Plug-In Vehicle Cross Section: Acceleration To 30 MPH and 60 MPH In EV Mode

1 year ago by David Murray 35


I watched a YouTube video the other day (above) showing a C-Max Energi accelerate from 0 to 60 in pure EV mode.  Obviously it was slow compared to most EVs but one of the things I noticed was that the 0-30 time seemed pretty good.

So I got to thinking I should collect all of the 0-30 and 0-60 times for as many EVs as I could find and compare them (chart/data attached below).  Unfortunately, some of the numbers proved impossible to find.  Other numbers I had to essentially get myself by a somewhat inaccurate method.  When the data was lacking, I watched youtube videos of people doing 0-60 and used my stopwatch to find the times.  Of course, I don’t know if they were on level ground or not.  But it’s the only thing I could find.  I have left comments on each figure showing the source of the information.

What Really Sets The New 2016 Chevrolet Volt Apart From Its Former Self Is The 0 -30 mph Launch (Photo: Tom Moloughney/InsideEVs)

What Really Sets The New 2016 Chevrolet Volt Apart From Its Former Self Is The 0 -30 mph Launch (Photo: Tom Moloughney/InsideEVs)

OK, lets talk about what data is missing and possibly inaccurate.  I was simply not able to find any 0-30 information for the Fusion Energi in gas or EV mode.  I was also not able to find any official data for the i8 when in EV mode.  Although one person in a comment forum seemed quite sure the number was 9 seconds for 0-60.  The Toyota Prius Plug-in is a challenge because there is no official EV mode.  All that can be done is that the driver can attempt to floor it as much as possible without crossing the threshold to start the engine. So the number may vary some from one driver to the next.

I’ll give you all of the raw information below, but I’ll tell you the few things I discovered that rather surprised me.

First of all, on the 0-30 test, the C-Max Energi even when in pure EV mode accelerates exactly as fast as the Focus Electric and surprisingly even a hair faster than the poor Mitsubishi i-Miev. To add insult to injury, the C-Max Energi can actually just about match the i-Miev on the full 0-60 test even in EV mode.

The second thing that surprised me – I test drove an i3 and generally thought it was very fast.  However, it appears the 500e will outrun it from 0-30.  And it looks like the new 2016 Chevy Volt is going to outrun all of them except the Tesla on the 0-30 test!

Some Plug-In Vehicles 0-30 mph Data (estimated in some cases)

Some Plug-In Vehicles 0-30 mph Data (estimated in some cases)

The 0-30 test is actually pretty important for a vehicle that you are going to be driving around in the city.  So it appears that just about any of these vehicles (except maybe the Prius PHV) can give a great EV driving experience in city traffic. And it is worth noting that I checked several gasoline vehicles in order to see where these EVs stand.  Some examples:  The Honda CR-V is 3.4 seconds.  A Toyota Camry is 3.2 seconds.Honda Civic is 3.5 seconds.

The 0-60 test is far more important for seeing how a vehicle will perform on the highway.  It certainly appears I would want to avoid driving an i-Miev or some of the PHEV models on the highway in pure electric mode.

Some Plug-In Vehicles 0-60 mph Data (estimated in some cases)

Some Plug-In Vehicles 0-60 mph Data (estimated in some cases)

2016 Chevy Volt

  • 0-30: 2.6 seconds (GM)
  • 0-60: 8.4 seconds (GM)

2011-2015 Chevy Volt

  • EV 0-30: 3.4 seconds (edmunds)
  • EV 0-60: 9.2 seconds (edmunds)
  • GAS 0-30: 3.6 seconds (edmunds)
  • GAS 0-60: 9.0 seconds (edmunds)

 2014 Spark EV 

  • 0-30: 3.2 seconds (car and driver)
  • 0-60: 7.9 seconds (car and driver)

Fiat 500e

  • 0-30: 2.8 seconds  (car and driver)
  • 0-60: 8.7 seconds  (car and driver)

Ford Focus EV

  • 0-30: 4.0 seconds  (car and driver)
  • 0-60: 10.1 seconds  (car and driver)

Honda Fit EV

  • 0-30: 3.1 seconds  (car and driver)
  • 0-60: 8.5 seconds  (car and driver)

2013 Nissan Leaf

  • 0-30: 3.4 seconds  (car and driver)
  • 0-60: 10.2 seconds  (car and driver)

Smart Fourtwo EV

  • 0-30: 3.1 seconds  (car and driver)
  • 0-60: 9.8 seconds  (car and driver)

Ford C-Max Energi

  • EV 0-30: 4 seconds (*fotomoto’s youtube video)
  • EV 0-60: 15 seconds (*fotomoto  youtube video)
  • GAS 0-30: 3.1 seconds (truth about cars)
  • GAS 0-60: 7.91 seconds (truth about cars)

Ford Fusion Energi

  • GAS 0-30: 3.1 seconds (car and driver)
  • GAS 0-60: 8.6 seconds (car and driver)

BMW i3 (BEV version)

  • 0-30: 2.9 seconds (edmunds)
  • 0-60: 6.6 seconds (edmunds)

BMW i8

  • EV 0-60:  9 seconds (Commenter on InsideEVs)
  • GAS 0-30: 2.0 seconds (edmunds)
  • GAS 0-60: 4.5 seconds (edmunds)

Toyota Prius PHEV

  • EV 0-30: 6 seconds (youtube)
  • EV 0-60: 27 seconds (youtube)
  • GAS 0-30: 3.95 seconds (youtube)
  • GAS 0-60: 9.8 seconds (motor trend)

Tesla Model S P85

  • 0-30: 1.7 seconds (Tesla Motors)
  • 0-60: 4.2 seconds (Tesla Motors)

Mitsubishi i-Miev (USA version)

  • 0-30: 4.3 seconds (edmunds)
  • 0-60: 14.9 seconds (edmunds)

Kia Soul EV

  • 0-60: 11.2 seconds

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35 responses to "Plug-In Vehicle Cross Section: Acceleration To 30 MPH and 60 MPH In EV Mode"

  1. SIvad says:

    Great chart! I’ve been looking for something like this.

    1. Anderlan says:

      Me too! +1

    2. Jim_NJ says:

      Great article! For a few other data points from Consumer Reports:

      BMW i3 Rex
      0-30 – 3.3
      0-60 – 7.5

      Tesla Model S 85 base
      0-30 – 2.7
      0-60 – 5.6

      For comparison, their 2011 Volt times:
      0-30 – 3.4
      0-60 – 9.4

      Also, for comparison, a 323 HP V6 Camaro with manual transmission:
      0-30 – 2.6
      0-60 – 6.6

      What blows my mind about this is that a 2016 Chevy Volt my beat an $81,000 Tesla in a stoplight-to-stoplight race.

      I agree that this info should be available a permalink somewhere on your home page. Maybe a page with basic specs of all currently available EV’s (e.g. range, seating, MSRP).

  2. SIvad says:

    Prius PHEV 0-60 EV mode in 27 secs. LOL

  3. James says:

    Don’t forget our sad departed friend, the RAV4EV. 0-60 in 7 secs.

  4. SIvad says:

    The Volt 0-60 time that Edmunds lists is one the slowest I’ve seen posted. Here is a list of previous results from various groups.

    2012 Chevrolet Volt

    9.1 sec Car and Driver
    8.5 sec Motor Trend

    2011 Chevrolet Volt

    8.8 sec Car and Driver
    9.0 sec Motor Trend
    8.7 sec Motor Trend
    8.8 sec Road & Track

    1. Jay Cole says:

      All the estimates are fairly close to be fair.

      Just as a random point of interest: GM rated the 2015 Volt at 9.0 seconds to 60 mph and 3.1 seconds to 30 mph – which is probably the best metric to use…considering they are the only ones with access/having tested the 2016 Volt.

      Numbers could still be off/conservative of course, but assuming GM used to same testing procedures the improvement/splits should be accurate.

  5. ELROY says:

    I have a LEAF and a Focus. Yes the LEAF is quicker off the line, but after 40mph the Focus is much quicker. The Focus has huge power limiting off the line, presumably to combat its torque steer and tire spin. Most people dont necessarily drag race froma stand still so 30-60mph is also a good indicator of in town acceleration. In this case the LEAF and very quick off the line Smart are beat by the Focus:

    30-60mph:
    6.1 sec:Focus
    6.7 sec: Smart
    6.8 sec:LEAF
    10.6 sec:imiev
    11.0 sec: Cmax

    Interesting with all the extra quickness of the new Volt..it according to your stats. .it is no quicker than the old volt in the 30-60mph split:
    5.8 sec: 2016 Volt
    5.8 sec: 2011 Volt

    The Rest:
    5.9 sec: 500e (remarkably only .20 sec quicker than the Focus)
    5.4 sec: Honda Fit
    4.7 sec: Spark
    3.7 sec: BMW i3

    The i3 is remarkable at 3.7 seconds! It trounces the competition in useful acceleration AND it has the highest efficiency rating. Guess there are advantages to their advanced engineering contrary to what some of the critics state.

