When you think of fast electric vehicles, the Tesla Model S and its “Ludicrous Mode” likely come to mind, and rightly so. With the equivalent of 762 horsepower in the Model S P90D and a 0 to 60 mph period of just 2.8 seconds, few supercars could even match the electric sedan’s performance.
But what about top speed? That’s been a tough nut to crack for electric “manufacturers ” because while instant torque helps an EV rocket off the line, all that “electric juice” operates thin as the runway get longer. That’s where Genovation Cars comes in.
The EV tuner took a 2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z0 6 and turned it into the “Genovation eXtreme Electric, ” or GXE for short. While testing the reborn ‘vette at the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds/ Shuttle Landing Facility in Florida, Genovation brought the sports car to a top speed of 186. 8 mph. While even the regular Corvette can manage that accomplishment these days, in the world of street-legal EVs, that figure is massive. In fact, it was nearly 10 mph quicker than the previous record holder at 177 mph.
The new record was certified by the International Mile Racing Association and the vehicle has earned the official title of, “Top Speed Street Legal Electric Car.”
The GXE capitalized on the Corvette Z0 6’s lighting body as a platform to incorporate an innovative electric powertrain good for over 700 hp and 600 pound-feet of torque. Genovation claims the prototype has a 50:50 weight distribution and a range of 130 miles during “normal driving operation.” I’m guessing drag racing doesn’t fall under that category.
“We are thrilled that the result of our development testing led to the define of this record. Based on our experience in so far, we believe the car to be extremely robust as we set the record on our first day of testing, ” said Genovation CEO Andrew Saul. The company added that its work on the GXE isn’t finished and it expects the EV to reach higher levels of performance very soon.
Climate change, caused in large part by the emissions from burning oil, may drown much of the world’s coastal cities as sea levels rise.
But first, oil may “drown” the world.
An unusually warm winter, weak demand and increased supply will lead to a glut of oil until late 2016, according to a report released Tuesday by the International Energy Agency.
Spring-like weather has driven down heating oil prices. And China’s economy, which is off to a rough start this year, has tapered the country’s usual thirst for the fuel. But despite plummeting prices, oil producers in Saudi Arabia have kept on pumping in fear of losing market share to Iran as the oil-rich country reemerges after earning relief from crippling sanctions.
“Unless something changes, the oil market could drown in over-supply,” the IEA, which is part of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, wrote in the report.
Conventional wisdom posits that continuously cheap oil also poses a threat to the development of renewable energy. Even as the price of renewables goes down, why invest in wind turbines and solar panels — so thinking goes — when cheap fossil fuels are so abundant?
The answer is that, for the most part, oil doesn’t compete with renewables.
“Oil is largely transportation fuel, and renewables are largely electricity sources that provide power,” Brian Warshay, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, told The Huffington Post in August. “They’re not really competing against one another in the same energy application.”
Just 1 percent of electricity generated in the United States last year came from oil, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That figure has remained unchanged for the past five years. Renewable energy accounted for 9 percent of U.S. electricity produced last April — nearly doubling from the same month in 2010, when it accounted for just 5 percent.
Last year, natural gas — generally a cleaner, albeit controversial fuel — surpassed coal as the top U.S. fuel used to produce electricity. Still, at up to $87 per megawatt hour, natural gas costs more than wind and just less than solar. And as companies and governments push to lower their carbon emissions to fall in line with last year’s historic climate accord in Paris, renewables will likely become a more attractive option.
While cheap oil may not be able to slow the pace of renewable electricity, it can take a toll on the electric car market. Last year, sales of sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks skyrocketed in the U.S. as the price per barrel of oil dripped ever lower. Electric cars, by contrast, saw static sales growth and difficult headwinds as automakers struggled to overcome the thing that has long dogged the sustainable transportation industry: short-term thinking.
Though self-driving technology won most of the attention at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month, car companies debuted an array of electric concept vehicles. One, Chevrolet’s roughly $30,000 Bolt, could be the first mainstream electric car cheap enough for average consumers to afford. In a market dominated by luxury players like Tesla Motors — which has promised a cheaper Model 3 sometime in the next few years — the Bolt is a welcome entrant.
“If gas was $5 a gallon now, would a car like the Bolt be appealing to an even larger percentage of the U.S. population? Absolutely,” Karl Brauer, a senior analyst at the automotive research firm Kelley Blue Book, told HuffPost by phone on Tuesday.
Adding a lower-cost tier to the electric car industry might be the one thing that drowns out oil for good. Brauer said he expects more electric cars to enter the mass market over the next two years.
“It’s all going to come together timing-wise about when it should,” Brauer said. “The price of fuel and oil will become a secondary issue, at best.”
Jaguar has finally fully revealed the official I-PACE all-electric SUV, a vehicle with just under 240 miles of range and a 0 to 60 mph time of under five seconds. The car can also charge to 80 percent from empty in 40 minutes using special quick charger hardware, and a 15-minute top-up is good for around 62 miles of additional range.
The I-PACE looks like Jaguar’s best attempt to do a Tesla impression in more ways than the electric powertrain, however: The automaker is also promising over-the-air updates for the car, and connected controls that tie in to a mobile app for your phone, including charging status information. OTA is a first for Jaguar with this new EV offering.
In the cabin, there are touchscreens for infotainment readout, along with standard physical controls for additional cabin control options. The vehicle has the silhouette and physical footprint of a crossover or compact SUV, but it’s also designed to make the most of its interior and luggage space, with fold-flat rear seats and nearly 400 gallons of total interior volume with that configuration.
The car’s battery is located centrally in the base of the car, which provides a 50/50 weight distribution split between the back and front of the vehicle according to Jaguar. Those batteries power front and back axle motors, which means it’s also an all-wheel drive vehicle, and of course emits zero emissions.
Pre-orders for the car start today, and the SUV will begin being delivered to buyers in the second half of 2018. We’ll find out about U.S. pricing, and get a closer look at the car, next week at the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland.