So the WAVE 2014 is over. Just like that. Boom. What seemed like a month (yet happened within just over a week) is now history and turned into fond memories. As we both are engineers, hope and optimism don’t exist in our world and we simply went there to see what happens and go with the flow. However, we had an outstanding time and met awesome people who turned friends. If you have read anything we posted here or on our facebook wall, I don’t think I have to stretch that we also had loads of fun. (Remember to check back there to get a summary of today’s events).
They saved our lives more than once: The CHAdeMO girls, seen here enjoying the sun on mount Rigi
What’s left to say? I think the most interesting aspect of the WAVE is that even though everybody there does mention the environment occasionally and thinks that making a first attempt to reduce emissions is a great idea, that’s not what it is about. Modulo the petrol, most of the people we met are simply car buffs. We talked top speed and acceleration, cars and conversions, charging capacity and speed, the term “Kilowatts” being the one that usually prevails in the end. We had an autocross, we drag raced and we made our tires screech. It was just like most other car events I had attended – people like their cars, they like to talk about them, will tell you exactly why they picked it over something else, and what they did to make it better or faster. Some people are cool and end up being your friends, some are weird and they don’t. No surprises there either.
An earlier version of the WAVE
What we also realized is that although we kinda knew we are pioneers, we now have a better idea as to why exactly. At the risk of sounding pretentious, in many ways, we think that one can compare the current situation to what happened 125 years ago. Back then, the automobile was invented, and some people discovered they were interested in or even passionate about owning and driving one. At the same time, people around them would either frown or laugh at them (or both). Why buy a horseless carriage? It stinks, it’s noisy, it’s complicated and it’s not faster, yet much less reliable than a horse because it breaks down all the time. (All the while London, New York City and all other big cities around the western world were drowning in horse manure). Oh and did I mention you’ll only get petrol at the pharmacy? And yet, look where we are now (or where we already were 75 years ago, for that matter). How many horses, how many cars on the road?
But what does that have to do with the present and electric cars? Well, we hear basically the same speech every day. Why buy an electric car when it is more expensive and more complicated than a “normal” car, it has a smaller range, it takes forever to charge, and finding a charger on the way can be a real nightmare (not to mention that the current situation regarding plug types is beyond ridiculous)?
And yet, we all know we will eventually run out of fossil fuels one way or another, even though we think we can solve that problem by secretely hoping it will be the next generations’ and not ours while we burn it all off. Our cities suffocate and go deaf and blind because there is too much traffic. Now I don’t think I have to explain that this blog is not about global warming or saving the planet, and we are far from advocating that the electric car solves all the problems we have – because as a matter of fact, it doesn’t solve any problems at all except for being mostly silent and free of exhaust gases as it moves along.
Team WATT-Wurm on their way to the top of mount Rigi
But that, my friends, is why we think electric cars are cool. Most of you will know that David and I both are petrolheads and will never miss an opportunity to make noise and burn some extra fuel by keeping our foot down; but there is a certain charm to the powerful yet silent acceleration even a slightly laughable Nissan Leaf can provide you with which we can’t deny. If you don’t believe us, go test drive an electric car with decent power and see for yourself. Consider it an added bonus that it’ll go easy on your ears and that you’ll be breathing fresh air all along.
Finally, do you honestly think that electric cars have no future? (That’s what I thought). They will be part of our future, certainly not in their present form, but they will, that’s what we think. And for the two of us, being part of the future is much more exciting than sticking to the present. What seems like drawbacks to other people is where the adventure lies for us.
“The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do” – Steve Jobs
We are proud to announce that we won the award for best blog and made second place in our category. While we understand the former is probably mostly related to the fact we picked the most popular WordPress template, we will have to let the latter sink in a bit because we have no clue whatsoever how we managed to achieve this. Thanks to everyone involved, organizers, support teams, participants, host cities and villages, and everyone else I just forgot.We had a great time!