Electric motors are a great invention, they are very small comapred to combustion engines, they can produce huge amounts of torque at very low speeds, they aren't so noisy, they made our every day life easier, they are everywhere, from the gigantic power stations to the tiny DVD player in your laptop. They are magic.
Electric cars... they say it's future.. But there is only one problem with them, they need electricity to run. And in order to produce electricity for hundreds of millions of electric vehicles around the planet we need hundreds of huge gas powered turbines or nuclear reactors that cause more harm than good to this planet. To store electricity for hundreds of millions of electric cars we need batteries, very heavy and expensive ones. Batteries that are made from rare earth, they are costly to produce and they last only for one decade or two. They are toxic and you can't throw them anywhere.
Electric cars... they say it's the future... Maybe. But not in the way they are produced today. Let's take this electric Porsche 911 made by RUF as an exemple. Let's start by looking at the full half of the glass. It is powered by a three Phase induction motor that produces 150 Kw (204 hp) and 616 Newton Meters (455 ib/ft) of torque. More importantly, this huge amount of torque is available at unbelievably low speeds. That's exactly where electric motors shine compared to combustion engines. It can go from 0 to 60 mph in less than 7 seconds and it has a top speed of 160 mph, great! It is also capable of running 200 miles on a single charge! All this without emitting a single gram of CO2 (No, wait...).
Now this all sounds perfect! Once again, we put aside the environmental catastrophy that would be caused by hundreds of millions of people owning a car similar to this electric RUF and think about it from a driver's point of view. While a flat six powered 911 weights 1420 Kg, this baby is nearly 500 Kg heavier, thanks to all the batteries that are placed both at the front and at the rear of the car. To fully charge the batteries, the two ton sports car needs to stay still and pump electricity for 10 hours before it can go again for a 200 miles journey... if you don't drive it like a sports car. All this for a car that costs as much as five Golf GTIs.
Even if the world is not ready for fully electric cars. Cars like the Tesla Roadster and the eRUF are a great beginning. You can see them as moving laboratories, but they are far from being the solution.