Difference Wiki

HP vs. BHP: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on February 5, 2024
HP (Horsepower) is a unit of power measurement, while BHP (Brake Horsepower) measures engine power output without auxiliary components like the gearbox.

Key Differences

HP, or Horsepower, is a general term for power output in engines and motors. It's used to quantify the rate at which work is done. BHP, or Brake Horsepower, specifically measures the power delivered by an engine itself, not considering power losses due to auxiliary components like gearboxes or alternators.
In HP measurements, the total output of an engine is considered, including losses due to external components. It gives an overall picture of an engine’s capability. BHP is a more specific measurement, focusing only on the engine's direct power output, making it a more accurate representation of an engine’s raw power.
HP is a broader term and can be used in various contexts beyond automotive, such as in electrical motors. It's a versatile unit of power measurement. BHP, however, is typically used in the automotive industry to give a clearer picture of an engine's performance by isolating its power output from other influencing factors.
HP measurements may vary based on the inclusion of different components in different systems. It can be less precise for comparing engine performance. BHP, being a more specific measure of engine-only power, is often preferred in performance comparisons as it excludes losses from other components.
HP is still widely used for a general understanding of power in engines and machinery. It's more common in consumer contexts. BHP is preferred in technical and automotive industries for its precision in measuring just the engine’s performance, important for design and testing.

Comparison Chart


General power measurement unit.
Power measurement of engine output only.

Scope of Measurement

Includes total engine output and losses.
Excludes power losses from auxiliary components.

Industry Usage

Used broadly in various industries.
Primarily used in automotive and engine testing.


Less precise for engine performance comparison.
More precise for engine’s raw power measurement.


Common in consumer products and general machinery.
Preferred for technical engine performance assessment.

HP and BHP Definitions


HP is a unit for measuring power.
This generator has a capacity of 5 HP.


BHP is used for precise engine performance analysis.
Engineers consider BHP for performance tuning.


HP is used across various machinery and engines.
The lawn mower operates at 3 HP.


BHP excludes losses from gearboxes and alternators.
The BHP rating gives a true picture of the engine’s strength.


HP indicates how much work can be done over time.
This motor’s high HP signifies its efficiency.


BHP is a standard measurement in the automotive industry.
Car enthusiasts often discuss the BHP of different models.


HP is commonly used in consumer products to indicate power.
The vacuum cleaner has a 2 HP motor.


BHP measures the direct power output of an engine.
The sports car's engine delivers 300 BHP.


HP is applicable in both automotive and industrial contexts.
The new tractor boasts an impressive 75 HP.


BHP reflects an engine’s raw power capability.
The BHP of this engine is ideal for heavy-duty tasks.


Abbreviation of horsepower


(automotive) brake horsepower


A unit of power equal to 746 watts


Is HP used in car engine measurements?

Yes, HP is often used to represent car engine power.

Can HP be used for electric motors?

Yes, HP is also applicable to electric motors.

What is BHP?

BHP stands for Brake Horsepower.

Does BHP measure engine power accurately?

Yes, BHP measures engine power without considering auxiliary component losses.

What does HP stand for?

HP stands for Horsepower.

Is HP measurement higher than BHP for the same engine?

Typically, yes, because HP includes power losses in its measurement.

Do consumers need to know BHP?

BHP is more relevant for those interested in detailed engine performance.

Why is BHP important in automotive?

BHP provides a precise measurement of an engine's power, crucial in automotive performance.

Can two engines have the same HP but different BHP?

Yes, due to different levels of power loss in auxiliary components.

Do motorcycles use HP or BHP for power rating?

Both HP and BHP can be used, but BHP gives a more accurate engine performance measure.

Which is more commonly used in marketing, HP or BHP?

HP is more commonly used in marketing and consumer products.

Can BHP be the same for different engine sizes?

Yes, different engines can produce the same BHP.

Can HP indicate fuel efficiency?

Not directly, as HP is about power output, not fuel consumption.

Does BHP affect a vehicle's top speed?

BHP is a key factor influencing a vehicle's potential top speed.

Does BHP include torque measurement?

No, BHP measures power output, while torque is a separate measurement.

Is BHP crucial for racing cars?

Yes, BHP is crucial in racing for assessing engine performance.

Are HP and BHP interconvertible?

They can be compared, but conversion requires accounting for power losses.

Is BHP a better indicator of engine strength?

Yes, BHP more accurately reflects an engine's raw power.

Are HP measurements consistent worldwide?

HP measurements can vary slightly due to different standards.

Is BHP relevant for boat engines?

Yes, BHP is relevant for measuring the power of boat engines.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons