EVs are becoming some of the quickest vehicles around, as electric motors develop full torque instantaneously. Let’s see what these motors are capable of. There are plenty of new electric vehicles out there, and more and more coming every day – so forgive us if we don’t include one you think should be included. The Genovation GXE, for example, is a great car but it’s not documented to be fast enough to appear on our list, even though it should be a sub-3 second 0 to 60 ripper. The upcoming Aston Martin Rapide E doesn’t make the cut either…yet! So, let’s see what we did include instead!
What’s The World’s Fastest Electric Car?
14: Tesla Roadster S
Although the Tesla Roadster is considered the company’s first car, there wasn’t much Tesla and a whole lot of Lotus to it. The cars were delivered to Tesla with everything needed for a fully-operational car except for the engine/transmission (which came from Toyota). Tesla would then hand install the batteries, electric motor, and transmission. So while it didn’t have dearly the Tesla engineering of a Model S or Model X, it did show the wold that an EV didn’t need to stick to the right lane of the freeway. In fact, the Roadster was capable of hitting 60 in an impressive 3.7 seconds. While the Roadster was eliminated as focus shifted to the Model S, Elon Musk has announced that a next-generation Roadster will be launched in 2019, with a range of 400 miles, and 2.5-ish 0 to 60 times.
13: Detroit Electric SP:01
Detroit Electric produced 13,000 electric cars between 1907 and 1939 in Detroit, Michigan. The brand was revived in 2008 to produce modern EVs by Detroit Electric Holding Ltd. of the Netherlands. Like the Tesla Roadster before it, the Detroit Electric SP:01 will utilize an Elise chassis as the basis for its EV sports cars. Production has been delayed while DE secured a assembly facility (assuming this to mean a contract manufacturer), which is now in the place in England. Zero to 60 miles per hour is quoted as 3.7 seconds, the same as the Tesla Roadster (though you can expect that to drop by launch time). Original starting price was set at $135,000 back in 2013. Expect that to rise when the first production cars roll off the line.
12: Renovo Coupe
It’s hard to imagine that in 1964 Shelby employee and Art Center graduate Pete Brock would be designing a car for the ages. It was simply to be a more slippery version of the Cobra in order to better compete against the Ferrari GTO. Six cars were built originally, but now hundred of replicas exist today. One is the Renovo Coupe and EV that’s actually built on a Shelby chassis with the company’s full blessings. The electric motor produces more than 500 hp and 1,000 lb-ft of torque, knocking at 60’s door in a mere 3.4 seconds.
11: Drayson Racing Lola B12/69
Drayson racing technologies has become a leader in the development and sales of the componentry required to power a race car by electricity. In order to demonstrate their capabilities they took their 2010 Le Mans Prototype (LMP) Lola race car, which had been powered by a 5.5 liter bio-fueled V10 engine and converted it to pure electric drive. The company says the motor is good for 850 horsepower, and should be able to hit 60 in around 3 seconds (note that comparatively higher gearing is the root of these road racing cars have less impressive 0 – 60 times than their drag racing counterparts) and 100 miles per hour in just over 5 seconds.
10: Spark-Renault SRT_01E
Developed for the international Formula E series (just guess what the E stands for) the Spark-Renault SRT_01E will hit 60 mph in 2.9 seconds. Constructed very much like a Formula 1 car, the SRT_01E makes extensive use of composite materials and is quite similar in suspension design and other systems until you get to the drivetrain: electric motor developed by McLaren (the same as that used in its P1 supercar), a battery system created by Williams Advanced Engineering, and a Hewland five-speed gearbox. These are so so green that they’re recharged by generators fueled with a by-product of bio-diesel production.
9: Wrightspeed X1
Built as sort of a one-off proof of concept, the engineers at Silicon Valley-based Wrightspeed replaced the internal combustion engine and drivetrain in an Ariel Atom replaced them with an electric motor and battery pack. Kind of a fun side project for a company that manufactures EV conversions for medium trucks and other modern powertrain solutions. With all that expertise you’d expect the results to be impressive, and they are. The X1 can climb to 60 mph in a blindingly fast 2.9 seconds.
8: Rimac Concept One
While progress seems to be moving slowly at Rimac, there is at least some progress. Where so many builder display prototypes at shows, the Croatian company has actually delivered 8 cars to paying customers. The Concept One produces 1,088 horsepower along with 1,180 lb-ft of torque. To keep weight to a minimum, the Rimac features both a carbon fiber body and monocoque chassis with the 91 kWh Lithium-Iron-Phosphate (LiFePO4) battery pack build in. The Rimac Concept One can hit a 0-60 mark in just 2.8 seconds.
