Global Engineering

The Internal Workings of Electric Vehicles

You might have seen electric car charging stations being built in your area, but how much do you know about battery-powered electric cars? Also called EVs or electric cars, more and more vehicles are being powered by powerful batteries and electric motors.

These vehicles get their power from massive packs of on-board batteries that have been designed to be rechargeable and extremely efficient for travel. The full name for them is ‘battery-electric vehicles’ or BEVs; an acronym which fully describes their innovative power and fuel systems.

Drivers in America have a wide variety of electric cars to choose from on local soil, and consumers in other countries are rapidly being presented with more choices too. The leading manufacturer of EVs at the moment is Tesla, the company headed up by one of the most brilliant minds in science, Elon Musk.

Electric Motors and Battery Packs

All electric vehicles operate through a similar mechanism, although they may look different at first glance. The cars direct power to their driven wheels through a single speed transmission. They can contain more than a single motor, as is the case for top-tier vehicles such as the Tesla Model S and Model X cars. These vehicles have 2 motors each; one for driving the front wheels of the car and the other for powering the rear wheels.

The source of energy used to keep an EV’s motors running is stored within the vehicle in the aforementioned rechargeable battery pack. The batteries involved usually harness lithium-ion chemistry – the same system used by many smartphones on which real money players play casino games on mobile. However, the main difference here is that the vehicles’ batteries are considerably larger, and are also much larger than those use in conventional or plug-in hybrid vehicles.

The Advantages of BEVs

The advantages of using an EV include a simple power source and an engine which has far fewer moving parts than a traditional petrol or diesel engine. This makes the vehicles relatively maintenance free, while still providing plenty of torque for rapid acceleration without exhaust emissions. BEVs can also be charged at the growing number of public charging stations, or while they are parked in a garage at home. Essentially, electric cars are better for the environment, require less maintenance, and operate just as well as classic fuel-powered cars.

Additionally, electric motors are also over 3 times more efficient than the internal combustion engine model when it comes to converting electricity into wheel power. This reduces the emissions and environmental impact of creating the electricity the vehicles need to run when compared to the emissions created by gas engines.

Technology to Be Improved

The only potential downside to this technology so far is that BEVs are completely dependent on their battery packs for power. They need to be recharged at regular intervals, and charging normally takes several hours – if not longer – to be complete.

The batteries used in BEVs are also expensive to produce and very heavy, which creates limits on how large a battery pack can effectively and economically be used in a vehicle. This limit’s the vehicles’ ranges to an extent, barring them from exceeding 200 miles on a single charge. The only current exceptions are Tesla’s Model X and Model S cars. With that said, many car manufacturers are looking to break this record, including the likes of General Motors and Nissan. It’s safe to say that the future looks bright for electric-powered vehicles.