There are a lot of electric and hybrid cars on the market which are promoted as being better for the environment, but what is the fastest electric car?
We look at how an electric car can be so fast and whether they are safe to drive.
Fastest Electric Car
The fastest electric car at the moment is the Rimac Nevera reaching speeds of 258mph.
It can reach 0-60 miles an hour in an eye-watering 1.5 seconds and can hit 180mph from a standstill in 9.3 seconds. These numbers are staggeringly fast.
But we shouldn’t be surprised. The fact that the Rimac Nevera can cover a quarter of a mile in 8.6 seconds is down to its 1,914 horsepower and 1,741 lb-ft of torque. This is not a supercar, it is a hypercar.
The name is derived from the type of sudden and unexpected summer storm that hits the coast of Croatia where Rimac was founded. It is an apt name and conveys well the sheer force of nature that is this car.
Production will be limited to around 150 units, and they will sell for around $2.4 million.
The Nevera has four motors delivering power to each of the wheels independently while channeling torque for extreme agility and control.
The AWTV or all-wheel torque vectoring system calculates the amount of torque deployed to each wheel 100 times per second.
This system is configurable and can be used to enhance efficiency or improve stability in slippery conditions. There are six driving modes, sport, drift, comfort, range, track, and custom.
It is extremely aero efficient and comes with an additional ‘high downforce’ mode which boosts performance by an incredible 326 percent.
An air brake is deployed in less than 0.2 seconds to slow the car and direct airflow for cooling the braking components. It means the car Nevera can go from high downforce to full braking in two-tenths of a second.
A 120 kWh battery pack means it can reach 342 miles on a single charge.
The carbon fiber monocoque has an integrated structural battery pack, a bonded carbon roof, and rear carbon subframe. This structure is extremely lightweight at less than 200 kg but is very strong.
Aerodynamics are built into every line with four surface and under body components working in aerodynamic harmony to maneuver airflow for unmatched performance and efficiency.
The bonnet has a mid-channel flap to divert airflow to reduce drag and improve downforce in range mode. Under-body vents are also closed, and the rear wing is retracted for a more streamlined profile in this mode.
In track mode more downforce is needed, so the rear wing is raised, and the air vents are opened for more airflow and cooling.
As if to emphasize the speed that this car can achieve it has a drag reduction system similar to Formula One cars.
Internally the design provides the best user experience with in-car technology from driving telemetry to in-built 4G for entertainment, diagnostics and software updates.
The drivetrain of the Rimac Nevera has four oil cooled electric motors that drive the wheels individually.
These motors are 97 percent efficient and capable of delivering instant torque at zero revolutions per minute. They are maintenance free for their lifetime.
The front and rear wheels are each connected to a gearbox which allows the car to deliver high levels of torque to each of the wheels.
Brake by wire technology allows optimum energy efficiency by combining friction brakes with regenerative braking. It is the highest regenerative braking system currently available on the market but still feels very natural under foot.
The electric power steering enables adaptive driver feedback according to the driving mode you are in.
When in Driver Coach mode it works as a drive by wire system and shows optimum racing lines as well as vehicle control to the driver.
Driver Coach is Rimac’s AI technology allowing evaluation of performance and providing guidance.
How Is An Electric Car This Fast?
One of the main reasons why electric cars are so fast is due to the instantaneous, flat torque.
An internal combustion engine needs to wait for peak torque at high rpm, but an electric car has all the available torque at zero rpm.
The other reason is that each of the Nevera’s wheels has a dedicated motor that works independently. A single gear gearbox is attached to both the rear and front wheels.
This all-wheel drive gives extra traction and so can launch the car a lot more aggressively than a two-wheel drive gasoline car with no wheel spin.
Is It Safe To Drive For An Average Driver?
The top speed and acceleration of the Rimac Nevera would be wasted on most roads, but that doesn’t mean that it is not suitable for road use, it most certainly is.
However, the rapid response of a hypercar electric engine is not for the faint of heart.
A very experienced test driver had a lucky escape from a high speed crash in the Nevera predecessor, the Concept One, in Switzerland in 2017. The car has since been refined and developed and lessons learned.
The development of Rimac’s AI Driver Coach and the multiple safety features on the car have made the car accessible to drivers other than professional test drivers.
But with a price tag of $2.4 million and only 150 of these cars being produced it is probably a moot point anyway.
The fastest electric car at 258mph is, without doubt, the Rimac Nevera, which beat the Tesla Roadster capable of 250 mph, and the Lotus Evija which tops out at 200mph plus. These three cars are the cream of the electric car crop but the Nevera takes the crown.
With time, it will probably be bumped from its spot and a new electric king will reign but for now, it is a source of huge pride for the small nation of Croatia.
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