How Do Electric Cars Work


In the present day scenario an electric car is a smart and modern buy and is also being promoted by governments of many countries and other organization as it plays an integral role in keeping our environment clean. It produces no emissions, run the vehicle silently and are mechanically simpler as compared to internal combustion engine. Most of the top car manufacturers have introduced at least one of their hybrid or electric car model in the market sector and are trying to improve more on their future models. Though most of the people know about the electric cars but the technology and the functioning of the car still is mystery for many.

The Propulsion Mechanism

To understand the functioning of an electric car one needs to know the working of the conventional vehicles. While for most of the cars the standard fuel used is gasoline, which is used to create a series of explosions. These explosions taking place provide the car with the energy required to be in motion. This type of system used is referred as internal combustion engine and has been used in all the conventional cars.

Electric cars are not only affordable and low costing as compared to conventional cars but are also fuel-efficient and easy to produce while being eco-friendly to nature.

But in the past few decades there has been an exponential rise in the amounts of pollution and among the contributing factors are harmful gas emissions from the conventional vehicles. Since there has been a hike in number of cars on the roads has caused many environmental concerns. Another problem with using traditional internal combustion engines is that they require fossil fuels such as gasoline or diesel and due to its shortage the costing of it is really high and a matter of concern.

To tackle such environmental issues and depletion of natural resources, many car manufacturers have come out with innovative and futuristic alternatives which are eco-friendly as compared to primitive internal combustion technique. And most of them have found the answer in electric motors.

How Electric Cars Work

The working of electric car is similar to that of a normal gasoline powered car. Rechargeable batteries installed inside the car are the main source of power for an electric car. They not only power the vehicle but also used by wipers, lights, air conditioner and radio for their proper functioning.

The electric motor is of 3 types: DC Brushless, AC Induction and Permanent magnet motor. Each of these electric motor has its own advantages and disadvantages. Brushless offers highest speed with lowest acceleration. AC Induction has highest acceleration and average speed. The permanent motor stands in between Brushlesss and AC Induction in both categories.

Electric motor, Battery and Controller are 3 main components of electric car. The base of the car is battery. There are many batteries to choose from,  ranging from Lithium ion to Lead acid and Nickel metal. Lead acid batteries are the most popular and cheapest batteries available in the market. Almost all the batteries have to be fully replaced after every 3-4 years. When the car is switched on, the current is passed from the battery. The controller’s job is to take current from the battery and pass it to electric motor. The converter converts the 300V DC to 240V DC before passing it to the motor, using a set of transistors. The electric motor converts the electrical energy to mechanical energy which is then used to drive the vehicle forward.

Variable potentiometers are connected between accelerator and controller so that variable power can be supplied to the motor. It is the potentiometers only that tells controller how much power it should deliver. To support fault tolerance, two potentiometers are connected to the accelerator. When the accelerator is pressed, controller produced full power, when releases, it comes to rest.

For more information on electric cars, read here.

These electric motors run solely on electricity. When the electricity is supplied to the motor leads to creation of magnetic field which in turn spins a coiled wire. This coiled wire is attached to the axle of the car and thus rotates it resulting in the motion of the car. When brakes are applied, the electric car uses forward momentum of the motor to recharge the batteries. This process is called regenerative braking. This increases the range of the electric vehicle to as much as 15%. You may have to shell out some extra bucks to get regenerative braking installed on your EV.

Various Types of Power Source

Usually electric cars use batteries as their source of energy or hydrogen fuel cells or some kind of solar power device. These batteries are the source of power for the car and hence needs recharging. Recharging can be done from a regular cable that could be plugged in ordinary wall socket. Hydrogen fuel cells have different mechanism of creating electricity. It does that by combining hydrogen to oxygen which results in electricity. Though this technology is still in its early phases but shows great potential in future.

Converting solar energy into electricity is another mode of producing electricity. For this purpose solar panels are used but this method isn’t that popular as it would be feasible only at places with lot of sunshine and is weather dependent.

Though most of the work is still in progress but electric cars comes out as the best and most feasible solution to the problems being faced. It is a great alternative to reduce the pollution and yet be priced at such price that it suits the pocket of every person. Since most of the work in this field is still in experimental phase, it would require some time before large scale production of such cars starts happening. Electric vehicles have a major hand over conventional vehicles due to which transition to new era of vehicles running on electricity is unavoidable if we have to preserve our environment and natural resources.


Rinkesh Kukreja is a part time passionate blogger, technology enthusiast, The founder and editor of HowZzDat - How of Everything. He started out with one website as a hobby and now loves writing articles on various niche.

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