EVs are Just Cool and Fun to Drive

March 14, 2022

Dave Roberts in Volts (email):

I should note up top that I’m not a car guy. I don’t know much about them, don’t much like them, and don’t much like driving them. I never learned to drive a stick shift or change the oil. I don’t drool over muscle cars or know what “hemi” means. Truth be told, I kind of hate car culture.

I should also note that I have only ever driven two EVs in my life. The first was the Kia EV6, which I test-drove last week. The second is this Ford. I can say very little about the fine differences in EV driving experience.

In short, I am the least qualified car reviewer on the planet.

As I said, both of my current cars are extremely old, so I am easily impressed by modern vehicular technology. I still get a kick out of remote key fobs. With this car, when you approach, it lights up, unlocks, and projects a picture of a Mustang on the ground next to the vehicle.

There are heated seats, a heated steering wheel, a wireless phone-charging pad, and a giant touch screen with about 50 menus. It all feels like a spaceship to me.

The first thing anyone notices when they drive an EV for the first time is the acceleration. With either of my gasoline vehicles — even the Prius when it’s driving in electric mode — there is a lag between pressing the accelerator and speeding up. You are always thinking a second or two ahead, about what speed you’ll need to be going, and trying to anticipate. With the EV, acceleration is instant. You are going the speed you want to go the second you want to go it. It is wild.

And when you use one-pedal driving mode, when you let off on the accelerator, you immediately slow. It’s difficult to put in words, but it adds up to a sense of much more precise control.

I was driving home from a restaurant on Tuesday evening and fiddling with the Spotify menu when I drifted slightly onto the middle line between lanes. With a tiny little push — boomp — the car nudged me back into my lane, as though it were semi-sentient. I hadn’t even thought about the driver-assist features before that, but my one experience with them so far was reassuring, albeit faintly creepy.

I’m one of those old guys who resists getting a Tesla because I don’t want to be forced to do every-dang-thing with a touch screen. Give me something physical, with feedback that goes beyond a haptic buzz. I like knobs! Ford’s screen has one giant knob toward the bottom, for volume — it’s better than nothing.

In general, Ford has done a pretty good job with its screens and interface. Crucially, unlike in the Tesla, there’s a second screen just under eye level with key information like speed and range. On the bigger center screen, finding the basic stuff is painless. And there are some cool things if you poke around — you can save different profiles (mirror and seat positions, music playlists) that attach to different key fobs. Or you can use your phone as a key fob. 

I haven’t used any of these features enough to know how they’ll age, but it’s all pretty dazzling. 

The ride is smooth and quiet, the stereo system kicks ass, and that heated steering wheel … I mean, I’ve found nothing to complain about. And I’m pretty good at complaining. Car & Driver named the Ford Mach-E its EV of the year in 2021 and far be it from me to disagree.

2 Responses to “EVs are Just Cool and Fun to Drive”

  1. Jon White Says:

    Mustang looks like fun. I got a kick out of David Roberts’ review. I strongly recommend his podcast. The governmental agency I work for is preparing for the conversion of our fleet to EVs. Availability is a challenge – as is prepping for charging stations. First up will probably be a few trials with smaller passenger cars for around town. Mustangs? Maybe.


  2. How many miles per kwh does the car do? It should be at least 4 or 5 on average. Swapping large inefficient ICE cars for inefficient BEV cars solves some problems but not all of them. In a few years, inefficient BEVs will be seen in the same way as performance and big SUV ICE vehicles are seen now.


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