Plug N Play Driving

I’ve been an F1 fan for twenty years and I’ve watched the ultra high-tech components make their way onto the manufacturers’ lines. The introduction of KERS (Kenetic Energy Recovery System) into F1 eventually spawned the various types of hybrid vehicles we see today. Over a decade on and the electric methods of powering vehicles have improved, both in efficiency and the speed in which they can be charged.

Whilst the F1 white coat’s latest efforts have been introduced onto the 2014 cars, offering double the HP of KERS, I wonder how long it’ll be before we see the end of the racing combustion engine?

The fully electric car has proven its enormous torque and acceleration possibilities. Petrolheads criticize the lack of sound and the smell of burnt fuel, and whilst I’m a passionate petrolhead, I get excited at the true potential of all this clean power. No spanners, wrenches or skinned knuckles; just laptops, programs, leads and ports. Gone are the days of the grease embellished mechanic; in are the boffins and computer geeks. Instead of superchargers and turbos and all those expensive parts needed to make an engine more powerful, it’ll be a case of just downloading and installing a program.

The only real problems we face with the fully electric vehicle is the charging times needed to give the cells a full charge. I expect this will soon be fixed, with greater driving ranges possible and the ability to charge wirelessly – I really can predict a ‘plug n play’ car in the not so distant future.

It will probably be this simple too and I’m glad I’m at an age where I’ll experience the development of the fully electric car whilst having experienced two decades of the combustion engine.

The only thing putting a dampner on all this potentially amazing technology is… technology. It’s all very well being able to tweak power and torque levels with a laptop, but with GPS devices already finding their way into hire cars, company cars, and insurance companies using them to offer lower premiums, it won’t be long before we are all tracked. Speeding is of course illegal, but who doesn’t open up the taps once in a while? It would feel a bit too 1984 for my liking.

So who’s in for the future of electricity? Or would you prefer cars remained as fire-breathing and snorting petrol guzzlers?

I’m 70/30 in favour of petrol, but then I do like to gargle gas once in a while…



4 thoughts on “Plug N Play Driving

  1. Great thoughts. I am with the petrol, as the mechanics and tuning required to get the best out of the engine. An electric motor is just that, a wind of coiled wire and bunch of magnets. An electronic program is not skill of tuning but how to make a motor work. That for me would loose the appeal. Some university graduate would program the motor and he would know nothing about racing. I am of course in favour of electric cars, but the cost of the batteries and manufacture is expensive and the carbon footprint to produce the batteries and charge them is high. But wireless charging would be good to just park over a point and that would be brilliant, even a load of them along the road to keep you topped up while going along maybe.


    • I totally agree. The carbon footprint doesn’t make them the wonder car they make out.

      For me, I’d miss the noise and vibrations. When I passed my test and climbed inside my MGB GT, I’ll never forget that smell and the rumbling engine.


    • I agree. I heard the cost of transporting all the parts from all corners of the world leaves a bigger carbon footprint than a muscle car over the period of the car’s life. The fact the old muscle cars are still running means that they have been used over decades, rather than buying 3 or 4 new cars because of the ‘throw away society’ we now live in.


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