How many "horses" and how many "newtons" do electric cars truly have? To answer that question, we did not just use any electric car, but ours, a Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus, which we brought to a dyno to detect its real data, together with the most powerful version of the Model 3 - the Model 3 Performance.
And this not only because Tesla does not officially declare torque and power, but also to remind you that what you read in the spec sheet does not necessarily correspond to the highest power value that the motor can deliver.
kW and hp, the conversion
Before starting, it is worth familiarizing yourself with the conversion between the unit of measurement of power officially recognized in physics and engineering by the so-called International System (kW), with the one to which we are historically more used to - horsepower (hp). The simplest thing is to remember that 100 kW ≈ 136 HP , or 1 kW ≈ 1.36 HP.
Motor and battery charge must be considered
In practice, the performance of an electric car does not depend only on the motor, but also on the battery, which should not be thought of solely as a reservoir of energy. In fact, an internal combustion engine is able to operate at maximum power for longer times without encountering the same difficulties as an electric powertrain. Think situations such as races on ovals always run with the accelerator open, or some speed records with road cars, also in this case made on circular tracks such as the Nardò ring.
Power: instantaneous and continuous
In short, in internal combustion engines, the maximum power is always available until the fuel runs out. In electric cars, on the other hand, the battery cannot deliver peak power for too long without stressing its internal components, compromising its integrity over time and diminishing its charge. For this reason, the ECE R85 type-approval standard defines maximum net power as that which - quoted verbatim - "a powerplant is capable of delivering, on average, within 30 minutes".
The actual measured data
In any case, onto the dyno test, in which we investigate the other aspect related to the interaction between the electric motor and the battery. In other words, we set about to test the instantaneous power and peak torque that "our" two versions of the Model 3 are able to put out: two data points that are not officially declared by Tesla.
In the video (complete with English subtitles) you can find out what values we are talking about, also in relation to the number of engine revolutions and the trend of the torque and power curves, the foundation for the excellent performance figures of the Model 3.
If you're looking just for the raw numbers, then flip forward to around 3:20 in the video. Surprising is that the HP and torque figures bot drop off sharply as the RPMs increase. We've also listed the dyno figures below, but the video is filled with explanations and additional info, so do give it a watch for more details.
Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus
- 261 - HP
- 310 - NM
Tesla Model 3 Performance
- 472 - HP
- 545 - NM