I’m a biker. I love motorbikes. I would gladly travel 200 miles on a bike in the rain rather than go in a car or a train. My wife shares my love of motorbikes and a few years ago after hearing stories about people giving up their motorbikes in favour of a car for practical reasons, she made me promise never to do that.
Unfortunately my failing body has broken that promise for me. I still have a motorbike, but I manage to ride it less than once a month and when I do I pay the price in pain and exhaustion for days afterwards. And so, when (if) I get awarded DLA, I am considering getting a car.
On the one hand, I hate the idea. I want two wheels, high acceleration, freedom to get around and through traffic, and just the pure thrill of having a bike. On the other hand, A car is much easier on my body. It doesn’t require me to expend limited energy on getting changed and all the preparations that riding a bike needs. I can stop and have a rest in a car. And, I can get a car on the Motability scheme. Having a car will enable me to get to the doctor, the hospital, get a haircut, collect my medicine. At this point I can’t really argue against the idea. I have considered the idea of a maxi-scooter instead – a big scooter with a 650cc engine which is easier than a bike and has lots of luggage space – but a car is still more appropriate for me in my current condition.
However, if I have to compromise on this, I want some concessions too. I want a lightweight car with good acceleration even if it doesn’t go that fast. I want it to feel sporty. I’m not too bothered about carrying more than one passenger. I wouldn’t mind an electric car, but they have extremely expensive batteries and most only have a range of a hundred miles or so at the moment.
So how about this? Start with a small budget car. Give it electric motors, but have them switchable between high-power and high-efficiency. That way I can be efficient most of the time but when I miss my motorbike I can do a bit of zooming around. Make it affordable by putting in only a small battery with a range of about thirty miles which would enable me to do all my local driving. Add a petrol generator to make it a true hybrid car and give it a two hundred mile range but then – and here’s the innovative bit – make the engine and petrol tank removable. When I want to visit the other side of the country, I can put the engine in and go. When I want to make small local trips, I can leave the engine and all that weight at home and gain efficiency and luggage space. And finally, make it cheap enough to put on the Motability scheme!
That’s the car that I want. Do any car manufacturers want to help out?