How much do electric cars weigh?

In Buyer's Guideby evarchive3 Comments

A Tesla Model X is a large sedan and one of the bigger electric cars manufactured. A Tesla Model X has a curb weight of 5531lbs (2509kg). Weight is based on P100D model

A Nissan Leaf is a small hatchback and one of the smaller electric cars. A Nissan Leaf has a curb weight of 3433lbs (1557kg). Weight is based on a 40kWh battery pack model

What is curb weight?

Curb weight is essentially the weight of your car when it is manufactured, anything which the car needs to drive is included in the weight. Curb weight includes seats, tires, electric motor, batteries etc. It does not include the weight of passengers or any passenger luggage, this falls under the category of gross weight.

Are electric cars heavier than gas cars?

Electric cars are heavier than their gas competitors. The batteries which are the power source of the electric car weigh more than a gas tank and provide less range. A crucial point to make is that the gas tank gets lighter as fuel has been used, this is not the case for batteries. The electric motor of an electric car is a lot lighter than an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE), but there are additional parts required in an electric car like a charger and inverter.

Why are electric cars so heavy?

The main weight of an electric car is its battery, this is the power source of an electric car. Electric cars also require a charger, inverter, and motor which all add to the weight of an electric car.

Electric car battery weight

Generally, the battery pack in an electric vehicle is one of the heaviest parts. A Nissan Leaf 24kWh battery pack weighs approximately 648lbs (294kg).

Electric car motor weight

The weight of an electric motor in a Tesla ways approx 70lbs (32kg). It’s quite a bit lighter and smaller in comparison to the internal combustion engines (ICE) used in gasoline cars. Electric motors are a lot more efficient than ICE too. Electric motors have a lot less moving parts than an ICE, this means that the servicing requirements are a lot less with an electric motor.

Electric car weight distribution

The weight distribution of an electric car tends to be better than a gasoline car. In a gasoline car, the ICE tends to be placed at the front of the vehicle giving an uneven weight distribution. Any electric cars that have a battery pack that runs across the whole length of the car will have a much better weight distribution. However, some manufacturers decide to install the battery packs at the front or back of the car which would give a much worse weight distribution.

The weight distribution of a car impacts the handling. A car which has a balanced weight distribution of 50:50 will be a lot smoother through corners than a car that has a 70:30 weight distribution. Having a 50:50 weight distribution means that all the tires will have the same amount of grip and braking capabilities.

Power to weight ratio of electric cars

Power to weight ratio can be calculated in two different methods, the first method is a calculation used for measuring the performance of an engine or power source based on the weight of the engine. An electric cars power to weight ratio, in this case, is better when compared to a comparable internal combustion engine (ICE). The electric motor in a Tesla, for example, weighs 70lbs (32kg) and produces 362hp (horsepower). A similar ICE on a sedan weighs approximately 462lbs (210kg) and has 248hp.

However, using the second method it is calculated the same, but the total curb weight of the vehicle is taken into account. This gives different figures when compared to the example which only took into account the weight of the engine. This would make it a much closer race, as electric cars tend to weigh more than their gas car counterparts.

Are heavy cars safer?

It turns out heavier cars are statistically safer than lightweight cars, statistically fewer deaths occur in heavier cars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) states “as a group, in 2016 very large cars 1-3 years old had 22 deaths per million registered vehicles, while minicars had 61. Of the 21 vehicles with the lowest driver death rates from the 2011-14 model years during 2012-15, only one was a small car.”

The statistics make some sense to me, as the chance of the car rolling over on its roof is less. It would also require more energy from a car crashing into the heavier vehicle to be able to move it.

Weights of popular electric cars

In the table below, I have shown the weights of some of the most popular electric cars. I have also included the size of the cars battery pack, as this influences the weight of an electric car drastically.

Car BrandCar ModelBattery pack size (kWh)Curb Weight (lbs)Kerb Weight (kg)
Audie-tron95 kWh54902490
BMWi322 kWh26351195
BMWi322 kWh + range extender28991315
BMWi333 kWh29611343
BMWi333 kWh + range extender32341467
BMWi342 kWh29721348
BMWi342 kWh + range extender33091501
ChevroletBolt60 kWh35631616
Fiat500e24 kWh30001361
HyundaiIoniq28 kWh32511475
HyundaiIoniq32 kWh30311375
HyundaiKona39 kWh33841535
HyundaiKona64 kWh37141685
KiaNiro EV64 kWh38541748
KiaSoul EV64 kWh37151685
MGZS EV44.5kWh33931539
NissanLeaf24 kWh33541521
NissanLeaf30 kWh33911538
NissanLeaf40 kWh34331557
RenaultZoe22 kWh31631435
RenaultZoe40 kWh34121548
TeslaModel X 60D60 kWh50722301
TeslaModel X 70D70 kWh50722301
TeslaModel X 75D75 kWh51402331
TeslaModel X 90D90 kWh52712391
TeslaModel X P90D90 kWh53812441
TeslaModel X 100D100 kWh54212459
TeslaModel X P100D100 kWh55312509
TeslaModel S 60D60 kWh43231961
TeslaModel S 7070 kWh46082090
TeslaModel S 70D70 kWh44102000
TeslaModel S 7575 kWh44102000
TeslaModel S 75D75 kWh46082090
TeslaModel S 8585 kWh46472108
TeslaModel S P8585 kWh46562112
TeslaModel S P85+85 kWh47312146
TeslaModel S 85D85 kWh48242188
TeslaModel S P85D85 kWh49362239
TeslaModel S 90D90 kWh48502200
TeslaModel S P90D90 kWh49602250
TeslaModel S 100D100 kWh48502200
TeslaModel S P100D100 kWh49602250
TeslaModel 3Standard RWD35521611
TeslaModel 3Standard dual motor AWD37571704
TeslaModel 3Mid-range RWD36861672
TeslaModel 3Long-range RWD38141730
TeslaModel 3Long-range dual motor AWD40721847
TeslaModel 3AWD Performance40721847
Volkswagene-Golf35.8 kWh35601615

*Kerb weight and Curb weight are the same thing, its just that they are spelt differently in the USA and the UK. This is why the weights are shown in different units as each country has different preferences.

Comments

  1. So handling not so good because the car is heavier
    and more wear on brakes and tyres!!!

    1. Author

      There is less wear on an electric cars brakes, when compared to an internal combustion engine car that has been used in exactly the same circumstances. This is because electric cars use something called regen breaking, which means the traditional mechanical brakes that all cars have will need to be replaced less often. If you would like to read more on regen breaking I have put a link to the following article: https://evarchive.com/do-electric-cars-use-oil/

      I think handling is more complicated than just how heavy a car is. There are lots of things to take into account, such as weight distribution of the car (whether the car is front heavy or back heavy for example).

  2. More weight in car is beneficial in terms of safety to those in that car only. It lowers the safety of everyone sharing the streets whit that car. Thus in general, electric cars (being heavier) lower the safety of the crowd.

    More weight is always bad for handling of normal cars. But putting the weight low and central is less degenerating for the handling.

    Good article.

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