Fastest Electric Cars

Shelby SuperCars Aero
The Aero EV debuted mid-2008 with some shocking statistics: a twin motor AESP producing 1,000 hp, 60 mph in a mere 2.5 seconds, and a top speed of 208 mph.

Shelby SuperCars already holds the distinction for the world’s fastest production car, the 2009 SSC Ultimate Aero (270 mph). While some of the claims for the new Aero EV seem outlandish, such as a 10 minute charge-time on a standard 110 outlet and a 150-200 mile range on a single charge, this doesn’t stop it from being the king of this list of high-performance machines.

The custom 1972 Electric Datsun

The 1972 Datsun pictured above inspired this list, after we posted about it recently. Ultimately, I wanted to see if this custom-mod was really the world’s fastest car, and it didn’t disapoint at 2nd place. From the outside, you wouldn’t expect a high-performance monster, but this thing rockets from 0 to 60 in 2.95 seconds, taking a quarter-mile in 11.46 seconds with a 114.08 mph trap speed. The top speed of the car is estimated to be 130 mph.

Unlike other cars on this list, the Datsun—even with expensive lithium-ion batteries—costs only $35,000.

Watch the video below!

Wrightspeed X1

The X1 uses a 3-phase AC induction motor and inverter from AC Propulsion, which catapults it from 0-60 in 3.07 seconds. There’s no clutch, no shifting, and first gear will take you all the way to 112 mph. The electrical system is powered by lithium polymer batteries, which is a variation on lithium-based systems we’ve highlighted before. The X1 has a 100 mile range and reaches an overall equivalent of 175 MPG.

You can see the X1 smoke a Ferrari and a Porsche in this video:


The carbon-fiber, 600hp L1X-75 is a confusing case because we’re not sure it really exists. Apparently, Popular Mechanics writers discovered it at the 2007 New York auto show, quoting pickup of 0-60 in 3.1s and a top speed of 175 mph. They even had a video to prove it, which is (sadly) no longer available.

According to Motor Authority, the car was developed as a joint venture between Hybrid Technologies Inc. and Mullen Motor Company, which makes a gasoline version ranked as the 7th fastest American production car.

But if you take a look at the Hybrid Technologies website, all you’ll find is something called the LiV RUSH, which would be knocked off this list for taking 5s to get to 60mph. Mullen Motor’s website shows a GTEV with 0-60mph acceleration time of 4.5s.

AC Propulsion tzero Roadster

The tzero (pronounced tee-zero) only needs 200 horsepower to rocket from 0 to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds, due to a light-weight body. Built by San Dimas, CA-based AC Propulsion, the car has apparently owned both Porsche 911s and Corvettes, and even a Ferrari F355 in 1/8-mile drag race.

AC Propulsion has apparently manufactured the car since 1997, starting with lead-acid batteries and then moving to lithium-ion which extended the range from 100 to about 300 miles per charge.

Don’t expect to see this one on the street: it’s a $220,000 prototype that probably won’t ever be more than a proof-of-concept.

Tesla Roadster

Tesla has been the darling of electric car afficionados for some time, mostly because they’ve produced a great car that is both available and, to some, affordable. Even though the Roadster’s top speed is electronically limited at 125 mph, it’s great to see it make a strong showing on this list with an acceleration of 0 to 60 mph in under 4 seconds.

Besides the roadster, Tesla has a sedan in the works (the Model S), which just debuted last week.

Check out the 248 peak horsepower output in this video (thanks Huddler):


While it looks like something out of a bad scifi movie, the Eliica—even with 8 wheels—accelerates faster than a Porsche 911 Turbo. The Eliica (which stands for Electric Lithium-Ion Car) was built by a team at Keio University in Tokyo under the direction of the inventor, Hiroshi Shimizu.
Looks aren’t everything: the 640 hp eight-wheel drive hits 60 mph in 4 seconds and has been clocked at Italy’s Nardò High Speed Track at an impressive 230 mph. Under the right conditions, the Eliica team claims it could clear 250 mph.
Don’t expect to see this one anywhere. Price tag: $255,000 US

Rinspeed iChange

This is another concept car we profiled recently. Debuting at the 2009 Geneva Auto Show, the Rinspeed iChange has the unique distinction of actually being able to change it’s body shape to suit passengers numbers.
More importantly, it looks pretty badass, and can accelerate from 0-62 mph in just over four seconds, with a top speed of 137 mph. For more detail: Rinspeed iChange EV Changes Shape To Suit Passenger Numbers


Let me cut you off: I don’t believe it either. How can something that looks like this ever be taken seriously? Commuter Cars, the manufacturer of this vehicle, claims in all seriousness that this is the ‘world’s fastest urban car’.
Statistically speaking–if you take their word for it–this is true: 0-60mph in 4s and a top speed of 120mph. I’m not sure how this thing would bank sharp turns, though the company website said the Nascar roll cage is designed for 200mph crashes.
And yes, they do exist. George Clooney has one. Check out some really low-quality video here.
And check out everything you wanted to know in this 24-minute video:

Dodge Circuit EV

This may be one of the more controversial cars on the list: the Dodge Circuit EV has been called little more than a re-badged Lotus toy, since it’s actually a retooled Lotus Europa. It’s also been called by our very own Jo Borras a “marketing exercise (at best) and a con (at worst).”
Whether that’s true or not, the prototype has a 268 hp electric that produces 480 lb-ft of torque and a reported top speed fo 120 mph.
The Circuit appeared at the 2009 Detroit auto show and could portend future electric models in Chrysler’s lineup

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