Did you know that electric cars have to emit an artificial engine sound? Due to its quiet motor, many electric vehicles are required to emit noise when travelling at low speeds to alert pedestrians who may not be aware of the presence of the vehicle.
Electric vehicles are a branch of advanced and rapidly developing form of automobile. Due to its new source of energy, sustainability, and appearance, it has attracted the interest of many enlightened customers. To start off this series of studies, we will initially be learning the essential components that construct an electric vehicle. The interior components and maintenance of an electric vehicle differ tremendously when we are comparing it to a traditional gas car with an internal combustion motor. Electric cars operate using the energy in the battery to cycle the motor while gas cars combust fossil fuel in the engine to propel the vehicle.
Main Components of an EV
Unlike gas cars, an EV uses an electric motor to move the vehicle. The motor uses the electric energy from the battery to convert energy to torque in order to turn the shaft. The motor could be powered by direct current (DC) straight from the battery or alternating current (AC) through an inverter.
- Electric motors generate instant torque and deliver it to the wheels efficiently. In combustion vehicles, up to 15% of the engine’s power could be lost in the drivetrain because of mechanical inefficiency.
- Noise and vibration are minimized hugely since there is no internal combustion. It makes the car quiet and comfortable to ride.
- The size of the motor is a lot smaller than an engine, providing additional space for efficient design.
- The additional empty space in the front trunk (in most Tesla models) creates a bigger crumple zone, improving safety during a crash.
The reducer provides a similar function as the transmission in a gasoline-powered vehicle. It reduces the engine’s RPM (revolution per minute) to match the driving circumstance.
The Battery stores electric energy that powers the vehicles’ motor and other electric appliances. The maximum range of the vehicle is often determined by the battery capacity. The battery is one of the most challenging technologies of an electric vehicle. The size and weight have large implements on the performance. Large and heavy batteries take away storage space and lead to energy inefficiency. A small, and capacious battery is essential for an electric car.
The heavy battery is located beneath the floorboard of the vehicle, providing a low center of gravity.
Types of Batteries:
- Lithium-ion (most commonly used)
- Nickel-metal hydride (widely used in hybrid vehicles)
- Lead-acid batteries (supplement other battery loads)
- Ultracapacitors (supplement battery)
Batteries in a Tesla:
Instead of developing prismatic batteries (similar to the battery in a phone) like most EV companies, Tesla links many common and pre-existing 18650 lithium-ion cells together to form their battery pack. These individual batteries make replacing damaged batteries easy. Their battery technology is very successful and their most recent model y is able to achieve 500+ km of range per charge.
Battery heating system:
Does your phone run out of power when exposed to cold temperatures? In low temperatures, an electric battery’s power and charging capacity decrease significantly. Most EVs are equipped with heaters to maximize battery performance.
- On-board charger
Charging EVs at home wouldn’t have been possible if there wasn’t an on-board charger. This unit converts AC from slow chargers or home outlets into DC that charges the battery.
4. The electric power control unit
The electric power control unit is a combination of devices that controls the electric flow in the vehicle. These include the inverter, the low voltage DC-DC converter, and the vehicle control unit.
Converts DC to AC used in the electric motor. This device could also change the motor’s rotation speed by adjusting the frequency of the AC. It could also change the power of the torque by altering the amplitude of the signal.
- Low voltage DC-DC converter
To power, the electric appliances of the electric vehicle, the electricity from the battery must first go through the low voltage converter. This converter reduces the high voltage from the battery to 12V.
- Vehicle control unit
The Vehicle control unit is like a control tower that oversees almost all the vehicle’s power control mechanism. It reads sensor signals such as from breaks or charger connection and acts to balance the system energy, optimize torque, and controls the regenerative breaking, AC load management, and power supply.
In-depth video for if you want to learn more:
Here is a detailed video about how a Tesla Model S works. The context of the video will be slightly different since different vehicles have slightly different components.
This blog has provided an essential understanding of the EV’s components and how it operates. In the next blog, I will be seeing whether an EV is good for the environment and reduces emissions. Thank you for reading and I hope that you learned more about an electric vehicle.