The rise of electric vehicles has seen the acceleration figures of everyday runabouts and family SUVs drop to levels once reserved for sports cars and supercars, and according to Stellantis chief executive Carlos Tavares, the quick acceleration of EVs could be considered a safety feature.
While speaking at the reveal of the company’s new STLA Large platform, which will support models with a 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in as low as 2 seconds, Tavares noted that quick acceleration is important when overtaking and could help drivers avoid certain dangerous situations.
“I am living on a farm in the deep countryside of Portugal, and I often drive on the small roads around here,” Tavares told Top Gear. “The acceleration power is first a matter of safety. It is first a matter of overtaking in safe conditions, making sure that you can change lanes, you can overtake a truck on a two-lane road. So, it is not necessarily about speed. It’s about acceleration power to overtake in safe conditions, and we are very happy that the electric vehicles carry that kind of capability.”
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Anyone who’s ever driven a slow car knows that it can be quite dangerous when trying to overtake and that’s exactly the type of scenario that Tavares believes EVs will help drivers avoid.
“I think it’s something that customers can enjoy,” he added. “And there is nothing more difficult than starting to overtake a truck and then having to jump on the brakes because you just discovered that the acceleration of the car you’re driving is not good enough to overtake in safe conditions. So, you jump back on the brakes, and you go back behind the truck. The acceleration capability for us is first a safety measure. The more acceleration you have, the safer the conditions under which you overtake can be, and from that perspective, the BEV technology is great as we all know.”
While Tavares may have a point in regards to overtaking, we’re not convinced that the blistering acceleration offered by EVs is necessarily a good thing. Sure, enthusiasts like ourselves love the thrill that an EV can provide off the line but do you want to be sharing the road with inexperienced and distracted drivers piloting 500hp+ family cars that can hit 62 mph in 3 seconds? We’re not sure we do.