It seems that the world is increasingly shifting its attention to the advancements in electric vehicle technologies. With that newfound attention comes a new string of models debuted by everyone from the biggest auto manufacturers to small start-up companies that are all looking to snag a piece of the soon-to-be even more lucrative electric vehicle market.
Some models introduced seem to break barriers and seemingly help transition the world into that glittering technological future of television and movies, while others are apparent cash-grabs with little to no substance (or power). Listed here are five of the fastest and coolest electric automobiles up until this point, and five that the EV world could very well do without.
10 Fast: NextEV Nio EP9
The NextEV Nio EP9 is truly the type of vehicle that you see in a futuristic film. With an appearance that would give even the Batmobile a run for its money and some serious power to boot, the EP9 is unlike any other electric car ever conceived.
Although less than 20 models will be built and sold, the standard for technology set by this vehicle is something that will stand the test of time. One individual motor and transmission mounted to each wheel producing 335.25 horsepower gives this vehicle a whopping 1,341 total horsepower and the option of being four-wheel drive and individual-wheel drive, a revolutionary technology.
9 Slow: Smart ForTwo
The Smart ForTwo is the classic vehicle most Americans think of when envisioning an electric vehicle on the road, given that it was one of the first largely produced and heavily marketed electric cars for the road. However, that position in history aside, the Smart ForTwo is an absolute slouch, its small size and even smaller battery mean that the tiny vehicle has trouble accelerating at pace with normal combustion engines and can run into many problems.
8 FAST: Renault Trezor
French automotive manufacturer Renault has entered the high-powered EV game with its latest entry, the Trezor model. Another vehicle with a futuristic appearance, the Trezor has the power to back up its looks. With 350 horsepower brought about by a legendary Renault e-racing motor that brought the manufacturer two titles so far, it totes a 0-60 time of fewer than four seconds, but sadly has not been tested on a track yet.
The craziest feature of the Trezor, however, has to be its utilization of "canopy doors," which effectively open the top half of the car, like a canopy, providing the driver and passenger with a more accessible entrance and exit.
7 SLOW: Kia Soul EV
The Kia Soul EV takes the normally uninspired Soul model and further drains life from it. Slow even in normal combustion engine form, the EV version, if anything, is slightly quicker due to the nature of electric motors producing 100% power from the moment the accelerator pedal is pushed.
Regardless, the Soul EV is still painfully slow and exemplifies a clear grab from the Korean manufacturer to join the electric vehicle market somehow.
6 FAST: Rivian R1T
The Rivian R1T stands out amongst the other high-powered electric vehicles not so much for its looks (which are still phenomenal) but for the fact that it is a pickup truck. The R1T is designed to be an all-around sporting vehicle. With battery options producing up to 700 horsepower, the R1T is ridiculously fast. A 0-60 time of fewer than three seconds and a toted 11,000-pound towing capacity make the R1T a serious competitor for the best all-around vehicle money can buy. After a successful unveiling at the New York International Auto Show, Rivian plans to begin production on their vehicles soon.
5 SLOW: Chevrolet Bolt EV
The Bolt EV actually receives fairly high ratings as an affordable electric vehicle, but still, it is just that, affordable.
Nothing about the Bolt screams driving enjoyment or speed, and that is really fine for what it is. However, the vehicle's small size may even further drive buyers away to other models.
4 FAST: Faraday Future FF91
After years of bad press and publicity due to production issues, shipping delays, and some bad relations with customers, electric vehicle manufacturer Faraday Future is finally launching its sports crossover model, the FF91.
Toted as a luxury crossover with serious power, the FF91 is supposed to make north of 1,050 horsepower that can propel the almost-SUV to 60 miles per hour in less than 2.5 seconds. A 300-mile range on the impressive battery setup and four-wheel steering makes the FF91 an impressive marvel of futuristic tech for today.
3 SLOW: Hyundai Kona EV
The Kona EV may sport a solid near-300 mile range from its battery as well as numerous creature comfort interior appointments, but that does not remedy it in the speed category, where it achingly slugs behind. The Kona EV is not a fast vehicle by any means, but if a compact optioned out EV is needed, the Kona will suffice.
2 FAST: Tesla Roadster
The first-generation Tesla Roadster was riddled with criticism and nearly could have crippled the now-massive Tesla empire. Elon Musk himself called the car a "disaster" and seemingly disregarded its existence, until recently. While unveiling his new semi-autonomous trucks to the world, Musk also shared his latest sports car project, a newly redesigned Roadster poised to shatter all previous production car records on the planet.
With a 0-60 speed of 1.9 seconds, a top speed exceeding 250 miles per hour, and a battery range to extend beyond 600 miles, the Telsa Roadster is in a position to reinvent the concept of a high-performance electric vehicle. The Roadster will marry the concepts of battery economy and sheer driving pleasure in a fully composed package that will come in at a lower price point than many supercars.
1 SLOW: Nissan Leaf
The Leaf is another very small and very slow electric car offering that puts full emphasis on usability and zero emphasis on fun.
The car does not have a particularly long range or much storage space, or even a really nicely appointed cabin. So, through this, it renders itself a viable option only for those who are itching to get into the EV game but are cash-strapped in their pursuit.