Electric vehicles may be quiet, but they're not necessarily slow. To set the record straight, see the infographic below called "The Fastest Electric Vehicles on Earth," which displays high-speed electric planes, trains and automobiles.
In Japan, you can take a mag-lev train that gets up to 361 miles per hour and shaves a lot of time off of commutes. Keio University in Japan made the Eliica, an eight-wheel electric conversion racer that's faster than a Porsche 911 Turbo. Each of the eight wheels is powered by its own electric motor. The Mission R from Mission Motorcycles does zero-to-60 in three seconds. Jay Leno owns one.
"Electric motors have the advantage of instant torque, which means that you don't have a clutch, and you don't have transmission... that kind of power can get addicting quick," said Joshua Allan, vehicle engineering manager at AC Propulsion, a maker of motors for electric vehicles. While electric vehicles provided basic transportation years ago before internal combustion engine vehicles took over, these days there's a lot of interest in high performance, speed and freedom from oil addiction.
AC Propulsion built a custom open-wheel electric car featuring a high-performance version of the battery system found in the Mini E. In 2010, the car broke the Pikes Peak's electric vehicle record, but had the title taken away the next year. This year, Rhys Millen took first place in an electrified 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe. He also set a Pike Peak speed record at 9:46.164, very impressive on the rugged, risky mountain road.
One car that failed to make the infographic was the White Zombie, an electric racer built on a 1972 Datsun 1200 by John "Plasma Boy" Wayland. White Zombie has taken a few drag strip speed records, powered by lithium batteries. Wayland organized an event a couple years ago at Portland International Raceway, called Wayland Invitational, where he set the best-ever time. Here's to you, Plasma Boy.
The infographic was created by Car Finance 247, a UK-based consumer car finance website.