Since we last met with Evie around six months ago, the argument for electrically powered cars has heated up considerably due to sky-rocketing petrol prices – a situation not aided by the introduction of a 10¢ per litre regional fuel tax for the Auckland area. But while Aucklanders may be having a whinge about that, many South Island customers were already being stung with high petrol prices, despite not having to cope with an extra regional tax. Ironically, while the government reaps a significant amount in excise for every litre of petrol – including 63.024 cents that goes to the National Land Transport Fund and six cents to ACC, not to mention GST levied on top of all that – they recently argued that fuel companies are ripping us off.

Even if you’re flush with cash and don’t mind paying extra to feed your car, the latest UN report on climate change paints a dire picture for the future of the planet, giving us all little more than a decade to mend our polluting ways.

It’s all so depressing, and enough to coerce those with even a smidgen of global responsibility into the driver’s seat of an environmentally friendly EV, although some might argue that driving and maintaining an older classic car is even less of a threat to the Earth’s increasingly delicate eco-system.

Mike Tripp, Evie’s ‘minder’ at the wheel

Perhaps I could take a leaf from Mercury’s playbook and look at the possibility of electrifying my Lotus Elise; but then I remember that Elon Musk has already beaten me to that!
So, having squirted a generous quantity of liquid gold into my totally conventional, petrol-powered everyday transportation device, I rocked up to Mercury’s HQ in Newmarket in order to go for a brief trip around the city in Evie.

Bridging the Gap

Mercury’s chief marketing officer, Julia Jack, has pointed out that although most discussions regarding EVs centre on them being the right thing to do – especially at this juncture of time – what’s missing is the passionate connection many of us have with our cars. And this is something especially true of classic-car enthusiasts. The concept of investing high levels of emotion into an EV can be hard to imagine. After all, the virtually silent whirr of an electric motor is a poor substitute for the engine sounds we all love – dependent upon personal taste, we’d miss the rumble of a big-block V8, or the fulsome notes of an exotic V12 on full-song, or the bark of a highly tuned twin-cam or even the scream of a supercharger or flutter of a turbo pop-off valve.

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