    1. ELROY says:

      And yes, the P85 is quicker at 2.5 sec 30-60mph…but a completely different price point, and battery capacity way above the 20kwh area of these mainstream BEVs.

    2. FocusEV says:

      The Focus is definitely quick from 30-60 which is nice when someone is being a lane bully on the highway. I have the same issue with spinning tires off the line, and it’s particularly bad when exiting a downhill driveway into a sanded street (winter time). Discussion at https://discussions.myfordmobile.com/discussions/MyFord_Mobile_Discussions/BEV_General_AllElectric_Questions/Spinning_Tires/mfm010000d1/204.1?redirCnt=1&nav=messages&mobile=you if anyone is interested.

  6. M Hovis says:

    Great post David! Sometimes we report the news and sometimes our contributors create it.
    The obvious glaring thing that I am left with is this.

    On one hand, what ground breaking impact the Prius had on introducing the world to good aerodynamics and the hybrid electric battery.

    On the other hand, how responsible the Prius is for making people think an EV drives like a go-cart or better still, like a Prius.

    Unless you own a Tesla, 0-30 in the 2016 Volt is gonna be a rush.
    Nice work David.

  7. Brian says:

    Thanks for compiling all of this information! These are some great plots.

    I particularly like comparing the Fusion PHEV and the Volt EREV. In 0-60 times, the Volt has full power in electric mode. By contrast, the Fusion is severely power limited by its smaller electric motor. BUT due to the PHEV architecture, it has the ability to beat the Volt by using both motors together. I am going to have a field day teasing Mr. Cote about this one 🙂

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      Well, if the Volt used its parallel “energy efficiency” mode to provide max power to the wheels, I agree it could have faster acceleration as well. Ironically, it instead operates as a series hybrid under max acceleration (I say ironic since everyone incorrectly faults it for claiming it is a “parallel” hybrid.

      That said, there are people who have “hacked” the Volt to allow it to provide full acceleration using both motors with the engine running, and their 0-60 times have been very impressive.

  8. CAB says:

    Oh, and I would also change the chart with a split to show the Prius 0-60. It dilutes the delta that a 5-7 second car has over a 8-11 second car in 0-60. Thee former feel really quick whereas the latter are just “OK”. Basically, make you chart 0-15 seconds and just note the PPI takes an eternity…

  9. Mikael says:

    I’d love to see you add models to this list and make it a permanent page somewhere.

    There are at least another 20-30 models available and we would surely lend a hand if needed to find the diffrent figures. 🙂
    (and to help by pointing out which models still are missing from the chart 😉 )

  10. James B. says:

    A thing I’ll say about the Fusion Energi… 620 miles of official range. However, my last three tanks were 4400, 4600, and a ‘start of winter’ 2800 miles. Austin, TX has charging all over the place.

    Surely we have some people on here that can try their car’s times too.

    1. Brian says:

      You are either confused or intentionally misusing Ford’s number. Their number is a tank of gas and ONE charge. Your numbers are a tank of gas and MANY charges.

  11. FangQ says:

    Sports vs ECO mode impact 0-30 significantly. Under which mode were the tests performed?

    1. David Murray says:

      That has not been my experience with any of the cars I’ve driven that have sport and eco modes. While they change the behavior of the throttle, ultimately, it does not affect the maximum output.

      1. FangQ says:

        The acceleration certainly feels a lot faster with Sports with my volt. I am surprised you didn’t feel the same. 0-60 may have less impact, but I assume 0-30 should register to this feeling somehow.

  12. Aaron says:

    I’d like to see where they got the 0-60 of 15 seconds in an i-MiEV. Every other site I’ve seen quotes it at 12 seconds. Still ain’t fast, but with some forethought, plenty fast to merge on the freeway.

