QOTD: Do You Care One Bit About Electric Vehicle Speed?
One of the first electric cars I ever drove was also one of the slowest cars I’ve ever piloted. It was a first-generation Nissan Leaf, which on its own was hardly a powerhouse. Certainly, it didn’t go the distance in other ways, as well. Pressing the “eco” button to conserve what limited range I had, the Leaf turned into the biggest slug this side of a Chevette diesel. It was almost dangerously slow.
But it was electric, and the Leaf, at the time, was one of a precious few real EVs any buyer could get their hands on. It’s unlikely those in the market for a non-luxury EV were all that concerned about acceleration back in 2011 or 2012, or whenever it was.
Has anything changed?
The big green news this week was Porsche’s reveal of its slinky Taycan, an EV with no shortage of power and pedigree. Almost instantly, the online crowd began weighing the Taycan’s attributes against those of the Tesla Model S. The Model S is cheaper, can go further on a charge, and it’s maybe a tenth of a second faster to 60 mph than its German rival when placed in Ludicrous Mode.
This author’s reaction? Who fucking cares!
We’re talking the difference between 2.5 and 2.6 seconds to 60 mph. Yes, bragging rights are a big part of prestige, but come on. The Tesla fanbase is already the most annoying crop of people to emerge since certain Westerners quit meat and decided not to let anyone forget about it, but this dick-measuring contest is computer-tossed-out-the-window fare.
Good on Tesla for making a faster car. But is it the most desireable of the two? That all depends on the buyer’s mindset.
Were I purchasing an electric car, looks, range, and price would top the list of concerns, and not in that particular order. For the six-figure car crowd, practical concerns might easily take a backseat to the braggadocious elements of said vehicles. Now, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is taking a Model S to the obnoxiously overused Nürburgring to try and beat the Taycan’s 7 minute, 42 second lap time.
Competition breeds better products, so there’s nothing wrong with two automakers jousting in a closed-course arena. We love it when Ford and Chevy rag on each other’s pickups. And yet the Fremont automaker’s stated goal of saving the world via electric propulsion really doesn’t jibe with its boss’s need to one-up electric rivals at the upper range of price and performance. Musk doesn’t want you to buy the years-delayed $35k Model 3 Standard Range; the everyman’s EV was disappeared shortly after its introduction, though it seems the thing’s still on sale.
I digress! When it comes to electric vehicles, it would seem that longer range is the thing most buyers want. Chevrolet and Hyundai realize this. Providing longer range for an affordable price is what’s going to save the world, at least for those who subscribe to that view of battery-powered vehicles.
Let’s put this to the readers: If you’re thinking about getting into an EV for your next vehicle, where does speed sit on your list of must-haves?
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