The head of automotive conglomerate Stellantis has boldly claimed fast-accelerating cars – such as certain electric vehicles (EVs) – are safer than vehicles which are slow off the mark.
Speaking to media at last week’s launch of the upcoming STLA Large EV platform, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares – who oversees more than a dozen automotive brands, including Jeep, Dodge, Alfa Romeo, Fiat and Maserati – cited personal experience as the reason behind his belief that quick cars can save lives.
“I am living on a farm in the deep countryside of Portugal, and I often drive on the small roads around here,” Mr Tavares said, as reported by UK publication Top Gear.
“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 EV technology is great as we all know.”
It’s important to remember that in Australia, you can be fined for speeding when overtaking another vehicle if you break the posted speed limit.
In this case, the vehicle you’re overtaking must be driving at significantly less than the speed limit for you to make use of your vehicle’s fast acceleration characteristics.
Last week, Stellantis claimed its upcoming STLA Large platform could support electric motors capable of propelling a vehicle from zero to 100km/h in less than three seconds – faster than a V8 Supercar and bordering on Formula One acceleration speeds.
The architecture will underpin eight new models across five Stellantis brands between 2024 and 2026, with the electric Dodge Charger and Jeep Wagoneer S set to launch in North America before the end of this year.