Electric vehicles do more than just eliminate gas costs. While range-anxiety debates rage, the enthusiast has picked up on the "instant torque" part of the equation. It means you have all of the power available all of the time, preventing the necessity to wait for the engine to spool up. It makes cars like the Tesla Model S unbelievably fast; despite its 4,647 lb. curb weight, it sprints to 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds.
So when a group of Dutch students decided upon a 320 lb. electric car, featuring four electric motors, one expects it to be lightning fast. In fact, their car blitzed to a new record for the fastest accelerating electric vehicle in the world, powering to 100 kmh (62 mph) in a scant 2.15 seconds.
With one of the four 25-kilowatt electric motors powering each individual wheel, much like in the $500,000 Mercedes SLS Electric Drive, it makes for an all-wheel drive machine with 132 hp that puts the power to the pavement far more efficiently than any two-wheel drive gas-powered machine could. And with an open wheel, streamlined design, and sticky racing tires, it's colossal acceleration makes sense. But it takes the video below to truly appreciate its speed.
Called the DUT13, and built out of the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, it features an abundance of lightweight carbon-fiber used to reinforce the plastic tub. And even with the team's lightest driver, Marly Kuijpers, behind the wheel, the students expected a time closer to 2.3 seconds, as opposed to the 2.15 seconds achieved. While spanking every gasoline-powered production car, including the Bugatti Veyron (2.46) and Ariel Atom (2.3), the DUT13 won't speed much past 60 mph. It's designed specifically to showcase the performance potential electric drive offers.
If and when manufacturers figure out the weight issues associated with electric cars, and the inherent range concerns, we are in for a real treat in terms of performance. While Tesla paves the way, and Nissan pushes its Leaf and tunes its ZEOD RC Le Mans racer, the future for green machines may be sportier than you think.