At the turn of the twentieth century when the automobile was first becoming the must-have gadget for anyone wealthy enough to buy one, there was something of a fairly evenly-matched fight between the internal combustion engine and electric motors as the preferred form of propulsion. Electric cars were cleaner and easier to operate with fewer mechanical parts to fail and reliability that today we would refer to as ‘plug and play’. Gasoline cars on the other hand offered longer range, sportier performance and quick refuelling, although their overall reliability tended to be far worse.
Ultimately, the gasoline car won the early fight against those early electric cars. Henry Ford revolutionised the way cars were made thanks to the invention of the automotive production line, and the rest as they say, is history. Until today of course, when electric cars are slowly and surely clawing back at the lead that internal combustion engine vehicles have in the marketplace thanks to improvements in battery chemistry, the wonders of the microprocessor, and of course, concern over the effect that fossil fuels are having on our planet.
But what if electric cars had become the winner all those years ago? What would it be like after years of electric car use to suddenly step behind the wheel of a car powered by gasoline? What if the awkward first-time reviews of the latest plug-in cars to market weren’t actually of plug-in cars, but internal combustion engine ones?
That’s a question Tibor Blomhäll and friends at TeslaClubSweeden decided to answer with a wonderfully creative test-drive report, penned from the perspective of someone who has only ever driven an electric car.
It may sound like a bad omen to buy the car from a car repair shop that you want to visit as seldom as possible. But you apparently can’t buy the car directly from the manufacturer
As our friends at GreenCarReports detail, that means someone who is completely alien to the concept that a car can be smelly, loud, and expensive to fuel.
First to come under criticism in the faux-review is the fact that the reviewer must visit an independently-owned dealership rather than an automaker-owned facility to buy their car. An obvious jibe at attempts from various interests in the U.S. to stop Tesla Motors from selling directly to customers in mall-based ‘Tesla Stores,’ electric car advocates will no doubt find themselves smiling at the obvious about-turn.
“It may sound like a bad omen to buy the car from a car repair shop that you want to visit as seldom as possible. But you apparently can’t buy the car directly from the manufacturer [and] must go through such intermediaries,” the post explains.
Sitting behind the wheel of the gasoline car, the faux-review notes that the internal combustion engined coughed into life, making the whole car vibrate as if something was broken. Finding it strange that while the vehicle had a small electric motor and battery used to start the internal combustion engine, the reviewer helpfully explains that the vibrations are caused by the hundreds of tiny explosions of fossil-fuel which power the wheels and move the car forward.
“The petrol engine consists of literally hundreds of moving parts that must have a tolerance of hundredths of a millimeter to function,” the writer notes. “We begun to understand why it is car repair shops that sell the cars — they might hope for something to break in the car that they can mend?”
…the incredulous writer beside themselves with concern over the wanton waste of energy.
On the open road, the review covers the disappointing way in which the vehicle required gear changes in order to accelerate, due to the limited power band of the noisy engine, describing the experience of driving a manual stick-shift vehicle as being “very stressful.”
By the time the satirical reviewers encountered their first stop light however, they noted with shock and horror that the brakes used to slow the car down — since releasing the accelerator pedal resulted in “no significant braking” — simply wasted the vehicle’s kinetic energy as heat in its mechanical friction brakes.
“When we came to a stop the engine continued to run and the car vibrate — even though the car was standing still!,” the review continues, the incredulous writer beside themselves with concern over the wanton waste of energy. That concern got worse when it came to filling, with the writer unable to understand why someone would own a vehicle they could not refuel at home and which cost them so much to refuel.
The entire review is well worth a read if you’re a fully-confirmed convert of plug-in vehicles or other zero emission technology. But if you’re a fan of the internal combustion engine, reading it will do one of two things.
Either it will convince you that the way internal combustion engine vehicles operates is as ludicrous as the poster would like you to believe, or you’ll find yourself fuming over the way in which electric car fans have yet again criticised your preferred method of transport.
Here at Transport Evolved, we’ll admit to a good laugh at the hands of gasoline vehicles. But which side do you sit on? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments below.
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