There is something about the human spirit that makes us want to go faster, further, and higher than anybody else. It’s a competitive edge that drives technology forward and leaves the rest of the human race in quiet awe.
So when we finally accepted that oil’s days were numbered and we would have to switch to electric power, it was always going to turn into an arms race. Now companies are chasing the highest numbers, for sales, PR purposes and championship victories. So what are the fastest electric cars in the world in terms of outright top speed?
Read more: The best electric cars you can get
There are more and we could have filled this list with drag cars that have embraced electric power, but here are ten of our favorites and a broad spectrum of some of the fastest electric cars around.
Editor’s note: Our roundup of the fastest electric vehicles ever created has last been updated in May 2021.
Top fastest electric cars at a glance
- Drayson Racing B12/69EV
- Genovation GXE
- Ford Fusion 999
- Nio EP9
- Automobili Pininfarina Battista
- Rimac Concept S
- Aspark Owl Hypercar
- Tesla Roadster
- Rimac Concept 2
- Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3
Drayson Racing B12/69EV
Drayson Racing B12/69EV top speed: 204 mph (328 km/h)
Lord Drayson wanted to race his Lola LMP1 car fitted with an electric motor for each wheel.
The car is a total beast and it is a thoroughbred race chassis that had already tasted victory in the American Le Mans Series and Asian Le Mans Series with a Flex-Fuel engine and again with biofuel. The electric powerplant never made it to the track, but it still made an almighty impression.
The car had 640 kW (850 bhp) and a borderline insane 2950 lb/ft (4,000 N-m) of torque split between four motors. It hit 60 mph in 3 s flat and 100 mph in 5.1 s, but the 30 kWh battery was a weak point and the car would have struggled to compete in terms of range with the diesel and hybrid cars that emerged as the dominant forces in sportscar racing.
That didn’t matter for one brief run on Elvington Airfield in the north of England in June 2013. During the development, the team did a high speed run, accelerating to an average of 204.185 mph over two runs.
It was enough to take the electric land speed record at the time and we think it’s a shame this car never actually got to compete. It might not have lasted long enough, but it was definitely quick.
Genovation GXE top speed: 205.6 mph (331 km/h)
It is a little confusing, officially the fastest street legal car in the world is well down the list. But then it’s never going to compete with a land speed record car and the Rimac just hasn’t set an official time.
As soon as it does, Genovation should lose the record that is its USP right now.
The American-made machine, an electrified version of the Corvette Z06, actually recorded this speed at Cape Canaveral earlier in 2017. It broke its own record in the process.
The car has two 250kW motors that put out the equivalent of 660 bhp and 602 lb/ft (816 N-m) of torque. So the Genovation is as fast as most road cars get.
It only has a range of 130 miles (209 km) and it costs $330,000. So the Tesla Model S P100D might be a better option now. But if you really want a sportscar with electric power and you can’t wait for the Tesla Roadster, then this is the only one for you.
Ford Fusion 999
Ford Fusion 999 top speed: 207.297 mph (333 km/h)
This one is a little different, because it has a hydrogen fuel cell powering the 770 bhp electric motor in the back.
It’s another Bonneville Salt Flats car, so there really isn’t a practical use for Ford’s beast apart from going in a straight line at ridiculous speed.
The Blue Oval basically built a Frankenstein’s monster out of a NASCAR chassis, but it didn’t do it alone. Ohio State University had a hand in this car, too, in fact it was the students’ idea and Ford agreed to fund the project and provide parts.
Now the Ford Fusion 999 weighs in at 6700 lb (3,039 kg) and it’s carrying two high-pressure tanks of hydrogen on board as part of a 350 kW powerplant. That generates power that goes through an inverter and a 770 bhp motor, mated to a six-speed gearbox taken from a Ford GT.
Bonneville veteran Rick Byrnes got the dubious honor of taking the car to the limit and it’s potentially a landmark moment for hydrogen fuel cell technology.
Nio EP9 top speed: 217 mph (349 km/h)
Aside from the one-of-a-kind cars here, this might be the hardest vehicle to get your hands on, as only 10 will be sold to the general public.
Nio, the Chinese company producing the EP9, has a strong connection with Formula E and the EP9 was actually designed in collaboration with their Formula E racing division. This car has several world records to its name, including the fastest lap completed by an autonomous vehicle at the Circuit of the Americas.
The Nio EP9 can reach speeds of up to 217 mph and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in only 2.7 seconds. On top of that, the car is individual-wheel drive, meaning that each wheel has its own gearbox. It has a 1,000 kW power output and a range of about 265 miles per charge.
With an adjustable rear wing, a smart active suspension system, and other high-tech bells and whistles, the Nio EP9 earns its hefty £2,500,000 price tag.
Automobili Pininfarina Battista
Automobili Pininfarina Battista top speed: 217 mph (349 km/h)
In stark contrast to other entries in our list of the fastest electric cars in the world, Automobili Pininfarina is an Italian company that has been around much longer than many of us. It was founded in 1930 but ownership changed hands in the last decade, setting the company on course to produce this incredible piece of technology.
The Automobili Pininfarina Battista can reach a staggering 217 mph and is capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in less than 2 seconds. The Battista can muster 1,900 horsepower and apply 2,300 Nm of torque to its wheels.
