After 55,000 V8 and Turbocharged Engines, Here’s Why I Bought An Electric Car

After 55,000 V8 and Turbocharged Engines, Here’s Why I Bought An Electric Car

There are two black cars in our household. They’re both four-door sedans, both are fun to drive, each has made media headlines, and they both have loyal followings. Despite their similarities, they couldn’t be more different.

The first one is my 2014 FG X Ford Falcon, one of the last examples of Australia’s own big sedan series.

It’s a supercharged 483 kW Holy Grail-equipped XR8, the ultimate version of an Australian-developed Falcon GT.

Our company developed this high-performance package as a tribute for a model nameplate that meant so much to us and the Australian motoring public.

This particular car means a lot to me personally; not because there’s fewer than a hundred in existence or because we developed its supercharged V8 engine, but because it’s a marker in my own career and one of the high points in the Premcar team’s achievements with Australian-developed Ford vehicles.

The other black car is a little different.

It’s a Tesla Model 3.

An electric vehicle (EV).

No fire-breathing engine, no thundering exhaust note, no petrol. Just a silent sedan with a famous father.

So why, given I’ve got a garage full of other V8 treasures and a regular 120-kilometre commute (each way), did I choose an EV?

Because I wanted to understand.

I read the media reviews. I followed social media feeds. I absorbed the stories about Tesla and its cult-like following.

It’s all interesting stuff. But there’s nothing like experiencing things first-hand.

Was owning one really going to be as good as buyers say? Would I manage to avoid range anxiety? Was it going to be the gimmick too many cynics claim EVs to be?

So I bought one. And I immediately “got it.”

Quick, smooth, super-responsive and quiet. Great handling (the big battery pack is low in the centre of the car) and plenty of space to carry stuff (with two trunks, thanks to no engine in the front).

Recharging is easy (I don’t have to top up at work because I have plenty of charge to get home). There’s no real fuel bill to speak of and servicing has been cheap.

The car even gets over-the-air software updates, which means there’s no need to get them at a service centre.

I’d driven EVs before but owning one was different. As a life-long car enthusiast whose entire career has been spent developing and building new cars for the global automotive industry, the experience was eye-opening.

It was also valuable market research for the EV work we do. There’s a lot of engineering and science behind the new EV platforms we develop for carmakers and the EV conversion programs we create for existing petrol / diesel vehicles. But owning an EV has allowed us to put real-world ownership insights into these programs.

I didn’t realise the experience of EV ownership could add so much to our ongoing development and manufacturing work. But it has. Premcar began its EV engineering journey back in 2010 (with a Ford Territory EV conversion) but so much has changed since then (and keeps changing), especially with the technology, owner expectations and user-related systems.

Ask me if being an EV owner has made me a “convert” and my answer is this: there’s nothing to convert to.

These cars do all the things petrol/diesel cars do. Sure, there are some topics to be sorted (more recharging infrastructure, on-board batteries that deliver longer driving ranges between charges, lower retail prices for EVs) but they’re all solvable.

And let’s face it, they’re going to be solved.

Keep in mind that cars from the early 1900s produced about 10-15 horsepower (my Ford Falcon Holy Grail V8 Falcon makes more than 640) and owners back then often stored petrol and workshops at their houses because the infrastructure wasn’t always available (today there’s around 6,500 service stations across Australia).

The EV ecosystem is catching up, and at a faster rate than when liquid-fuelled cars started to become “a thing” a century ago.

So, out of our two black cars at home, is there a favourite?

They’re both impressive for different reasons. One of them embodies the best of two Australian generations’ achievements, and the other is now using that know-how to forge a new path.

And we’re thrilled to be at the front of both.

Bernie Quinn – Engineering Director, Premcar Pty Ltd


About Premcar – Premcar Pty Ltd is a leading Australian vehicle engineering business that specialises in the automotive, defence and aerospace industries. For more than 25 years, global car-makers have made Premcar their go-to partner for the complete design, engineering and manufacture of niche-model new cars, full-scale new-vehicle development programs, and electric vehicle (EV) conversions and manufacturing. As the name behind more than 200,000 new cars and 55,000 new-vehicle engines, Premcar’s body of work is extensive and has delivered technical and sales success for major car brands from Europe, the USA, Japan, China and Australia. Visit


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