How Are Electric Cars So Fast? 🏎️

Henry Belcaster
Henry Belcaster
3 min read

Morning roadster!

Now you’re probably reading this post after dragging yourself out of bed, drinking a cup of coffee with your eyes half open, and driving your 2017 Toyota Prius ~economically~ through traffic to a job you hate.

And, hey, don’t get me wrong – Toyota makes fantastic cars.

But have you ever accelerated a Prius?

I mean like pedal to the metal.


Your 2017 Toyota Prius goes 0 to 60mph in 10.5 seconds.

The Tesla Model S Plaid?

She goes 0 to 60mph in 1.99 seconds.

That’s like the classic tortoise racing a hare.

Except there’s no tomfoolery in this race.

The Tesla-Model-S-Plaid-hare f*cking SMOKES your Prius.

Which begs the question: how did seemingly lame electric cars get so fast?

Like all of them, across the board.

That first one is A PICKUP TRUCK THAT WEIGHS 7,420 lbs!

Let’s figure this sorcery out.

Durd, where’d you go?


You traded your Prius for a 2004 Hummer H1?

You mean fuel efficient?

Oh my god. Screw it.

I’m trying to teach a lesson, pop the hood.

A gas engine – aka an internal combustion engine – has to do an extraordinary amount of work to get a car moving.

In fact, the MOST efficient gas engines are only 40% good at their job.

That means for every 100 units of energy shot into the engine, 40 units are converted to power, and 60 units are lost to heat.

Not good, but that’s a different story.

Here’s how they work though:

You press the gas pedal.

The throttle valve opens to let air in.

A fuel injector sprays fuel into that air.

Spark plugs ignite that fuel-air mixture.

An explosion occurs (ahem, internal COMBUSTION engine), that pushes a piston, to turn a crankshaft, which rotates a camshaft, to open and close more valves, that let in more air and fuel, to move more pistons, which gets the crankshaft going faster, to turn the transmission, which connects to the axles, and turns the wheels.

Simple, really.

And remember, 60% of energy is just lost to heat in that process.

It’s an okay but incredibly inefficient way to make a car move.

So what did Tesla do?

Why are you asking me?


Eliminate everything?

Right, the minimum viable car:

  • Battery - power bank
  • Motor - power to motion machine
  • Wheels - circles that move smoothly

Instant torque?

Woah, watch it with the coup!

It turns out that the gas engine bs we did above is all to create a twisting force that moves the wheels – torque.

As you could probably tell from all its moving parts, it takes a really long time to get torque out of a gas engine into the wheels.

There’s just so many moving parts that need to wake up when you press the gas pedal.

But as Elon said, an electric car is just batteries, motor, and wheels.

When you hit the gas pedal, you get near-instant torque!

Power to wheels.

Now excuse me while I–

Stay Cute,
Henry & Dylan 🌈

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P.P.S Click below to watch another vehicle video 👇


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