We all remember our first car, don’t we?
Mini. PYP 57L.
Alec Issigonis and BMC changed the world with their iconic creation in 1959 and, 60 years on, a dinky little red number stopped me dead in my social media tracks last week.
To the eye, everything about the car was as it ever was – perhaps even better than the day it left the factory.
The unique attraction of this particular wee beauty lay under the bonnet, because said Mini was not powered by the A-series internal combustion engine fitted to Austin’s finest for nigh on half a century.
It was more a case of AAs. Well, sort of.
Clever people have converted an original Mini to full electric power, and the transformation to battery-powered beaut was a fascinating story.
It was another indicator the electric vehicle revolution is gathering pace – as also evidenced by the line-up of four brand new i3 BMWs which popped up on social media the very day I read about the marvellous Mini.
Angus Council has taken delivery of the highly-rated battery Beemers as pool cars for staff, to lead by example in the drive towards zero emissions and carbon reduction.
However, the reaction was more negative than positive as social media blew a bit of a fuse at the sight of £130,000 worth of exec elecs lined up ready to roll (silently) up the A90 to their new home alongside the charging points of Angus House.
It probably shouldn’t have come as a shock that folk might get a bit bothered over the prestige plug-ins, given how often we’re reminded council budgets are more Lada than lah-de-dah these days.
In response, the authority admitted it was “highly conscious of the marque” and behind the shiny badges there undoubtedly is, as one senior councillor said, a good news story for Angus and its new arrivals.
Transport Scotland put up the lease cash and we’re assured hard bargaining landed a cracking deal.
The crossroads may come when the council has to put its hand in its own pocket, because for many – myself included – the sums and real world requirements don’t add up to EV ownership just yet.
More’s the pity, because an i3 would be ideal.
And despite resistance from some quarters, I can think it’s only positive if the Angus acquisitions spark fresh interest in the electric car debate.