The Kings of Acceleration: Electric Cars


The environment is important but for a lot of of people it isn’t a key factor in making a purchase. You might be someone that is willing to recycle and abstain from purchasing a HUMMER, but you probably have no interest in being arrested protesting a pipeline. Most people are aware of some of the benefits and drawbacks of an electric car. On one hand they have a smaller carbon footprint and they have a lower upfront maintenance cost; conversely they might not have great enough range to cover all of your driving needs. All of these are key factors, but if your someone that loves driving the acceleration that electric cars offer is the number one reason that you should consider purchasing one.


Now it is important to make the distinction between acceleration and speed. If you struggle though physics in high school just think about acceleration as going from 0 to 60 in 4 seconds, while speed is whether you can reach 200 mph. Both of these are holy grails in terms of automobile performance, but acceleration has far more value then speed for the average driver. Even if you own a supercar you will probably never have the opportunity to drive at a speed of 200 mph. On the other hand, opportunities for accelaration are everywhere. Whether its leaving the grocery store or flying down the highway people are always looking for that neck snapping acceleration; and right now Tesla is blowing away the competition.


The new Tesla roadster, which is due for release in 2020, claims to be the fastest production car in the world. Engineers claim that new Telsa roadster will be able to go from 0 to 60 in 1.6 seconds. My heart skips a beat just thinking about driving that fast. If 2020 is too long to wait, or if the $200,000 price tag is out of your budget the Telsa Model S might be at much better fit. At a price tag of only $80,000 you will have a vehicle that can go from 0 to 60 in 2.5 seconds. The great thing about the model S though is that it actually has enough space to seat 5 people (5 real people, it's not a little shelf in the back it some other sports cars) which helps justify the price tag. Finally, if price is a major deciding factor the new model 3 is on track to be released in a few months it boost a far more reasonable price tag and has acceleration comparable to a Mustang. Well Tesla's new roadster is clearly an amazing feat of engineering, all EVs have certain advantages over gas powered vehicles.

Telsa Motors doesn't have a monopoly on accelration though

The key to the success of EV in terms of acceleration has been the huge role that simplicity plays in their design. While gas powered vehicles rely on hundreds of moving parts to create force, EV have the advantage of simply having a battery that releases energy into a motor. This allows for a more instantaneous force. Furthermore, chemical engineers have improved battery technology, or more specifically battery chemistry in critical ways. Their primary focus has been in energy density which has served to extended the range of EV, which has seen significant improvement. But on the other hand engineers have been improving power density which allows more power to be released instantaneously. Telsa Motors has been hard at work improving both and the results show not just in their roadster, but in their entire line up of EVs.

Now I know what any serious automobile enthusiast is going to say. Yes, the new EV’s might be some of the quickest cars in the world, but nothing beats the feel and sound of a V8 Hemi on the freeway. And I’ll admit that I get real excited when I hear one of the fly by me on the street, but there is some sinister about going from 0 to 60 without making a sound. I guess a big gas powered car is like a cold beer, while a EV is more like a aged white wine. If you’ve sent your 20s obsessed with keggers and old muscle cars, maybe you can spend your 30s drinking white wine and driving a Tesla.

When I was younger the Dodge Charger was my dream car. But tastes change 

Matthew Griffin