There is a fierce battle raging between car manufacturers to claim rights to the “Most Innovative Electric Car.” In Part 1 of our study of these electric innovators, we’re highlighting the portfolios of two high-end, sports car designers: Telsa Motors and BMW. These electric powerhouses are proving that forfeiting gas does not require the driver to forfeit speed. Take a look and decide for yourself if the speed and eco-friendliness of these automobiles deserve their hefty price tags.
Telsa Motors, a product of Silicon Valley, began in 2003 with the sole purpose of creating a zero-emission electric vehicle. Their mission: “To increase the number and variety of electric cars available to mainstream consumers.”
The 288 horsepower electric-run Roadster from Telsa Motors boasts acceleration speeds from 0-60mph in 3.7 seconds and drives at 14,000 RPMs at high speed. Its lithium-ion battery carries 6,831 ion cells and carries a charge for up to 245 miles. Re-charge time is 3.5 hours and can be completed from any outlet (the charger is on board). The Roadster is available in 14 colors, from Electric Blue to Fusion Red and is built from carbon fiber panels, reducing body mass by 30% and enabling a light, but strong body frame.
The Roadster uses the regenerative braking system, “downshifting” in a sense to regenerate the battery when the throttle is released.
Telsa’s Model S is scheduled for release in 2012 holds a 300 mile charge, and is engineered for enhanced aerodynamics, weight reduction and decreased rolling resistance.
German automobile manufacturers BMW will release a new electric brand of vehicles in 2013. Under the line BMW i, two electric models are currently in production: the i3 and the i8.
Boasting a 100kW electric motor and 12,000+ RPMs, drivers will recognize the power befitting the BMW reputation. The power generation of the motor is a unique feature as well; when the throttle is released, the car automatically begins to decelerate, recharging the battery and producing energy. This process is labeled regenerative braking.
Although not a 100% electric sustainable vehicle, this plug-in hybrid combines the power of a sports car and drivability for long distances, with the favorable zero-emission driving experience. The body has a low center of gravity and is made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic, making the i8 lightweight and aerodynamic in its sleek design.
Tune in in 2 weeks for Part 2 which tackles Honda and Nissan and CODA.