Are Electric Cars Fast?

enzo ferrari sports car

My Mind Raced Over 300 km/h And All I Could See Was The Colour Red


Earlier this week I was in Modena, an Italian city famed for Enzo Ferrari and Luciano Pavarotti. As one normally does in Modena, I made a visit to the altar of high performance cars i.e. the Ferrari Museum in Maranello. 

Without an iota of doubt, it is a feast for the eyes, as you walk across some of the most influential internal combustion engines that fiercely defined the automotive industry in the 20thcentury.  As you drag yourself to the exit gates, two main themes reverberate in your head. The colour red and mind-blowing acceleration.  

Do not get me wrong, I certainly appreciate the achievements of Enzo Ferrari in pushing the boundaries of vehicle speed, power and performance.  But I have never really quite understood the fixation of individuals (mostly middle-aged men), with buying high performance cars for everyday commutes.  After all, with speed limits strictly enforced, how much faster is an owner of a Ferrari going to complete the morning school run compared to the all-electric Nissan Leaf!  

Speed Limit
Speed Limit

I fear I am a practical man.  I prefer safety over speed, dependability over performance, comfort over design. But for those of you who prefer speed, performance and design, do not fret.   Electric cars have very successfully blended safety, dependability, design, comfort and acceleration to meet the needs of the most demanding of drivers. 


Why Are Electric Cars So Fast?  Are EVs Faster Than Internal Combustion Engines (ICE)?


The days of slow moving electric milk floats are long over.  Electric cars are fast and in many cases have faster acceleration than conventional petrol and diesel cars.  In fact, most electric cars are more efficient compared to internal combustion engines with a similar horsepower.  This is because EVs have far fewer moving parts and simplified drivetrains that result in more ‘instant torque’ compared to petrol and diesel cars.  

The higher the torque, the faster the acceleration. Petrol and diesel cars, have a lag in reaching maximum torque delivery, while electric motors achieve maximum torque from the get-go.  For avoidance of doubt, acceleration and maximum speed are different concepts.  

Next time you are sat in your BMWi3 EV, next to a polluting diesel car at a traffic light, look into your rear view mirror as you leave the internal combustion engine in the distance.  You would have achieved all this effortlessly without any noise and smoke pollution i.e. emission free. Welcome to the 21stcentury! 


Worlds Fastest Electric Cars?


High performance EVs have certainly dwarfed ICE performance hypercars, when it comes to acceleration.  The Tesla Roadster ‘the quickest car in the world’ was unveiled by the technology entrepreneur, Elon Musk in November 2017.

The high performance all electric car has a 0-60 mph acceleration of just under 2 seconds,  1.9 seconds to be precise.  It can achieve 0-100 mph in 4.2 seconds with a top speed of 250 mph.  It is an all-wheel drive, with wheel torque of 10,000 Nm.  For those with more money than sense, the Roadster can be reserved on the Tesla website. The vehicle is expected to go on sale in 2020.     

Other fast all-electric cars include the Aston Martin Rapide E, the first all-electric production car from Aston Martin.  The BEV has a colossal 950 Nm of torque making it the most powerful Rapide to include the ICE Rapide models.  The Rapide E accelerates from 0-60 mph in 4 seconds.   


Acceleration Of ‘Everyday’ Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)?


Ok, back to our everyday reality! The acquisition of high performance all-electric cars like the Tesla Roadster and Aston Martin Rapide E are for the select few.  However, the acquisition of ‘everyday electric cars’ will not disappoint either.  

Listed below are a few popular pure electric cars on sale in the UK.  The Tesla Model 3 and the Jaguar I-PACE have the quickest acceleration at 4.8 seconds, and the slowest acceleration is the Renault Zoe at 11.4 seconds.  

Not fast enough to win the Formula 1, but certainly fast enough to leave many of the diesel and petrol cars behind at the traffic light.  If you are like me, and most people I know, this is more acceleration than required for everyday zero-emission driving.  However, if you are aspiring to replace Lewis Hamilton, I suggest you enroll in a Formula 1 academy!  Otherwise, follow this link and let us help you find your perfect fast accelerating pure electric car! 


Jaguar IPACE SUV Electric
All-Electric Jaguar I-PACE SUV

Jaguar I-PACE 

  • 0 to 100 kph: 4.8 seconds 
  • Brake horsepower: 395 bhp 

Tesla Model 3 (Long Range)

  • 0 to 100 kph: 4.8 seconds 
  • Brake horsepower: 346 bhp 

Tesla Model X (Standard Range)

  • 0 to 100 kph: 5.0 seconds 
  • Brake horsepower: 328 bhp 

Tesla Model S (Standard Range)

  • 0 to 100 kph: 5.5 seconds 
  • Brake horsepower: 328 bhp 

Tesla Model 3 (Standard Range)

  • 0 to 100 kph: 5.7 seconds 
  • Brake horsepower: 241 bhp 

BMWi3 

  • 0 to 100 kph: 7.3 seconds 
  • Brake horsepower: 168 bhp 

Audi e-tron

  • 0 to 100 kph: 7.9 seconds 
  • Brake horsepower: 148 bhp 

Nissan Leaf 

  • 0 to 100 kph: 7.9 seconds 
  • Brake horsepower: 148 bhp 

Volkswagen e-Golf  

  • 0 to 100 kph: 9.6 seconds 
  • Brake horsepower: 134 bhp 

Hyundai Kona SUV

  • 0 to 100 kph: 9.7 seconds 
  • Brake horsepower: 134 bhp 

Hyundai Ioniq

  • 0 to 100 kph: 9.9 seconds 
  • Brake horsepower: 118 bhp 

Renault Zoe 

  • 0 to 100 kph: 11.4 seconds 
  • Brake horsepower: 107 bhp 


Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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