This post contains affiliate links.
Cars are typically defined by the amount of horsepower they have. With ride-on cars differing in terms of the battery run time, speed, and weight of the car, where exactly does horsepower come into play, and how does it impact your kids' Power Wheels experience?
In general, most Power Wheels on the market today are equipped with a 550 sized motor. These motors typically produce 190w (Watts), which converts to about 0.26hp (horsepower).
If you want to have a smooth ride with powerful acceleration, then high horsepower is typically needed. However, that might not necessarily be the case when it comes to Power Wheels horsepower. Below, we will take a look at what horsepower is in what it means for your ride-on car.
What is Horsepower?
The amount of power generated by a machine is measured in horsepower. In physics, power equals the rate at which something does work. So, if you are looking to get up to speed faster in your car, you need more horsepower from the engine. With more horsepower from your engine, you will be able to go faster and get up to speed at a quicker rate.
So, what does that have to do with ride-on cars? Well, it's important to note that only gasoline-powered engines have horsepower ratings. Electric motors, on the other hand, are typically measured in electrical horsepower or speed.
Power Wheels Battery Horsepower Won't Blow You Away
Horsepower has a huge impact on your Power Wheels experience. It affects the speed, torque, and acceleration that you will feel when riding your power wheels. However, the horsepower on your Power Wheels may not be as exciting as you hoped.
The speed of a car depends on the size of its battery and the size of its motor.
Most Power Wheels on the market today sport a 550 motor, which is typically rated for a 12-14v battery. Pairing a 550 moto with a with higher voltage battery (say a 24v) is possible. However, this can create high amp spikes and cause the motor to overheat to the point of failure.
775 size motors have more power and run cooler at higher voltages. These can be paired with a higher voltage battery for more speed without having the same overheating issues.
But how fast can the Power Wheels go?
How Fast Does a 6v Power Wheels Go?
Power Wheels with a 550 motor and 6v battery are usually designed for kids 3 to 5 years of age. The maximum speed of a 6-volt Power Wheel car can be from 2 to 3 mph.
How Fast Does a 12v Power Wheels Go?
While 12v Power Wheels typically sport the same 550 motors as their slower companions, the 12v battery also the ride-on car to reach greater speeds. The maximum speed of a 12v Power Wheel is 4 to 5 mph.
How Fast Does 24V Power Wheels Go?
With the larger motor and battery, the speed of 24v Power Wheels can reach up to 6 mph. Compared to other ride-on cars, 24V power wheels can have different speeds and can come equipped with an optional parental lock to control the maximum speed.
Because these cars are more powerful and tend to be bigger, the ideal age for 24V power wheels is 7-10 years old.
Are There Power Wheels with More Horsepower?
Absolutely! There are a few manufacturers that produce 36v and 48v Power Wheels.
A 36-volt power wheel typically runs at a speed of 15 miles per hour and above, while a 48-volt power wheel runs at 18 miles per hour and above. These are ideal for kids in their early to late teens since they typically need to be a more competent driver to maintain control of the vehicle at those speeds.
Just like with normal cars, horsepower plays a big role in how your kids will experience their Power Wheels. In the world of ride-on cars, it's not just the motor you need to think about, but the battery as well.
As your kids get older, they will want to go faster. The maximum speed your Power Wheels car is able to reach is important to consider when you're shopping so that your kid doesn't quickly outgrow their car the moment they are looking for a bit more excitement.
It's a good idea to look for a car with a higher horsepower that has parental control options so you can limit the speed your kid can go until they are ready for the next level.