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AC Electric Car Motors Horsepower

by VonFeldt

What is the range in horsepower with an AC electric car motor?

Hi, VonFeldt -

Honestly, this is a difficult question.

In the world of electric car motors, horsepower depends on how many volts the motor has access to. A lot of the AC electric car motors are run at high voltage, say around 300v or so, but it is possible to run them at lower voltage than that, say 240v. The same motor will have different horsepower output with different system voltages.

If that's not tricky enough for you, there's "continuous hp" and "peak hp" rating for the motor. This is also the nature of electric motors, that they have a power output they can deliver all day long, and then they have the capability to deliver a short burst of much higher power output. The first is called "continuous" and the second, "peak".

Next complicating factor: electric car motors and gas or diesel engines speak a completely different horsepower language. You get a lot more bang for your buck using electric horses, you may have heard.

The Tesla in the video above is claiming 250 hp. Seems like a lot to me.


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