What are Electric Cars?

With the ever-increasing fuel problems, it has become necessary for people to use better forms of energy to drive their cars. This is what has resulted in the modern day electric cars. They are known to be very efficient and consume much less energy making is one of the environmentally friendly automobiles. This idea of using electric cars was necessitated by the fuel shortages being experienced all over the world.

According to statistics, almost everyone has owned or rented vehicle in their lifetime. Moreover, majority of the vehicles will be powered by internal combustion system or engine. These engines run on diesel or gasoline fuel. These engines release vast amount of energy when ignited which is then used to power your car. These are the type of vehicles that have been with us for almost a century.

In the present time, there are many new types of vehicles that are spreading throughout the world like wild fire. They are vehicle powered by more efficient energy source that is not limited to regions like the case of fossil fuels. These are the new breed of cars commonly known as the electric cars. There are those that have hybrid engine and those with electric engine. However, the cleanest of them all are those with electric engines and they are the ones currently a hot sale in the market today.

In this regard, it is very important that you learn more about electric cars and most importantly how they work.

How Electric Cars Work

Electric cars get power form the rechargeable batteries installed inside the car. These batteries are not only used to power vehicles but also used for the functioning of wipers and lights. Electric cars look precisely like other normal vehicles outward, but for lack of exhaust system. However, inward they are very different from each other. For instance, you will not find any gas tank, as they do not use fuel for locomotion or propelling the engines.

Consequently, the battery packs are under the vehicle and sometimes in the trunk. It is the same kind of batteries that are commonly used when starting up a gasoline engine. The only difference comes in the fact that in electric vehicles, they have more of them and they also store energy that is used in powering the vehicle. You will also find a regulator on the batteries, which simply ensures energy amount produced and that which is consumed by the car is constant. This ensures there is not battery that burns out.

Moreover, the workability aspect of electric cars is very interesting. A part from the engine, almost all other things is the same as those in other type of cars. For instance, the climate controls system, brakes and transmission systems as well as air bags. One of the major true differences that you will find is the electric motor. There are three types of them in the market: DC brushless with top speed, AC induction with the best acceleration and permanent magnet motor. These are the motors that are used in creating an electric vehicle.

The 3 main components of electric car are :- Electric motor, Controller and Battery. When you switch on the car, the current is passed from the battery. The controller takes power from the battery and passes it on to the electric motor. Before passing the current to motor, the controller converts the 300V DC into a maximum of 240 volts AC, 2 phase power which is suitable for motor. The electric motor then converts electrical energy to mechanical energy. The mechanical energy moves the vehicle forward. Controller stands as the buyer of power from battery and gives out put power to motor accordingly. Variable potentiometers are connected between accelerator and the controller. These potentiometers tell the controller how much power it is supposed to deliver. When the accelerator is released it delivers 0V and when they are fully pressed, it gives maximum output.

Types of Batteries

In terms of battery, there are various batteries to choose from :-

  • Lithium ion batteries : Lithium ion batteries gives extra performance, range and carry highest price tag. They are lighter than Lead acid and Nickel metal. These are the batteries that are used to store data in digital camera or smart phone.
  • Lead acid battery : These batteries are the most popular, cheapest and 97% recyclable.
  • Nickel metal hydride batteries : They are cost much more than lead acid but provide higher output and better performance.

As the electric car moves, the forward momentum generated by electric motor can be used to charge the batteries when you apply the brakes. This is a phenomenon commonly referred to as regenerative braking and can recover up to about 15% of used energy for acceleration. This is done by applying generated momentum in braking process to the car batteries. As much as this is effective, it does not however generate enough to fully recharge the car fully to run it. Therefore, the important thing that it does is extending the distance you can drive with the charge battery.

Charging of Electric Vehicles (EV)

Charging and electric car is similar to charging an electronic device. A charging cable is used to supply 230V current to the EV through public charging station or home charging station. The electric current flows to the charger which converts the current into a format that can be easily absorbed by the battery.Current than flows to the battery where it gets stored to be retrieved later. Depending on the size and distance to be covered, an EV needs to be charged at appropriate intervals.

Difference Between Electric Engine and Gasoline Engine

1. Energy Storage : Electric engines store energy inside the battery while gasoline engine use energy produced by ignition of fuel i.e. petrol or diesel.

2. Environment Impact : Electric engines use energy from renewable energy source like solar, wind or may be from non-renewable energy source like coal and natural gas. It all depends on how your home is drawing electricity. Gasoline engines on the other hand burn fuel which releases carbon dioxide and has huge environmental impact.

3. Fuel : Gasoline engines or other internal combustion engines run by burning of fuel where as an electric engine receive power from rechargeable battery.

4. Cost : As per the research, it is believed that electric vehicle cost about 2 cent per mile while gasoline powered car cost little more then 12 cent per mile.

5. Recharge or Refuel : A normal gasoline powered car takes less than 5 minutes to fill the empty tank where as en electric car takes about 6-7 hours to charge. This again depends on the size of battery.

6. Speed : The speed if an electric vehicle can go up to 100 miles per hour while the same for an gasoline engine can go beyond 300 miles per hour.

Other aspects include battery types, which makes it more efficient in energy. However, take note that electric cars are not essentially the easiest or speediest to maintain. With the new developments being made today, these electric cars are nearing that stage where they will be regarded as the best alternatives to other types of cars. This will greatly reduce pollution associated with combustion in the world today.






Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.