Most of us would have come across the concept of electric-powered cars. How are they different from gas-powered vehicles and how do they work?
An electric car is the same as a gas-powered car, except that it is powered by a battery, instead of gas. Energy from the battery is supplied to the electric motor which is needed to run the vehicle. The electric motor used in an electric car can be of three types – AC Induction, Permanent Magnet Motor and DC Brushless. Each of these motor types has a particular attribute.
If you want a motor that offers top speed but low acceleration, the DC Brushless is the right option. On the other hand, a motor with the highest acceleration but average top speed is the AC induction. The Permanent Motor is one that has features of both motors.
An electric car motor is powered by a battery-pack or a group of batteries that offer the necessary power-supply. This power supply is regulated by a controller device that manages battery power supply to motor, so that motor works efficient and does not get burnt out. This is a simple picture on how en electric car works. If you look at the complex picture, what you can see is an electrical system that is made up of many components such as fuses, wires and relay systems. Electrical wiring from the battery directs current to various components and a system of fuses serve as a protection mechanism for incoming electrical charges. Various components that make up the car electrical system include battery, relay, fuse, electronic controller, wire, electrical connectors, fusible link, and switch.
There are various types of batteries available for use in electric cars. Choice of battery must be based on life span, quality and power supply. These include lead acid, nickel-metal hydride, and lithium ion. Of all the three types, the most popular is Lead Acid. This is the lowest-powered battery type, and it is also 97% recyclable. One that is smallest in size is the Lithium Ion battery as it offers the best performance and also range. It is important to replace car batteries every three to four years.
It is necessary to carry out a battery check periodically so that it is always maintained in the right condition. This also applied to other electrical components as otherwise their condition can deteriorate. Battery terminals need to be cleaned out as they can develop corrosion.