Electric car ownership has, up until recently, been a very ‘niche’ club. When people first began buying cars that ran entirely on electric, they were seen by some to be a little bit eccentric, tree-hugging and weird.
It’s no surprise.
For nearly three decades, the most popular car magazine on the TV was Top Gear, which stuck to a very basic format that made it clear that cars should be noisy, fast, and big.
Noise was something missing from electric cars, and in the early days, they weren’t very fast either.
Until Tesla turned up with it’s “ludicrous” mode, electric cars were seen very much as a milk float with extra seats. Quiet, comfortable, slow.
There was also the problem with manufacture.
Due to the strange materials that had to go into the cars, they were seen by many as not being that environmentally friendly at all.
Some (like Top Gear), would latch on to this and explained that this meant that even though they didn’t spit out fumes into kids’ faces, they used up much more in the way of resources while they’re being made.
So, electric vehicles took a while to get to mainstream.
The big players
Things weren’t helped when Toyota released the Prius.
Although a hybrid vehicle (it still had a petrol engine), this car exposed everything that was supposedly wrong with electric cars.
It still had petrol – so it spat out smog (sometimes), but it also had batteries that had been forged in the very depths of hell.
And they were bought in droves by multi-millionaire celebrities.
They were literally created and hated within years.
They still sold well.
But it took Tesla to really kick the market about. Even if many of its cars didn’t even exist.
But, when they did exist, they kicked butt.
They actually made owning an electric car cool.
You essentially bought a car, that looked really good, but which had a really fast charger (oh yeah, electric cars take ages to charge), and which could also go really fast!
Here’s a Tesla beating a Lamborghini over 1/4 mile: