The higher it stands, the slower it goes.
On October 9, we told you The Fast Lane Car YouTube channel guys were wondering about the performance of their Tesla Model X. It was way slower than what Tesla said it would be. Viewers of that video gave TFLCar an idea of what was going on: it was riding in standard ride height when it should be in low or very low ride height. It almost did the trick, but, most of all, it was a lesson on aerodynamics.
Roman Mica starts the video by telling us what the main reason for the car not to be so fast is. He says that, when it is in its standard ride height, the CV (constant velocity) joint and the half shaft form an angle.
That angle would put a lot of pressure on the CV joints and make them break more easily. So Tesla would restrict the power delivery to protect the CV joints. Consequently, the Model X would be slower.
Why ICE high-performance SUVs have no problems with their CV joints? After all, these parts are made to work in angles. If this is really the reason, perhaps that's because none of them has the same amount of torque and power being delivered almost instantaneously. That is precisely what electric vehicles get.
Do we know that this is undoubtedly the reason for the Model X's 0 to 60 mph time? No, we don’t. We’d bet on another factor: aerodynamics.
A lower car has a smaller frontal area. Combined with an excellent aerodynamic coefficient, it allows the vehicle to make a lot less effort in beating air resistance. Without that air resistance, the car manages to be faster and to be more energy-efficient.
The higher the speed, the more air resistance the car gets. That is why EVs and electrified vehicles get more range in urban traffic: they do not have to fight the air. As they convert more than 90 percent of the energy of their batteries to movement, any interference is immediately felt.
ICE vehicles can travel further in highways because that is when the engines can work in their most favorable speed in terms of rpm. It is there they can convert more of the chemical energy that is on fuels to kinetic energy.
That is why Nissan gets impressive numbers with its e-Power system. It offers an electric car that uses gas as the single source to get electric energy. Even without a charging port and a small battery, it is more efficient than any similar ICE vehicle.
That is very symbolic of the efficiency abyss that exists between combustion-engined cars and electric vehicles.
If power delivery alone were the explanation for the Model X times, the SUV would have achieved 4.4 seconds from 0 to 60 mph, as Tesla says it will. Its best time is 4.8 s in very low ride height. In low ride height, it reached a 5.1 s time.
TFLCar will take the car to a Tesla service center to check why it is not delivering what it promises. That will give us another video on the “slow” Model X from these guys very soon. What will Tesla tell them? Will it manage to get the Model X to reach 4.4 s? Stay tuned.