Electric Vehicles

How do Electric Vehicles Work?

Electric Vehicles

As manufacturing costs decrease and charging infrastructure improves, electric cars (EVs) have become increasingly enticing to US drivers hoping to escape high petrol prices or reduce their environmental effect. What’s their secret?

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Electric Vehicles basics

Unlike ICE vehicles, EVs don’t need explosive combustion to move. Instead, they use battery power to drive the car’s electric motors. EVs have fewer moving parts than gas vehicles and require less maintenance, but they cost more up front.
EVs include plug-in hybrids with modest auxiliary batteries, battery-powered cars, and hydrogen fuel cell cars.

Most EVs on the road now are hybrids or all electric vehicles like the Tesla Model 3. Here, we’ll discuss electric cars.

Battery Science

Every EV features a battery pack consisting of lithium-ion cells that power everything from driving to air conditioning. This is also termed a traction battery and is normally at the vehicle’s bottom.

An electric car’s battery charges like a cell phone’s lithium-ion battery, just larger. You plug it into an outlet or charging station to charge it. EV battery capacity is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). The higher the number, the greater the EV’s capacity and range.

EV batteries vary. Mercedes-Benz Smart EQ vehicles have 16.7kWh batteries, providing them 60 miles per charge. Model S Long Range has a 95kWh battery and 350-mile range. In the next few years, we may see EVs with higher range and faster recharging periods.

Batteries produce direct current (DC), unlike wall outlets. Alternating current is needed to provide rotational force (AC). Here begins the motor’s design.

Motor design

An electric car’s motor doesn’t need to pressurise and ignite gasoline. Instead, battery-powered electromagnets in the motor provide rotational force.
Two magnets are within the motor. One set is attached to the car’s wheel-spinning shaft, and the other is inside its housing. Both magnet sets have the same polarity and resist each other. The magnets’ repulsion twists the shaft, spins the wheels, and pushes the car forward.

The magnets’ polarity must change as the shaft turns to sustain repulsion. Otherwise, they’d eventually attract each other and lock up. AC electricity alternates positive and negative automatically. Since an EV’s battery is DC, an inverter flips the magnets’ polarity.

An EV’s inverter flips polarity 60 times per second to maintain rotation. A separate DC converter powers non-AC vehicle equipment (heating, infotainment, and lighting). The driver can alter the frequency of the motor’s current; greater frequencies cause more polarity flips. This increases torque and speeds up the wheels.

Art Of Charging

Fill up gas-powered autos and go. US EV charging stations range from slowest (level 1) to fastest (level 3). (level 3).

Level 1 chargers are 120-volt wall connections best for overnight charging at home. Sluggish: A full charge takes 20 hours or more and adds around 40 miles of range.

Level 2 stations output 10-25kW at 240 volts for an eight-hour charge. They’re ideal for overnight charging at home or at motels. Destination Chargers are Tesla Level 2 stations (versus Superchargers). If you don’t have the right plug, you’ll need a 240-volt outlet or home charging station.

Level 3 DCFC stations give the highest power; they can charge an EV battery to 80% in 30 minutes. Tesla’s Superchargers give more power than 50kW, though.

supercharger
Third-grade Beaver, Utah Tesla Supercharger with 250kW charging. Chloe Albanesius
Using level 3 fast-charging stations constantly may harm your EV’s battery. For now, utilise what seems logical based on where you live and what you can afford.
Most EVs include a wire that can plug into level 1 and level 2 charging stations. Teslas come with a non-Tesla adapter (mobile chargers are no longer bundled). Most public chargers have level 2 and 3 connectors.
Many EV drivers charge the battery while the car is parked during the day—at work, conducting errands, or at the gym. This protects the battery from losing too much charge during the day and reduces charging time.
EVs have a regenerative braking mechanism that feeds kinetic energy back to the battery pack. In the correct circumstances, this can make your EV more efficient.

What’s the EV range?

EV range anxiety is prevalent. Will a fully charged EV get the same mpg as a gas car? Depending.

According to Electric Vehicle Database, the typical EV range is 200-250 miles per charge. The range is 50 miles to over 300 (Lucid Air boasts 500+ miles). Multiple variables can affect a vehicle’s range in the present and over time.

Size of an EV’s battery affects range. Continuous highway driving, repeated sharp accelerations, overusing fast charging, harsh weather, and ageing can diminish an EV’s range.
Modern electric cars are more competitive with gas vehicles. Their average range is equivalent to a gas automobile, and charging infrastructure is widespread enough that EVs are becoming a feasible option for low-emission vehicles. EVs have issues to iron out and won’t stop climate change by itself, but they can be part of a bigger push to rethink transportation and establish cleaner alternatives.

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