“Electric” is the new buzzword among car makers all over the world. The desire for clean, green transportation is prompting manufacturers to look at many alternatives to fossil fuel engines. From hydrogen-based vehicles to compressed air engines to cars that run on used cooking oil, the world is trying to get away from petroleum. The most promising technology thus far is the electric motor. In fact, Mitsubishi has already released its first all-electric model for urban drivers in the UK. GM and Ford are close to releasing their own in the U.S. in 2011.
Obviously, the limits of current technology mean that most all-electric vehicles currently in production are really only suitable for urban use. Even models that can go long distances across country are subject to many problems including the effects of cold weather on batteries, a lack of charging stations, and other things. But once these are overcome, and electric cars become the norm, the next step will be the electric sports car.
The drive is already on for an all-electric sports car, though it’s still in its infancy. In addition to all the hurdles in developing a passenger electric car, sports car manufacturers have additional hurdles to overcome due to the very nature of the cars they are building. In other words, sports car owners have certain expectations regarding what their car should be able to do. Current electric motor capability just isn’t there yet. So what are some of those hurdles?
Horsepower – For most sports car owners, the biggest thrill of driving their machines is getting “off the line” as quickly as possible. Stepping on the accelerator and feeling the car take off in a burst of power is what sports car driving is all about. Unfortunately, electric engines are not yet capable of the brute force of a gasoline engine. That’s not to say they don’t get going quickly enough, it’s just that there’s not the same thrill of the power thrust because an electric motor is more gradual.
Overall Speed – While passenger electric cars are quickly gaining the ability to go longer distances, those distances are regulated by the overall top speed. It goes without saying that the faster you drive the quicker your batteries will be depleted. Unfortunately, as batteries are gradually weakened the vehicle becomes more and more sluggish. This is not the driving experience a sports car enthusiast is looking for. He wants top speed for as long as he has the open road to drive that fast.
Handling – Lastly, enjoying the thrill of a sports car means you need a vehicle with excellent handling capabilities. While Mitsubishi’s new electric car provides great handling, it comes at the cost of power. The more electronics an electric car uses for handling purposes, the bigger drain on the battery. Just like with the speed issue, battery drain affects the driving experience.
This blog post was written by Season Cars – a leading prestige car hire company in London, United Kingdom.
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