What is it with electric vehicles? As soon as I get behind the wheel of an EV I go to jelly. The first thing I look at is how much charge is left, because depending on that number, and how far I need to go tells me about my plans for the day. I hate it when a machine controls my life.
Sitting in my driveway is a Mercedes-Benz EQA 250, with 36% of charge left, so a 150km/h round trip into the Gold Coast Hinterland, for a picnic, is a NO!
Also, the last time I tried to sign up for a CHARGEPOINT account, at one of my local shopping malls, the machine promptly decided my credit card wasn’t valid. I complained to a ‘bot’ on the CHARGEPOINT website, which was unable to provide a digitised reply.
However, for re-charging, there's no shortage of cables, plugs and adapters - but they do occupy a lot of space in the back!
I checked the manual, and found that using a 10amp home circuit, I could get a full charge, after just 14 hours! For a bit of a laugh, I checked the price of the EQA – a tad under AUD$78,000! Okay, it's the baby of the Benz EV lineup, so it's obvious Benz is pricing for this car to compete.
This EQA 250 is Mercedes-Benz’s price leader intro to Sindelfingen’s range of electric vehicles. The price, compared to the Hyundai Kona EV, and the KIA Niro EV, is not a million miles away, and there’s no doubt the EQA is a classy piece of kit, with beautiful interior materials, high quality fit and finishes, and well-engineered mechanicals. But, I could say the same about the petrol-powered GLC on which it is based.
However, I am really beginning to intensely dislike being told by carmakers, governments, green groups and ill-informed idiots, that EVs are the way to go, and by 2050 even I’ll be driving one!
First of all that would make me a centenarian driver, and I’m not sure the transport department will deem me fit enough to hold a licence, even if I did survive to that age. So, at least I’ll be spared being forced to drive an EV. Thank goodness!
Because the EQA 250 is the cheapest Benz EV, it gets by with one electric motor driving the front wheels, but the range will bulk up, and there’ll be AWD versions with ridiculous power outputs – because when you’re paying big bucks for a Benz EV, that’s what buyers expect.
After driving around the Gold Coast using up the sparse 36% of charge, I could not justify for a minute paying that much for the pleasure of driving Silent Sam. Come to think of it, the ICE equivalents are just as quiet, sometimes more powerful, and take no longer than 10 minutes for a splash and dash at the servo.
This car, like most early EVs will be bought by those same ill-informed idiots who believe they’re ‘saving the planet’ by not using the dreaded gasoline – whilst they charge their EV overnight with electricity derived from coal-fired generator!
Are we really sure EVs are right for Australia?