Several characteristics of switched reluctance drive (SRD) systems, such as high torque density, high efficiency, fault tolerant operation, and simplicity of construction make them potentially attractive for electric vehicle (EV) traction applications. This paper presents the results of an evaluation of the design and performance aspects of switched reluctance (SR) drive technology, with special emphasis on EV traction. Rotor/ stator design and construction, choice of materials, electronic component selection, and production costs are some of the important design and manufacturing issues analyzed. Performance characteristics such as drive control, torque ripple and noise, fault tolerance, efficiency, torque-speed characteristics, and regeneration are discussed. Several of these design and manufacturing issues are compared with similar issues for drive systems currently used for electric vehicle applications.The results of the assessment show several benefits of applying SR motors in EV drives, including, high efficiency and excellent torque characteristics over a wide speed range, rugged and fault tolerant design, and the potential for economic mass production. However, further work is necessary and is being applied to improve torque ripple, noise and other drive systems design issues.The performance of an EV-suitable SRD and three competitive EV drive systems were compared by modeling these drives using ‘SIMPLEV’, the electric and hybrid vehicle simulation software. Each of the four drives was modeled to provide 45 kW to a BMW-E1 electric vehicle over the LA-92 driving cycle. The results suggest that the performance of SRDs is comparable to other state-of-the-art EV drive technologies.