Interview with an Electric Car

Interview with an Electric Car

Illustration by Michael ByersCar and Driver

From the September 2022 issue of Car and Driver.

C/D: Hi there. We’re ready to start, if you want to, uh, power up now.

EV: I am powered up. In fact, look out—I’m in drive! . . . And now I’m in reverse.

Oh, yes. We can tell by that sound you’re making. What do you call that?

That one’s Sad Spaceship. But I can make other noises.

Such as?

There’s one I call Pole Position II, for when I’m in Sport mode. It sounds like a Ford Festiva that was driven into a lake, just moments before it achieved hydrolock.

Well, we suppose you need to make some noise, for pedestrians, right?

I guess. Although if you’re going to get tagged by a car while you’re out for a stroll, an EV is the way to go. Landing on my hood is like plopping down in a beanbag chair. Especially if there’s a beanbag chair in my frunk.

You bring up an interesting point about EVs—the potential for creativity in packaging.

It’s true. Besides the frunk, I’ve got a skunk, a bunk, and a chunk. That last one is a clever reference to The Goonies, because my manufacturer is fun and has a sense of humor.

Do you have a glovebox?

No, but I have a glunk.

Okay, we get it. We also notice you have a glass roof. Tell us about that.

Most EVs have glass roofs. The best ones, like me, have windshields that just keep going into the roof. They flow. Like electricity itself, you know? I’ve got more glass than LensCrafters. Hey, is it hot in here? Let me kick on the A/C. It’s . . . so . . . sunny!

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It’s mostly cloudy. Want us to open one of your doors or something?

Go ahead and try. My key fob looks like a Jules Verne fever dream, and my door handles deploy only after you correctly answer my riddles three.

Hmm. Where are your door handles, exactly?

They’re flush. They’re hinged. They’re motorized and recessed and activated by facial recognition. It’s for aerodynamics. They also tell the world you’ve got a futuristic ride—not like those old handle-shaped handles. Legacy cars. Yuck!

Let’s talk performance. You hit 60 mph in three seconds?

Try two when I’m in Large Hadron Collider (LHC) mode. To activate that, you just lower my suspension, turn on my battery chiller for three to five minutes, air down the tires to 28 psi, cue up Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries,” and notify the local authorities. LHC mode is for when you’re in a serious hurry. The only thing quicker is my charge time.

Which is?

I can charge from 12 to 42 percent in 540 seconds on a half-gigawatt charger—I’m sure you have an intuitive grasp of what all of that means. Right now they only have those chargers at the Hoover Dam and certain nuclear power plants, but the infrastructure is getting there.

And how long to charge all the way up on a normal Level 2 connection?

Two weeks.

the track club