One of the advantages to buying an electric vehicle instead of one that packs a conventional internal combustion engine is that most deliver surprisingly quick acceleration.
That’s because an electric motor generates 100 percent of its available torque instantly and maintains it across the full power range. With a gas engine, torque is produced on a curve, with less at the beginning and end, and the most registering at about the center. What’s more, EVs use a single-gear transmission that further enlivens performance by not having to shift into higher ratios as engine speed increases.
As a result, when someone driving an EV pushes the accelerator pedal to the floor, the transition from stationary to speed is both instantaneous and continuous.
In fact, one of the quickest rides among all production cars (and at any price) is the Tesla Model S. The line’s top P100D version with dual electric motors and its insane “Ludicrous” mode is good for a 0-60 mph sprint in a scenery-blurring 2.4 seconds. Next year the automaker’s reborn Roadster is primed to beat the Model S in terms of off-the-line acceleration with a projected 0-60 launch in a dizzying 1.9 seconds and a highly illegal top speed of 250 mph.
Among the nation’s top-selling EVs not to carry Tesla badges, the Chevrolet Bolt EV takes the checkered flag at 6.5 seconds to 60 mph, while the Nissan Leaf accomplishes it in 7.7 seconds. Sporty new entries for 2019, the Audi e-tron and Jaguar i-Pace, sit near the top of the pack with 0-60 mph times of 5.5 and 4.5 seconds, respectively.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the slowest battery-powered vehicle for 2019 – at a languid 11.4 seconds to reach 60 mph – is also the cheapest ($23,900) and shortest-range model (58 miles on a charge), namely the Smart EQ ForTwo.
We’re featuring the seven quickest battery-powered rides for 2019 in the above slideshow for those having both environmental concerns and a need for speed. All can reach 60 mph in less than seven seconds, which a few years ago would have been respectable for a sports coupe. Zero-to-60 times cited come from the automakers and other sources.
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