It’s become apparent fairly recently that electric cars are particularly well suited to drag racing.
Their instant torque gets the cars off the line very quickly, and electric motors are capable of power outputs rivaling those of many of the most muscular internal-combustion engines.
The Internet is chock full of videos showing Tesla electric cars as well as various customized vehicles dusting supercars in drag races.
This latest entry may be one of the most entertaining yet.
It features a Tesla Model S, a Ferrari California T, and… an electric van.
Nicknamed “Edna,” it’s a powertrain test vehicle for mysterious California startup Atieva, according toRoad & Track (via Charged EVs).
The company was founded in 2007 by a former Tesla vice president and the founder of a networking company.
It started out developing monitoring and control software for battery packs used in a variety of electric vehicles. Denise Gray, who had previously run GM’s battery lab for the first Chevy Volt team, was an executive for a while.
Atieva gradually began moving toward building its own electric car, and subsequently became tied to Chinese automaker BAIC (Beijing Automotive Industry Corp.), through that company’s Beijing Electric Vehicle Company subsidiary.
Edna is the first prototype vehicle Atieva has shown in public.
It is a converted Mercedes-Benz Metris van, powered by an 87-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack and two electric motors that generate a combined 900 horsepower.
The van can do 0 to 60 mph in 3.08 seconds, according to Atieva. It beat both the Tesla and Ferrari in the company-staged drag race.
Atieva says it plans to use Edna for powertrain testing, including “motor-control algorithms, regenerative braking behaviors, accelerator-pedal feel, and cooling strategies.”
The company’s eventual production car probably won’t be a converted Mercedes van, of course.
Atieva has been somewhat vague about what that car will be like, but a statement on its website claims the company is “transforming what a car can be.”