AutoSoup: Can An Electric Car Be Fast and Exciting?

By | February 29, 2012

Tesla Roadster Sport EV

Much of America believes EVs are boring and slow.  That’s because they think only of the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt.  Both cars aren’t exactly fast and their claimed range isn’t as far as a gasoline powered car can go but they will still get most people to work and back on a single charge.  Another complaint is the lack of noise.  The thing is though, there are a few EVs and range-extended EVs that are often overlooked.

The first that comes to mind is the Tesla Roadster(pictured above).  It is based on the Lotus Elise and is just as fast!  Its range is rated at 245 miles per charge.  Unfortunately the cost of the car is over $100,000 and they are no longer in production for the time being.  The thing is though, it’s performance is staggering.  Jeremy Clarkson even thought so; despite it’s alleged battery capacity.

Fisker Karma Extended Range EV

Then there is the Fisker Karma.  It uses a concept similar to the Chevy Volt, in a sense of being range extended, only it produces a lot more power!  The Karma has love-em-or-hate-em looks and personally I love ‘em!  I particularly like the look of the optional solar panel roof, which in all honesty is more for looks than functionality.  The Karma will also land you around $100,000 but has the added benefit of two more doors.

BYU Electric Blue Streamliner Bonneville Salt Flats Land Speed Record Holder

The next car is actually a Bonneville Salt Flats car.  It was built by BYU students and then went on to set a Land Speed Record for an EV weighing less than 1100lbs.  Although it isn’t the world’s fastest EV it is home grown here in Utah.  The car uses 880 DeWalt Drill batteries which produce about 200hp.  The car set a record at 155mph but hit a top speed of 175mph.  In 2010 the car hit 182mph but had stability issues and rolled.

Datsun 1200 Electric Drag Car

This is a Datsun 1200.  From the factory the 1200 came with a 1200cc 4cyl.  This one however, has batteries.  It was converted by its owner to electric and is now one of the fastest drag cars in Oregon.  The car, nicknamed White Zombie, has gained quite a following among petrol and EV-heads alike.  Aside from it still being street legal, it will do a blistering fast quarter-mile at 10.4 seconds!  Its 0-60mph time has been clocked at 1.8 seconds!  And you thought the Bugatti Veyron was fast…

In summary, I would say it is safe to say electric cars can most definitely be fast and exciting!  The automotive future has high hopes in my book.


1 Comment

Matthew S. Davis on March 1, 2012 at 8:01 am.

Agreed on the karma’s looks.  Very attractive. 

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