Electric cars are becoming more popular as the cost of gas increases and as countries across the globe look for ways to decrease emissions. But how do electric cars work, and why might you want to buy one? That’s what I’m going to explore in this article, which is intended for a novice audience. This creates an opportunity for those in the market for an electric vehicle to make better-informed decisions based on my experiences with them.
Electric vehicles (EVs) come in various shapes and sizes, but most are built with the same basic components. The batteries, which hold a charge that powers the motor, are generally the most expensive part of an EV. Most EVs have an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine. Many have regenerative braking systems, which convert kinetic energy into electricity as the car slows down to recharge the battery.
The first cars and trucks had electric motors. But by the early twentieth century, gasoline — a byproduct of oil refining — was cheap and plentiful, so gasoline-powered internal combustion engines became more popular than electric motors. Today’s EVs are more efficient and cleaner than their nineteenth-century predecessors.
We’ve come a long way since then — thanks in large part to federal investments in R&D. In 2008, Congress passed the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), which set new fuel economy standards for passenger cars and light trucks at 54.5 miles per gallon (mpg). The transportation sector is currently responsible for nearly 30 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions so these standards demonstrate our nation’s commitment to reducing
Electric cars work by using an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine. Typically, electric cars will have one or more rechargeable batteries that power the motor.
The cost of running an electric car purely on electricity is a fraction of the cost of running a conventional petrol or diesel car, and electric cars have no tailpipe emissions.
Many people buy a plug-in hybrid car because they like the idea of cutting their fuel bills, but they’re not sure they can do without the range and flexibility of a conventional car. A plug-in hybrid with its larger battery gives you the best of both worlds – it runs as an electric car for your local driving and as a conventional petrol or diesel car when you need to drive further afield.
You can charge most electric vehicles using a standard 3-pin socket at home or work but it’ll take longer than using a dedicated charging point.
The electric car is the future of motoring, and we’re already seeing less petrol and diesel cars on the road.
Electric cars use electricity to power their motors, rather than petrol. The motor is powered by charging a large battery, which on most cars can take 4 to 8 hours from a domestic power supply. Once charged, the battery powers the motor to propel the car forward. The distance travelled before needing to recharge depends on the size of the battery, with larger batteries offering more range.
The energy consumption of electric cars has been estimated 30 per cent lower than that of conventional petrol or diesel vehicles.
Electric motors are generally more reliable than internal combustion engines and require less maintenance.
Electric motors do not need servicing as often as internal combustion engines.
Electric car engines have far fewer moving parts than a traditional internal combustion engine. An electric motor has no cam shaft, crank shaft or pistons, as well as no exhaust systems. This means that electric motors do not need servicing as often as internal combustion engines, which is a major saving in maintenance costs.
Electric cars do not need to be serviced as regularly as petrol or diesel cars. In fact, the only serviceable part of an electric car is the brake fluid and the tyres.
EV batteries can be charged during off-peak hours, when electricity is often cheaper.
EVs can refuel at home.
Cheap electricity is good for the economy and the environment.
Driving an EV is much smoother experience than driving a conventional car because there is no gear change involved with all-electric vehicles, only acceleration and braking.
Electric cars offer many benefits over traditional vehicles
Electric cars are increasingly becoming a popular choice for many people. This is because they offer a range of benefits over traditional cars powered by petrol and diesel.
The benefits of electric cars include:
Lower running costs – they’re cheaper to buy and run than petrol or diesel cars
Zero emissions from the tailpipe – they don’t produce any harmful exhaust fumes
Most are exempt from road tax – there’s no annual road tax to pay unless you have a car with a list price of over £40,000
Easier and cheaper to maintain – you can expect lower servicing costs, no need for oil changes, and your brake pads will last longer due to the regenerative braking system
Many government grants available – there’s a Plug-in Car Grant available worth up to £3,500 off the cost of a new electric car, as well as incentives on offer in Scotland and Wales too
Cheaper insurance – some insurers offer cheaper insurance premiums for electric cars
Electric car’s batteries consist of billions of microscopic lithium-ion cells that are linked together to form a vast network. These cells receive electrical energy from the motor’s armature (a rotating shaft with magnets attached), and store it for later use. The electricity created by the battery is sent to a complex monitoring unit (CMU) where its production is monitored, and recorded for future use. After being used by the electric motors, this energy is directed to special systems which convert the charge into usable energy, and then send it out of the car again.