How Does the Electric Car Work?

Electric vehicles (EVs) are one of the prevalent topics right now, and it makes sense for most people to wonder, ‘how does the electric car work?’ Most of us are curious about technology, especially when we intend to use it in the future. 

Electric cars are a cost-effective, efficient, and clean alternative to gasoline-powered automobiles. They’re the future of transport, and it’s exciting. 

We’ll explore the inner workings of electric cars to help you understand them better.

How the Electric Car Works: Key Components

The Battery

Your electric car runs solely on electricity – but you already know that! 

The battery stores the electricity your vehicle needs to function, which is similar to your heart and determines the distance and range that your car travels. 

And because all-electric vehicle batteries are not made equal, some EVs have a better range on a single charge than others. 

You’ll find an internal combustion engine and a fuel tank under the bonnet of your old car. But electric vehicles do not have any of that, instead, they have an electric motor that gets its power from the battery to move the wheels and power other functionalities. 

However, the battery power depletes as you use the vehicle to travel, and you need to recharge it. To make recharging possible, the electric car has a charge port that connects the battery to an external power supply. 

The most common type of EV battery is the lithium-ion battery for its high energy density, compactness, and lightweight design. That means it only needs a small portion of the electric vehicle space and can store much of the required electric energy. 

DC/DC converter

The efficient working of electric cars is also made possible by a DC/DC converter. The term DC/DC converter may sound like a mouthful, but it’s a vital component for the efficient functioning of the electric vehicle. 

The battery pack usually contains high voltage direct current (DC) electricity, which the converter lowers to suit the needs of the various electrical components. For example, air conditioning, the infotainment system, and lights do not need that much power, and the converter acts as a regulator. 

On the other hand, the converter also keeps the voltage inside the battery at a stable and safe range. This helps prevent damage and prolong the life of your battery. 

Without a DC/DC converter, some components’ battery voltage may be excessive, and it’d instantly fry them. The converter also plays a crucial role in making the electrical system effective by reducing possible energy loss through the voltage conversion process. 

How does the electric car work during acceleration 

Indeed, the acceleration of electric cars is a revelation. There has never been anything like it in the automotive industry!

Currently, some electric cars zip to 60 miles an hour within just two seconds. This means you can peel away from traffic stops so easily that other motorists become envious. But why is EV acceleration so efficient? 

Regular gas-powered cars have a complicated network of mechanical systems and gears to transfer the power from the engine to the wheels. In contrast, the connection between the electric motor (engine equivalent) and the wheels is direct. The result is quicker and more efficient acceleration. It also means the torque for electric cars is available from word to go, so it is instant and smooth. 

On the other hand, internal combustion engines need time for power build-up, and the network of gears and mechanical systems lose some of the power. 

EVs don’t experience any power interruptions or losses, so pressing the accelerator pedal instantly signals the electric motor to begin spinning. The motor generates more power the faster it spins, which determines how fast your car travels. 

The electric motor and drivetrain are linked, either directly or through a gear. As it sounds, the direct drive system is a direct link between the motor and the wheels. In contrast, the geared drive system connects the motor with a series of gears that then transfer the power to the wheels. Electric cars are ideal for city roads where smooth driving and bursts of acceleration are vital. 

The electric motor

The significant part of the answer to the question ‘how does the electric car work’ involves the electric motor.

Typically, one of the main benefits of the electric motor is its efficiency, where it can achieve as much as 80% of the battery’s usable power. In comparison, gas-propelled engines only achieve between 20% and 30% of the stored energy in gasoline. 

The high-efficiency rate of electric motors also means that EVs produce less heat and waste, which benefits the range. 

Regenerative braking and its role in how the electric car works

The regenerative braking system is another vital feature with a significant role in the working of electric cars. So, how does regenerative braking work, and how does the electric car work with it?

The regenerative braking system is similar to the brakes in your old car but functions differently. The difference happens when you press brakes, and in addition to slowing down the vehicle, the regenerative braking system captures the kinetic energy produced and stores it in the battery. 

The additional electrical energy from the braking adds some range to the vehicle. But what about the energy generated when braking the internal combustion engine vehicle? It is lost as heat.

The regenerative braking system and efficiency of the motor make EVs so effective and safe for the environment. 

Control system

There has to be a system that controls the flow of high-charged power, the electric motor, the regenerative braking system, and other functions. EVs have a sophisticated control system that optimizes their performance and ensures efficient battery charging. 

The control system also plays an integral part in battery temperature management. A battery that’s allowed to overheat will degrade faster and have a lower range. Therefore, controlling the temperature is essential to ensure the battery lasts longer and performs optimally. 

Your electric vehicle works in a similar way to your mobile phone, where energy is stored inside a battery and used for various functions. While the battery is the main feature of EVs, others, including regenerative braking, electric motors, and a sophisticated control system, play a vital role. Electric vehicles are highly efficient and benefit the environment in many ways.