Electric Car Arrives in Malawi!
It's not every day that I find a car parked right outside my door. I was delighted and surprised at this red beauty, and on closer inspection, I realised that it was electric! Completely chargeable, no fuel tank, 100% eco-friendly. I applauded the owner as an example to all enviro-conscious citizens of the world (he was not available for an interview. I was told he had gone on a lollipop run). Here are the specs on the new model:
- It's a 4x4 roofless convertible, perfect for your open air adventures. Not the greatest for foul weather days, but I'm sure you would rather be in bed with a hot cup of coco made by Mommy anyway. It has adapted the Mini Cooper/Smart Car approach to saving space - and as you can see, it can park virtually anywhere, including the veranda. It's an automatic, so it's quite simple to drive with no pedals, but rather a button at your feet which serves as an accelerator.
- The entire chassis was made of plastic - the seats, steering wheel, tyres and gear (there is only one gear, forward, reverse, what more do you need), making it much more lightweight than its 4x4 counterparts. The lighter the vehicle, the less energy needed to move it. Nice. Thinking smart, thinking green.
- Charging it couldn’t be simpler, with an easily extractable cable located under the seat that connects to a plug that's not bigger than a cellphone charger.
- The tyres have great grip for tar and pavement, but only for perfectly flat ground due to the fact that they are plastic instead of rubber. Hills would pose a definite problem, either driving up or down them, the vehicle will tend to slide downhill either way I observed. It's best to find a route through town that uses only paved driveways.
- The side view mirrors were a puzzle, they seemed to have no reflective qualities at all. There was also no windscreen or any other glass components. Perhaps the out-of-the-box reasoning behind this was that glass may break, so it's safer to exclude it completely.
- The headlights, for all their size and polished look, didn't actually seem to be designed to light up. While this limits the time of day you can drive it, I understand that the designers intended to remove all unnecessary energy-consuming aspects. Bulbs would only take energy out of the driving. However, I noted that there is ample room on the dashboard to fit a torch or candle, for those who insist on driving at night.
- I estimated that it reaches top speeds of 250 metres per hour. This is another justification for the lack of windscreen - it's simply not needed if you won't go fast enough to feel the wind.
- Although there are two seats, the average license-holder may have to use both of them to accommodate themselves, to be honest. It can get a bit awkward with no real knee room and the gear in such an unnatural position. The best way to overcome this is to get comfortable in a leapfrog position.
All in all, I conclude that it's an excellent example to us all. It may seem like a strange adjustment at first, but we all have to make changes to make a real difference to our planet. Let's put the electric car on every road!
(Just heard of another electric car set to launch in Africa in 2014. It claims to be the 'first' electric car, but my pictures prove otherwise! Check out The Joule)
Liked this? Read my previous post about the oddity of URLs: [www.Noun.com]