Everyone knows that excessive acceleration accompanied by corresponding braking is an inefficient way to use stored energy, whether it be for ICE or EV's. However, what about the situation where you accelerate from one speed to another at a constant rate, and hold the final speed (like pulling onto a highway)? I contend that it doesn't use any more energy whether you creep up to speed or make it fun.
Here's my reasoning: the work done to accelerate a rigid body just depends on the initial and final velocities, not the acceleration rate. If you accelerate twice as fast it takes half the time to reach your final speed, and you use the same amount of energy.
Now cars are not rigid bodies, and energy is lost due to friction, heat and the inefficiencies of the conversion of stored chemical energy to mechanical power. However, if these losses are linearly related to the acceleration rate, then again the energy used to accelerate from one speed to another is the same no matter how fast you accelerate.
Now here's my final curve: the aerodynamic drag might be negligible for the few seconds of going from 30 to 65 mph, but it becomes more significant the longer it takes to do that. So if you accelerated at a very low rate, and it took you an hour (or many hours) to go from 30 to 65 mph, then the aerodynamic drag will become a more significant factor in the energy used, and you will use MORE energy than if you accelerated faster.
So I contend that putting your foot into it to pull onto a highway (as long as you don't exceed your desired final speed) doesn't use any more kW-Hrs than poking along. So (safely) enjoy yourself! Would be great to hear from a Tesla engineer on this one!
Please Login to Comment