El Mirage Lake, in California’s Mojave Desert - Electric vehicles are clean, they’re green, they’re economical, they’re practical within their range limits, and they need very little maintenance but, with the honourable exception of BMW’s i8 (which doesn’t really qualify because it has an auxiliary combustion engine) there is one thing they are not, and that’s sexy.
Sorry guys, but driving an i3 or a Leaf is like kissing your sister; it’s not the real thing.
It’s been left to energy supplier E.ON to amp up (if you’ll forgive the pun!) the sexy side of electric motoring, featuring six of the craziest, sexiest cars (and a bike) that you’ve ever seen in a new video promo for its new fast-charging technology, which will be rolled out to thousands of locations across Europe in the coming months - and we do mean rolled out, E.ON is targeting 10 000 charging points throughout Europe by 2020.
Each charging station is good for 150kW of charging power, with a modular upgrade option to 350kW - that’s enough to recharge a 400km range battery from stone flat to full in less than half an hour.
There are some already in use in the UK, where E.ON is offering a special off-peak rate, with a discount of 33 percent for people who charge their cars late at night.
The video was shot at El Mirage dry lake in California’s Mojave desert, and features a number of vehicles that you’d normally consider as wasteful of fuel - each of them converted or built from scratch to run on electricity.
The most impressive, in visual terms anyway, is Bigfoot #20, the world’s first pure electric monster truck, powered by 30 separate battery packs in series, delivering an eyeball-frying 360 volts - with another six battery packs to power the brakes and steering systems.
Making its public debut in the desert is the Tachyon Speed by Raesr, an electric supercar prototype on a carbon-fibre chassis with a quoted output in excess of 900kW and 5000Nm (yes, you read that right, five thousand Newton-metres), capable of 0-100km/h in less than three seconds, 0-200km/h in less than seven seconds and an estimated top speed of more than 380km/h.
And if that’s not sexy enough for you, there’s a 375kW electric AC Cobra, a yellow beetle, a Porsche ‘bathtub’, a beat-up old Chevrolet pickup that goes like a hot rod and a Hatfield Lightning superbike with an (officially timed) top speed of 337.6km/h - a sister bike to the machine that won the Pikes Peak hillclimb outright.
The bike is charged by solar panels on the roof of Richard Hatfield’s transporter; as he says, “There is something very perfect about capturing energy that would otherwise fall on the ground, putting it in a motorcycle, coming out here and going 337km/h!”
But in some ways the most impressive part of the video is the fact that no hydrocarbons were burned in making it; all the tracking vehicles, cameras, drones and other equipment used to make the video were electric. Be afraid, OPEC, be very afraid.