7: Tesla Model S P90D
You know you’re dealing with a company staffed by tech nerds when they name the high performance setting of their car after a gag in a mediocre (Rotten Tomatoes = 54%) spoof of Star Wars. Engage the “Ludicrous” setting and the Tesla Model S P90D can generate a total of 762 horsepower from dual electric motors, reach a top speed (limited) of 155mph, passing by 60 mph in 2.8 seconds along the way.
6: Vanda Dendrobium
We’re not sure whether this one really counts or not. It hasn’t officially gone into production yet – however, the latest progress was showcased recently, and what we’ve seen looks exciting. Still only a concept, the Vanda Dendrobium D-1 XP-2 has an estimated peak horsepower output of 1,800 hp, and a whopping 1,475 lb-ft of torque. According to the car’s designers and engineers, it will be able to produce a top speed greater than 200 mph (full estimates indicate around 217 mph-ish), and a 0 to 60 time of about 2.7 seconds. However, this is still a concept, so it probably shouldn’t really be on the list. Still, it claims to be one of the world’s fastest electric car models of the future, so we thought we’d mention it!
5: NIO EP9
The NIO EP9 is one of the fastest new electric supercars out there. The model has already racked up some serious track records and is on course to be one of the fastest cars in the world from the electric realm. Powered by its own in-house made technology, this electric supercar features a motor and transmission for each wheel, which helps the NIO EP9 produce a staggering 332.5 horses on each wheel, and a combined power output of 1,341 hp. All wheel drive, individual wheel drive – this car has it all. As for the range, the battery promises up to 265 miles of range on a single charge. As for top speed, it boasts an impressive 217 mph. How fast can it accelerate though? The EP9 can do 0 – 60 in a lightning fast 2.7 seconds.
4: Tesla S P100D
Tesla’s current fastest electric car is the mighty Tesla Models S P100D. This beautiful machine looks the part, but it performs even better than it looks too! The Model S P100D makes the standard P100D look sluggish in comparison. Weighing a huge 1,102 lbs less than the conventional model, the Model S produced a total of 778 fully electric horsepower and an unfettered 734 lb-ft of torque, with top speeds in excess of 155 miles per hour. As for the acceleration time, the Model S P100D can hit 0 – 60 mph in a frighteningly fast 2 seconds flat, making it one of the fastest electric sport car production car models out there.
3: White Zombie Datsun 1200
One of the first things that strikes you about the White Zombie is that, besides its sponsorship stickers, how much it looks like a regular Datsun 1200. No engine parts popping out of the hood, no huge slicks running in tubbed wheel wells. However, the it can reach 60 miles per hour in 1.8 seconds.The challenge typically for an EV isn’t so much the electric motor, those are plentiful. The key is the batteries, where a very high capacity to weight ratio is the key. Builder John Wayland has been fortunate enough to hook-up with Hawker Aviation Batteries (they made the batteries for the Concorde) who have provided him with prototype units developed for US Navy helicopters (and would cost you at least $100,000 if you had to go buy them).
2. University of Stuttgart E0711-6
A team of students from the University of Stuttgart built a 353 pound Formula Student racecar (similar to Formula SAE here) with an electric motor at each of its four wheels, totally just 134 hp, although torque is an impressive 885 lb-ft. In a run this summer they set a time that when converted and rounded works out to 1.8 seconds, good for second place on our list.
1: Zombie 222 Ford Mustang
We’ve written before about how John Wayland of the White Zombie Datsun teamed up with Blood Shed Motors’ Mitch Medford to create an all-electric ’68 Mustang that’s the fastest street-legal EV in the world. The Zombie 222 Mustang put down over 800 horsepower and a tractor-pull winning 1800 lb-ft of torque. With some additional fiddling around by the pair, 0 – 60 times dropped from an initial 2.4 seconds last year to a mind-bending 1.7 seconds this year, which puts its acceleration somewhere between a Dodge Challenger Drag Pack and a Saturn V rocket.
Bonus: Buckeye Bullet
This one hardly counts but needs to be mentioned nonetheless. This is the Buckeye Bullet, an experimental project from Ohio State University and Venturi – a project aimed at smashing the land speed record for electric cars. And they achieved that feat time and time again. The last attempt was back in 2016 with the Buckeye Bullet 3, which was powered by lithium-ion batteries and featured a two-sped transmission, four-wheel drive system and advanced aerodynamics, which eventually propelled the land speed car to a top speed of 341.5 mph – making it the fastest electric car out there, technically.