We have heard a lot about Tesla’s introduction of Electric Cars and automobile industries gradually shifting to the profound technology. Have you wondered how are they different from the cars we use, what is the mechanism employed, and what are the recent developments in it?
Unlike conventional cars, Electric Vehicles (EVs) involve a motor and a rechargeable battery pack. However, not all EVs are the same. A pure electrical vehicle exercises an electric mechanism operating entirely on electricity. Plug-in hybrid vehicles involve conventional IC Engines besides motor and battery packs; they can be used as substitutes while driving. Conventional hybrid vehicles run entirely on engine-fuel mechanisms whereas the battery employed is charged through “Regenerative Braking Mechanism” and acts as a substitute to the engine to improve fuel efficiency.
Electric vehicles are Eco-Friendly. There is no carbon footprint since exhausts do not emit toxic and harmful gases. Motor Battery mechanism employs lesser moving parts relative to IC Engine; hence there is minimal to no noise. This feature also makes the car relatively lighter. It makes the drive smoother reaching higher accelerations in a long drive. EVs are pocket-friendly in the long run since electricity needed to charge costs less and lesser working parts make maintenance cost minimal.
Batteries are an essential part of this technology. Lithium-ion batteries are there in EVs, similar to what are phones have but larger. For the stability of the system, the car floor incorporates the battery. There are three ways to charge the EV Battery:
- Charge at your home. Connect the EV battery to the 3-pin socket at your home just like you charge your mobile phones. It takes longer to charge this way; 12-14 hours estimated.
- Fast-Charger: The socketed charger is available in public places or car parks and charges your EV within 3-5 hours.
- Rapid Charger: Charges battery within 30 minutes and placed in public or on highways/motorways.
Despite all the advantages of Electric Vehicles, it is still facing barriers to succeed its conventional counterpart. As much as the battery is the essential part of an Electric Vehicle, it comes at a cost. EVs are expensive due to the high cost of batteries that drifts buyers towards a cheaper engine or hybrid car. In addition to that, the charging stations are not widespread like a fuel station. Thus, owners have fewer options to charge the battery while in the middle of town. Also, the charging time is an issue; the owner has to wait from 30 min to 24 hours for the car to be ready to use.
Technologists are working effectively to improve the sustainability of EVs in the market thanks to advancing EV Technology. Work on increasing battery life while simultaneously reducing its cost is ongoing. Companies are in talks with governments on mapping a widespread charging station network. Wireless Charging, Portable Charging, New Battery Technology are some features to be tested in new cars. There is an electric future ahead; hopefully, we’ll see ourselves driving Electric Cars soon.
He is a mechanical engineer in automotive and he works as a trainer in college of technology.