Advances in electrified vehicles could help wean the planet off fossil fuels, but just because a car isn’t burning gasoline doesn’t mean sacrificing performance.
In fact, it’s often just the opposite: because electric motors are less complex than internal combustion engines, EVs can accelerate much more quickly than their gas-powered cousins.
Tesla says its high-end Model S Plaid sedan, for example, can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in less than two seconds.
The fastest zero to 60 time, however, doesn’t belong to either a major automaker or a boutique supercar shop – but, rather, a group of college students from Germany.
The University of Stuttgart announced that 20 members of its GreenTeam student design organization custom-built an electric vehicle that set the world record for acceleration last month.
The carbon-fiber vehicle weighs in at less than 320 pounds but features a newly designed, high-voltage battery pack and four-wheel drive with motors developed at Stuttgart. The EV’s maximum output of 180 kilowatts translates to 1750 horsepower per ton and a peak acceleration of 2.5g — about the same as a rocket re-entering Earth’s atmosphere.
After a series of setbacks earlier in the year, including a crash in July and technical issues earlier in September, Guinness World Records confirmed that the custom vehicle went from a dead stop to 100 kilometers per hour — roughly 62 miles per hour — in 1.461 seconds at a Bosch racetrack in the city’s suburbs.
The successful run returns the acceleration record to Stuttgart, which first held it at 2.681 seconds a decade ago and set it again in 2015 at 1.779 seconds. A team from the Netherlands had held the previous record — at 1.513 seconds — for about six years.