1

I don’t want to be ‘that guy’. You know the one… The creepy one that gives his own mum or grandmum a Valentine’s Day card – but that is exactly what it feels like I am doing here with this.

The General Motors EV1.

I acknowledge that I have no personal connection with the car. In fact, at no point while it was in production was I even old enough to drive. To me, the EV1 is like the black and white film stars that all the old people go on about. The EV1, to me, is the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, the Audrey Hepburn, the Rock Hudson of electric cars.

Image by RightBrainPhotography and Released Under Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0 Licence

Image by RightBrainPhotography and Released Under Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0 Licence

But I know that we owe so much to that car. I know that without that car we wouldn’t be where we are today. And even now, I can look at pictures of the EV1 and appreciate its futuristic looks and style.

So, EV1. Here is my open declaration: I love you. I don’t care that you don’t live up to modern safety standards. I don’t care that you had some really odd advertising campaigns to promote you. I love you and want you.

Please be mine.

What are your EV Valentines this year? Let us know in the comments.

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  • vdiv

    How sweet! :)nnMy EV love belongs to the one and only, lonely and hated, misunderstood and quite possibly feared by everyone Volt. This is our third Valentine’s day together and Avatar, my Volt, has been as faithful as no other car can, getting me to neat places, introducing me to some amazing people, keeping a perpetual grin on my face, and occasionally tears of perseverance and defiance in my eyes. The Volt is a true gem hidden in a sea of dinosaurs, born in the most unlikely place to shine a light and quietly give us hope.nnNo, that does not mean that I am in love with the Volt’s parents, General Motors, those seemingly rude, arrogant, entitled, irresponsible, good-fer-nothing, stuck in the old ways folks up in Michigan. But they did create the EV1 and they did give us the Volt so if they do not quite have my trust nor admiration, they do have my respect and my encouragement. I believe in second chances and in redemption. GM can do so much more, they need to do much more, and lead us to a more sustainable and evolved future of transportation.

  • But what is it exactly that I love about the ZOE? Is it the aggressive front end looks, giving it that u2018boy raceru2019 feel Iu2019ve always security coveted? No. Is it the Chameleon charger allowing the car to charge itself off of pretty much any AC power source? YES!!.nnOver here in the Netherlands, residential grid connections come in roughly 3 flavours: 1x25A, 1x35A or 3x25A. If you want anything beefier than that, you’ll pay at least 600 euros per year more in fixed connection costs.nnI have a Zoe and a three phase wall charger. When I get home from work at 17:00 with a near empty battery, I plug her in and she’s good to go after dinner. If you get home with a LEAF, it’s game over for the rest of the day. The slooooow single phase charger takes hours to fill up the battery. The Chameleon charger rocks and makes the Zoe the most practical affordable EV for those households that can’t fall back on a 2nd (ICE) car.nnAnd then you ramble on (sorry – it’s blunt I know) about the Zoe being a ‘platform’ for testing 4g/connectivity and self driving. Sorry, but how is that exactly related to the electric drive train? They could test this connectivity stuff on a Clio too. And Google is using Priuses to develop self-driving cars. nnThere is a strong need for Renault to develop the Zoe core platform (you know, improved range and reduced cost) separate from these tack-on technologies that have very little to do with each other.