Anyone who believes that electricity and speed are incompatible in an electric car needs to be told that there are powerful supercars out there that run on electric motors, conspicuous for their eye-catching sporty design and capacity to break new records in speed.
According to data by the United States Energy Department, a car with a petrol or diesel engine converts up to 21% of its energy into kinetic energy to move the wheels, because the engine transforms a large part of the energy stored in the fuel into heat (which is why these vehicles have a heat exchanger system behind the front grill). What is more, the gear box between the engine and the wheels causes a lot of friction, as well as adding to the weight, wasting even more energy. In contrast, an electric vehicle transfers between 59% and 62% of its energy to the wheels, since its traction chain (battery, power electronics, motor) wastes hardly any energy and so no heat exchanger is needed.
Because an electric vehicle conserves so much more energy than a conventional one, it has better traction and this means that it can do far more with less power. So electric cars can definitely be more powerful!
We have selected five so-called supercars. These powerful, fast, elegant monsters demonstrate the capacity of electric vehicles and their green motors.
NIO EP9 – The Chinese electric car that keeps on breaking records
Just as Formula 1 is a testing ground for manufacturers when it comes to introducing new technological innovations to their cars, the Chinese manufacturer NIO takes advantage of its Formula-E team to develop technology for cars that are superior to all the rest in the electric vehicle market.
China is the country with the most electric vehicles on the road – almost 350,000 according to the International Energy Agency – and, thanks to the experience that it has built up, the Chinese manufacturer NIO has launched the EP9, an autonomous electric sports car that is setting the pace by beating past records on different race circuits. For instance, at Nürburgring, it was the fastest car to complete the north circuit, also known as the ‘Green Hell’, with a time of 6′:45″:900.
The NIO EP9 also caused a furore at the Circuit of the Americas, where it was the fastest factory car in two categories: piloted by a driver (2 minutes, 11.30 seconds, with a maximum speed of 274 km per hour) and self-driven (2 minutes, 40.33 seconds, with a maximum speed of 257 km per hour).
The TESLA MODEL S / MODEL X – Or how electric cars can be attractive
This make needs no presentation. Tesla is one of the most internationally famous makes of electric cars and the one that made us realize that electric cars can also be attractive.
Although the recent launch of the Model 3 has caused quite a commotion, its older brothers, the Model S sports car and Model X SUV, both marked a turning point in how we see electric cars.
It might seem a bit pretentious to regard the Models S or X as supercars, but you have to admit that a Tesla in ‘Ludicrous Mode’ able to go from 0 to 100 km in barely 2.8 seconds is absolutely amazing (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCZudNwk2QQ).
Indeed, a Tesla Model S beat a Lamborghini Aventador on a short circuit (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NnNEuxqoPo)
The Models S and X have huge potential just waiting to be exploited.
VOLAR-E – The Catalan granddad of electric supercars.
In 2013, the testing and research development centre, Applus Idiada, based in Santa Oliva, was a pioneer in producing an electric supercar, the Volar-e, with a power equivalent to 1,000 HP, a major landmark in Catalan research and development. New e-vehicle applied technologies had to be developed to build the Volar-e, which are also being used in other electric racing and competition cars.
Rimac CONCEPT ONE – “Have you seen it?”
If any manufacturer has made a consolidated bid to produce top-range electric race cars, it is the Croat company Rimac. At the moment it only has two models on the market, Concept ONE and Concept S, but they are already causing a big stir, particularly the former.
With an appearance like a GT combined with pioneering technology, Concept ONE aspires to be “the best electric supercar and not the best supercar with an electric motor”, according to Rimac. And from the videos that can be seen on the Internet, Concept ONE is genuinely one of the big revelations in the automobile world because, while it is absolutely clear that it is fully electric, its presence and power draw all eyes. You can also watch this car humiliating a Ferrari Laferrari.
VANDA Dendrobium – 100% electric, 320 km per hour
The last gem recently presented at the 2017 Geneva Automobile Show was the Vanda Dendrobium. The Singapore manufacturer captivated everyone with this two-seater tear-drop shaped car. It is named after a type of orchid, because the Dendrobium features doors that open at the sides and on top, giving it a surprising and also aggressive look.
If it finally goes into production in late 2017, the Dendrobium will be one of the fastest electric supercars on the market, because it can reach a speed of up to 320 km an hour.
These are some of the electric supercars that are setting the pace today. However, all this technology can also be applied to models that are already on the market and fill our streets with their striking designs and superb performance. Who said that electric cars were boring?