How to calculate your kinetic energy equation to see how much you can push for free in a vacuum
The kinetic energy formula for an electric car is an approximation, but it can give you a rough idea of how much energy is needed to push a car to the top of the speed limit in a safe manner.
The formula is called the kinematic equation, and it’s not a perfect representation of how energy is stored in a vehicle.
“In this model, you can actually get an approximation of the kinetic energy of the vehicle, but that approximation is really only an approximation,” says Michael Jackson, a professor of physics at the University of Calgary and a member of the Canadian Energy Research Institute.
“The energy is actually stored in the fuel tank.
And you can put some extra energy into the fuel system to add a little more acceleration.”
In fact, the formula gives you a very rough estimate of how many times the car can accelerate from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph), but it’s still wrong.
“When you get to 100 kilometers/h, you actually need more energy than the kinetic equation gives you, because it depends on how far the car goes,” says Jackson.
“So you need more acceleration to get to a certain speed.”
Jackson says he was surprised to find that his calculations were so close to reality.
“You get really close to the actual formula, but you get very, very different results,” he says.
The kinematics equation is based on a car’s kinetic energy, which is a measure of how fast the vehicle can move, or “joules.”
The formula says the energy stored in fuel tanks is equal to the force that a vehicle would experience at the speed of light, which depends on the vehicle’s design.
The fuel tank’s weight will affect how much fuel the car will use, and the weight of the bodywork will also affect how fast it can accelerate.
“This is a pretty good approximation of how fuel is used,” says Paul Erskine, a research associate at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.
“It’s based on what’s inside the tank, what’s in the body of the car and what the design of the cars is.”
Ersskine is part of the research team working to improve the formula, which could be updated to incorporate more data.
He and Jackson are working on a new calculation that would also be based on fuel, which would provide an even better estimate.
“We want to make sure that we’re actually using as much fuel as we can,” says Erschke.
Jackson says the team is also looking at using the new calculations to make predictions about how fast a car will accelerate under different circumstances.
He’s looking at different scenarios that could have different levels of acceleration and the resulting energy levels.
“If we know that the car has to accelerate at a certain level to achieve the maximum acceleration, then we can make a better estimate of the energy we need to use in the vehicle to achieve that level of acceleration,” he adds.
“But we don’t know that yet.”
For now, Jackson says it’s more useful to understand how much kinetic energy a car needs to accelerate, and to use that information to make more informed decisions.
“Because the kinetic model is a very crude approximation of kinetic energy and there’s still a lot of uncertainty in it, we need a lot more data to make better decisions about how much to use,” says Jordan Taylor, a senior research scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.