Two Bit da Vinci: Electric Motors vs Gas Engines


How do EVs compare to gasoline-powered cars?

Make no mistake, we’ve covered this topic time and time again. But, we are now increasingly well aware that we have a huge influx of new users coming in every day like never before. In fact, the amount of new people following InsideEVs and asking for our insight is amazing, thanks to our audience and daily news. And, due to what we’ve seen in the much more recent past, we’ve had to up our goal to educate newbies and inform people on the merits of electric vehicles.

YouTuber and EV aficionado Two Bit da Vinci has become somewhat integral in the segment in terms of producing extremely well-researched videos surrounding the science of cars, and especially electric cars. He goes above and beyond when it comes to explaining how everything works.

So, what about a gas engine versus that of an electric car? At this point, there may be no one better than this guy to spell it all out for us in a way that upcoming adopters can appreciate and comprehend.

Please help us to push EV adoption no matter which brand you support (or decide to hate on). We need your help to assure people of the implications surrounding the switch and help us support them and answer their questions in the comment section.

Video Description via Two Bit da Vinci on YouTube:

We are going to compare electric motors vs. gasoline engines, and transmissions as well as power delivery.

The technological advantage that the big internal combustion makers have enjoyed, will be largely neutralized by electric motors and EV manufacturers.

In conclusion, looking at the broad picture you can see that EVs are superior to internal combustion engines in every way.

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16 Comments on "Two Bit da Vinci: Electric Motors vs Gas Engines"

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While I agree that his videos are very interesting and quite informative, I have to contest the “extremely well-researched” claim. His previous videos on batteries for example contain several clear mistakes.

In this video, I’m very sceptical of the idea that the next-gen “Roadster” will have higher gearing in the front. As far as I can tell, you’d much more likely want higher gearing (for better torque) in the rear, where the vast majority of force gets transferred when accelerating quickly.

Two bit does need to do some more research for this video. It has at least one significant error. But at least with the gear ratios, I agree with him. Two-Bit’s estimate for a 9:1 front motor gear ratio and 6:1 rear motor ratio is very close to my own calcs. We know that the rear will have two motors (with torque-vectoring) and the front only one. That likely means twice the HP in the rear as the front. The rear will be the main driver both for both low-end acceleration and top-end high-speed HP. The front will likely be geared to be optimized for peak torque from 0- 60 mph to get that insane 1.9 second 0-60. Then its torque starts backing off and it will drop out completely by 140 mph. But Two-bit missed it when he says the Roadster drag Cd will be 0.22. Wrong. The Roadster body shape isn’t designed for optimal range like the Model 3 or S or X. It is designed for high speed performance, which emphasizes other things beyond Cd. Look closely at front and rear photos of the Roadster. You’ll see the Roadster incorporates bottom and front-side air intakes by the… Read more »

I have to admit that I had forgotten the Roadster has two motors in the rear…

Still, I don’t see how the front motor could contribute significantly to torque during launches. Since most of the weight gets shifted to the rear wheels, the front wheels have hardly any traction. With sticky tyres, indeed care needs to be taken not to flip the car…

I’m pretty sure the extra power from the front motor actually comes in more once transitioning from torque-limited to power-limited phase.

Higher gearing gives less torque and more RPM’s. Lower gearing gives more torque and lower RPM’s.

So, the rear motors (there will be two) would have lower gearing, and the front motor, would have higher gearing. Which is the opposite of what he says in the video.

Higher reduction ratio gives more torque and lower top speed…

Energy storage aside, electric motors are better than gas/diesel in nearly every aspect.
Adoption by the general market is likely just a matter of awareness.
But there are several groups for which it will be a tough sell. There are the “real men” who like the bark of a Hemi, the “rice guys” who put fart cans on their Civics, the “mechies” who love to tinker with mechanical stuff, etc
Us EV supporters would be advised to focus conversion efforts on the bulk of the population who doesn’t really care – they just want good transportation.

I’m pretty sure tinkerers will discover EVs sooner or later… Cooling systems in particular seem an obvious target for tuning — though I guess more ambitious individuals might even try playing with inverters etc.

Instead of spending $3 million on that Bugatti, its worth spending just $200,000 on Tesla Roadster and keep the other $2.8 million in pocket. If you buy Bugatti it will become a laughing stock in 10-15 years as many electric vehicles will pass by while driving.

The 100+ MPGe of electric vehicles combined with their smooth driving and rapid pick up has won many accolades.

Tesla should make a 2 mil version of the Tesla Roadster….don’t change anything, maybe add some car fresheners on the rear view mirror and put a special badge on it. Sell it to the Bugatti crowds…they can’t be seen driving poor peep’s cars.

I’m pretty sure that SpaceX option package won’t be cheap…

I’m not sure Bugatti buyers will mind all that much… Even more than other supercars, that’s pretty much just a “look here I’m rich” vehicle.

I don’t think ICE manufacturers are worried too much. There were more ICE’s made last year than any year in history. So much for all these vids that say ‘electric cars are better’.

Now I’ve only owned 5 EVs in the past almost 8 years now – I may never go back to a totally ICE vehicle. But cutesy videos don’t seem to be cutting into ICE sales much. And his overly simplistic comparisons are, no offense, getting slightly boring. They also don’t help convince educated ICE only buyers since none of these videos ever broach the concept of a prime mover – that is – you can put a very basic product into an ice and use it directly, but the juice going into an EV has been highly processed – and myopic efficiency comparisons by definition miss the big picture.

I love EV’s, but not for the half truths mentioned in videos like these.

Five years ago LICE was 100% of the market.
Today, less than 97% is LICE, and that number will continue to wither as EVs are far more efficient in practice and getting more diverse body forms each year with greater performance eroding those few things LICE are (today) better at.

Yup, you’ve just done exactly what I said – you’ve zeroed in on a very small part of the car and declared it ‘efficient’. 5 years ago you were mistaken, since both my cars back then were Electrics. So ICE’s were not 100% of the market then. And the manufacturers do not care since there are more ICE’s made now than back then. ICE’s have grown faster than EV’s, although the percentage of total sales is indeed less. But that is just playing with numbers.

If that was all that was necessary to do, there wouldn’t be a large portion of the Northeast where for a significant part of the year, electrics are more expensive to fuel than normal cars. So, electric cars may be ‘efficient’ (whatever that means), but it won’t matter to a driver’s budget. Oh, btw, electrics were about the same efficiency 5 years ago as they are now – excepting the growth of fast charging which is making electrics overall LESS efficient than they have traditionally been.

Wish I could put together my next BEV like I buy PC parts from newegg!

Some very major omissions, the most significant one being the huge intrinsic efficiency advantage of the electric motor, which operates with up to 95% efficiency vs. the 25-40% range of an ICE. That is simply the biggest difference of all, and accounts for the whole benefit (environmentally) of the EV.

And that torque curve of the ICE in that chart is not like any I’ve ever seen. Torque curves invariably are much shorter than that.