Sporty Electric Cars

Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Sporty Electric Cars

Honda Insight 2005I looked at a hybrid-electric SUV several months ago, but decided it wasn't worth the premium you pay and got a Jeep Grand Cherokee instead. I also considered electric cars such as the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight (right), but they are just butt-ugly. In fact, most electric cars are plain ugly with the worst design imaginable. Only a tree-hugger hippie blinded by the environmental benefits of these cars, could love some of these electric car designs. Seriously...

That's why I was surprised to learn that Tesla Motors, a San Carlos start-up, seeks to design a sexier electric car that appeals to environmentally conscious buyers hankering for something cooler -- a little more like a Ferrari. Martin Eberhard, co-founder of Tesla, put it best when he said, "I couldn't find a car that was nice enough to enjoy driving, and which also got reasonable gas mileage,'' said the Woodside resident. The Prius is terrifically ugly."

He and his company are working on a sporty electric car and pledges it will be in the same class as Vipers, Ferraris, Lamborghinis and other fast cars - at least when it comes to performance numbers such as 0-to-60-mph acceleration times, cornering, etc.

You mean to tell me that my V10, gas-guzzling 8.0L Dodge Viper will be beaten by an electric car? Say it ain't so, Joe! Well, actually they do make an electric car for the Viper. Here's a picture of it.

Of course this is a radio-controller Viper.

I do believe that electric motors can eventually accelerate as fast as gas engines, in fact electric motors provide a more 'even' torque curve, but I am highly skeptical about cornering. You need a lot of heavy batteries in electric cars if you want good mileage. This will obviously affect cornering since generally the batteries are all located in the front. They could locate the batteries in the center of the car - similar to a mid-engine vehicle. Though they'd have to put some serious shielding to prevent battery acid from getting on the driver in the event of a major accident.

Alternatively, perhaps they are somehow able to mold the batteries and battery acid around the shell of the car to evenly distribute the weight. Though that could be dangerous, since if you get in a minor fender bender, you could leak battery acid. Guess we will have to wait and see how they evenly distribute the weight of the batteries for good cornering.

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