The Race To Produce A Commercially Viable Electric Supercar

When we think of electric vehicles (EVs) we likely conjure up the image of a sensible car made for short-distance runs, with people adopting EVs for their daily commutes to help reduce their impact on the environment. But there’s a little-talked-about EV industry that’s slowly getting ready for its big launch – the electric hypercar. Several famous supercar manufacturers have been quietly planning to make their EVs commercially available within the next few years, as the demand for electric vehicles grows beyond the city commuter market. With governments putting pressure on automakers to curb the production of internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, with a ban on the sale of ICE vehicles in several states in the next decade, many are getting ready for the shift.

From well-known EV automaker Tesla to supercar giant Lamborghini, major producers are creating competitive concept cars that can run faster and look sleeker than their counterparts. Some of the highly awaited options include the Tesla Roadster, which reaches 60 mph in 1.9 seconds and goes from 0 to 100 mph in 4.2 seconds, with a top speed of 250 mph. This seemed to come out of nowhere, catching other supercar makers off guard. Meanwhile, Ariel is building its P40, an all-electric hypercar that can go from 0 to 100 mph in 3.8 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph.

Tesla Roadster

Japan’s little-known Aspark is planning to launch its Owl car, which achieved a 0 to 60 mph of 1.9 seconds. Also from Asia, Taiwan’s Xing Mobility has big plans for its Miss R, which is expected to have off-road mobility – giving it a competitive edge over its counterparts. The Rimac C-Two car follows its first Concept-One EV, challenging the competition by launching a car that’s more powerful, faster, and goes further on one charge than its first attempt.

Owl

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Aspark Owl

Meanwhile, several supercar makers are working on their own EVs. UK brand Lotus plans to come out with its Evija, Porsche is launching its 918 Successor, Pagani has its own hypercar, and Lamborghini plans to release its Terzo Millenio. Lamborghini worked with MIT to construct its own version of a hypercar, with four motors and regenerative capabilities. Its concept car attempts to show what a third-millennium car looks like. It is currently developing a supercapacitor to ensure the battery system is symmetrical in order to provide the car with greater power and performance. It is also aiming to perfect its nanomaterial technology to make the battery, and car, more lightweight.

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Bugatti is also rumored to be working on a super-fast EV. The French company is thought to be working in partnership with Croatian hypercar manufactory Rimac to make a sleeker, electric version of its Bolide model. Although the company’s first EV is an e-scooter. The 9.0 scooter went on sale in three colors for $1,200. It can reach high speeds for a scooter, at a maximum of 30km/h, and can travel around 35km on one charge.

Aston Martin has announced that it plans to make its hypercar, Valhalla, commercially available by 2025. Its hybrid supercar is expected to have Formula One capabilities with electric perks. Its concept car has a carbon fiber structure and the aerodynamic shape of its Valkyrie model, featuring the PHEV powertrain with three motors with a V8 engine.

However, Aston Martin is lagging behind the competition when it comes to speed, with EV mode allowing the car to reach a maximum of 80 mph and achieve a zero-emissions range of 15km. Running on fuel it can reach 217 mph and achieves 0 to 62 mph in 2.5 seconds. So while this is a great competitor for traditional supercar models, its EV capabilities are limited.

And it’s not all clear sailing for automakers looking to break into the battery-powered market as Ferrari has faced some challenges in its EV production. Last week, Ferrari’s CEO Benedetto Vigna responded to public concerns that a shift to electric would compromise the famous automaker’s vehicle performance. The heavy weight of the batteries makes it difficult for supercar makers to produce an EV that can offer the speed of a traditionally-fuelled car, but Vigna reassured his consumers by saying “It’s true, we have a few 100 kilos more than a regular ICE car for the same kind of horsepower, but what really … reassures me is the fact that we have [a] deep understanding of the vehicle dynamics.”

Vigna highlighted Ferrari’s expertise in motors, suggesting that the firm’s engineers are well suited to tackle this challenge. The company plans to launch its first all-electric car in 2025, although it has no plans to move fully away from ICE and hybrid cars any time soon. Its handcrafted batteries will be assembled in Italy, working to reduce the additional weight.

While mainstream automakers are getting ready to launch a range of models for the broad consumer market, the well-known supercar firms, as well as new competitors, are not far behind. Therefore, it may not be long until we see sleek, futuristic, electric hypercars on our roads.

By Felicity Bradstock for Oilprice.com

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