Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between BHP and PS


There are a number of ways to measure the power that can be generated by a mechanical device like a car. The most popular is brake horsepower or BHP, which is a method of measurement for vehicles without the encumbrance added by connecting devices like the gearbox and transmission system. In comparison, PS is a unit of power in German. Although PS is very popular in Germany and in Europe, it is rarely seen anywhere else.

There are a number of ways to get the brake horsepower of an engine using a number of devices like the De Prony brake. But today, the most prevalent way of measuring the brake horsepower of a vehicle is with the use of a dynamometer. A dynamometer is more accurate and its automated feature makes it a lot more convenient for the one measuring.

It is worth noting that horsepower and PS are not necessarily identical when it comes to values as there is a discrepancy in the value of each unit. One horsepower is the equivalent of 746 Watts while one PS is only 735 Watts. When you compare PS to BHP, you get a coefficient of roughly 0.98

BHP is increasingly becoming more popular all around the world as we begin to adapt standardized units of measuring things. Although PS is still somewhat popular in certain areas of Europe, it is no longer a statutory unit and is largely considered as obsolete. Despite being considered obsolete, it is still used in advertising as a lot of people are still familiar with the term.

No matter what unit is used to measure the power output of a vehicle, it should still give you an adequate idea of the performance of the said vehicle. In most cases, you should not worry yourself to much as you would probably get values with units familiar to you. If you are in a foreign place and the unit used is not the one you are familiar with, you should just keep in mind that you only need to multiply the PS value by 0.98 to get BHP or divide BHP by 0.98 to get the PS value.


1. BHP is a way of measuring mechanical power while PS is a standard unit for mechanical power in Germany

2. One unit of PS is equivalent to 0.98 horsepower

3. BHP is widely used while PS is considered obsolete

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1 Comment

  1. Hello!

    I would actually disagree with part of what this article says. First of all, PS stands for Pferdestärke, which is simply the German word for horsepower. Therefore, be careful when you say horsepower and PS are different, better to say BHP and PS are different.
    Anyway, PS is not a well accepted unit by governments etc. anymore, the reason for that is that there is in most places around the world a move towards SI units. Therefore, not only PS, but also BHP should be considered obsolete. The proper unit to measure power of engines should be watt, or KW.
    However, PS and BHP are both widely used in advertising, like you said. It should also be noted that they are often used interchangeable, because many people do not know that there is a difference.

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