In the midst of a long weekend for many of our U.S. readers, I have one more reason for you to love electric cars. That reason is torque.
An electric motor generates torque on a flat curve – maximum torque right off the line – as opposed to a combustion engine, which has a curve of torque increasing with the revs. In other words, the IC engine has to get going before it can make any significant amount of torque. The electric motor generates its torque by running current through the wire, generating a magnetic field, which pushes against another magnet, and there’s the force.
The practical aspect of this – or why it is that we care about quickly generating torque at all – is it directly affects how quickly a car can get off the line. This is of great importance if you’re trying to drag race someone (we all do that, right?).
This Is Not Just Idle Speculation
As a demonstration of just how much better an electric car is at getting off the line and zooming ahead of the gas-driven competition, the automotive version of the Mythbusters, the Stuntbusters, performed two tests. One pitted a Porsche 911 Carrera (6-cylinder engine, 385HP) against a Tesla Roadster (288HP). The Tesla is also lighter than the 911, which undoubtedly helps, but the Roadster totally smoked the Carrera anyway (which, incidentally, is also good press for anyone wanting the Model S).
But those are luxury cars, you may be saying, not something I’d ever have in my driveway. Well, in that case you’re in luck – the second pair took a ’69 Chevy Camaro, with a 427 big block engine, and pitted it against a ’65 Coupe Kit Car converted to run all electric. 1,400 lithium ion batteries gave the ’65 Coupe 250HP and 1300 ft/lbs. of torque.
If you guessed that the DIY electric car conversion beat the pants off the Camaro, you would be right – super speed right off the line. Check out the video below:
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