Are electric cars slow? Are electric cars boring?
When talking about cars, some people still think about the milkman’s float: a silent, slow and gangly van that’s a million miles from entertaining or eventful. However, this isn't the case for the new generation of electric cars: while they may lack the snarl and aggression of a V8-engined supercar, or the manual interaction of a sports car, they're by no means boring.
In fact, some of the best electric cars are among the fastest production vehicles on sale today, and that includes the ultra-expensive, high-performance hypercars that are usually the preserve of a select few. That's right: electric cars are bringing speed to the masses. The instant torque from an electric motor means an electric car can accelerate quickly, especially across the 0-30mph bracket that so many of us experience around town every day.
The Tesla Model S Performance can accelerate from 0-62mph in 2.7 seconds, making it faster than supercars like the Ferrari 488 and Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Meanwhile, the Porsche Taycan can hit 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds, and the Jaguar I-Pace – which is a family SUV, let's not forget – in under five seconds.
Furthermore, Tesla is aiming to take things even further in the future. The US electric vehicle manufacturer plans to launch the second-generation Roadster in 2020, and the company says the sports car will be able to do 0-60mph in 1.9 seconds. This will make it the fastest-ever production car, with a top speed of 250mph also set to be one of the highest on record.
Electric cars also have their own racing series. The most famous is the Formula E championship; now in its sixth season, the series is growing in both format and talent. Manufacturers such as Jaguar, Audi, Mercedes, Porsche and others are already signed up, with more big names set to join.
The racing is close and entertaining, with the single-seater series attracting plenty of former Formula 1 drivers. It’s also the testing ground for many manufacturers looking to launch themselves into the electric-vehicle industry.
There are other categories to keep an eye on, too: Extreme E is set to take electric off-road racing around the globe in 2021, while the ETCR – an electric touring car championship – is in the pipeline as well. We've been for a passenger ride in one of its cars – the Cupra e-Racer – and we can testify that it's unbelievably fast.
If you're looking for proof that the fun, involving driving dynamics of a petrol and diesel cars can be replicated in an electric vehicle, look no further than the Jaguar I-Pace: it's little wonder it was crowned World Car of the Year for 2019.
And it's not just expensive, premium cars that will major on enjoyment either: the Honda e (pictured top) is designed to be light and nimble, making it a joy to throw around tight corners. Even the BMW i3 – one of the older electric cars on the market – still fits the small-and-agile profile.