John Waters, an ex-General Motors engineer who worked on the battery platform for the EV1, often tells stories of burning Corvettes in parking lot drag races while he worked for country’s biggest automaker. He didn’t bring a modified Mustang or another type of sports car to the race. Instead, Waters used the original GM electric vehicle — the EV1 that met its end in the early twenty-first century after a period of lease-only availability. How did Waters beat the Corvette with the dumpy EV1? His only rule was keeping the race in the parking lot. In effect, he created a race from 0-30 mph. The instant torque available to electric vehicles allowed Waters to drop the Corvette every time.
“We never lost a race,” Waters told World News in 2013. Had the race been from 0-60 or above, the Corvette and its vaunted horsepower “would have smoked us,” Waters said, but the point about easy, instant acceleration had been made to his skeptical colleagues at GM. More than a decade later, GM has produced a mini car that delivers more torque than a Ferrari 458 Italia, a Mustang GT, and just about any other performance car on the road. Surprising amounts of torque in today’s electric vehicles offer appeal to those who want performance along with a car that leaves gasoline behind. Here are the seven EVs that deliver the most torque.