What does the 100% torque of the Nissan Leaf mean?

September 28th, 2014 by

By nature, when many people think of electric vehicles, they think of them as being green. This is true, but there is something else that many of them, including the Nissan Leaf, are – fast off of the line. Electric vehicles like the Leaf have 100% of their torque available the moment you step on the “gas” pedal – which isn’t the case with traditional gas-powered vehicles. Nissan is using this with their new advertisements about the Leaf – noting that it has 100% torque. But why do electric vehicles have more torque?

Why do electric vehicles have more torque?

The reason many electric vehicles are fast off of the line is pretty simple, actually. A traditional engine needs to be spinning to produce torque, and it is unable to do this at very low RPMs. The crankshaft begins motion after more fuel is entered into the equation. Electric vehicles, on the other hand, have constant torque, as they generate energy through constant motion. This means that when the pedal is pushed down, the power is instantly available to the vehicle. See this in action in the video above.

Just so we aren’t being misleading, we should stress that just because a vehicle has instant torque doesn’t mean that it is fast in general. While the power is there quickly, the Leaf still takes 9.7 seconds to go from 0-60. And the top speed isn’t exactly blistering either, which is probably to be expected.

So while electric vehicles often have more torque than traditional vehicles, there are still big differences in the dynamics of the power curve in each. If you are interested, stop on over to Nissan of Auburn to experience the difference in person with a Nissan test drive near Seattle.

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