How Electric Cars Achieve Instant Torque: An Overview for Grads of Mechanic Schools
May 22, 2018
When it comes to achieving top speeds, no one will challenge the fact that gas-powered cars are king. But while they’re fast, it takes them a little longer to hit their maximum torque than an electric vehicle (EV). That’s because the electric motor inside of an EV generates torque in a way that produces the necessary force to get the car moving quicker than its conventional counterpart. While EVs won’t be tearing up the track like a Lamborghini or Ferrari, instant torque gives them great acceleration from a dead stop.
Are you curious to know the ins and outs of how EVs are able to achieve instant torque? Read on to learn more!
How Torque Is Achieved in Gas Powered Vehicles
When it comes to generating the amount of force necessary to rotate the wheels of a car (torque), gas-powered cars and EVs do things a little differently. A gas-powered engine generates torque by burning fuel, causing combustion, which then turns parts like the crankshaft. These powerful energies then get transferred to the wheels via the car’s transmission. Diesel engines produce torque in about the same way, except due to having a higher compression ratio, and because the fuel stores more energy than gas, diesel engines often produce greater torque.
As EVs don’t require fuel, they don’t produce torque through combustion. Instead, they generate the force necessary to turn the wheels of the car with the help of electric currents.
Grads of Mechanic Schools Shouldn’t Underestimate the Electric Motor
The benefit of using an electric motor to power a car is that it can help drivers reach maximum torque from 0 RPM. This is because electric motors use an electric current, which moves through a magnetic field and creates the force necessary to rotate the armature and get the car moving. It’s a process that works pretty seamlessly, although one of the drawbacks to it is that it also creates when is called “back EMF”. Over time, back EMF slows down rotation, reducing torque. With no back EMF present when a car starts, it’s able to get out of the gate quickly, even if that high torque isn’t endlessly sustainable.
Graduates of an auto mechanic course with an interest in electric cars may be aware of this phenomenon, referred to as “instant torque.” By comparison, gasoline engines take a lot longer to reach their maximum level of torque, and might need to rev up in order to do so.
The Drawback of Gas-Powered Engines on Torque
Why can’t a gas engine achieve instant torque like an EV? There are two reasons. Firstly, because a gas engine is heavier than an electric motor, it adds resistance to the vehicle’s ability to accelerate as quickly as an EV. More importantly, though, gasoline engines waste a whole lot of power getting the vehicle going, even if they might be able maintain higher speeds for longer than an EV.
While students in mechanic schools may not see many EVs surpass gas-powered cars on the racetrack, EVs tend to come out of top right out of the gate. Check out their impressive abilities in this short clip:
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