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.
I really enjoyed reading your post! The different parts of an electric car have always confused me, but you explained everything really well. I also liked the pictures you added, and seeing what some of the parts looked like.
Here’s a source that might help with your research:
Hey Lucas. It was super interesting reading your post! While I pride myself on being some sort of car enthusiast, my knowledge really isn’t that vast and this is why this post was so intriguing. Learning about all the different parts in an up-and-coming mode of transportation, the electric car, is super cool. The sheer amount of components in an electric car is also super interesting, as we don’t normally pay attention to that sort of thing. Keep up the great work!
Some sources you could use are:
This was a very interesting read! I do not know much about cars in general so it was very interesting to learn so much about the main components in an Electric Vechicle! I think it was great that you put in a youtube link for if anyone is interested to learn how a Tesla Model S works! I am very exicted to check it out!
I found a website that you may find helpful in your next round of research:
(Long article, however, if you scroll down to the conclusion you may be able to find a few helpful pieces of information)
Looking forward to your second round of research!
This is just so intriguing. You have pulled the post so well. As an engineering student, engines are so thrilling to read on.
Car technology has never been less interesting. I wonder what the transition to electric cars will look like. I read that some states in the US, like NY, purposes to make it a law that all vehicles must be EVs by 2035.
And the impacts of the transition are mindblowing. Although lots of new jobs will be created, millions of jobs will be lost.
The oil market will probably collapse. The latter will destabilize global economies. And what about the scientific community? How will the latter develop ideal batteries for longer ranges? Well, we must agree that EVs will save the environment from a lot of pollution. But, we must also find ways to recycle batteries or, dispose of them well right?
Cant wait to see what you share next!
I can see that you have put in a lot of effort into this article, and it really shows!
You do a great job explaining all of these different components that I have never heard of before. I really like how you would give a large amount of information, describing every part of the system in full detail.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading your article, it was very informative and enthralling.
I can’t wait to read more of your future posts,
You have a great foundation for your inquiry project, which I believe will be a spectacular read, all-in-all. I think trying to find non-biased news papers would be supportive of your inquiry project, and for learning more about the topic overall, having historical research papers will further help you find an answer to your intriguing question. Your topic is something which intrigues the large majority of people, and so, just as I am, I am sure the Butterfly Effect & Social Responsibility students are intrigued to learn more!