10 Quickest Electric Cars in the World

Source: Blood Shed Motors
Source: Blood Shed Motors
For decades, electric vehicles and cars were synonymous with frumpy, slow, limited-range vehicles that couldn’t compete with their gasoline rivals on just about any playing field. Then a small company from California came along, grabbed the EV paradigm by the scruff, and shook it until that school of thought was effectively changed. Tesla Motors is now a leading producer of electric cars, even though it’s only made two models in its short history (The Model X will be rolled out to pre-sale customers later this month).
But what a lot of people don’t realize is that the Tesla Model S sedan isn’t the fastest high-performance electric car in the world. Granted, it’s one of the only ones that you can buy, but private parties and small garages have jumped on electric vehicle conversions to push the limits on the technology. The quickest EV on paper? You’ll have to read on to find out, but rest assured, it’s pretty darn quick.
We spent some time researching to find the quickest — not necessarily the fastest, though the two are sometimes synonymous — electric vehicles ever made. Exact statistics on these cars are often hazy and not necessarily official, but we did our best to rank the following in order of quickness, quantified by the time it takes to accelerate from a standstill to 60 miles per hour.
We’ve omitted the purpose-built electric dragsters and the “Buckeye Bullet” electric speed record vehicle, since these aren’t as much cars as they are purpose-built rocket ships (and they’re definitely worth looking into!). So with out further ado, here are 10 of the quickest EVs ever built. Just who and what is on the leading edge of EV performance may surprise you.

10. Tesla Roadster Sport

Source: Tesla

Before the Model S there was the Roadster: Tesla’s $120,000 convertible that truly showed that world that electric cars don’t have to be slow. Despite having a motor that’s only about the size of a large watermelon, the Roadster could break the four second threshold with ease, and was rated at 3.7 seconds. It also boasted a range of over 200 miles, catapulting electric cars into a whole new league of performance. The Roadster was phased out as Tesla shifted its focus to the Model S, but company chief Elon Musk has just announced that a next-generation Roadster is on its way for 2019, with an expected range of 400 miles, and a zero to 60 time in the mid two second range.

9. Detroit Electric SP:01

detroit electric sp 01
Source: Detroit Electric

The folks at Detroit Electric have a 282-horsepower electric monster out of a Lotus Elise, which can run from a standstill to 60 miles per hour in 3.7 seconds and top out at 155 miles per hour. The project, dubbed the Detroit Electric SP:01, is expected cost well into the six-figures, making it one of the fastest and most expensive electric production cars in the world. After years of delays, the company has found production facilities in England, and will enter production by the end of the year.

8. Renovo Coupe

Renovo Coupe 2
Source: Renovo

If you thought that this was a vintage Shelby Daytona, you wouldn’t be wrong. Few vehicles that have hit the auto scene in recent years are as freaking cool as the Renovo Coupe. This car not only has old-school Daytona styling, it’s actually built on a Shelby chassis with the iconic company’s blessing. And like the Daytonas of the ’60s, it packs an incredible amount of power: more than 500 horsepower and 1,000 pound-feet of torque. With that, the Renovo Coupe can sear the asphalt on its way to 60 miles per hour in 3.4 seconds. Another big selling point? It can fast charge in only 30 minutes.

7. Lola Drayson Racing B12/69

Source: Drayson

Compared the the Drayson B12, the other cars on this list are downright mainstream. “The B10 Le Mans Prototype (LMP) car, which was originally powered by a 5.5 liter bio-fueled Judd engine has been converted to pure electric drive,” Drayson says on its site. It’s good for a reported 850 horsepower on the Imperial cycle, can nail 60 miles per hour in three seconds, and 100 miles per hour in just over five. While it has some kinks to work out before it’s truly competitive with gasoline-powered LMP vehicles, the Drayson B12 is a leading force in high-performance electric vehicle technology.

