Electric Vehicles 101: Everything you Need to Know before you Buy

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If you want to know how electric vehicles, or EVs, function and what the difference between hybrid and pure electric vehicles is, keep reading.

Historically, EVs have not been extensively embraced because of limited driving range before needing to be recharged, long recharging periods, and automakers’ lack of commitment to producing and marketing electric cars with all the creature conveniences of gasoline-powered automobiles. This is changing. Major automakers are expected to produce a new generation of electric automobiles as battery technology advances, improving energy storage while decreasing cost.

Electric vehicles emit no exhaust emissions, lessen our reliance on oil, and are less expensive to operate. Of course, the act of producing power shifts the pollutants farther upstream to the utility company’s smokestack—but even filthy electricity utilised in electric vehicles lessens our collective carbon footprint.

How do Electric Vehicles Work?

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Electric vehicles operate by connecting into a charging station and drawing power from the grid. The electricity is stored in rechargeable batteries, which power an electric motor, which moves the wheels. Electric vehicles accelerate quicker than typical fuel-powered vehicles, making them seem lighter to drive.

All-electric cars (EVs), often known as battery electric vehicles, are powered by an electric motor rather than an internal combustion engine. The electric motor is powered by a huge traction battery pack, which must be hooked into a wall outlet or charging equipment, commonly known as electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). Because it is powered by electricity, there are no emissions from the tailpipe and no normal liquid fuel components, such as a fuel pump, fuel line, or fuel tank, are present.

What is the procedure for charging?

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An electric car may be charged by hooking it into a public charging station or a home charger. India is still growing its charging stations infrastructure, yet it is easy to find them in proximity in most metropolitan cities. However, in order to get the greatest bargain for home charging, you must first find the best EV power tariff, so you can spend less money charging and save more on your bill.

Electric automobiles require a charge, which is held in batteries, and this charge drives the motor, which acts as an engine/Powertrain for these vehicles. EVs, like smartphones and laptop computers, can be charged at home or on the go. The first and most important necessity for an EV is a dedicated parking area for your car. Rest, provisions for power, plugs, and electrical connections can be built later.

An electric car or bike may be readily plugged in and charged at home using an EV charger. It has been shown that over 80% of electric car owners charge their vehicles overnight at home or at work. These may also be charged while driving if you live in a city with adequate EV charging infrastructure.

Click here to learn How Electric Vehicles will help the Indian Economy

What if you need to charge it somewhere other than your house?

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These stations, which are becoming increasingly handy because of the ever-expanding network, may frequently be found across urban areas in particular and allow you to top up your battery on the move if you need to travel longer distances. Public charging stations provide AC charging through a wall box or–in most situations–DC Fast Charging. And all alternatives are faster than charging at home: depending on the charging station output and your EV’s capacity to take AC Chargers, AC Public Charging can be 3 to 10 times faster than your AC Household Charging.

If the car is running low on charge and you are already out for a drive, you do not need to return home.

Companies can provide emergency assistance if you entirely run out of battery and there is no charging station nearby. In such cases, mobile charging services are used to assist consumers who are on the move. The government is also working to install many charging stations throughout cities, so for a better future, electric vehicles can be promoted and people can easily shift to electric vehicles.

The difference between AC and DC charging

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Although the national grid provides AC (Alternating Current), electric vehicles require DC (Direct Current) to charge their battery packs.

An AC charged powers the EV’s onboard charger, which then converts the AC electricity to DC to charge the battery. Space limits the size of the onboard charging device. Because of their restricted area, they can only transfer a limited amount of power to the battery. As a result, charging is often slower.

A DC fast charged bypasses the onboard charging system, directly powering the EV’s battery. Because the DC charger is external to the vehicle, it is not limited in size or cost. Charging is often significantly faster.

Electric vehicles and their range

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The distance you can go on a single charge is determined on the vehicle. Each model differs in terms of range, battery capacity, and efficiency. The ideal electric vehicle for you will be one that you can use for regular trips without needing to stop and charge halfway through.

Today’s EVs have a lesser range (per charge) than equivalent conventional cars (per tank of gas). However, the growing number of new models on the market, as well as the ongoing development of high-powered charging equipment, are closing the gap. The efficiency and driving range of EVs varies depending on driving circumstances.

Extreme temperatures outdoors restrict range since more energy is required to heat or cool the cabin. EVs are more efficient in cities than on highways. City driving circumstances cause more frequent stops, which maximises the advantages of regenerative braking, but highway travel causes more energy to overcome the greater drag at higher speeds. Rapid acceleration limits vehicle range when compared to slow acceleration. Transporting enormous weights or driving up steep inclines can also affect range.

Integral parts of any Electric Vehicle

  • Battery (all-electric auxiliary): The auxiliary battery in an electric drive vehicle supplies electricity to operate vehicle accessories.
    The charging port allows the electric vehicle to connect to a certain external power supply to charge the battery pack.
  • AC/DC converter: This device converts higher-voltage direct current (DC) power from the traction battery pack to the lower-voltage direct current (DC) power required to run vehicle accessories and replenish the auxiliary battery.
  • Electric traction motor: This motor powers the vehicle’s wheels by drawing power from the traction battery pack. Some vehicles employ motor generators that serve both as a drive and as a regenerator.
  • Onboard charger: Converts incoming AC current from the charge port to DC power for charging the traction battery. While charging the pack, it also connects with the charging equipment and analyses battery properties such as voltage, current, temperature, and state of charge.
  • Power electronics controller: This unit handles the flow of electrical energy given by the traction battery, managing the speed and torque produced by the electric traction motor.
  • Thermal system (cooling): This system keeps the engine, electric motor, power electronics, and other components within a safe operating temperature range.
  • Traction battery pack: This is a battery that stores power for use by the electric traction motor.
    Transmission (electric): The transmission transfers mechanical energy from the electric traction motor to the wheels.

Read here about the Green Initiatives of Ministry of Road Transport and Highways

Karan Kapoor

Karan Kapoor

62 articles published

Karan Kapoor is a motorhead and a big time muscle car enthusiast. His Body functions on a 7L V8, and he trains it to become a W16. He tends to stay in the Fast Lane and sometimes is a little furious about it too. From Maruti to Ferrari, his love of cars is not hindered by price but specs. For 2 Wheels he loves choppers and cafe riders over sports bikes His love for travel is also paved by the roads, and long journeys that he finds more intriguing than the destination. His love for speed is halted by the legality of NOS in India. Give him 2 Wheels or 4. He knows how to handle 'em all.