How do electric cars produce maximum torque instantly?

Most electric cars aren’t normally associated with performance, but they are able to achieve something gasoline-powered cars can’t: peak torque at zero rpm.

It’s thrown around often, and many will comment on how quick an electric car feels around town thanks to maximum torque delivered instantly. If in doubt, just take a ride in a Tesla Model S and ask the driver to drop the hammer.

But how does an electric car achieve this? Jason Fenske from Engineering Explained is back to make sense of the gadgetry going on. Foremost, it’s important to realize there isn’t an engine under the hood of an electric car. Instead, there is a motor, generator, and a battery pack to supply power. As the electric current travels through the motor within a magnetic field, it generates a force. The more current applied, the more the motor will spin.

A generator is doing a similar thing, but its spinning motion is occurring in the opposite direction simultaneously with the motor. This creates what’s called “back electromotive force” or “back EMF.” The faster the motor spins, the more back EMF is created. Thus, there is an equilibrium at zero rpm and all of the power created becomes instant torque. The higher the revs, the more back EMF and the instantaneous torque effect diminishes.

It’s this effect that gives a rather mundane, let’s say, for example, Chevrolet Bolt EV the power to scoot away pretty quickly from a stoplight. It’s not jaw-dropping amounts of torque, but the maximum output on tap from zero rpm does create a more entertaining drive. Grab all of the knowledge surrounding electric motors in the video above.

Check Also

Isle of Man TT documentary captures the beauty and danger of the race

It's just a small rock in the middle of the Irish Sea, but for those who love motorcycle racing, the Isle of Man is an almost magical place. This is the home of the Snaefell Mountain Course, which is a twisting road circuit that unfolds over the course of 37.75 miles. The speeds are high, and the risks are higher. Many flock to this Manx mainstay to capture...

1955 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series II visits Jay Leno’s Garage before heading to Pebble Beach auction

Rear Admiral Robert Phillips has owned his 1955 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series II for 58 years. That means he has owned a racing Ferrari longer than anyone. That's set to change as Admiral Phillips' car is heading to auction during Monterey Car Week. Before it gets there, the Admiral brought the car over to Jay Leno's Garage to tell us all about why it's such a...