With most of the focus being on battery power and range, it is easy to forget that Tesla cars are incredibly fast.
The high average speeds of Tesla cars are not a coincidence. They are a result of purposeful engineering, combined with the natural benefits of electric propulsion.
Read on to learn how fast these EVs are and the key tech features that make them move faster.
Why Tesla EVs Are Faster than Other Cars?
1. Efficient Power Transfer
Teslas, being fully electric cars, have no engine or gearboxes, nor do they have clutches or exhaust pipes.
Instead, the mechanical power needed to turn the wheels flows straight from the engine to the electric traction motor. The direct power flow and fewer components ensure minimal power loss.
In ICE vehicles, the engine sends power to the transmission, which contains the gears and a host of other components. The transmission system converts the power into mechanical energy, which it then sends to the drivetrain. The drivetrain in turn rotates the wheels. Since there are too many parts in constant contact with each other, energy transmission is relatively inefficient.
In essence, EVs reach their maximum torque even at 0 RPM, since electron flow between interconnected components is instant. In ICE cars, the torque builds up slowly and reaches its peak at around 6000 RPM. This is partly because some of the engine power is lost due to low efficiency, which reduces torque generation.
2. Powerful Batteries
Being the pioneer of all-electric vehicles, Tesla’s batteries are more advanced than those of their peers.
There are different types of batteries used in Tesla cars, with energy capacities ranging from 40 kWh to 100 kWh.
The batteries also have a 94% efficiency rating. This means on a full charge, the battery will provide 94% of the power needed by the drivetrain in real time.
As a result, the drivetrain can turn the wheels as fast as the driver wants, which effectively increases the speed. However, efficiency and power retention go down with time and so does performance.
Take a look at any Tesla model and you will notice one thing – the front sides have a constant look. This is because Tesla focuses on performance, and for an electric vehicle, aerodynamics is incredibly important.
Generally, aerodynamics is the adopting shape designs that reduce drag, wind noise, and undesired lift forces at high speed. On the other hand, drag is the collective force of ‘friction’ that occurs as the vehicle moves through the air. The higher the drag is, the harder it is for a car to attain high speed, and vice versa.
In a bid to improve battery range and speed, Tesla has invested in cutting-edge aerodynamic features. These include air curtains in lower fenders, lower floors between axles, and creative wheel alignment.
These features aim to reduce aerodynamic instability by directing air to flow over and around the car and not against it.
The maximum speed you can reach in a straight line is directly proportional to the horsepower. Thus, a higher horsepower rating would not only allow you to reach higher speeds but also drive through tough roads at speed.
However, as much as horsepower is important, its effect on speed is more amplified if the torque is also high. Torque is basically the turning force that the drivetrain exerts on the wheels and Teslas are capable of reaching and maintaining maximum torque in seconds.
5. Weight Distribution
The absence of engines or exhaust systems leaves a lot of free space at the bottom parts of EVs.
Tesla makes use of this space by spreading the battery packs across the entire bottom area from front to rear axles.
As a consequence, Tesla cars have low centers of gravity, which gives them the needed stability to cruise at speed.
Tesla EVs have powerful batteries, better torque and horsepower, and various aerodynamic features that greatly boost their speed.
As such, you don’t have to look further if you are in the market for a fast, stylish, and luxurious car.