# Thrust required for a Car driven by a propeller

Out of curiosity, If suppose a car is driven/propelled by Propeller, how much thrust would be required to get it rolling or moving, then drive at 30 MPH, at 60 MPH and at 100 MPH? Consider the car weighs 6000 lb including passengers. If same car is inclined at 30 degrees, how much thrust is required to move it forward.
What could be the formula to formulate this relationship of thrust and speed etc? Assume all standard road conditions.

## Answers and Replies

A.T.
Science Advisor
... how much thrust would be required to get it rolling or moving, then drive at 30 MPH, at 60 MPH and at 100 MPH? Consider the car weighs 6000 lb including passengers. If same car is inclined at 30 degrees, how much thrust is required to move it forward.
What forces are opposing the thrust and have to be balanced to move at constant speed?

On plane level road, friction force [negligible], at higher speed drag and turbulence. At about 60 mph, drag force is about 500 N. If at 100 mph it goes about 1000 N or so. But what I see is Tesla having Motor of a 362 hp (270 kW) and 325 ft⋅lb (440 N⋅m) motor. How does it go beyond 100 mph, if output is 440 N.m? I'm missing something, which I don't know. Something basic.

A.T.
Science Advisor
If at 100 mph it goes about 1000 N or so. But what I see is Tesla having Motor of a 362 hp (270 kW)...
Is that not enough?

I'm missing something, which I don't know.
How can we know, if you don't post your math?

• anorlunda
The Maths is what I'm lacking... That's why I posted here.

Nugatory
Mentor
But what I see is Tesla having Motor of a 362 hp (270 kW) and 325 ft⋅lb (440 N⋅m) motor. How does it go beyond 100 mph, if output is 440 N.m? I'm missing something, which I don't know. Something basic.
That 440 Nm number is the motor's torque, which has very little to do with the question you're asking. You want to focus on the power output - 270 kW, meaning that the motor will produce 270000 joules of energy per second (one watt is one joule per second).

This may not be helpful to you, though, unless you understand the relationship between force in Newtons, energy in joules, and the distance the car moves in a given amount of time. For that, you'll need the equation ##W=Fd## (W is the energy, F is the force, d is the distance). Google for "W=Fd examples" to get started.

Hello, Thank you for explanation. Is there a way to calculate the maximum thrust produced by 270 Kw machine? What I mean is, the force being applied in between tires and ground to move the car?

A.T.
Science Advisor
Hello, Thank you for explanation. Is there a way to calculate the maximum thrust produced by 270 Kw machine? What I mean is, the force being applied in between tires and ground to move the car?
Take the mechanical power equation from wiki, and solve for force.

Nugatory
Mentor
Hello, Thank you for explanation. Is there a way to calculate the maximum thrust produced by 270 Kw machine? What I mean is, the force being applied in between tires and ground to move the car?
It depends on the gearing. In principle there's no upper limit - halve the diameter of the wheel and you double the maximum possible force at the tire-wheel interface (and halve the speed the car is moving at, for a given power output).

Have you tried googling for ##W=Fd## yet? What did you find?

CWatters
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
Hello, Thank you for explanation. Is there a way to calculate the maximum thrust produced by 270 Kw machine? What I mean is, the force being applied in between tires and ground to move the car?
Previous posts have shown you how to calculate the force at any given velocity.

Force = power/velocity

jrmichler
Mentor
Out of curiosity,..., how much thrust would be required to get it rolling or moving, then drive at 30 MPH, at 60 MPH and at 100 MPH?

You can measure the thrust required to hold a constant speed by a coastdown test. Here's an example of one: http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/coastdown-test-06-gmc-canyon-20405.html. It works for any road vehicle.

The thrust required to accelerate is simply the thrust required at a speed added to the force of acceleration: F = ma.

russ_watters
Mentor
....these are late, but...

You can also calculate the thrust required from the fuel economy at any speed, and an assumption about engine efficiency. For example, if I remember a previous calculation I did (I think 25% efficiency), 60mph and 30mpg = about 17hp, or 12.7kW or 5,600N.