WORDS and phrases such as ‘petrolhead’, ‘clutch’, ‘gears’ and ‘miles per gallon’ will disappear from our vocabulary in the next ten years as more electric vehicles (EV) appear on the roads, says lexicographer Susie Dent of Channel 4’s Countdown.
Well, it’s hardly surprising, is it? Especially as Boris ‘I’ll make Britain the Saudi Arabia of Wind Power’ Johnson plans to stop sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 in his demented drive towards ‘Net Zero’.
However, I very much doubt those motoring terms will die out so quickly – after all, many expressions we use today are centuries old. For example, we still put the cart before the horse, or spend a penny.
But if – Heaven help us – Bonkers Boris’s brave new world of giant batteries on wheels ever comes to pass, some words and phrases will undoubtedly have to be coined or adapted for EVs. So here’s my glovebox guide to future terminology …
Assault and battery: When your EV runs out of charge as you’re driving to a vital appointment, you get out and yell at it: ‘I’m going to give you a damn good thrashing!’ Then you attack the car with a tree branch, Basil Fawlty-style.
De-ranged: You scream with fury when your EV judders to a halt at night on a rainswept mountain road 30 miles from your destination because you foolishly believed the manufacturer’s exaggerated range figures.
Metal fatigue: The gnawing guilt you feel because your EV battery contains the metals cobalt – mined by child labour – and lithium, whose extraction can be environmentally damaging.
Torque of the town: You forget that electric motors accelerate instantaneously and slam down the pedal of your EV, hitting 60mph in three seconds and suffering painful whiplash.
Kilowatt hours: The seemingly interminable wait you endure when you reach a service station to find all the EV chargers are in use and there’s a long queue.
Supercharging: What the garage does to you when it presents a £200 bill for changing a £5 bulb on your EV. You could have changed it yourself, but you’re terrified of being electrocuted by that massive battery.
Fuels rush in: You forget you’ve got an electric car and pull into a service station to fill up, squirting a gallon of petrol into your EV’s charging point, causing £10,000 worth of damage.
Ohm-less: What happens when you plug your EV into your home charger for an overnight boost, but get an iPhone message saying the grid is overloaded and your electricity has been cut off.
Electric shock: Your reaction when you get your domestic power bill and find that because of soaring prices it costs more to charge your EV than it did to fill your old car with petrol.
In a hole lot of trouble: You find that the only roadside charger near your house has been coned off by workmen digging a trench.
Antisocial distancing: Your well-heeled neighbour boasts that his Tesla Model X has a range of 300 miles while you’ll be lucky to get to the corner in your cheapo EV.
Costalgia: Wishing you’d picked up that luxurious eight-year-old Mercedes-Benz 350 with full service history for £6,000 instead of forking out £25,000 for your tinny little EV.
New ICE Age: When you ditch your EV and go back to the good old internal combustion engine.