The fast-changing nature of the electric vehicle marketplace means every model year brings new EVs with better batteries that promise longer driving range.
But the same battery tech that lets the latest EVs go further on a charge can also be used to make them impressively quick, as Tesla has proven with its range of speedy electric sport sedans and SUVs.
Tesla’s success has prompted established upscale automakers – and even a few other start-ups – to prove they, too, can make an EV that scoots.
So we thought it was time to round up a few of the quickest EVs you can park in your driveway today (or, in one case, very soon) ranked according to 0-to-100 km/h acceleration. Big performance doesn’t come cheap – all but one car on this list have six-figure price tags – but as you’ll see, you don’t have to venture into super- or hypercar territory to get an EV with breathtaking acceleration.
1. Tesla Model S Plaid – 0-to-100 km/h in 2.1 s
The Tesla Model S Plaid’s trim designation is a play on the 1987 movie Spaceballs, in which Dark Helmet’s ship, Spaceball One, achieves “Plaid Speed” – three notches faster than light speed – in pursuit of Lone Starr’s Winnebago-shaped Eagle 5.
Tesla says the Model S Plaid lives up to its pop culture-inspired name by accelerating from 0-to-100 km/h in a brain-melting 2.1 seconds. That makes it the quickest mass-market EV you can buy today, thanks to 1,020 horsepower from three motors and a battery promising 637 kilometres of range.
Model S Plaid pricing starts at $169,990, a cool $55,000 more than the car’s base configuration.
2. 2022 Lucid Air – 0-to-100 km/h in 2.5s
Lucid is one of several automotive start-ups that wants to shake up the EV marketplace, Tesla-style. Its first attempt is the Air, a luxury sedan promising a combination of long driving range and impressive performance.
Peak acceleration comes with the top-end Air Dream Edition Performance version, which Lucid says can do 0-to-100 km/h in 2.5 seconds courtesy of its 1,111-hp drivetrain – which also promises 758 km of driving range.
According to the Canadian pricing Lucid revealed in mid-October, the Air Dream Edition Performance trim will top the lineup at $229,000. For $105,000, the entry-level Air Pure will get 480 hp and 653 km of range. Lucid said US deliveries of the Air would begin in late October, with Canadian versions set to arrive “shortly after,” according to a press release.
3. 2021 Tesla Model X Plaid – 0-to-100 km/h in 2.6s
Tesla makes its second appearance on our list of the quickest EVs with the Model X mid-size SUV. The Model X also gets the Plaid treatment, using the same 1,020-hp powertrain as the Model S, but gives up a half-second of 0-100 km/h acceleration time due to its bulkier curb weight.
Model X Plaid pricing starts at $159,990, a $35,000 premium over the base model, and promises 547 km of range.
4. 2022 Porsche Taycan Turbo S – 0-to-100 km/h in 2.8s
Porsche did not enter the EV segment to compete with economy cars like the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Bolt. The German sports car maker’s first-ever BEV, the Taycan, has a reputation to live up to, which is why its Turbo S variant takes just 2.8 seconds to move from 0 to 100 km/h.
The Taycan sport sedan’s quickest trim carries a price of $215,000, which also includes 750 hp and 774 lb-ft of torque and a promised 323 km of driving range. You can also plug the Turbo S powertrain into the Taycan Cross Turismo wagon, but it’s $3,000 more expensive and a tenth of a second slower to 100 km/h. The lineup starts with the $119,000 Taycan 4 Cross Turismo wagon.
5. (tie) 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT – 0-to-100 km/h in 3.3s
Next up is the 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT, the first of two cars that tied for fifth place on our list of the quickest EVs.
The RS e-tron GT is the performance champ of Audi’s family of EVs, which also includes four different SUV models, all of which use the e-tron label. But none can touch this shapely sport sedan’s 3.3-second 0-100 km/h acceleration, which comes courtesy of a powertrain boasting 590 hp and 612 lb-ft of torque and promising up to 373 km of driving range.
Putting the RS e-tron GT in your garage will cost you $179,900. The standard e-tron GT is less potent, with a claimed 4.1-second 0-to-100 km/h sprint, but adds another 10 km of range and costs $50,000 less.
5. (tie) 2021 Tesla Model 3 Performance – 0-to-100 km/h in 3.3 s
Tying for fifth place is the Tesla Model 3 Performance compact sedan, which also boasts a 3.3-second acceleration time. This is the top-of-the-line Model 3, with a claimed 507 km of driving range and power output around 450 hp and 471 lb-ft of torque.
The 2021 Tesla Model 3 Performance sells for $74,990. The $54,990 base price includes 423 km of range and a 5.6-second acceleration time; Tesla also offers a Model 3 with the Canada-only option of just 151 km of range for $46,389.