6. Spark-Renault SRT_01E

Source: Renault
Source: Renault

The Drayson comes on the heels of the Spark-Renault SRT_01E, and despite its clunky name, this is one sleek electric car. If you’re thinking “wow, that looks remarkably like an F1 car,” you’d be right — the SRT_01E is designed specifically for a new racing league, Formula E. It’s estimated that the car will reach 100 kilometers per hour — that’s 62 miles miles per hour — in three seconds flat, which is crucial on a track where the speed at which the car pulls out of the turns makes all the difference in the world. Like its F1 cohorts, the SRT makes extensive use of composite materials and is quite similar until you get to the drive train and the Rechargeable Energy Storage System (RESS) which “supplies electric energy to the Power Circuit and thus to the traction motor.” It won’t have the screaming engine sound that we all know and love, but the Formula E series is a crucial milestone in the history of electric cars.

5. Wrightspeed X1

Source: Wrightspeed
Source: Wrightspeed

The engineers over at Silicon Valley-based Wrightspeed have taken the Ariel Atom — a phenomenal track car on its own — torn out its gasoline powered innards, and replaced them with an electric setup. The result in a blisteringly quick and torquey track car that can nail 60 in 2.9 seconds, but its party trick is that it still manages to achieve 170 miles per gallon equivalent. Unfortunately, the X1 was built in 2005, “is not a production car, and never will be,” Wrightspeed says. “The X1 proves that electric drive can deliver extreme performance without compromising its intrinsic efficiency.”

4. Rimac Concept One

Rimac Concept One
Source: Rimac

If you’re familiar with Italy’s Pagani and what it did to the gasoline-powered supercar, imagine Rimac as the equivalent for electric cars. The supposed 1,088 horsepower (dwarfed only by its 1,180 pound-feet of torque) Rimac’s Concept One is elegant, fast, asphalting-wrinkling, and expensive — with a cost of around $1 million per unit. To help keep weight down as much as possible, the Rimac employs carbon fiber throughout the body, as well as a carbon fiber monocoque chassis with the battery pack build in. The Rimac Concept One can hit a 0-60 mark in just 2.8 seconds.

3. Tesla P90D

Source: Tesla
Source: Tesla

Tesla’s Model S is a hell of a machine, but in its standard S 70 trim, it doesn’t quite possess the speed to crack into the top ten. But it’s upscale variant, the Model S P90D does. This Tesla model can generate a total of 762 horsepower from dual electric motors, reach a limited top speed of 155 miles per hour, and rocket to 60 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds. The P90D reaches its top speed 20% faster than the Tesla’s former speed champ, the 691 horsepower P85D. Its secret? A performance setting that takes its name from the movie Spaceballs: Ludicrous Speed.

2. PlasmaBoy Racing White Zombie

Source: Plasmaboy

It’s the only one of its kind, and while its old-school appearance is quite deceiving – it’s a heavily modified 1972 Datsun – the White Zombie can reach 60 miles per hour in 1.8 seconds. One point eight seconds! How does it do it? Well, to start, the batteries used in the White Zombie are a prototype designed specifically for Navy helicopters and cost around $100,000 or more, and builder John Wayland was lucky enough to score a sponsorship for them. While the other cars in this list are purpose-built for the track, the White Zombie is right on home at the drag-strip — where it simply chews up and spits out whatever muscle cars are clueless enough to challenge it.

1. Blood Shed Motors Zombie 222

Source: Blood Shed Motors

The White Zombie can handle just about anything gas-powered on the strip, but this Zombie has it beat. Building on his success with the White Zombie, John Wayland teamed up with Blood Shed Motors’ Mitch Medford to transform its all-electric ’68 Mustang into the fastest street-legal EV in the world. While the Zombie 222’s 800-plus horsepower and 1800 pound-feet of torque was good for a zero to 60 time of around 2.4 seconds last year, the company has got it down to an incredible 1.7 seconds. That’s entering territory that was once thought impossible to crack – that is, until the instant torque and explosive acceleration of EVs came into its own. As these 10 cars show, with EV power, there’s no where to go but up as the zero to 60 times continue to fall.

Additional reporting by James Derek Sapienza

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