This 1905 engine can rival a modern-day EV for torque—just add steam — Petersen Automotive Museum


This steampunk contraption can go some serious bodyweight. The boiler is coal-fired and approximately six foot deep. The heat from the hearth makes steam that moves a 14-inch diameter piston by a 14-inch stroke. Get every little thing dialed in correctly and there is not considerably that can cease this 75,000-pound monster. The only point it can not do is outrun nearly anything: Best velocity in superior equipment is just about 6 mph.

The motor cannot shift rapidly, but this video clip displays the 150 Scenario pulling a bottoming plow by the earth. Not just any bottoming plow, either—this a person is assembled from various plows and actions almost 50 toes edge to edge. The weight of the plow and operators by itself about matches that of a 2000-pound competitiveness tractor pull-sled increase in the (literal) drag produced by the resisting grime and this object would quit just about everything in its tracks. The Scenario gets stoked up and pulls as a result of without the need of challenge. Seeing the governor chatter and click on implies that steam piston is executing all it can, while.

This highlights the intersection of torque and horsepower. In our modern day globe we are spoiled by multi-pace transmissions that multiply the relatively meager torque of internal-combustion engines. Electric motors have a virtually flat torque “curve” and hence only demand a transmission in certain programs. Insert even a small gear ratio and abruptly a 9000-pound SUV can zip from to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds with nearly no drama. What that the contemporary, rubber-fatigued EV cannot do is get the job done like this steam-powered behemoth.

Two different tools for two unique duties, while. What fashionable EVs and this 1905 traction engine share, unusually adequate, are instead rudimentary transmissions, highlighting the technologies has ultimately caught up to the endeavor. Adore it or despise it, EVs can haul—even if we will not be substituting them for locomotives any time soon.


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