From Nintendo to the electric car
Andrea Esteve López
I belong to a generation—the millennials—which has seen technology be incorporated into our daily lives in a natural way. We grew up surrounded by computers, consoles and smartphones and we think we’ve seen everything...But that’s not the reality. For three days, I’ve had the opportunity to drive an electric car (EC) and I must acknowledge that it’s been the most significant experience I've had in a long time.
First impressions of an electric car
From the start, the first visual contact with BMW's electric car from Endesa is intriguing. Seeing a car with a cable plugged in, as if it were a cell phone, is a bit odd. After yanking that “hose” out of the place where a car’s gas tank would be in a fuel combustion car, I get inside the BMW. It’s spacious, clean, new. “Where do I put the key?” I ask the instructor accompanying me. After a laugh, without a trace of mockery, he tells me it’s best to keep it in my bag because that’s all you need to do with it. Just open and close the car.
I press the start button and the car plays a funny little tune that I interpret as a greeting. It seems silly, but it has already given the impression that it’s a step above others—it’s more intelligent, more effective. The lights turn on, as well as the screen. On the dashboard you can monitor the car’s autonomy, which in my case, was at the maximum. I have 130 km to do whatever I want. I removed the handbrake and moved the gearshift to “D”. Right foot on the accelerator, left foot taking a nap, and away we go.
The first sensation is indescribable. It’s amazing. Besides the fact that the initial acceleration is much more powerful than a fuel combustion car, it’s at a level of driving we're not accustomed to. It’s as if it goes on its own, very smooth. It’s like floating on a cloud, like levitating. It’s futuristic. The way in which the car moves already indicates that something is now changing in the car industry.
By being automatic, in addition to electric, it's a very comfortable and practical car. You only need to worry about turning on the blinkers, accelerating, braking and of course, driving well, which sometimes is the hardest part. I also noticed that it causes less stress in general because by being electric, it doesn't make any type of noise. It’s taking driving in a new direction. By driving in total silence, and with a lightness unlike any other car, you automatically associate that sensation with cleanliness, purity, and not polluting. And that’s precisely what it’s about.
“It’s about providing your grain of sand against climate change with a clean, comfortable and sustainable mobility, that is also fun, innovative and worth trying”
It’s true that at first, you become a bit obsessed (at least I did) when seeing how on the autonomy bar, the kilometres remaining continue to drop. And if you turn on the heat, you notice that it drops even faster. Yet objectively, you have more than enough kilometres to live your daily life without needing to worry, because it would be difficult to surpass 100km per day.
Benefits of electric cars in cities
I never thought that I'd say this about a car, but it’s totally recommendable for driving in cities because besides the feeling of purity, there are the enormous benefits that administrations are offering to electric cars: entering the city centre on certain days of environmental protocol, being able to drive in the HOV lane or free access to restricted and residential areas without worrying about a fine, and parking in the blue and green area is completely free and unlimited. And you can't imagine how nice this is. It is mentally liberating to go and park and know that it doesn't matter how long you take because it’s going to be fast, simple and FREE! Plus, at the fiscal level, the benefits from not paying registration taxes and 75% off of the circulation tax leave one speechless. It makes you want to go to the most hidden corner of your city with your electric car.
I think what might be the most concerning thing about switching to electric cars are the charging points, both within the city and when travelling. However, using a fixed point to charge, such as the home of a conventional electric car user, I’m sure that it’s more a matter of changing habits and mentality rather than a real problem of autonomy. Besides, in the next five years, across Spain, Endesa will deploy more than 8,500 public charging points and 100,000 private charging points that will allow you to drive with total peace of mind without being afraid of getting stuck with no battery.
I can testify that currently the electric car now covers the basic needs, just like any fuel engine car, and it also has the incentive of these small technological and futuristic details that create a different driving experience. But let’s not forget about the most important thing, the reason for which these vehicles exist and why it’s so important to promote them, which is zero pollution and economic savings, because petroleum is 10 times more expensive than electricity. It’s about providing your grain of sand against climate change with a clean, comfortable and sustainable mobility, that is also fun, innovative and worth trying.
The concept of the electric car goes well beyond a simple car. It’s a change in society that I’m growing more sure that future generations will assume to be something normal, like what happened to us twenty year-olds with each technological development that we’ve experienced. And while us millennials get hung up on the melancholy of: "My goodness! Do you remember when that used to exist?", which happens now when we think back to Nintendo 64, society will continue advancing toward a more energy-efficient world, where electric cars will be the order of the day. Because once you try it, the following message stays with you: "My next car will be electric". And at least speaking for myself, I don't want to be left behind.
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