Kav, call sign “Havok,” rides a Harley-Davidson. His wife drives a Tesla Model 3 LR. She also rides a Kawasaki Vulcan 650. When he told his biker mates that she was getting an electric vehicle, they said: “Electric vehicles are gay, mate!”
We met for coffee this morning in the Brisbane CBD so that Kav and his wife Marzi could tell me their intriguing story. We parked at King George Square car park, where there are 8 destination chargers where you can charge for free. How good is that! While we sat for coffee, Kav faced one way and counted 15 Teslas driving past, Majella faced the other way and saw 15 more, two Polestars, and a couple of BYDs. Electric cars are certainly making their presence felt in the city!
Marzi and Kav arrived in Australia from Iran 8 years ago. Kav works as an engineer on oil rigs and Marzi is an administration officer with Queensland Health. Unfortunately, she was unable to continue her career in IT when she arrived in Australia, as her English wasn’t good enough. It is perfect now. In Iran, Kav used to race cars when he wasn’t working the rigs. Marzi was an IT engineer designing interconnecting hardware.
I met Kav at one of our “Coffee, Cake and EV” mornings and expected the Tesla story to be about him. But he is adamant that although he drives it, the Tesla Model 3 belongs to Marzi. Havok explains:
How did Marzi come to buy a Tesla? “We were trying to substitute the fuel-guzzling FJ Cruiser with a more economical and comfortable option for Marzi’s commute to work. Upon researching and test driving, we came across a second-hand (very low-kilometer) Model 3 rear-wheel drive, which Marzi loved.
“We even put down a deposit but we soon realized that since we are spending well over AU$60,000, we might as well spend a little more and benefit from a more powerful and more beefy Long Range. We even brushed on the idea of a Performance model as well, but the 600km travel range weighed the scale much more than the 1 sec acceleration superiority.
“So we got our deposit back and went straight to the source and met with Elon himself, as he was much eager to meet with us. (Yeah right! LOL — not April 1 anymore!) A couple of months later, here we are, a flashy head-turner Tesla for her and me with my beard in the wind on my wanna-be gangster Harley.”
Marzi and her husband live in a small town to the south of Brisbane. She tells me that she feels bullied by some of the locals since she has bought her Tesla. The car gets lots of attention. The other day she was driving at 53 km an hour in a 50 km/h zone and a pedestrian yelled at her to “slow down.” The problem with the Tesla, we agreed, was that it looks fast, no matter what speed it is going.
I asked what sort of behaviors she has to put up with on the road. She mentioned people not giving way, especially when there was a need to merge, and tailgating. There have been issues on roundabouts, mainly with the big tradies’ utes. She says that it doesn’t happen so much when Kaveh is in the car — so we discussed that maybe it is because she is a woman driver. Might make another article perhaps? In Iran, she says, there were similar attitudes to women drivers. She thought things would be better in Australia.
Marzi has noticed an increase in bullying driving behavior since getting her Tesla. She bought the car in white, as she is planning to have it wrapped — perhaps she should choose an inconspicuous color.
Kaveh announced that his wife was getting a Tesla to his bikers group. “He’s got a Tesla!!” Everybody laughed. Kav describes himself as a bit of a hothead “I ride to die,” so he threw down the gauntlet straight away. “Let’s have a drag race,” he says to his mates — “your bike, my EV — we’ll soon see if EVs are gay.” No one took him up on the offer. [Editor’s note: There are clearly serious issues with the phrase and insinuations regarding “EVs are gay.” However, when considering how to handle that, I went ahead and decided it captures the mentality and culture of the group a bit, so these statements have been left in — Zach]
Kaveh has a collection of cars and bikes and he’s planning to make a YouTube video showing the superiority of EVs in power and speed. He didn’t want an EV for environmental reasons — it is a superior driving machine. He certainly has a great audience to convince. He tells me that it isn’t just EVs — bikers just don’t want to change. Harley-Davidson is continually improving the technology of its bikes, but some bikers just want the old motor. “They prefer the old twin cam, not the new Milwaukie 8.” I asked what the difference was — shorter push rods, 4 valves, 4 spark plugs, better coil. And it still makes the same HD sound.
The other day, he needed to borrow a low-profile jack to change the tyres on the Model 3. His neighbour had a visitor — “Why do you need a low-profile jack? You’ve got a Tesla; I wouldn’t buy that electric shit!” That’s what he said while leaning on his banged-up Toyota Hilux. I remember when they first came to Australia and Toyota was derided as toy cars and cheap Japanese rubbish. Lots of educating to do! I have suggested to Kaveh and Marzi that they come to some EV expos with us.
One day, out in the Tesla Model 3, Kaveh pulled up at the lights next to a Suzuki Gixxer 750. He waved at the rider and indicated it would be good to test the bike against the car. The biker downshifted in readiness and Kaveh left him behind over 200 m. Once they got to traffic, Kaveh let him go.
So, he rides a Harley (which “turns petrol into noise and heat”), drives a Tesla Model 3, and works on oil rigs? The Tesla is a carbon offset, I joke. I asked him what he actually did on the drilling rigs and he asked, “Have you seen ‘Deep Water Horizon’? That’s what I do.” He has worked on the Ocean Monarch, star of the movie Armageddon. He tells me that he runs downhole tools after the drilling of the well to complete the job and have it ready for production.
When he is “onshore,” he makes videos and spends time with his mates. Out for drinks the other night, one of the EV scoffers asked for a lift home. Marzi did some “takeoffs” and the mate went from “wouldn’t buy that electric shit” to “where do I get one of these?” This was all while singing Caraoke. Here is a sample of one his YouTube reviews.
Kav is not a big fan of the Livewire even though it is a Harley. Some Harley riders, however, have made the switch and done some amazing feats.
Kav has 6.6 kW of solar on his roof, and now that he has an electric car to charge, he wishes he had installed more.
He has to tell me one more story before we go. He was riding through the city and pulled up next to a blue Model 3 at the lights. The driver courteously moved left to allow the bike to move up to the front and Kav thanked him. They had a brief chat and Kav told him that his wife had a Tesla and the car could easily beat the bike when the lights went green. They tried it. In the end, Kav on his 1800cc HD Slim just got ahead of the car. Kav is sure that it was because the Tesla driver was new to the car and didn’t know its full potential.
Now Kav and Marzi want a Cybertruck. Let’s see anyone bully her in one of those!!
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