To answer the question of what is the fastest electric car in the world, it turns out you have to dig a little deeper than simply coming up with one name. There are some variables which affect the answer, such as whether the car is already available on the market, whether it is meant for racing, and so on.
Let’s dive on in and take a close look at some of the candidates.
The Tesla Roadster is an electric car legend and it hasn’t even been released yet. Tesla say their newly-announced Roadster won’t be available to buy until 2020, but that hasn’t stopped the Roadster from making a lot of waves.
If there is no development from another manufacturer in the meantime, the Tesla Roadster will be the fastest electric car in the world when it is released.
This EV can go to 0-60 mph in 1.9 seconds (that’s 96.56 km/h). It will take just 4.2 seconds to go from 0-100 mph (that’s 160.93 km/h). It almost seems like you could sneeze and hit triple digits.
Mere humans aren’t used to acceleration capabilities like this: instead, athletes like Formula 1 drivers are more likely to experience them. The insanity of it all is topped off by the fact that the car’s claimed top speed is 250 mph plus – a face melting 402.33 km per hour!
With a standing quarter mile taking just 8.9 seconds, this will not only be the fastest electric car in the world – it will be the fastest production car of any kind, ever.
This is a big sign that electric power is utterly destroying petrol cars. It also signifies why many car manufacturers are so excited about getting into the EV field.
The Tesla Roadster doesn’t just boast of speed. It also has a range of 1013.89 kilometres (630 miles) and four seats with good luggage space.
It’s a car that fulfils all of your needs, and does it in style. You can expect to hear a lot more about this one over the next couple of years.
Nissan Nio EP9
NIO EP9 (Source: www.nio.io/ep9)
The Nissan Nio EP9 is the kind of futuristic sports car you are more used to seeing in sci-fi movies. However, this one is very real – and it’s real right now. Although it is currently available, there are only 10 of them in the world, and they each cost US $1.48 million new.
So, while you aren’t likely to ever own one of these for yourself, we can at least talk about the blistering speeds they are able to reach.
At the Nürburgring track in Germany, the Nio EP9 recently broke its own 2016 record for the fastest lap around the track. At 6:45:9 for the lap, it is officially the fastest production car out there – or, at least, it will be until the Tesla Roadster is released.
It can reach speeds of up to 312 km/h (194 mph), still well beyond the range of most cars outside of the racing track.
The amazing thing about these figures is when you think about the not-so-distant origins of modern electric cars, and some of the EV models currently on sale to the public. A 112.65 km/h (70 mph) EV speed limit is not uncommon.
The fact that they have achieved such a high speed – without simply flying off the track – is remarkable.
Tesla Model S P100D (Ludicrous Mode)
How about the category of the fastest electric car in the world with a somewhat reasonable price tag?
That honour most likely goes to the Tesla Model S P100D. It has a wonderfully-named function, Ludicrous Mode. Ludicrous Mode allows the Tesla Model S P100D to harness its top possible speed of 249.44 km/h (155 mph).
While it may retail at more than $100,000 USD, that’s still a lot less than the million-dollar price tag for the Nissan Nio. So, while it isn’t something the average person could afford, it’s at least a little more reasonable. It goes from 0 to 62mph in 2.5 seconds, which is very fast indeed.
The car also claims a battery range of 514.99 km (320 miles), which makes a lot of other electric vehicle ranges look ordinary. It also has a lot of great features with autonomous tech which make the driving experience all the more comfortable.
Of course, you won’t be able to go the full 320 miles if you insist on taking it to the top of its speed range. But then, if you owned this car, why wouldn’t you try it as often as you possibly could?
Aston Martin RapidE
RapidE (Source: www.astonmartin.com)
The Aston Martin RapidE is a big step up for the British marque, who have gone fully electric without sacrificing their trademark elegance. They may have had to let go of their trademark engine purr, however.
The motor and battery were developed alongside the Williams Formula 1 team’s technology division, which gives you some idea of how high-tech they are.
The RapidE matches the Tesla Model S at a top speed of 249.44 km/h (155 mph), though it does get there a little slower. It takes 3 seconds to reach 99.77 km/h (62 mph) from 0, so most people won’t really be able to tell the difference.
Unless you are lining the cars up alongside one another for a race, that half a second won’t be noticeable in real terms.
However, the price tag may be cause for concern. With plans to release only 155 of the vehicles, Aston Martin set the cost at almost £250,000. Pre-orders are open, but the cars aren’t expected to actually hit the road until 2019.
Rimac Concept One
By Ghoster – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
How about the fastest electric car in the world that was designed from scratch? Or the fastest car that was crashed by a well-known TV presenter?
Richard Hammond was filming an episode of The Grand Tour when he crashed this Croatian supercar, almost killing himself in the process; on the other hand, he was taking part in a race, and he took the car to speeds that the road couldn’t handle.
The Concept One was designed from scratch with no basis on any existing car. As such, it also holds 24 exclusive patents within its body. It can go up to 355.61 km/h (221 mph), but interestingly enough, can’t beat the Tesla on acceleration. It can only manage 0-60 mph (96.56 km/h) in 2.5 seconds.
The manufacturers say there will be 337.96 km (210 miles) on a fully-charged battery, although it won’t get that far at top speed, of course.
The price is eye-watering and makes Tesla look like a used Holden, but there have already been buyers around the world.
Buckeye Bullet 3
Photo by: Venturi 2016 Shivraj Gohil Spacesuit Media
Now, this is definitely the fastest electric car in the world – so long as you define it as a car. The Buckeye Bullet was created at Ohio State University in collaboration with Venturi, and is more of a streamlined racing vehicle than anything you might see on a road.
It managed to set the new electric Land Speed Record of 550.62 km/h (342.144 mph) in 2016, a speed so fast that there isn’t even any point in measuring the 0-60 mph acceleration. It just goes – and it goes fast.
Cars powered by internal combustion didn’t break this record until 1938, which means that electric cars have managed to cover over 30 years of speed development in a mere handful.
The next fastest electric car in the world could well be even more impressive than the current Land Speed Record holders.
By Smokeonthewater – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
Another very fast category of electric car is the Formula E racer, used to compete in motorsport races around the world.
But if you are expecting it to be the fastest out there, then prepare for disappointment: it only makes 225.30 km/h (140 mph).
On top of that, the 3 seconds it takes to get from 0 to 99.77 km/h (62 mph) makes it slower than the Aston Martin RapidE. That’s right: in an Aston, you could out-race a single seater racer. Wow.
Whichever category you look at, there are plenty of contenders for the fastest electric car in the world.
We’re going to have to go with the Tesla Roadster on this one. For the simple fact that it really is an electric car – that real people are going to buy and take drive on everyday roads, from 2020 onwards.
* Feature image courtesy of Blomst