Electric cars have an image problem. To date, they have been worthy, but not sexy, though a number of new electric 'supercars' currently in development are soon set to change all of this.

The Guardian's Environment Editor, John Vidal (not usually a man to gush about new cars) writes this week that a new British supercar "is faster out of the blocks than a V12 Ferrari...can do 0-60mph in four seconds... will go more than 140mph and can be fully charged up over lunch."

This latest electric supercar was commissioned by Ecotricity wind power company chief Dale Vince last August to "blow the socks off Jeremy Clarkson and smash the stereotype of electric cars".

Lotus engineers

Surprisingly, the car was developed on a (shoestring) £200,000 budget and has been put together by a team of ex-Lotus engineers in a Norfolk garage from "off-the-shelf parts mostly available on the web...to prove to middle England that electric cars can be quick to develop, beautiful to look at, cheap to run, and run entirely on wind power."

Elsewhere in electric sexycars, Swedish specialist Koenigsegg has unveiled the Quant (or 'the Mary' as the wags over at Reg Hardware have quickly renamed it!) – described as a "four seater, gull-winged electric supercar" with a top speed of 275kph (171mph), a 0-62 time of 5.2 seconds, a range of 500km (312 miles) and powered by two electric motors knocking out an impressive 512bhp (381kW) of power and 715nm (527lb ft) of torque.

Koenigsegg claims that the engine will be capable of being charged to full capacity in 20 minutes, after which you can race off for another 500km jaunt. Which is quite a claim!

Also impressive is the manufacturer's claim that the Quant "only weighs around 450kg and contain no hazardous material or heavy metals".

Right now this is still at the prototype stage, but we'll be keeping an eye on the Koenigsegg Quant. Mainly because we want one. Badly.

Via The Guardian and The Register