Top 8 Fastest Electric Cars
Don’t make the mistake of dismissing the performance abilities of these EVsby Kirby Garlitos, on LISTEN 10:03
It’s no secret that with the copious amounts of torque they carry, electric vehicles are considered some of the fastest-accelerating cars in the world, faster even than most of their non-EV counterparts. The eight cars on this list are proof of that. These are some of the fastest electric cars on the road today, so if you happen to see one on the road, try not to look at them the wrong way, unless you want to see first-hand just how fast they can go.
There once was a time when electric vehicles were thought of as novelty vehicles. That’s not the case anymore. Electric vehicles, or EVs, as they’re more commonly referred to these days, now occupy a significant part of the auto industry with models ranging from small subcompacts to hell-raising hypercars. The appeal of electric vehicles has exploded, too. No longer are they thought of more for their fuel-saving ways; these days, electric vehicles are also measured by their performance times, specifically their top speeds and, more importantly, how fast they can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph. Here’s the cream of the crop.
The Nissan Leaf is one of the first mass-produced electric cars so it is, for all intents and purposes, a pioneer in the segment. The Nissan Leaf Plus was launched in 2017 as an evolved version of the original Leaf that arrived a decade ago. The Leaf Plus lives up to the billing, too. It comes with a bigger 62 kWh battery pack that goes with an electric motor to produce 214 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque.
More than just the power figures, the Leaf Plus also comes with a higher range of 226 miles and the ability to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.5 seconds.
Top speed also improved from 50 mph to 75 mph, which isn’t a bad figure provided you don’t have any plans of breaking any speed limits anytime soon.
Read our full review on the 2019 Nissan Leaf
One of the first premium EVs to hit the market, the BMW i3’s age — it’s been around since 2013 — is often mistakenly taken against it. Sure, it’s not the newest and freshest EV on the block, but there’s a reason why the i3 has lasted this long in the market despite having to continuously compete against upstart rivals in its segment. Simply put, the BMW i3 is one of the most popular EV cars you’ll get to see these days.
The range-topping Rex 120 aH variant with a range extender can run unimpeded for 200 miles and the i3’s powertrain combo featuring an electric motor and a 42-kWh battery pack generates 168 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque.
It’s not much, but it’s still enough to help the i3 accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in around 6.5 seconds. Its top speed of 93 mph is rather dull for a Bimmer.
Read our full review on the 2019 BMW i3
The Chevrolet Bolt isn’t the sexiest EV on this list. It’s not even the fastest and most powerful EV on this list. But the Bolt is a lot like the Leaf, minus the latter’s legacy. It serves as a shining example of an EV that’s available to the masses. It uses an Interior Permanent Magnet electric motor and a 60-kWh battery pack to deliver a total output of 200 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. The numbers aren’t as high as the other models on this list, but for a city car, that’s a lot of power and torque at your disposal.
In fact, the Bolt’s total output means that it only takes 6.3 seconds for the EV to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph.
Top speed is rated at just 91 mph, but the Bolt does have a range of 238 miles. The Chevy EV isn’t going to win any speed-specific races, but it doesn’t have to because it’s not built for that. It’s built to be a mainstream model and with that kind of range at its disposal, it’s easy to see why a lot of people are fond of Chevy’s little electric pocket hatch.
Read our full review on the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt
Not counting the Audi R8, would you have guessed that one of the fastest-accelerating Audis in the market today would be the e-tron SUV? For an automaker that has no shortage of performance-oriented models, the e-tron’s ability to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.1 seconds is a testament to the engineering that went into its development.
Of course, it’s not just about the SUV’s sprint time. The e-tron is powered by a pair of electric motors good for a steady 402 horsepower and 490 pound-feet of torque.
Top speed is rated at just 124 mph but that’s not a handicap for the Audi SUV since most electric SUVs carry top speeds in the same vicinity. It doesn’t have the same kind of range — 204 miles — as others in its class, though.
Read our full review on the 2019 Audi E-tron Quattro.
The Jaguar I-Pace is one of the most deceiving vehicles in the market today. Look at it and the first thing you’ll notice is that it doesn’t look like a traditional SUV. It doesn’t even look like a coupe-SUV, at least not if you use the design parameters of its counterparts from BMW and Mercedes. But the I-Pace isn’t defined by its looks. It’s also deceptively quick to the extent that it’s hard to believe that this model can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds flat.
That’s incredible for an SUV that relies on a pair of electric motors (and a 90-kWh battery pack) that somehow only produces a combined 395 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque.
Then again, that torque figure comes in handy in that situation so at the end of the day, the I-Pace is still ready to dominate. Top speed is limited to only 124 mph so that’s a bummer, but the good news is that the I-Pace has a healthy range of 234 miles.
Read our full review on the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace.
The Tesla Model 3 is Tesla’s entry-level car, but just because that’s the case, that doesn’t mean it can’t pack a wallop. On the contrary, you’d be surprised at what the Model 3 is capable of. In its top-range Long-Range AWD Performance form, the Model 3’s two electric motors and a 75-kWh battery combine to produce an impressive 450 horsepower and 471 pound-feet of torque.
The instant torque generated by the motors allows the otherwise unassuming-looking Tesla to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds.
That’s the kind of sprint time that’s normally reserved for top-end performance cars. But the Model 3 is proof that electric vehicles are more than what they used to be. Throw in the sedan’s 162-mph top speed and 310-mile range and you have a car whose looks don’t do justice to the kind of power and performance it’s really capable of.
Read our full review on the 2019 Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD Performance
Just so you know, there are three Teslas on this list. The Tesla Model X is the biggest of the bunch, but don’t let its size — or the fact that it has falcon-wing doors and an absurdly large front windshield — fool you into thinking that it can’t handle itself in a 0-to-60-mph race. Dismiss the Model X at your own peril, folks. Its range-topping AWD P100D with Ludicrous Mode can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds, making it one of the fastest-accelerating production models — not just SUVs — in the world.
The Model X AWD P100D relies on a pair of electric motors and a 100-kWh battery pack that combine to produce 762 horsepower and a metal-twisting 713 pound-feet of torque.
SUVs aren’t supposed to have that kind of power at their disposal, but the Model X is not your typical SUV, even if you measure it by EV standards. Its top speed of 130 mph is decent, but how many of them, after all, can you say they also have 325 miles of range? Not a lot.
Read our full review on the 2019 Tesla Model X AWD P100D
The Tesla Model S is not only the fastest-accelerating electric car on the road — we’re not counting the Porsche Taycan Turbo just yet — but it’s also one of the fastest-accelerating production cars on the road. With its ability to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 2.3 seconds, the Model S P100D can embarrass even the most potent of supercars in a race to 60 mph.
The Model S relies on a pair of electric motors that combine to produce 794 horsepower and a whopping 1,013 pound-feet of torque.
Thanks to the instant torque provided by the two motors, the Model S P100D is capable of snapping your body upon acceleration in ways you normally don’t experience in any other vehicle, including the Ferraris, McLarens, and Lamborghinis of the world. The Model S only has a top speed of 155 mph, but that shouldn’t take away from how jolting it is to ride, especially when it makes the most out of all that torque it has at its disposal.
Read our full review on the 2019 Tesla Model S P100D