Electric Car Basics
We may not be flying cars everywhere just yet (Remember the cartoon, “The Jetsons”?), but we certainly have come a long way in powering them. Today, electric vehicles are becoming one of the more common vehicles on the road, using electrical power instead of gasoline power.
Electric vehicles made up almost 6% of all new vehicle sales in this country in 2022. That is an increase of more than 3% from the year before. Experts are anticipating this number to increase as EVs become more mainstream.
What is an electric vehicle exactly?
All-electric vehicles are powered by an electric motor that is powered by a battery. Up until EVs were made available to the public, vehicles have always been powered by an internal combustion engine.
How does an electric vehicle work?
Electric vehicles use a large traction battery pack for power. This requires the car to be plugged into an electric wall outlet to charge the battery, versus going to the gas station and getting gas in a tank. This electrical power eliminates any exhaust being emitted from the fuel components typical of an internal combustible engine.
What components do electric vehicles have instead of fuel-associated components?
Instead of the traditional fuel lines, fuel pumps, or fuel tanks, electric vehicles have the following components that power them:
- Battery: Electric vehicles have an auxiliary battery that provides electrical power to the vehicle.
- Charging Port: The charging port is where electric vehicles are connected to an external power supply that charges the traction battery pack.
- DC/DC Converter: Electric vehicles need this device to convert higher-voltage DC power from the traction battery pack to lower-voltage DC power that runs the accessories and recharges the auxiliary battery.
- Electric Traction Motor: This motor drives the wheels on electric vehicles with the power from the traction battery.
- Onboard Charger: Incoming AC electricity is needed to supply power via the charge port, converting it to DC power that charges the traction battery. This component also keeps communication between the charging equipment while it monitors the battery currents, temperature, voltage, and level of the charge. pack.
- Power Electronics Controller: This component manages the electric energy flow the traction battery provides and controls the speed of the electric traction motor and torque produced.
- The Cooling System: The cooling system needs to maintain a proper operating temperature range for the engine and electric motor as well as the power electronics, and components.
- Traction Battery Pack: This stores the electricity that is built up during charging for the electric traction motor.
- Transmission: The electric transmission transfers mechanical power from the electric traction motor to drive the wheels.
What are the benefits of electric vehicles?
If you’re considering trading your combustible engine vehicle for one of the electric vehicles on the market today, you can look forward to these benefits:
- No more trips to the gas station! Instead of paying that ever-increasing amount per gallon, you’ll pay per kW, which is averaging 10 cents per kW for every dollar per gallon.
- Friendlier to the environment because there aren’t any pollutants being emitted as you drive.
- Less maintenance with an electric motor compared to a combustible engine. This equals less cost for operation!
- Electric vehicles have been shown to have better performance and faster acceleration.
What is the range of electric vehicles?
We can’t provide exact numbers to the range expected from electric vehicles just like we can’t provide the exact number on the mileage of a combustible engine vehicle. These numbers can vary based on the driver’s driving habits mainly, but at the end of 2022, electric vehicles were getting a distance range of just over 200 miles.
What do electric vehicles cost?
Well, we don’t have exact dollar amounts because the cost of electric vehicles can vary on the upgrades you order with your car. The same is to be said of traditional gas-powered vehicles! We can tell you they do cost more upfront, but considering what it will save you from NOT having to fill the gas tank, the ROI is apparent! And the cost of electric vehicles is getting lower and lower every year as production ramps up.
How much does it cost to charge an electric vehicle?
The electricity rates are subject to many factors, with the area where you live being the first factor. The time-of-day electric vehicles are charged, and the time of the year can be a factor in determining the cost of charging too. Most drivers of electric vehicles recommend charging your car at home during the night for the best rate!
What are the environmental benefits of electric vehicles?
The obvious is less pollution from no fuel emitting fumes! There is also the noise factor – electric vehicles operate quieter than gas-powered vehicles. Some say this can be a danger for pedestrians stepping off a curb when they don’t hear a car coming around the corner.
In Closing: Reliability and Safety
As a person who may have driven nothing but gas-powered cars, you may be concerned with the reliability and safety of electric vehicles. Just like gas-powered vehicles when they are first released, electric vehicles aren’t as reliable either. They have to work through their issues and problems, take those back to the drawing board, and improve on them. When it comes to safety, just like all vehicles, there are federal regulations to be met before they are released to the public.