Where Did the Term Horsepower Come From?

You've heard of horsepower if you love trucks and SUVs, but what exactly does horsepower mean when it comes to engines? Beyond the basic information of the higher the horsepower, the stronger the engine, what does it mean when you describe the horsepower of an engine?

The term horsepower came about in the 1700's, when inventor James Watt was trying to explain the power of steam engines. He took the time to watch ponies, averaging how much power they produced in a minute. Watt came up with the estimate that an average pony produced 22,000 foot-pounds of work each minute. He added 50% to his estimate and began calling 33,000 foot-pounds of work horsepower.

So how does this translate into today's engines? If your vehicle had an engine that produced one horsepower, your vehicle would have the same strength of a pony that pulled 33 pounds of coal for a full sixty seconds.

To see the definition of horsepower in action, stop by our showroom at Auto Express KIA and explore the newest models available in Erie, PA!

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