Why Are Electric Vehicles So Fast?

Last Updated on August 26, 2022 by

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Electric Vehicles (or EVs) are gaining popularity especially in developed nation. Their selling point is less pollution and emission of harmful gases and smoke.

Apart from their environmental-friendly nature, electric vehicles also tend to be quicker. But there is a catch to this.

When you say “quicker”, you refer to quick acceleration from 0 to say 60 miles per hour in 5 seconds. That is a very powerful pick up.

The article will explain this phenomenon in more detail.

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Why Are Electric Cars Better?

There are a couple of reasons why electric cars can fare better than their fuel-powered counterparts. Some of these reasons are listed below –

  • Electric cars cause less pollution. They do not directly rely on fossil fuels to run. This also means less emissions and engine noise.
  • However, it is important to note that electric cars use electricity to recharge. That electricity is produced using conventional sources of energy like coal. So indirectly, they do add to pollution.
  • Electric cars have the ability to deliver max torque from a state of no motion. This is the reason why electric cars can be very quick.
  • Another reason for quick pick-up in electric cars is the placement of motors. Both front and rear motors in electric cars work through the four tires, giving extra power.
  • The quick responses from electric cars are possible because unlike gas cars EVs do not have to wait for multi-gear downshift.
  • The more energy a battery has the more powerful that EV will be. Electric cars have simple and durable motors with fewer parts that move along with the running engine.

There are more reasons why electric cars are better. You will explore them later in the article.

Why Are Gas Cars Faster Than Electric?

In the short run, electric cars can be faster than the gas cars. There are multiple reasons for this.

First, electric cars can utilize energy much better than the cars powered by fuel. For instance, a 70 kWh battery can travel up to 250 miles (depending on how fast you drive).

To get the same energy as 70 kWh in gas cars you would require 2 gallons of gasoline. Even in the most efficient gas car, this amount of gasoline will only take you 100 miles.

It is a simple case of slow and steady wins the race.

Second, electric cars share a positive relationship with their range. For example, the gas cars have poor fuel economy, meaning, to travel large distances they require more tank capacity.

Quick and powerful electric cars do not have to suffer the same trade-off.

Third, electric vehicles often feel faster than gas cars because the torque is instantly delivered. This means when you press or push the accelerator, you do not feel any type of lag.

Compare Electric Cars Performance to Petrol

There are pros and cons related to performance when it comes to both gas cars and electric cars.

First, there is a difference between ‘fast’ and ‘quick’. The term ‘fast’ means the top speed a vehicle can reach while the term ‘quick’ refers to how long it takes to reach a destination.

Electric vehicles are known to be quicker than gas cars. They can reach point B from point A faster. But gas cars can currently reach much greater speeds than electric cars. Which means they are faster.

When it comes to causing pollution, electric cars are certainly better than gas cars. EVs do not lead to emissions of harmful smoke and gases like carbon dioxide.

Electric cars have a faster rate of transmission from zero to 60, as compared to gas cars. But most electric cars have problems maintaining this performance in the long run. Gas cars do not have that issue.

When you compare a gas car and an electric car possessing the same rating for horsepower, the electric one gets more access to its horsepower than the gas one.

This is possible because electric cars do not have many moving parts in comparison to gas cars. Therefore, EVs are able to drive on the road with more efficiency.

What Are the Disadvantages of Electric Cars?

EVs definitely have many advantages. But they are far from perfect. These are the disadvantages of electric cars –

  • Lack of accessibility. Electric car batteries use rare materials like lithium, cobalt and manganese. This means their production takes longer, making them more expensive than gas cars.
  • They are not environmental-friendly as you think. First, the production of electric car batteries adds to pollution as the components need to be mined and manufactured in a factory.
  • Second, electric cars need to be charged frequently. That requires power which is often generated using coal and other fossil fuels. So you end up adding to pollution indirectly.
  • Electric cars have a faster transmission and can reach the destination quicker than gas cars. But that destination should be nearby.
  • The current electric car batteries cannot travel far. An average battery can provide a mileage of 100 miles or fewer on a full charge.
  • There are EVs which can travel up to 300 miles. But they are also very expensive and easily out of range for most drivers on the road.

Do Electric Cars Have Gears?

This is a tricky question. Yes, electric cars do have a gearbox, but it is not similar to the gas-powered vehicles.

For instance, most of the electric cars on the road do not have multi-speed transmission options. Instead, the electric motor inside is managed by a singular speed transmission.

This implies, there are no gear shifts in an electric car unlike the cars powered by fuel. You can compare them to cars with automatic transmission.

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Why Do Electric Cars Have Instant Torque?

As discussed earlier, electric vehicles beat gas cars when it comes to maximum instant torque. On the other hand, gas cars trump electric vehicles when it comes to superfast top speeds.

The electric motor inside the electric car is more efficient in picking up speed as compared to gas cars.

This is how it works – an electric current inside the motor moves through a magnetic field, creating the required force for armature rotation. The car is able to move due to this mechanics.

In the long haul however, electric cars face a disadvantage that goes by the name ‘back EMF’. The term EMF stands for electromotive force and it slows down the speed of rotation.

This in turn reduces the torque in electric cars. On the other hand, gas cars take more time to reach their maximum torque potential. But they can maintain it longer than electric cars.

Do electric motors have more torque than diesel?

In a nutshell, yes. Electric cars tend to have more torque than diesel or any other fuel car.

Electric cars have the capability to produce maximum torque from the get-go. This is due to back electromotive force (EMF) caused by the armature rotation.

This back EMF is inversely proportional to speed. So if the speed is higher, lesser net force will be required.

Going by this logic, if there is no speed then there is no back EMF. This means, the supply voltage immediately translates to torque output.

When you press the accelerator in an electric car, the motor applies maximum voltage which results in maximum torque instantly.

FAQ Relating to Electric Vehicle Speed and Acceleration

You might have some doubts regarding how fast or quick an electric vehicle can go. To clear up these concerns here are the most common frequently asked questions –

Why Is an Electric Car So Fast?

Electric cars are more “quick” than they are “fast”. This means electric vehicles can pick up high speed quickly thanks to instant torque access.

Instant maximum torque also means you will arrive at your destination faster in an electric car. This also depends on how far the car battery can drive the vehicle.

Are Electric Cars Too Fast?

Some people might think going from 0 to 60 miles an hour in 5 seconds is too fast. But you obviously won’t be reaching that speed jump every time.

Although electric cars do not have a conventional gear system, you can still control the max speed. As long as you know how to operate the car safely, you will never be driving “too fast”.

Are Electric Cars Faster Than Regular Cars?

Electric cars can pick up speed much faster than the most efficient gas cars. That is a fact.

However, when it comes to top speed, gas cars are a lot faster than electric cars. Also, gas cars can maintain their speed much better than electric cars thanks to their internal combustion engines.

But if you are only traveling locally, electric cars will help you reach your destination much faster.

Why Do Electric Motors Accelerate So Fast?

This is due to their internal motor mechanics which allow electric cars to reach maximum torque almost instantly.

When an electric car moves from a state of rest, the motor engine applies maximum voltage into torque output. This allows the car to quickly pick up speed. 

Derek Bruce
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