Electric supercars, fast or furious? Four challenges in road ahead
- Electric supercars want to race ahead on battery power but there's still a lot of work that needs to be completed before these can match up to regular mean machines.
Electric power is propelling vehicles around the world and makers of super cars don't want to miss the proverbial bus either. But unlike more conventional passenger vehicles, super cars being powered by battery and yet offering a similar drive capability may not be an easy drive in the park. Big obstacles often require bigger solutions and it may not be a question of if but of how and by when.
Companies like Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Porsche and even Ferrari have been working on equipping their respective ultra fast cars with new-age technology to meet demand and zero emission goals. A battery-powered Audi RS, for instance, would have been quite unimaginable just a few years ago and yet the RS e-tron GT has reached even Indian shores. But what are the challenges
One of the key considerations when developing a super or sports car is to keep it lightweight. The unladen weight of such a car has a big impact on its performance credentials but no amount of carbon fiber body and light aluminium frames may count for much if the battery at the core is heavy.
Now battery technology is constantly evolving but many experts agree that it is still not where makers of sports cars would want it to be when it comes to the actual weight of each individual unit.
Electric motors may be very efficient but there is always a chance of overheating when trying to extract every bit of performance there is for the taking. It is a very clear obstacle for makers of electric sports cars. Some companies are working on oil-cooled motors but the results are still in analysis phase.
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Again, while battery technology is constantly improving to offer better per-charge range, the figure is likely to be less when putting an electric sports car through the paces at full throttle. And when it comes to a re-charge, the process will obviously take longer than a brief halt at a fuel station.
Sound of (automotive) music
Purists believe that the roar of a conventional engine can never be imitated by an electric sports car, regardless of how much technology evolves. Some car makers have adapted to bring in artificial engine sounds that mimic engine and exhaust notes. The jury is still out though.