We are living in an era of internal combustion engine cars. Gear shifting, engine revving, loud noises, exhaust gases that can make you cough, but we’re used to those.
Thankfully, there has been a push towards the electric vehicle (EV), away from internal combustion engines. Injecting the much-needed excitement and fresh air (literally) into the automobile industry.
The primary reason why an electric vehicle is a worthy contender against an internal combustion engine is that EV can output maximum torque instantly. It’s hard to comprehend how big of a deal this thing is, so keep reading, and I’ll explain!
Electric Motors and Torque
Torque is a measure of force generated at a distance. Distance is the distance between point A where you deliver the force, and point B, where your force moves the load. For example, using a longer wrench will make tightening bolts easier because a longer wrench generates more power.
Internal Combustion Engine
To understand electric motors, we need to build a baseline by looking at the internal combustion engines first. Internal combustion engines generate power by little explosions made of a mixture of oxygen and fuel inside the combustion chamber. This pushes the crankshaft down and rotates the shaft.
In an internal combustion engine, maximum torque is reached when the engine reaches maximum efficiency during the combustion process. Maximum torque typically occurs at 2000-5000 rpm. Expensive high-end cars can sustain max torque at longer rpm intervals.
An electric motor uses the power from the battery to run through a rotor encased in permanent magnets. This electric current interacts with the magnets around it, creating an electromagnetic field. This field drives the rotor to rotate, which then transports the energy straight to the wheels.
In an electric motor, maximum torque is reached when the engine starts to rotate. Because the perfect time to deliver electricity to the motor is when everything is standing still. As the rotation increases, a reverse electromotive force will occur in the engine and slowly reduces the torque as the rotation increases further.
That means an electric motor reaches maximum torque at 0 rpm. Amazing, right!?
Electric Vehicles with the Most Torque
Tesla Model S
The Tesla Model S is a commercially-available all-electric sedan. Tesla Model S has a maximum range of 400 kilometers that comes from its powerful 100 kilo-watt-hour Lithium-Ion battery. Model S has a maximum engine power of 362 horsepower and maximum torque of 441 newton-meter at 0 rpm.
What’s crazy about the Tesla Model S is it can maintain maximum torque up to 72 km/h! This makes Tesla Model S agile and responsive in city traffic, where the road is packed, and turns are frequent.
Volkswagen ID.R is a fully-electric prototype supersport car that is designed to compete in motorsport races. With 671 horsepower of pure electric power and maximum torque of 649 newton-meter at 0rpm, Volkswagen ID.R conquered the famous Nürburgring circuit and set the new record (6:05.336s) for electric vehicle lap time.
Also, the ear-tingling, goosebump-inducing, futuristic high-pitched sounds that come from the electric engine are downright incredible to listen to.
Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3
Finally, the holy grail of electric vehicle torque is the Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3. The VBB-3 is a custom-made car made by Venturi and Ohio State University, designed specifically to break the land speed record for electric vehicles. True to its name, the Venturi Buckeye Bullet is built like a bullet. A slender, long, rectangular shape with a pointed tip body achieves an impressive drag coefficient of only 0.13.
The VBB-3 has a pair of electric motors; each produces somewhere between 1000 horsepower to 1500 horsepower. In tandem, they can reach a mind-boggling 3000 horsepower. Eight large lithium-ion battery packs are used to power the motors.
To keep these massive engines cool, engineers use a closed-loop cooling system. The closed-loop system doesn’t use any vents or radiators, which makes the VBB-3 even more aerodynamic. Oil is circulated between the electric motor and its magnets.
To achieve the fastest speed within the shortest amount of time, the VBB-3 needs a gearbox. A very special, custom made gearbox akin to the gearbox used in drag races (with massive wheels and an open engine) is manufactured and fitted in. Only two gears exist. The first gear is used until the vehicle reaches 400 km/h, and the second gear to specifically push the engine to its limits.
All in all, the VBB-3 outputs 3000 horsepower, a maximum torque of 850 newton-meter, and reaches the record-breaking speed of 550 km/h. Incredibly impressive.
The electric vehicle is a newly booming market that competes with the internal combustion engines because of their unique engine quirks. Electric current flows from the battery to a rotor encased with permanent magnets. This creates an electromagnet force and rotates the shaft.
An electric vehicle can achieve maximum torque starting from 0rpm. This means instant acceleration and tight handling for the electric car, making it suitable for city driving.
The Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3 has the most torque out of all-electric vehicles. The bullet-like body shape produces just a 0.13 drag coefficient. Two electric motors produce 3000 horsepower and torque and 850 newton-meter torque. With a unique gearbox, the VBB-3 can reach the maximum speed of 550km/h