For someone who rambles into a camera for a living, I am surprisingly rubbish at talking about myself. Always have been. Ask me about the customisable LED matrix headlights on the new Audi Q4 e-tron and I can wax lyrical until the cows come home. But speak the dreaded words “Tell me a little about yourself” and watch me freeze up like a deer caught in said swanky lights (which, as we all know, is impossible because they have an auto-dimming feature).
But alas, my new employers have requested that I write a little something to introduce myself to you, the faithful Fully Charged audience. So, let me see if I can’t squeeze out a few short words about myself – and then let’s talk about cars, shall we?
My name is Jack Scarlett, I’m 27, and I’m from London. My interests include Arsenal FC, mixed martial arts, 2000s R&B and large, fluffy dogs. When I finished university I initially wanted to be an actor, but swiftly realised a fatal flaw with this plan: I sucked. And while the careers of Gerard Butler and Kristen Stewart serve as definitive proof that sucking isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker in show business, I quickly came to terms with the fact that it probably wasn’t the right path for me.
Then, for a short time, I wanted to be a stand-up comedian. So I started writing material and attending open mics across London. When it went well it was glorious, intoxicating. But when it didn’t… oh dear god. The problem with bombing at a small open mic night is it’s not like you can slink off to the green room and drown your sorrows in peace. Oh no. Once you’re done stinking the place up, you have to sit back down among the audience who, for the last five minutes haven’t given you so much as a sympathetic titter, and then watch all the other comedians do way better than you did. It’s the artistic equivalent of smearing a dog’s face in its own poo. The brutality of these lows, combined with the incredibly unsociable, nocturnal lifestyle that the job demands, were enough to turn me off my short-lived dream of being a stand-up.
In late 2018 I needed a new hobby, so I started making Youtube videos about one of my lifelong passions – cars. Armed with a Gopro on a selfie stick, I would shoot literally anything with a steering wheel that I could get my hands on – my mate’s Fiat Panda, my own crusty VW Golf, an aggressively chav’d up Renault Clio. It’s all still up on Youtube if you’re interested – and provided you don’t mind audio that sounds like the mic is positioned halfway up my anus.
From there, I’ve never really looked back. After a year running around with my GoPro, I landed my first paid presenting gig at a new media outlet called Electroheads. Two very happy, if slightly pandemic-y years later, Fully Charged came knocking and here I am – somehow, inexplicably, the new head of automotive content for the world’s biggest EV channel.
To say that cars are a passion of mine is probably an understatement – it’s more like an obsession. And frankly, like most car lovers, I wasn’t entirely sure about this whole electric lark at first. With my sensible hat on, I’ve always understood that, ultimately, the internal combustion engine has to go. It is a remarkable piece of engineering, but it’s also a hilariously inefficient, wasteful, pollutive, expensive and overcomplicated way to power a motor car.
But that doesn’t change the fact that my bedroom wall was adorned with howling V12 Italian exotica growing up – a far cry from the homogeneous silent blobs that comprised the first generation of EVs. For a while I viewed electric cars as something of a necessary evil: a sensible but sterile replacement for the flawed but loveable ICE. How stupid and wrong I was.
You see, the mistake I, like so many other hard-headed car nerds made, was to draw conclusions about the abilities and limitations of the BEV based on primitive examples. Which is a bit like looking at a big, chunky 1990s mobile phone and saying “These things will never catch on!”.
What we must always remember, and what makes this such an exciting time to be doing what I do, is that this really is brand new technology. And it’s advancing so insanely, unfathomably fast. Twenty years ago, there were essentially no electric cars. Ten years ago, the best one you could buy was a Mk1 Nissan Leaf: a worthy vehicle, albeit one with a sub-60 mile range and the face of a droopy parrotfish. Today we have the Tesla Model 3. Over 300 miles of range, faster than most supercars and it literally f***ing drives itself. This is the rate at which the technology is evolving, and this is why anyone who tries to tell you that EVs “will never be able to” this, or “can never be” that is almost definitely wrong. The truth is, we are only just beginning to scratch the surface of what this technology is truly capable of. It’s a rather exciting thought, isn’t it?
So what am I most looking forward to in the coming years?
I’m excited for the public charging network to get better, so that buying an EV not made by that leather jacket-wearing Bond villain/human meme no longer feels like making a huge compromise. I’m excited for batteries to keep getting smaller and lighter, so that EVs can get smaller and lighter. I’m excited for some more non-SUVs to join the fold and, more generally, for this absurd fascination with SUVs to go out of style (I remain hopeful for an estate car renaissance in the coming years).
I’m excited for more electric economy cars – despite my penchant for high-end, sporty stuff I’ll never be able to afford myself, one of my absolute favourite cars right now is actually the Seat Mii Electric. It’s a little box, suspended on some very squashy springs, with a phone holder where a clunky infotainment system would normally go. The motor whines like a little electric go-kart when you floor it, and it handles like one too. Just fabulous.
As for specific models I’m keeping a close eye on? The incoming Cupra Born has my name written all over it. It’s shaping up to be the first electric hot hatchback – my absolute favorite type of car – and (if they get it right) only the second EV that could honestly be described as a driver’s car, after the glorious, but eye-wateringly expensive and surprisingly massive Porsche Taycan. I realise things like steering feel and chassis balance only matter to us – the small and slightly sad minority who call ourselves ‘driving enthusiasts’ – but we are really the last group yet to be properly catered for by the range of new EVs available. That’s set to change very soon, and I cannot wait.
But above all else? I just can’t wait to share it all with you, our wonderful viewers. I can’t wait to spend the next year working with Robert and the insanely talented video team here at Fully Charged to bring you the finest, funnest, most beautifully shot EV content anywhere on the internet. I’m so happy to be here, and I hope you enjoy my videos as much as I enjoy making them. Now let’s get out there and convince some new people to #StopBurningStuff.
About the author
Jack is a London-based presenter, writer, and expert in all things automotive. A lifelong car fanatic and recovering petrolhead, Jack is a fully converted EV evangelist these days and, prior to joining Fully Charged, spent two years launching and fronting a new EV media brand called Electroheads.