Luxury Electric Car Hotlist – Driving green isn’t a burden, it’s a privilege. After an uninspiring start, the world of alternative fuel vehicles has become fast and exciting– and the envy of every driver still stuck at the gas pump. These 10 luxury electric cars represent the best of the fuel-free market today, the sports cars and luxury cruisers that run on next generation electric technology. It’s the 2014 luxury electric car hot list, a glimpse into the future of fossil-free driving.
Devised in the same spirit as the British automotive legends that came before it, the new Lightning GT is one hell of a debut vehicle. It is a one-off luxury electric car by Lightning Car Company, a new mark with big dreams in the electric automotive space. It is a pure electric vehicle, powered by a Lithium Titanate battery system and a pair of electric motors that boast some scintillating performance numbers. It’s all-original from the ground up, with a custom design and custom components sourced almost entirely from British engineering partners. The result is one of the finest-looking electric cars in production today, a rare head-turner that’ll scorch the pavement without gasoline. It’ll hit 60mph from a standing start in less than five seconds, and it can drive for up to 150 miles on a single charge. It’s pure-electric high-performance heaven for eco-automotive enthusiasts. The Lightning GT will begin shipping this fall, with 50 being produced through 2015.
Detroit Electric SP-01
This dashing luxury electric car has roots that reach back over 100 years. The Detroit Electric SP-01 represents the resurrection of a brand first founded in 1907, a Detroit-based electric car company. From 1907 to 1939, Detroit Electric produced 13,000 electric cars before giving way to the dominance of the internal combustion alternative. Recently, Detroit Electric was born again thanks to the SP-01, an all-electric sports car built into the body of a Lotus Elise. The Elise has long been a preferred chassis for electric automobiles, as the famed Tesla Roadster was first available in the same Lotus trim. The Detroit Electric version has some pretty sexy specs, including a 0-60 take-off time of 3.7 seconds and a range of 180 miles. Like the others on this list, the SP-01 is in production today, meaning you might see one on a road near you soon.
Detroit Electric SP-01 | Gallery
Luxury electric car developers compromise nothing when it comes to performance against their internal combustion counterparts. In most cases, an electric drivetrain can outperform a combustion engine, and the Rimac Concept_One is an example of just how powerful electric vehicles can be. While the Concept_One is one of the most visually appealing luxury electric cars in development, it’s an absolute monster under the hood. Its combined electric motor system presents 1,088 horsepower and a timed acceleration from 0 to 62mph in just 2.8 seconds. It’s also expected to provide around 315 miles per charge, with a fast-charging option rated at 100kW. In short, it’s not just a luxury electric car, it’s an electric supercar in the making.
Rimac Concept_One | Gallery
BMW i3 Electric Car
BMW flirted with an all-electric vehicle for some time, making the BMW i3 Electric Car feel a bit like destiny when it arrived. Now it may not sport the speed of the M-series or the class of the full-size 5’s and 7’s, but there’s no mistaking that sexy blue-and-white badge on the i3 and the trademark BMW appearance. While BMW has presented some pretty incredible hybrid vehicles, like the BMW i8 Spyder, the i3 is the only all-electric option from BMW. It features a range of 81 miles per charge, plus a range extender package if you’re not allergic to petrol. It’s also a lower cost luxury electric car option compared to most, starting at just over $42k in the United States for a 2014 model.
BMW i3 Electric Car | Gallery
Delta E-4 Coupe
If you’ve never heard of Delta Motorsports, you’re not alone. This small alternative car research and development company north of London isn’t well known in the American sports circuit. They should be, however, as they produce some pretty exciting vehicles like the electric Delta E-4 Coupe and a handful of electric and hydrogen fuel cell products. The Delta E-4 Coupe may not have the interior class to qualify as a luxury electric car, but it’s got a solid core to build upon in the aftermarket. It features a 140-mile range, a top speed of 116 and an appearance that looks like nothing else on the road. They might be tough to come by, but UK drivers might have a level of access that we never will in the US.
Delta E-4 Coupe | Gallery
Venturi Fétish Electric Car
An early challenger to the Tesla Roadster is one of the few luxury electric car options on the market now, the Venturi Fétish Electric Car. This deviously-named two-seat electric roadster was first produced in 2006, and is still in production today through a planned end in 2015. It’s as fast as it looks, using an all-electric drivetrain to accelerate to 60 mph in just 4 seconds flat. It can be driven for 211 miles on a single charge, and it can charge to 80% in just three hours. The best part? It’s one of the few luxury electric car convertibles available today. We’ll take it!
Venturi Fétish Electric Car
Westfield Sport E
Like the Delta E4 above, the Westfield Sport E is lesser-known to American audiences, but it’s based on a celebrated chassis in British motorsport. Westfield Sportscars has been producing racecars for over 30 years, but the Sport E is a first for this brand. This electric sports car is a collaboration between Westfield and EEMS, a company that built an electric drivetrain for the Westfield chassis. The base model features a 100 mile range and a 100 mph top speed, but might require some tweaking before it’ll own the racetrack like its Westfield petrol cousins will.
Westfield Sport E | Gallery
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive
It doesn’t get much better than the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, the famed gullwing fantasy car. The only way to beat the latest gen SLS is to give it an electric powerhouse, of course. Enter the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive. This all-electric version of the SLS AMG promises 751 horsepower for a 0-62 mph take off in just 3.9 seconds. This Mercedes might still fall between “in development” and “in our dreams”, but we’ll take whatever we can get. A gullwing that doesn’t burn an ounce of petrol? Yes, please, and thank you.
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive | Gallery
Exagon Motors Furtive eGT
Those who want a bit more rarity out of their driving option, but still want performance and availability, should look no further than the Exagon Motors Furtive eGT. This French original is one of the best challenges to the Tesla brand to date, a pure-electric performance car with some pretty sexy stats. Thanks to a pair of water-cooled electric motors, the Furtive eGT can hit 62mph in just 3.5 seconds. It can drive for up to 224 miles per charge, a great option for both city drivers and longer commuters alike. Also, did we mention its a stunning vehicle. Just look at this beauty…
Exagon Motors Furtive eGT | Gallery
Tesla Model S
Both the standard bearer and the leading edge of the luxury electric car movement, the Tesla Model S is the vehicle by which all others are judged. It features the best range, performance, price-per-value and availability vs. any other electric car today. There are others that do some things better than the Model S, but none present the total package like this one. It is the most complete, most remarkable luxury electric car in modern history. In fact, even if you compare it to its fossil fuel competitors, it’s still a champion of a car. We love it not just for what it is, but what it represents– a hope for a cleaner future without giving up the fun of driving. Here’s to you, Tesla.
Tesla Model S | Gallery