It’s actually quite an impressive amount of work, when you consider it compared to what the average human can accomplish alone.
Horsepower is defined as the power that a horse gives when pulling, and it is used informally to mean power, or is the power needed to raise 550 pounds a distance of one foot in one second or the power needed to move 33,000 pounds a distance of one foot in one minute.
Thirty Three THOUSAND pounds is 16 and 1/2 TONS.
This isn’t even a large horse,
That’s a pretty good idea of just how much one horsepower is compared to a humans capability.
So humans, being the clever little monkeys they are, came up with little gasoline powered engines that don’t need hay, water, rest and veterinarians.
This little Hit and Miss engine is probably close to a hundred years old and is rated at 3 1/2 times the capacity to do work compared to that one horse.
Of course you know the rest. Tractors, combines, cars, trucks, race cars, etc..
Top Fuel dragster engines are rated at over 10,000 horse power * but are pushed so far past the ragged edge of available knowledge and technology that they are a single use specialty item at this point.
During almost the same timeline as the gas powered engines, electric motors were developed and after a few decades basically remained unchanged.
They also do extraordinary amounts of work in a fairly small package.
Combining them together is not a new idea either, electric cars were even more popular than gasoline powered cars at one time.
This little cutie is a model from 1905,
With the fairly recent improvements in battery technology along with vast improvements in electric motors and their power management, electric cars are making quite a come back.
Just like their gasoline powered competition, there is always someone wanting to push the envelope of technology and find out just how far they can push it
There are now a whole slew of Electric Dragsters.
One of the most recognizable names in Top Fuel Drag Racing history,
Over 2,000 horsepower.
This leap in technology happened in roughly 100 years.
From four legged horsepower to two hundred mile an hour electric speed competitions.
If anyone needs me, I’ll be out in the garage.
Tinkering with my ancient technology.
The * above is a revised number. I had originally posted 5,000 HP but was corrected in the comments by Scott that the actual numbers are 10,000 HP and possibly even more as provided by the link he so kindly supplied.