Here Are All the Records Electric Cars Have Shattered Since 2012

Spoiler: The MVP here rhymes with ‘Shmesla’

By Shari Gab

Here Are All the Records Electric Cars Have Shattered Since 2012
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11 July 2017

The argument for electric vehicles has largely been that they’re poised to diminish emissions levels to record lows. But over the last five years, they’ve also been smashing a whole host of other records — for distance, acceleration and pure, unadulterated speed.

I can’t sift through my inbox in the A.M. without news of an EV claiming a new 0-60 record for production vehicles, or Tesla beating Tesla at its own game. Case in point: the daredevil duo Jordan Hart and Bradley D’Souza, who recently jetted from Redondo Beach to East 31st Street in New York in a 2015 Tesla Model S in an astonishing 51 hours and 47 minutes later, smashing the Cannonball Runtime for electrics.

For my own edification  — and your enjoyment — here’s a brief rundown of all the records EVs have left in the dust over the last five years.

September 2012: Nemesis
An EV breaks the UK land speed mark by breaching 150 mph for the first time, laying waste to the 137 mph previously held by Sir Michael Campbell. The ride? Nemesis, a second-hand, eBay-purchased Lotus with heavy modifications. The car ticked 153.022 mph at the Elvington Airfield just outside of York in the skillful hands of racer Nick Ponting.

June 2013: Drayson B12 69/EV
The B12 69/EV, a greatly touted “hypercar” from British marque Drayson Racing, reaches a top speed of 204.2 mph on the same Elvington airstrip where The Nemesis made its record run.

October 2014: eVE
Speed is exciting, for certain. But when it comes to EVs, distance is just as key — if not more so. The solar-powered eVe, built by undergrad engineering students from the University of South Wales in Australia, makes a serious name for itself by jetting at an average speed of 66.465 mph for over 310 miles — the fastest electric ride to go that distance.

April 2015: Tesla Model S
Tesla enters the scene, and nothing will ever be the same again. Carl Reese and his fiancée Deena Mastracci take their Model S coast-to-coast in 58 hours and 55 minutes, crushing the time set by Tesla employees themselves. But that wasn’t enough for the couple, who decide to challenge themselves again in a Model S P85D. Mission accomplished: the team bests 3,011 miles in 57 hours and 48 minutes in October.

June 2016: Grimsel
Youth really is the future. Built by Swiss student engineers, the battery-powered Grimsel breaks the EV acceleration record. Knocking nearly a quarter of a second off the previous record — which is like 10+ years of innovation in speed tests — the EV ticks 0-62 mph in just 1.513 seconds. To put that in perspective, the previous record was 1.779 seconds. It also crushes the record for gas-fueled production cars: a Porsche 918 Spyder hybrid from that year could only clock in at 2.2 seconds.  

August 2016: Tesla Model S
Tesla’s new Model S P100D comes out the gates hot, claiming a 0-60 of just 2.5 seconds, thus making it the world’s fastest production car. Around the same time, Tesla announces that the car can run 315 miles on a single charge, making it the first EV to top a 300-mile range.

September 2016: Venturi Buckeye
Forget the street for a moment: real records are set in the desert. And for that, there’s no place better to head than the Bonneville Salt Flats of Utah. The Venturi Buckeye Bullet-3 (or VBB-3), developed and wrenched by engineers from Monaco-based Venturi Automobiles and The Ohio State University, annihilates the EV land-speed record by hitting a two-way average speed of 341 mph. Two electric motors with 1,500 horsepower and 8 lithium-ion batteries tend will do that for you.

September 2016: Tesla Model S
A trio of rally enthusiasts — Alex Roy, Warren “Mr. X” Ahner and Franz Aliquo — set out in a Tesla Model S 90D from Redondo Beach and land in Red Bull’s NYC garage exactly 55 hours later, beating the previous time by 2 hours and 28 minutes.

November 2016: NIO EP9
The first make to come out of Chinese-backed NextEV, the NIO EP9 supercar tears down the lap record at the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife, with 7:05.12 on the watch.

July 2016: GXE
Genovation‘s Extreme Electric ride, the GXE, breaks not only its own previous record of 186.6 mph, but also bests the steet-legal land-speed record by clocking 205.6 mph. The fun part? It’s done with a custom electric drive built on a Corvette Z06 chassis.

January 2017: Tesla Model S
Tesla’s Model S P100D sets a new EV quarter-mile record with a 2.389-second acceleration.

February 2017: Tesla Model S
And a month later, using the Ludicrous+ option, Tesla beats their own record with a 2.276-second acceleration.

February 2017: GXE
If there’s one takeaway here, it’s that even being the fastest isn’t fast enough. Back at it again, the GXE reaches a top speed of 209 mph.

March 2017: Tesla Model S
The P100D breaks its own quarter-mile record of 10.723 seconds, shaving it down to 10.638.

May 2017: NIO: EP9
The electric NIO EP9 dusts a Nürburgring lap in 6 minutes 45.90 seconds, inching out the 2009 Radical SR8LM by 2.1 seconds and punishing the closest EV — Toyota's TMG EV P002 — by half of a minute.

June 2017: Tesla Model S
Hi there. It’s me again, your old friend Tesla. Just wanted to let you know I just set a new EV record by going 559.98 miles on a single charge. It took about 24 hours.

July 2017
The team behind Lucid — one of the longest-touted “Tesla killers” — quite literally decides to push the limits with their Air Alpha Speed EV. Without a speed limiter that could dampen its potential, the illustrious beast lays claim to a top speed of 235 mph.

Where this is going, we’ll most definitely need roads.

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