It’s official: McLaren is indeed testing an all-electric supercar. Try not to act shocked.
McLaren’s very first EV has - after all - been rumoured for ages, but this is the first time the company has gone on record about what it’s up to in the electricity department.
“We’ve got a pure EV mule and part of the reason for that is to ask how we can deliver driver engagement in a fully electric world,” McLaren Design Director Dan Parry-Williams told Autocar. It will however be a while before a McLaren powered by electricity alone arrives in showrooms, mostly due to current limitations with battery technology.
“Let’s say you want to drive on track for half an hour…If that was an EV, that car would have over 500 miles of EV range (for road driving), and it would be flat as a pancake at the end. The energy required to do really high performance on track is staggering. And then you have to recharge it,” Parry-Williams said.
Battery tech is of course developing at an extremely fast pace, but that might not necessarily help McLaren in its quest to make an electric hypercar as much as you’d think. “There’s a lot more investment going into energy-dense batteries rather than power density,” Parry-Williams explained. The former is more about range - it’s big strides forward for the latter that McLaren really needs for its super-fast EV.
So make no mistake, the first electric-only McLaren is coming. Just don’t expect to see it for a little while.