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


This steampunk contraption can go some really serious weight. The boiler is coal-fired and practically six foot deep. The warmth from the fireplace produces steam that moves a 14-inch diameter piston via a 14-inch stroke. Get every little thing dialed in effectively and there is not a great deal that can stop this 75,000-pound monster. The only issue it just cannot do is outrun nearly anything: Top velocity in large gear is just about 6 mph.

The motor cannot move immediately, but this online video demonstrates the 150 Scenario pulling a bottoming plow as a result of the earth. Not just any bottoming plow, either—this a single is assembled from numerous plows and steps almost 50 toes edge to edge. The fat of the plow and operators on your own roughly matches that of a 2000-pound competition tractor pull-sled increase in the (literal) drag developed by the resisting grime and this object would cease just about everything in its tracks. The Case will get stoked up and pulls by way of without the need of concern. Looking at the governor chatter and click implies that steam piston is carrying out all it can, though.

This highlights the intersection of torque and horsepower. In our modern-day world we are spoiled by multi-pace transmissions that multiply the comparatively meager torque of internal-combustion engines. Electric powered motors have a nearly flat torque “curve” and hence only call for a transmission in unique programs. Include even a tiny gear ratio and instantly a 9000-pound SUV can zip from to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds with pretty much no drama. What that the modern, rubber-tired EV can not do is work like this steam-driven behemoth.

Two diverse instruments for two distinct tasks, while. What fashionable EVs and this 1905 traction motor share, strangely more than enough, are somewhat rudimentary transmissions, highlighting the technological know-how has ultimately caught up to the undertaking. Enjoy it or loathe it, EVs can haul—even if we won’t be substituting them for locomotives any time quickly.


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By Bethann