f you are interested in speed and acceleration and a little more fun on your commute, then performance will be an important factor for you when shopping for electric cars. As with all vehicles, there is a strong correlation between performance and price, so if you are looking for higher-performance electric vehicles, expect to pay a higher premium.
We use an objective, data-driven approach to analyze four key aspects related to vehicle performance to give you the best electric vehicle recommendations based on your needs.
Some just look at the fastest electric cars to judge performance. Still, we consider horsepower, top speed, acceleration, and drive type when analyzing performance to give you a better recommendation for which electric cars will perform in the most real-world situations.
The electric cars with the most horsepower generally have the most powerful batteries. Horsepower determines how much power your electric vehicle can muster. A motor generates output measured in units of power called horsepower. For example, one horsepower represents 500 foot pounds per second of output. Electric motors can also be represented in Kilowatts of power, in which case one horsepower represents 745.7 watts per second of capacity. An electric car can feel more powerful than an internal-combustion-engine car because an electric motor’s full torque is deployed as soon as the driver steps on the accelerator. We use horsepower as one of the factors of performance to help us find the best-performing electric vehicles based on your criteria.
Top speed is the maximum speed your electric car can travel. If you are looking for the fastest electric car, performance is important to you. Some of the fastest electric cars can top speeds of over 250 mph, but you’ll pay a higher premium for some of these. Still, many electric cars have no problem reaching speeds well over 100 mph. As of today, electric (depending on the manufacturers) can have a slightly slower top speed than gas-powered vehicles. Electric vehicles have lower top speeds because the manufacturers limit top speeds to preserve battery consumption. Therefore, we use top speed as a dimension of performance based on your criteria.
Acceleration measures how quickly the electric vehicle can go from a standstill to 60 seconds in seconds. Since electric cars have instant torque where the motor directly powers the wheels, acceleration times are quicker than gas-powered cars. We use acceleration to measure quickness, which acts as a factor to determine what electric car has the best performance to match your criteria. The electric cars with the fastest acceleration will help with performance ratings.
Electric Car Drive Types
Electric vehicles can have either front, rear, or all-wheel drive. Therefore, we use the drive type as a factor in determining performance. All-wheel drive will give you the best handling and performance but will also cost more.
Front-wheel drive is where the front two tires receive power from the motor. The benefit of having a front-wheel drive is traction in the rain and snow versus a rear-wheel-drive vehicle. The downside of a front-wheel-drive car is handling. Front-wheel drive handles the worst out of the three drive types.
Rear Wheel Drive
Rear-wheel drive is where the back tires of the vehicle receive power from the motor. As a result, rear-wheel-drive enjoys better than average handling. On the downside, rear-wheel drive electric vehicles are at their weakest in rain and snow.
All Wheel Drive
All-wheel drive is where all four tires receive power from the motors. Typically with electric cars, all-wheel drive means at least one motor for the front tires and a separate motor for the rear tires. As a result, all-wheel-drive electric vehicles enjoy excellent traction and are the best option for handling rain and snow. All-wheel drive cars also enjoy better than average handling making it a good choice for weather and handling. The downside of all-wheel drive is cost and weight. All-wheel-drive systems mean adding cost and weight to your electric vehicle making the feature available in more mid to higher-end electric cars.