The benefits of electric cars do not stop there, however; some car companies have begun to capitalize on the performance benefits that electric motors provide. Toyota has been manufacturing various Prius models for over a decade, and has been seen as the prominent face of hybrid electric vehicles since its inception. However, another company has been making a name for itself recently.
Tesla began only offering a single car: the Tesla Roaster. It is based off a Lotus Elise chassis and is 100% electric-powered. With a 0-60 time of 3.7 seconds and a range of over 200 miles per charge, it was nothing to scoff at either. Tesla proved with the Roadster that high performance electric cars were not science fiction, and that they were entirely possible to mass produce with current technology.
One of the largest benefits of electric cars is their instantly available torque. With traditional, gasoline-powered engines, you have to wait until higher RPMs to achieve maximum horsepower and torque. Having this power ready at a moment’s notice gives cars like the Roadster an advantage that purely gas-powered vehicles do not have access to. It was a gamble for Tesla to put all of their chips on a car like the Roadster, but ultimately it seems to be paying off. Currently they also offer the Model S: a four-door, all-electric sedan that, when equipped with the 85 kWh battery and high performance drive inverter option, is capable of laying down 416 horsepower and a 0-60 mph on 4.2 seconds. Those are impressive figures for a full-size car like the Model S, electric-powered or not. Tesla is now taking orders for their next car, the Model X; an electric SUV that promises to deliver unparalleled performance in its class without compromising on functionality. So far, Tesla seems to be the big name in high performance electric cars, but it will be interesting to see who else joins them in the coming years with gas becoming an ever-depleting commodity.