Horsepower has become a popular term for a performance unit in cars. There is a long tradition of specifying power in horsepower, but today it is also specified in kilowatt-hours.
What does horsepower in the car mean?
When talking about the performance of engines in a car, most people talk about horsepower. In the vehicle registration document, however, the power is given in kilowatts. You can get detailed information about horsepower and information things about a car when you benefit from free car checks at Carcheck123.
The horsepower indicates how much work an engine can do. The more horsepower a car has, the faster it is. This also applies to acceleration. It is unclear why the unit horsepower has become more popular in colloquial language than the correct unit kilowatt. It is probably more obvious to deal with the power exerted by a horse than with that of a dry kilowatt unit.
Machine vs. Horse: The Similarities
The story of how horsepower found its way into automobiles goes back to James Watt. One of his developments was ready and he was keen to demonstrate the power of this machine to people. With this train of thought, it then occurred to him that this achievement could well be compared to an “animal drive”.
To represent this, he needed some information about horses and their performance. He compared high-performance horses to normal horses. But older horses were also included in the data collection. Mixing this data with the labor time parameter, he came up with the following result. A horse can lift 330 pounds at 100 feet in an average of 10 hours of work.
He then fixed this average value of the pulling force at 33,000 ft. lb/min. This value corresponds to 1 hp.
The information about the performance of engines or power units can be given in horsepower and in kW. However, the official term is kilowatt hour. This unit of measurement first appeared in 1977. Horsepower is no longer used in offices or in car papers.
In advertising, too, a specification with horsepower is no longer common. Buyers, car fans, and people in general still use the term horsepower in everyday use. Hardly anyone talks about kilowatt hours when talking to friends or during a consultation at a car dealership.
But now that horsepower has established itself in everyday language, you can remember the following as a rule of thumb. 1 kW corresponds to about 4/3 or 1.35 hp. So if you only have an indication in kW the next time you buy a car, you can now get a better idea of the car’s performance.