  13. Scramjett says:

    Did Nissan de-rate the Leaf’s performance in 2013? I thought I remember the 2011 Leaf (that I used to have) having a 0-60 time of 8.8 sec?

    1. Brian says:

      Yes they did. The 2013-2015 have less torque than the 2011-2012. It feels notivably less peppy off the line when you floor it.

    2. ModernMarvelFan says:

      I know that 2011/2012 LEAF was faster than 2013 or later model. But 2011/2012 models never broke the 9s barrier…

  14. pjwood says:

    i8 EV only Road & Track results were penciled next to the hybrid results, in this write up here:
    http://insideevs.com/road-track-bmw-i8-real-world-test-results-0-60-mph-3-8-seconds/
    0-60 = 9.4 sec.

    1. pjwood says:

      ..also going to note 0-30 was .6 seconds off Volt 2 pace, at 3.2 seconds.

      It may go without saying, but small batteries correlate tightly with slower times.

  15. Victor says:

    Toyota should spend more time improving the 0-60 time of the plug in Prius. Instead of wasting so much valuable time on this hydrogen fuel cell Madness.

  16. Robert says:

    Sometimes, a buyer might also be looking for the “Best Bang For The Buck”, which in the context of this story might be a Merged Metric of “Best Acceleration For The Dollar”, or how much does that 0 to 60 speed point of 0.3 seconds cost me?

    So, if you want the fastest car, for the least $, this Metric would cover that! Added to the suggested comments to make this a permanent page, as well!

    1. np says:

      Best acceleration bang for your buck would probably be going the DIY or aftermarket conversion route (e.g. EV West)

      In addition a transmission for torque multiplication at low speeds helps tremendously

  17. Warren says:

    The i3 is not only the most efficient of the pathetic OEM offers, but the second fastest accelerating.

    Look at the performance of the world’s most commercially successful electric motorcycle…the Zero SR. Under four seconds 0-60 mph, under 500 pounds, over 100 miles range. This in a vehicle with aerodynamics worse even than an SUV. Imagine a aero, 1000-1500 pound cyclecar, like the Edison2 EV.

    We have a decade to figure this out. Every time I suggest this, people say, “We like the cars we have now, just make them efficient.” People liked the pyramids too. How many are building them today?

  18. TomNY says:

    Of course acceleration is important to us all, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that most of us set out to find the car that meets our needs with the lowest environmental impact. Pounding the throttle once in a while can be fun but it sets you up to waste energy along the trip if it becomes a habit.

    I can accept that a Prius might take a while to get to 60 in all EV, considering that should be a relatively rare occurrence. Getting onto a highway only on battery is not a good use of its limited battery reserve. Its acceleration is acceptable when the engine is running and Toyota did an impressive job maximizing the efficiency of their overall system.

    My C-Max Energi fits my needs better than the PIP would have because it’s EV range suits my commute, but there is no car that is perfect for everybody.

    1. David Murray says:

      I agree and disagree at the same time. I think a lot of it depends on what is motivating somebody to buy a certain car. Not everyone is motivated by environmental impact, as you claim.

      Myself, I enjoy the “experience” of driving an EV. So I like to be able to have full acceleration in EV mode. However, I could live with an Energi most likely, even though I’d be driving it in EV-Now mode 95% of the time.

    2. Phr3d says:

      Figures always call for comments about the best Speed/best for the dollar, and so on, but for many what it shows is that your ‘taste’ of an EV car was exactly that, it is simply not an EV, “it drives like a prius”.

      There Might be PiP fans here, but starting and abandoning a revolution has left a bad taste in some people’s mouths, particularly when Coyota wouldn’t have had to invest That much to stay in the neighborhood, instead of consciously saying (via Lexus ads) EV is now passe’.

  19. TomNY says:

    I agree. The EV experience was a big part of my motivation too. The classic prius have me the taste and I wanted more.

    As you suggest, I am in EV Now mode almost all the time and I am glad the car is smart enough to remember that. Regrettably, they didn’t think enough of the driver’s intelligence to allow it to stay in EV Later mode, so you have to pay attention if you want to save the battery for a later portion of the trip and need to make a stop along the way.

    The acceleration is just good enough that you might not notice that the ICE didn’t kick in and then you look down and notice the battery is drained.