are friends electric?

Andrew Howells


I never thought I’d ever have another wow moment with a car. I’ve no plans to buy a Porsche, although I like fast, so was surprised when an electric rental gave me a buzz. It’s a brand new Hyundai Kona and sits right up there with first flooring my VW Corrado Storm BC, before children, and a very sensible, second-hand Mercedes Kompressor. The joy of being able to finally afford a real car with a bit of refinement, years after starting our business.

Our friends electric

Gary Numan was my first thought when thinking of a title this week. Cars was his most successful single, discovered in my first year at Newcastle University. And that only made sense because of Our Friends Electric as a subtitle. It would have fitted neatly, although incorrect. I’d no idea he’d been asking us a question all this time.

Serves me right

I’ve been researching electric cars for a while now. Nothing too intensive, a mild distraction from the ad bait served while wasting time whiling away my retirement. Serves me right, literally.

Electric is here

Without getting too distracted by the technology, choice and performance are improving fast. Tesla, who set the standard early is being caught by traditional manufacturers who’ve woken up to the opportunities of antsy governments, climate change rhetoric and fossil fuels being, well fossil, at least to power most family runarounds. Why would you want to put thick, oily diesel into anything, especially when the resultant sound is more like a tractor, especially on a cold winter’s morning?

20 years

Hybrids have been around for over 20 years now. Truly ugly cars with no redeeming features apart from a greener battery doing some of the heavy lifting around town. Initially they were green credentials for celebrities who added it to their car pool sacrificing looks and performance for a while. Far more lucrative I presume, came with the rise of Uber and their gig economy drivers all opting for a tax efficient solution.

A hybrid’s reason for being, apart from the fact that you have to start somewhere, was price, it was vaguely related to what had gone before. A fully electric alternative, apart from…