How fast is too fast? The exclusive nature of supercars makes them expectedly fast, but are electric vehicles accelerating too quickly?
If you buy a Lamborghini Aventador, you expect this high-powered supercar to rocket to 60 mph in a hurry. This expectation along, with the limited number of Aventador models in the market, makes for only a few cars that take off as fast as this one. The influx of new EVs in the market makes for a completely different story. Many of these models can hit highway speeds just as fast as some supercars.
Why does the acceleration of an EV matter?
Electric vehicles are much heavier than their gas-powered counterparts. This added weight is the greatest problem being faced in the acceleration battle. Consider the new GMC Hummer EV that can rocket to 60 mph in three seconds. That’s an incredibly quick time to take a 9,000-pound vehicle from zero to highway speeds. Put this big and heavy truck up against the Lamborghini Aventador LP 780-4, and you see the Lambo hits 60 mph in 2.8 seconds. The Aventador weighs only about one-third of the Hummer EV, which means a crash in the Hummer generates 2.5 times more force than the Aventador.
Exclusivity is gone from the acceleration conversation
When you consider the incredible acceleration of electric vehicles, you no longer have exclusivity in this arena. Most consumers won’t achieve an income level to buy the Lamborghini Aventador, but they certainly could buy a Hyundai Ioniq 5. This Hyundai EV isn’t as heavy as the Hummer, but it accelerates to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, and it weighs more than the Lamborghini. This means it will create a much higher force than the supercar when it crashes.
Normally, speeds to 60 mph in under four seconds are only achieved in high-priced, limited-run sports cars. That’s no longer the case. Not only can the massive GMC Hummer EV hit 60 mph in three seconds, but the Tesla Model 3 boasts a 3.1-second sprint time. Another relatively affordable EV with acceleration to this speed lower than four seconds is the Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance which crosses 60 mph in 3.8 seconds. All three of these EVs come from companies that mass produce these vehicles rather than tagging them with incredibly high prices that make them extremely exclusive.
Supercar crashes happen infrequently
Many of us can remember a time when we’ve heard about a supercar crashing, but most of us can’t think of hundreds of examples of this event. In fact, these crashes are so infrequent that safety officials don’t have data corresponding to these events. Some of this could be because owners of these supercars don’t drive them every day. They drive them sporadically, keep the mileage low, and try to maintain them in perfect condition. Some owners look at these exotic cars as an investment in the future when the cars will increase exponentially in value. The same can’t be said of electric vehicles.
Consumers purchasing EVs as their regular daily vehicle most likely don’t have them stored away until a good day to drive them occurs. These EVs are now driven every day, and the incredible acceleration of that electric vehicle is always on tap, just waiting for the owner to slip up and hit the accelerator a little too hard. Not only are these quick-accelerating EVs being used as daily drivers, but with the proliferation of electric cars in the market, more of them will be on the roads over the next few years.
Traffic fatalities could increase significantly with electric vehicles
If we move away from the incredible acceleration of electric vehicles and back to the higher-than-average weight of these vehicles, we learn something alarming. The National Bureau of Economic Research predicts a 1-in-500 chance of being killed in a car accident. That chance increases by 47% when the other vehicle is at least 1,000 pounds heavier than the other. If this is the change with only a 1,000-pound difference, imagine how dangerous it can be for a Toyota Camry to be on the road with a Hummer EV. These two vehicles have a 5,800-pound difference in weight.
Which EVs are faster than classic supercars
We love supercars and how fast they can hit various speeds. Here are several EV models that are faster than some classic supercars:
- 30 EVs are faster than the Jaguar XK120, including the Kia Soul EV, and Mini Electric
- Porsche Taycan Turbo S is faster than the McLaren F1
- Hyundai Ioniq 5 is faster than the Lamborghini Countach and Miura
- Volkswagen ID.4 faster than the Aston Martin DB4 GT
- Tesla has three EVs under 2.6 seconds and seven under 3.7 seconds
- Mercedes EQS AMG 53 4Matic+ equals the Nissan GT-R
- Kia EV6 GT is faster than the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series and BMW M3 Competition
Does something need to be done about the incredible acceleration of electric vehicles?
The last thing most of us want to accept is more government oversight. Some may feel it’s bad enough the government is pushing electric vehicles; we certainly don’t need them taking away one of the most enjoyable aspects of these new vehicles. The instant use of all of the torque from an EV powertrain makes these heavy, battery-operated vehicles fast. Without this acceleration it’s easy to see that some people might not want to buy an electric vehicle at all.
Will automakers limit the speed of EVs?
Currently, some automakers are using the incredible acceleration of electric vehicles as a selling point, which means we’re probably pretty far from companies limiting this aspect of their products. Additionally, we don’t have any data to show that EVs are increasing the number of accidents or fatalities yet. Most of these new electric cars come with the most advanced safety systems, which can certainly assist drivers in avoiding crashes and staying out of trouble on the road. Hopefully, these safety features will help reduce the number of traffic fatalities rather than increase these numbers.
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