Notably, this car features a Rimac battery. Yes, the same Rimac that produces two of the other entries on this list. It is probably also worth noting that both of those cars have higher top speeds than the Battista. Clearly, Rimac is holding some of its cards close to its chest.
Pininfarina will only produce 150 units of the Battista, so regardless of whether it is as competitive as the Rimac vehicles, it will still be a hot commodity.
Rimac Concept S
Rimac Concept S top speed: 227 mph (365 km/h)
Rimac’s 1032 kW (1384 bhp) monster isn’t a simple rocket, although it comes with 1328 lb/ft (1,800 N-m) of torque. It’s a highly-polished version of the Concept One that is finally out in the wild and laying waste to big name hypercars like the LaFerrari on the drag strip.
The Concept One has ripped up the rulebook when it comes to electric supercars and the Concept S takes it to the next level. This is a car that will hit 60 mph (96 km/h) in 2.5 s, 125 mph (201 km/h) in 5.6 s and 185 mph (297 km/h) in 13.1 s. That is borderline insane and this car genuinely pushes the Bugatti Chiron right to the wire.
The Rimac Concept S is an incredible piece of engineering — too bad Rimac only ever sold two of them.
Aspark Owl Hypercar
Aspark Owl Hypercar top speed: 249 mph (300 km/h)
If there’s any road car on this list that looks like it’s out of a Bond movie, it’s got to be this one. The Aspark Owl Hypercar is so elite that a customer has to request to own one before it can even be produced.
If you haven’t heard of Aspark until now that’s completely understandable, as the company is a relative newcomer to the scene of the fastest electric cars around. It was founded about 16 years ago and has mainly focused on supporting other companies with engineering services.
In 2017, Aspark unveiled the prototype of its first and only car to date, the Aspark Owl.
The Aspark Owl has a top speed of 248.5 mph and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in only 1.69 seconds. The Owl has a 1300kW battery that can last up to 280 miles of driving. The car only has a height of about 40-inches, so when you step inside you basically lie down as though you’re settling into a racing car.
Tesla Roadster top speed: 250 mph (402 km/h)
This car has been in the works for over eight years, but we shouldn’t have to wait much longer until we see the first Tesla Roadsters take to the streets. Elon Musk first showed off this new car model almost four years ago at a Tesla event, but since then the vehicle’s rollout and production have been delayed until 2022.
The Tesla Roadster can reach top speeds north of 250 mph and can go from 0 to 60 mph in 1.9 seconds. Just for context, that’s a faster straight-line speed and acceleration than the best Formula 1 cars today. See the difference between the two modeled with this video.
Tesla has made a name for itself over the years producing luxury electric vehicles, and have recently made a number of their base models more affordable, but here, they’re going in the opposite direction. While the price of the Roadster pales in comparison to something like the Rimac C_Two, it will still cost a whopping $250,000.
That’s not to say you wouldn’t be getting what you pay for though. The Roadster will have a 200 kWh battery and will be able to apply 10,000 Nm of torque on the wheels. This electric hypercar will also have a retractable glass roof and all of the patented Tesla features that consumers have come to expect.
Rimac Concept 2
Rimac Concept 2 top speed: 258 mph (415 km/h)
Recently, Rimac Automobili decided the Concept S hypercar (which appears on our list as well) wasn’t enough of a beast for them; enter the Rimac Concept 2 (styled C_Two).
If living in the lap of luxury, using electric motors and doing it at a blistering 258mph is your thing, then this car will be right up your alley. The Rimac C_Two has a 1,408 kW power output and can reach 60 mph in 1.85 seconds. The C_Two is basically a racing car as it provides a virtual driving coach that helps the driver identify racing lines and flags acceleration tips.
The craziest part is that this is still a road car. If you don’t live around the fabulously wealthy you probably won’t see one cruising around your city, but this car is legally allowed on normal streets — so you never know, you might see it at your McDonald’s drive-through sometime.
If you’re looking to pick up your very own Rimac C_Two you’ll have to dish out a sum to the tune of $2 million. Luckily, you’ll have a bit of time to save up that cash as the car is sold out until the end of 2021.
Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3
Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3 top speed: 341.1 mph (549 km/h)
You might know Venturi from its exploits in Formula E, or the series of crazy electric concepts it produced after leaving the world of boutique, petrol-powered supercars far behind. This, though, is something else.
The Buckeye Bullet 3 is a pure land speed record car, that’s why it’s shaped like a long bullet. It really isn’t designed for corners, or stopping, or anything other than top end speed.
The Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research has made its name with zero emissions land speed record holders. It took one record for electric cars with nickel-hydride batteries in 2004, which was 303 mph (487 km/h), and another with a hydrogen fuel cell car in 2009.
In 2015, with the help of Venturi and 2 MW of lithium-ion battery power, Roger Schroer recorded a two-way record averaging more than 240 mph (386 km/h) on the legendary Bonneville Salt Flats. Now this car is well short of the record as it stands, but the team is coming back.
The car is theoretically capable of 372 mph (599 km/h) right now, but surface degradation has kept the team off the salt flats. The end goal is an electric car that breaks the 400 mph (640 km/h) mark, although once they get there the team will probably keep on going.
A jet-powered car currently holds the overall land speed record of 763.035 mph (1228 km/h), so there’s a long way to go before electric power really rules the land speed roost.
What’s your favorite car on this list? Know of a fast electric car that’s not on the list? Let us know in the comments!