Sooner or later I’m going to have to replace my little car. It is the second Miata I’ve owned, and I have no regrets. The car is fun to drive, inexpensive to own, and I’ve got some great memories tied up in that car.
I hope that I still have a few years of service left, but there’s another part of me looking at what’s going on in the automotive market, and I like what I see. Mostly. So I’ve been thinking more and more about the requirements for my next ride. I want a little car I can drive across the country with the top down (and be able to put the top up when necessary), nimble on curves, and other than that I want to score the most Hippie Points possible.
I want an electric Miata with access to charging stations all over this country.
Tesla seems like a candidate to produce this car, and they have an answer to the fueling issue (as long as I stick to major highways). In fact, there’s a charging station going up very close to my office. Free fuel!
Tesla hinted about creating a new 2-seat convertible, and they intimated it would be absurdly fast. (“Maximum Plaid”) Also, therefore, very expensive. Lately the company has announced that their new roadster is on the back burner, because (not in their words) it’s a niche vehicle. There are few willing to pay for maximum plaid.
I don’t need a supercar! I don’t even want one. Mazda (and MG and Alfa Romeo before them) demonstrated that people drawn to this mode of transportation don’t need thrust to push their eyeballs out the backs of their heads. They need adequate performance and a nimble little chassis. This is not rocket science. Well, batteries are heavy, so there is some rocket science. But that’s solvable.
I widened my search. I found other electric convertibles, and they fell into two distinct categories: golf carts and supercars. Detroit Electric, Future Mobility, BMW, and others all seem to have forgotten who drives convertibles in this world.
Side note about the word “convertible”: I don’t consider a car to be convertible if you have to decide before you leave the garage whether the top will be on or off for the duration of your trip. That makes top-down road trips impossible. That important distinction pretty much clears the table even of supercars. There’s just nothing left. No electric convertible at all.
If Mazda plans to make an electric Miata, they’re doing a great job looking like they’re completely behind the curve. Volkswagen is probably my best hope, perhaps under the Audi or Porsche badges. Or there’s the rumored Beetle Electric Cabriolet.
But none of those companies are building the charging network that Tesla is. Tesla really understands this part of the automotive experience. Road trips should not require internal combustion. But Tesla doesn’t get that road trips are better with the top down.