TOO FAST: With many new EVs offering supercar-levelling performance, questions are being raised about the need for special training – especially for P plate drivers. Could we see a modern-day supercar ban? GoAuto raises the question.What is green?
THE elephant in the room regarding EVs is that nobody is talking about their relative performance and the ramifications that has for road safety.
Conversations are all about emissions, affordability, recharge facilities, CO2, new energy and climate change…all of which are well and good.
But as governments continue to place their focus on transition the Aussie car parc to all-electric power – while at the same time urging drivers to be better behaved behind the wheel – we can’t help but think there’s a disconnect going on, especially when you consider the rash of powerful, new energy vehicles here or on the way.
We are not talking a bit more power and torque than the average family car, we are talking about DOUBLE the power and torque.
As it stands, some generally available EVs deliver near supercar performance in a non-descript family sedan or SUV that, depending on available funds, anyone can buy and drive. And the number of these “stealthy” high-performance EVs is growing rapidly.
That said, even some lower spec’, lower priced models give what to some would term ‘alarming’ levels of acceleration that could have potentially bad outcomes for inexperienced drivers. Chinese manufacturers are launching new EVs pitched at more affordable prices, sub $50,000, and even these cars deliver performance similar to some turbocharged sporty cars.
A family SUV like Hyundai’s $77,000 Ioniq 5 AWD for example calls up 225kW and 605Nm for a 0-100kmh capability of around 5.0 seconds or better. Said acceleration is almost instantaneous due to the torque delivery characteristics of electric traction motors that deliver ‘thumping’ thrust from a standstill.
You are there almost before you realise…
Move upscale to the company’s Genesis range and soon you’ll be able to buy a small luxury SUV GV60 with 360kW, close to 500hp in the old measure. By way of contrast, V8 Supercars have about 600hp.
Tesla’s entire range can also be considered high performance due to the amount of power and torque coming from their usually dual motor powertrains. The Model 3 for example can clock a 0-100km in a scant 3.3 seconds… almost unheard of a few years ago. The Model S Plaid is 2.1 seconds for the same sprint.
Mercedes-Benz is in the process of launching a range of EQ pure electric vehicles all with high performance potential from the A model right through to the S model and including several SUVs.
Other European manufacturers are in the same space and all their EV offerings have comparatively more power and torque than what traditional buyers of these cars, with ICE power, have come to expect.
US vehicles are following the same path with (even) EV pick-up trucks running around with 700kW/ 1000+Nm electric drives capable of dipping into the 3.0 second bracket for the 0-100km/h sprint.… in a vehicle tipping the scales at 2000 – 3000kg.
It’s scary stuff when you drill down into who will be driving these vehicles as most of them will not be equipped with the right level of training or attitude to cope… And we haven’t even started talking about the specialist sports car and super car makers some of whom are offering vehicles with upwards of 1000kW… just what you need to drive up to the café on a Sunday morning for you coffee and croissant.
At GoAuto we have been around long enough to remember when a motoring journalist took Tesla’s first Model S dual motor the SummerNats car festival held annually in Canberra to prove a point. It was a heads-up as to what to expect when EV’s caught on which they most definitely have.
Facing a plethora of supercharged, super powerful V8s, the Tesla blew them all into the Canberra dust clocking something silly (around 4.0 seconds) over the 0-100km/h sprint… silently. It caused a few jaws to drop and was the main subject at post event “bench racing” sessions down the pub.
It’s taken a long time to get to where we are now with EVs, but this is just the start of an EV tsunami that will roll through over the next few years.
The only thing is, it would perhaps be smart to adopt nationally something like South Australian Premier, Peter Malinauskas is proposing in his state…. graded licences with special training required for people wishing to drive cars with more than a nominated amount of power AND torque.
We’re now taking bets on whether that will happen or not.