How Do Electric Cars Work?

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.

Do it Yourself (DIY) Electric Car – How Practical is It?

Going to the local gas station to fill up back in mid 2008 was a stressful experience. Back then, global crude oil price reached its highest level at $150 per barrel. That in effect has caused a lot of problems for car owners. The suddenly rise of energy expensive bill caught a lot of people by surprise and many just could not cope. Some had no other choice and sold off their vehicle and use the public transportation. Others were frantically looking for an alternative power source for their cars. The solution came in the form of electricity. Electric car was deemed as a cheaper mode to commute. Unfortunately, a brand new electric car off the lot is still relatively expensive. Those that could not afford converted their existing gas driven car to run on electric power via a Do It Yourself (DIY) approach. How practical is a homemade electric vehicle (EV) from home. This article will provide some information on the subject.

The concept of a DIY electric car is to remove the internal combustion engine and use a DC electric motor to generate power. The motor is connected directly to the existing transmission. Since the engine is gone, all its connecting components such as gas tank, fuel lines and exhaust pipe are removed as well. To power the motor, a series of deep cycle acid flooded batteries are used.

To retrofit an EV on your own can be complicated if you do not have the skill or know how. A lot of the work will involve electrical wiring and machine tooling. If you are not familiar with the inner workings of an automobile, it is recommended for you to hire and professional mechanic to help you with the conversion. This approach will involve some monetary investment but you will save a lot of time and unnecessary headache.

Electric Hybrid Cars – Yah, Well Where Are You Going to Put All Those Old Batteries I Ask?

It’s not that I don’t like the idea of electric cars, it does sound nice and having owned a golf cart in a town which allowed folks to drive them on the street, I enjoyed traveling down to the local Starbucks or grocery store on occasion. Still, something which has always bothered me, and something we often talk about in our think tank is what do you do with all the old batteries from all of the electric cars that people will be buying. That is if electric cars ever catch on, and there have been several false starts in decades past.

If you talk to someone who is an evangelical over the concept of the electric car they will tell you that the batteries can be recycled, rejuvenated, and continually reused. However nothing lasts forever, and to state that it might would be simply denying the laws of physics. The reality is that eventually these components will corrode, deteriorate, and decay. At that point they will be thrown out, and will not be available for recycle, and they will end up in landfills.

Still, there are so many people who deny this and say that we can continually recycle these batteries forever. Yes, that is a beautiful and wonderful concept, and it is the correct environmentally friendly answer to this very important question, unfortunately it is incorrect. Okay so let’s talk a little bit more about this and take it to a higher level shall we?

An interesting paper to read on this subject might be; “The ecological impact of batteries,” by Colleen Dillon of written way back in August of 1994 in fact. The abstracts states;

“There is still much that needs to be known about the specific problems that are presented to the ecosystem as a result of battery disposal in landfills. This report explores the various effects that the toxic metals in batteries (specifically mercury, cadmium, lead, nickel, zinc, and lithium) have on the entire ecosystem, detailing the damages that these metals may cause to the human body. The most predominant effects that these metals have on humans include neurological damage, kidney damage, birth defects, and cancer.”

Lots of questions, not many real answers – in fact for the most part we still don’t know the answers to these pertinent questions here. What I ask is that you come up with a real strategy, one which will work, and one which will prevent the batteries of the 15 to 17 million cars that we build in the United States each and every year, that is if we were to build only electric cars, from being thrown into our already over intoxicated landfills. Answer me that. Please consider all this and think on it.