Fans of fast cars usually take a rather dim view of electric vehicles. Seen as way too slow to pack the punch of traditional sports cars, telling a motor racing fan you just bought yourself a hybrid sounds about as impressive to them as saying you just got stabilizers fitted on your push bike.
Things are changing though. In the last few years more and more car makers have been bringing out their own hybrid or fully electric sports cars which, while they may not quite be up to Nascar speeds, are nonetheless pretty impressive.
The latest green speed machine is the AEDC, a prototype developed by the Spanish firm Quimera and a British car designer Alex Letteriello.
The AEDC is an all-electric car designed to race in drifting competitions and it complies with all safety regulations. Aside from its majestic design, the car has a 0-60 mph of 3.2 seconds, making it—so its manufacturers say—one of the fastest electric vehicles on the planet.
Letteriello, the mastermind behind the project, built the car with a small and dedicated team at his base in Andover, Hampshire, for Quimera, an international project management company specializing in clean energy.
The AEDC will be racing in the first non-fossil fueled Motor Sport Championship, organized by Quimera, Formula Drift, the International Motor Sport Association (IMSA) and the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). In anticipation of its racing debut, Quimera are asking for people to come up with a design to go on the bodywork of the drift car.
Drift racing is a motorsport where the driver intentionally oversteers, causing loss of traction in the rear wheels. Drift races are held worldwide—Formula Drift is the biggest in the U.S.—and are judged according to the speed, angle and line taken through a corner.
The AEDC is powered by super-charged lithium iron phosphate batteries with an average range of 150 miles before recharging. Because of the chemistry make up the batteries are not susceptible to thermal runaway and recharging takes only an hour.
The car is one of a number of recent high performance electric or hybrid cars. Major auto shows now habitually feature the unveiling of yet another green super car.
Currently, one of the world’s fastest hybrids is the M35h, made by Infiniti. The car was crowned “World’s Fastest Accelerating Full Hybrid” car last fall, when the 360-horsepower gas/electric hybrid covered a standing quarter mile in just 13.9 seconds.
Nor has the hybrid high performance technology been confined just to cars. Volvo has built a truck, Mean Green, capable of reaching speeds in excess of 165 mph. The truck, which uses the same Volvo hybrid drive system powering hundreds of Volvo buses throughout the world, including London’s double-decker buses, already holds records in three separate distances and will attempt to surpass its own land speed record in Utah later this month.