- How do electric cars work? Electric vehicles run on clean energy, i.e. electricity. They produce no emissions and emit no hazardous gases. As a result, they are environmentally beneficial vehicles that contribute to the reduction of ever-increasing air pollution.
- In India, several automakers have already introduced battery-powered vehicles. So, how do electric vehicles work? Are there engines? Now we will discuss How do electric cars work? Continue reading to learn the answers to these questions.
How do electric cars work?
Electric cars: How do they work?
How does an electric car’s engine work?
How does charging work?
Key features and components of an all-electric car
Electric cars: How do they work?
Electric vehicles operate on the premise of converting electric energy into mechanical energy, which is then used to generate kinetic energy and enable vehicle mobility.
EVs use an electric motor rather than a traditional fuel engine. Electric energy therefore replaces traditional fuel (petrol/diesel). The electric motor transforms electrical energy into mechanical energy.
To put it simply, an automobile that operates on traditional gasoline (petrol/diesel) has fundamental components such as an engine, transmission, fuel tank, and so on.
In an electric car, the engine has been replaced by an electric motor, and the petrol tank has been replaced by a battery pack. The transmission remains the same, however all-electric vehicles have a simplified gear system.
Refer to the below points to understand how an electric vehicle works.
When you charge the battery, the battery pack stores electrical energy.
- The energy that has been stored is used to power the electric motor and other accessories/components.
- The flow of electrical energy to the motor is managed by a controller.
- Depending on the data received from the accelerator pedal, the controller controls the flow of power.
The electric motor draws energy from the battery and converts it to mechanical energy.
- The transmission is responsible for transferring mechanical energy from the motor to the wheels.
- Some EVs generate braking energy through regenerative braking.
- The energy created during vehicle braking or deceleration is returned to the battery pack.
- The charging port can be used to charge the battery pack. The onboard charger converts AC (Alternating Current) to DC (Direct Current) (Direct Current).
- You can charge the battery by attaching an external power source to the charging port on the car.
- An EV also has an auxiliary battery, which powers the vehicle’s accessories and other equipment.
- A DC-to-DC converter transforms high-voltage current from the battery pack to low voltage current to recharge the auxiliary battery.
How does an electric car’s engine work?
As mentioned earlier, an electric motor plays the role of an engine in electric
vehicles. Typically, car manufacturers use AC motors in e-cars, which means the
motor runs on Alternating Current (AC).
The below points explain the working mechanism of an electric motor.
The Power Electronics Controller (PEC) controls the flow of electrical energy to the
motor when you push the accelerator pedal.
The amount of current required to power the motor varies based on the amount of pressure applied to the accelerator pedal.
When the motor is powered up, the rotors begin to spin and generate mechanical energy.
The mechanical energy generated by the motor begins to rotate the gears or transmission.
The mechanical energy is transferred to the wheels by the transmission, which
moves the vehicle forward.
The electric motor, analogous to an engine, is the heart of the electric powertrain. It turns electrical information into mechanical energy, which is then used by the transmission to move the wheels.
How Does charging works?
An electric car has a charging port as well as an onboard charger that converts AC power to DC. Depending on the model and battery capacity, an all-electric car charger may come with a variety of connectors. However, the fundamental premise of charging an environmentally friendly vehicle stays the same.
An EV can be charged by connecting it to an external power source. It could be a domestic power outlet or a separate charging station.
EV charging is further divided into three levels depending on the capacity of the flow of electrical energy.
Level 1 charging:
It is just charging an EV using a standard 120-volt power socket present in most homes. You can connect the charger to a power outlet and charge the battery overnight.
Level 2 charging:
It is the most commonly encountered form of public charging station. You can even install a Level 2 charging station at your home if the automobile manufacturer allows you to. It is powered by a 240-volt outlet. When compared to 120-volt charging, the charging time is lowered.
Level 3 charging:
Rapid chargers or DC fast chargers are used in this system. Fast-charging stations are typically installed at strategic areas by EV manufacturers, and you may be charged to use such charging stations. With fast chargers, charging speed is quick (usually slightly over an hour for a full charge) due to DC electricity. However, in order to use Level 3 charging, your EV must be compatible with rapid charging.
The process of charging an electric vehicle is similar to that of charging a smartphone. Simply connect the battery-powered vehicle to an external power source using the cable supplied by the automobile manufacturer.
Key characteristics and components of an all-electric vehicle You now have a basic understanding of how an electric vehicle works. Let us now shed some light on the major features and components of an EV. Before we get to the highlights, let’s have a look at some of the most important components of a battery-powered vehicle.
It stores electrical energy, which is utilised by the vehicle’s electric motor and other components.
It serves as the heart of the electric drivetrain, converting electrical energy from the battery pack to mechanical energy. The transmission, which drives the wheels, is linked to the motor.
Transmission: Also known as a gearbox, it is responsible for transferring mechanical energy from the motor to the wheels. The gearbox in EVs is automatic, and the gear configuration is simple in comparison to traditional cars.
Power Electronics Controller (PEC): This is a controller that controls the flow of electrical energy from the battery pack. In turn, it regulates the power and torque output of the electric motor.
A cooling system in an EV is analogous to a radiator in a traditional car. The cooling system assists in keeping the battery pack, electric motor, power controller, and other powertrain components at optimal operating temperatures.
Auxiliary battery: An EV, like a petrol/diesel engine-powered automobile, has a 12-volt battery to power the lights, horn, accessories, and other vehicle components. The energy stored in the primary battery pack powers the battery.
DC-to-DC converter: This device transforms the high-voltage electrical current from the battery pack to a low-voltage current that can be used to recharge the auxiliary battery. The converter is also utilised to power various car accessories/components.
Onboard charging system: It transforms AC power from the charging port to DC power to charge the battery pack. It also monitors battery-related characteristics including voltage, temperature, charging rate, current, and so on.
Charging port: This is a port that allows you to connect the EV to an external power source in order to recharge the battery pack.