I’m not sure what to think about the Honda E Prototye

The Honda Urban EV, now E Prototype, soon to be something else, has been the subject of my infatuation since it was first revealed. But it’s always been tinged with negativity because it shows that Honda are still refusing to accept that EVs are anything more than urban runabouts, despite the obvious evidence to the contrary.

I know that many EV fans don’t like this car and don’t get why it’s cool. I can understand that point of view, but I also take issue with it. While I am frustrated with Honda and others and their approaches, there’s nothing wrong with this type of car. It’s not a Zoe competitor as some have suggested. It’s a special, premium, unique car for people who want something out of the ordinary. It’s a future design classic. It’s a car that makes people happy when they see it.

The other aspect I take issue with is criticism of the range of the car. Let’s be clear, a compliance car like the Fiat 500e this is not. It has double the range, it has CCS charging (even if it’s just 50 that’s still fantastic). Whether Honda are in the wrong in their general EV strategy is another topic. If you take this car by itself, there’s nothing wrong with it. It has around 125 miles of real range according to WLTP (which I consider pretty accurate to how I drive). That’s a lot. Combining that with CCS and it’s a capable car for what the majority of people are going to need.

EV drivers move on from their first 80 mile EV to a Kona or something, and they forget that those cars work well. They worked for local driving especially, even when there was barely any charging infrastructure. Now they’re incredible vehicles with so much utility. They get better every day as the charging network grows and gets more reliable. People who buy a second hand first gen EV now are purchasing a ticket to motoring bliss compared to buying any other used car.

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What Happens Now After The IPCC Report?

There’s going to be more news coverage on climate. There will be far less tolerance of denialism and more pressure on governments to act. But will anything change quickly? Probably not.

I think governments like ours in the U.K. will maybe do something positive. Some small gesture to shut us environmentalists up, or attempt to. But they will not change tack and immediately shut down coal plants, stop pushing fracking, scrap nuclear power station plans and start building onshore wind and battery storage.

They won’t acknowledge the climate crisis as a crisis and act accordingly. The only way that could happen would be if everyone gets together to put them under pressure. But that hasn’t been the case so far and there aren’t many signs of that changing quickly enough to make a big enough impact.

I talk to quite a few people at work about climate, and Brexit, and US politics etc. They’re all left leaning people around my age or less. And only one of them voted in the EU referendum or prior general elections. They complain about how Brexit will likely screw everything up, make things more expensive, damage our environment even more, and have no real positive impact at all. But they didn’t make their opinion count at the polling station.

It’s incredibly frustrating to know how different the result could have been. I don’t believe for a second that there are any leave voters that didn’t vote. But remain voters on the other hand. We are talking about a huge number that didn’t turn up for Britain.

When right wingers talk about the will of the people, they don’t mention this. They don’t mention the fact that the electorate is not a static thing. The people who will vote in a second referendum are not the same as the people who voted in 2016.

But going back to climate change. I think that the net is closing in on the deniers. The corrupt governments of the world cannot continue to run amok in the way they have done. Every year, every month, every day even, the world is going more progressive. And their days in power are numbered. It might not seem like it with the Kavanaugh travesty, the horrific front runner in Brazil’s election etc. But we are getting there.

Now that we have a very clear idea of what the state of play is, and what needs to be done, thanks to the IPCC report. It makes it much easier to hold governments to account. So every year, we’ll know exactly what has been done and who’s failing to address the crisis. The scientists can single out bad governments.

The issue is that we’re extremely short on time. By the time the next one of these reports comes out, what will it say? Get off your fucking asses and do something right now? That seems honestly not too far from reality. Such is the madness of the plight we’re in. You see these reports, and you get energised. You go outside and see everyone just driving around in their big SUVs, and you’re perplexed. Have these people seen the same report as me?

We just have to be patient, and wait for the next, even more dire warning. Because people truly do not get it. STILL. THEY DO NOT COMPREHEND THIS CRISIS.

The Most Progressive Motorcycle Manufacturer in 2018 is….. Harley-Davidson?

This can’t be right. Harley-Davidson, that company that makes huge, old fashioned, rumbly, V-Twin cruisers. They’re leading the charge into electric motorcycles. I never thought I would be saying that.

They are reinventing themselves at pace into a company fit for the future with plans for multiple electric bikes. A powerful naked bike, urban runabouts, even an ebike. I would like to know of anyone who predicted this.

The biggest aspect to this, is the fact that they’re blowing Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki and the rest out of the water. This has got to be hugely embarrassing for all of the major manufacturers. Beaten to electric by the company everyone expected to be consigned to the history books because of the rise of electric, not embracing it.

Even BMW and Piaggio, who are embracing the change more than the others, haven’t done anything for a long time, and keep delaying their debut EV respectively.

When I was a kid, I was drawn to Harley-Davidson. Then over time I lost interest as I got more and more into technology and modern designs. But now it’s great to see the transformation they’re on the path towards, and I’m fully back onboard as a fan of the company. I just hope they can convince their customers to make the switch, while simultaneously attracting a whole new audience.

I really hope it pays off for them, because it would have been so easy for them to bury their heads in the sand and do nothing. But they came out swinging, fighting for a better future for the company.

Motoring journalists have been brainwashed to misreport on EVs

A trend I’ve been noticing recently is that motoring journalists, or people who have been involved in the motor industry for a significant time, don’t really understand EVs fully even if they like them and want to encourage their take-up.

Nico Rosberg, Jason Fenske (of Engineering Explained), Tiff Needell, Countless other motoring journalists and many more besides. These people are EV curious or already big fans, but because they’ve been so entrenched in the motor industry, they don’t really get EVs and what makes them different. They compare charging with fuel stations. They talk about range in a way that suggests everyday use means taking long road trips all the time, and that EVs could only possibly work for city driving. Which to me is ridiculous. I would never want to drive in a city if I could avoid it.

In some cases, they even talk about well-to-wheel emissions and compare EVs running purely on coal to just the tailpipe emissions of gasoline cars. It’s totally unacceptable and just wrong.This misinformation spreads like wildfire. People won’t be aware of how easy it is to live with an EV and charge at home, or charge away from home on all different types of chargers to suit different situations. They won’t believe that EVs are cleaner or they’ll think that they can afford to wait until solid state batteries because lithium ion is supposedly so bad for the environment.

If people who like EVs are inadvertently misrepresenting them, then that’s the least of our problems. We’re facing another year or two of having to fight off a toxic cocktail of misinformation and flat-out lies.

On the plus side, this situation will naturally improve over time regardless. So we can look forward to the day where we no longer get presented with false information by people who’ve just read something anti-EV on Facebook or some tabloid not worth the paper it’s printed on.