Have electric cars gone power crazy? In the past, ICE vehicles with 150–200 ps of power were regarded as high-performance vehicles and had all the abbreviations that went together with that, such as GTi, Type R, and S. In the ICE world, the fundamental outputs of the automobiles start off relatively low and typically increase in modest steps to a higher power.

Have electric cars gone power crazy?

The era of electric automobiles is coming to drastically alter that. Even though there aren’t as many EV car types as there are ICE ones, their power outputs are already very high. How come? Does going so high even make sense? Let’s investigate.

Case of EV

Even little electric vehicles begin in the 150–200 ps range. Family cars with a power output that is comparable to an F1 vehicle are the Tesla Model S Plaid and Lucid Air. Model 3’s 325 ps and torque are similar to a V8 4.2L naturally aspirated engine, making it the least powerful Tesla.

One thing that electric automobiles did was to make torque, power, and performance more accessible. Never before in the history of the automobile have individuals with moderate incomes had access to this level of performance.

I want to focus on torque here because, even if it used to be possible to have relatively high power for a fair price, high torque was always going to cost you. High displacement, forced induction, or typically both are required for an ICE to produce high torque, and these features are typically found in expensive vehicles that are out of the reach of most people.

The absolute torque expression in an electric vehicle is a built-in feature of the motor. More importantly, it’s instantaneously available and you have plenty of it. You need more of it, right? All you need to do is mount a second motor on the opposite axle. Do ICEs require higher torque?

ModelPower at 1,500 RPM (PS)
VW up! 1.0 (75 ps)14
VW e-up! (82 ps)44.9
Nissan Qashqai 1.3 DiG-T X-Tronic (158 ps)49.1
Nissan Leaf (150 ps)68.4
Toyota RAV4 2.5 (218 ps)42.7
Toyota bZ4X (218 ps)71.8
Hyundai Kona 1.6 T-GDi (198 ps)54.5
Hyundai Kona electric (204 ps)84.4
Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG (612 ps)145
Mercedes-Benz EQE 53 AMG (625 ps)203
Ferrari 812 Superfast (800 ps)107
Porsche Taycan Turbo S (762 ps)224

More cylinders are required. Things start to get more costly after you pass the 4-cylinder threshold because you need more out of everything. In a V6, four camshafts, 24 valves, and maybe two turbos are required. You see what I mean.

However, why is torque so crucial? In a high-weight application, such as an automobile, torque is crucial since it informs you of the engine or motor’s flexibility and its capacity for intermediate acceleration, such as 30-70 km/h, 60-100 km/h, etc.

Torque is the first item that is valued by the average driver. The power outputs of ICE and EVs at 1500 rpm are contrasted in the following table. It clearly demonstrates how the two different propulsion methods accelerate at different rates in the actual world.

How much power is needed?

This question does not have a single correct response. However, we may describe some scenarios in advance to estimate the required power. We decided to determine the required power for sustaining a constant speed of 130 km/h, which is a normal highway speed limit, the required power for an electric car’s peak speed, and the maximum theoretical power based on the electric car’s maximum power.

ModelMaximum Power (PS)The power needed at 130 kph (PS)
Peugeot e-20813651
VW ID.3 (58 kWh)20456
BMW iX328668
Ford Mustang Mach-E GT48768
Tesla Model 3 Performance51351
Kia EV6 GT58564
Porsche Taycan Turbo S76261
Tesla Model S Plaid102054

The amount of power required to go 130 km/h serves as a gauge for the vehicle’s overall effectiveness, with aerodynamics being of utmost importance. At high speeds, aerodynamics are obviously important, but the accompanying table also shows how conservatively constrained each car’s top speed is.

ModelTop speed (kph)Power needed at top speed (ps)
Peugeot e-20815069
VW ID.3 (58 kWh)16087
BMW iX3180139
Ford Mustang Mach-E GT200173
Tesla Model 3 Performance261245
Kia EV6 GT260319
Porsche Taycan Turbo S260283
Tesla Model S Plaid322456

The potential top speeds in the final table are just illustrative as they assume constant aerodynamics, which may not hold true in practice. Electric motors’ steady, maximum sustained performance is also only accessible for a brief period of time in the actual world.

ModelMaximum Power (ps)Theoretical top speed (kph)
Peugeot e-208136199
VW ID.3 (58 kWh)204227
BMW iX3286246
Ford Mustang Mach-E GT487299
Tesla Model 3 Performance513345
Kia EV6 GT585326
Porsche Taycan Turbo S762377
Tesla Model S Plaid1020444

The braking issue

High power and torque are unquestionably desirable, especially when they cost somewhat more to produce and consume more electricity, but the regulation of high power is the most problematic aspect. When anything accelerates quickly, it must also be able to decelerate quickly.

The problem with EVs is that they are both very fast and very heavy, which presents a significant challenge to the vehicle’s braking system. Electric vehicles, fortunately, have two brake systems. The motor itself is the first to react.

The traditional hydraulic brakes will often not even bother up to a 0.3G deceleration rate. The hydraulic brakes will take over if more is required. Brake mixing is the issue and the largest hassle in this situation. In order to achieve efficacy and the desired sensation that a driver expects from the brake pedal, the combination of the two braking systems requires rigorous calibration.

Through the use of cutting-edge synthetic materials like carbon-ceramic brakes, modern technology enables us to have the maximum amount of braking power. These would undoubtedly help the heavier electric vehicles (EVs), but their expensive adoption is still a barrier.


It goes without saying that the power outputs of popular electric vehicles have significantly grown. EVs can accelerate from a standstill to intermediate speeds comparable to supercars because to the enormous torque of their electric motors at zero RPM.

The far more straightforward design of an electric motor compared to an ICE and the comparatively simple process of increasing power in an electric motor have made all these things feasible. However, because electric vehicles are heavier than ICE vehicles, braking performance is primarily and negatively impacted.

Regenerative braking is a feature of electric automobiles that helps with the critical task of slowing down the vehicle, but the sensation and braking performance might use some work. The aforementioned figures unequivocally demonstrate that electric car power outputs are overstated when their highest speeds are taken into account.

We could observe a decrease in electric vehicle power outputs in the years to come as lighter electric cars made possible by cutting-edge battery technology become more common. Who needs 1000 ps on a public road, after all?

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