Electric cars can be fun to drive because they have all their power available at all speeds, which means incredibly quick acceleration. But until now, carmakers have been limited in the performance they can offer at higher speeds because current electric cars use one-speed motors. That means the incredible acceleration you get from the Fisker Karma or the Tesla Roadster is being achieved essentially in first gear. Recently, Fisker’s CEO Henrik Fisker boldly claimed that his company could offer “Veyron levels of performance,” or the performance of the 1000-horsepower Bugatti Veyron supercar, if they could mate a multi-speed motor with the Fisker Karma. That’s quite a claim. Can they do it?

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Tesla already attempted this feat on its first round of Tesla Roadsters and failed, but Porsche is still trying to match its dual-clutch transmission to an electric sports car to encourage drivers to rev their engines like they would in a traditional sports car. We think Fisker might be on to something, but it may take some time before this technology is perfected. Still, we can see why they’re trying. The company’s Karma model that is coming out this month offers 408 horsepower and 959 lb-ft of torque, but only gets from 0-60 in 5.8 seconds and maxes out at 125 miles per hour–half the performance you could expect from that kind of power in a combustion engine vehicle. A lot of that power is going to waste. We can’t wait to see EVs lose their city car image and prove the incredible levels of performance they are capable of. If the Fisker Karma and Tesla Roadster are first gear, can you imagine what sixth gear would be like?

+ Fisker Automotive

Via Motor Authority