What are Electric Car And How It Works
An electric car is a vehicle (TC) that operates on electric traction. This is the most ordinary car, but instead of an internal combustion engine, it has an electric drive that is powered by a battery.
The principle of operation of an electric vehicle is that electricity from a storage battery powers an electric motor, which in turn rotates the wheels. The vehicle is equipped with a gas pedal to control the speed.
The features of this type of transport are as follows:
- The electric motor is capable of developing a higher number of revolutions, up to 12,000 rpm. This means that the car does not need a multi-stage gearbox, and therefore a gearbox. However, some electric cars are still equipped with automatic gearboxes.
- All electric motor torque is available from zero rpm. This means that the moment the accelerator pedal is pressed, all the engine power is transmitted to the wheels.
- The electric motor does not need frequent regular maintenance (changing oil, filters, etc.), as it has a minimum of rubbing parts.
It is worth noting that commercial electric vehicles have been used in various countries for quite some time. These include electric trucks as well as storage vehicles such as forklifts, stackers, and so on. And their benefits have already been proven in practice.
The History of The Emergence of Electric Vehicles
The history of electric vehicles dates back to the 1830s. Moreover, at that time they were more common than other types of transport. The first electric car was capable of accelerating to 4 km / h.
However, during this period, technology was very limited. In particular, there was a lack of rechargeable batteries that would be small and have sufficient capacity. The first prototype of a modern battery appeared only in 1865, after which in 1878 the battery was improved to the form that, with minor changes, has survived to this day.
Electric cars lost their relevance with the invention of the internal combustion engine, which became the best alternative to electric drive due to a number of features:
- Cheap fuel (gasoline, diesel, and so on);
- Limited technology for electric motors and batteries.
It was these factors that determined the further development of the automotive industry for the next few decades.
A new wave of electric vehicles emerged during the fuel crisis in the 1970s and intensified with the advent of more compact and high-capacity batteries. In general, the history of the development of electric cars has several stages, each of which gave the world a unique model.
Number of Electric Vehicles Worldwide
Currently, the total number of electric vehicles in the world is about 2 million. The number of electric vehicles that are used in different countries is very different.
This is due to the fact that some states have everything necessary for the development of electric modes of transport, while others are at the very beginning of their development.
Japan, the USA, China, and many European countries have a developed infrastructure of electric filling stations, and the largest automobile concerns are also concentrated here. That is why these countries are the world’s leading manufacturers of electric vehicles.
However, one should not discount the CIS countries, which, although lagging behind the European ones, are still beginning to develop their infrastructure and production of electric vehicles.
Benefits of Using An Electric Car
When it comes to whether it is worth buying an electric car, first of all, attention is paid to the issues of benefits. Speaking about it, we have quite a few factors in favor of this type of transport:
- Electricity is several times cheaper than liquid fuels.
- Simple and lightweight construction.
- High level of efficiency of the electric motor.
- Quiet work.
- A minimum of consumables.
Let’s take a closer look at what makes an electric car good. First, cheap electricity. Yes, charging the battery will take longer than filling the tank of a conventional car. But at the same time, the cost of a full tank filling is several times more expensive than a full battery charge.
The high level of efficiency of the electric motor (up to 95%) means that almost all the energy is spent only on the movement of the car. In comparison, combustion engines have an efficiency of about 25%.
This is due to the fact that in the internal combustion engine there are rather large heat losses on the body. In addition, power is lost significantly due to the many rubbing parts. The electric drive is practically devoid of these disadvantages and therefore requires less energy consumption.
Due to its simple design, the electric motor does not need frequent maintenance and the cost of consumables (oils, filters, etc.). And the simple design means that the motor is smaller and lighter than the internal combustion engine.
It is also worth noting that the electric motors are much quieter, so they do not need a loud sound damping system, as well as interior noise insulation.
Electric motors do not emit harmful exhaust gases, thanks to which they are not only environmentally friendly but also do not require an exhaust system, which further simplifies the design of the car, making it lighter and more practical.
Proponents of cars with internal combustion engines cite a rather dubious argument regarding the environmental friendliness of electric cars: allegedly in the production of electric vehicles and batteries for them, no less harmful substances are emitted into the atmosphere than in the production of cars running on gasoline.
However, here it is important to understand that although the production of both types of cars gets into the atmosphere with almost the same amount of harmful emissions, in the process of operating an electric car, unlike cars with an internal combustion engine, does not pollute the atmosphere.
Advantages of An Electric Car Compared To Conventional Cars
Based on all of the above, we can say that electric cars have a number of undeniable advantages over conventional cars:
- Environmental friendliness;
- Ease of maintenance;
- Power-electric drives have a higher torque, which is also available from the first revolution of the engine;
- The simplicity of design.
Speaking of practicality, we mean not only a simple and reliable design but also the small size of the drive, which makes it possible to create a car with more compact dimensions or with a large luggage compartment (and an additional trunk in the front) …
The ease of maintenance means that the actuator does not need any maintenance at all. It does not need to be lubricated, consumables changed, and so on.
All that can break in an electric drive is the shaft bearing. In some models, from time to time it is required to change the brushes, which cost a penny and change extremely simple in garage conditions.
Electric Vehicle Device
Electric cars are very simple in design. Of course, a fairly powerful computer is required to control the engine speed, control charge level, and other functions. It is through him that the driver interacts with the car, each time pressing the gas pedal.
The computer displays information about the car on the screen, receives the driver’s commands, and so on. And electronics in this case is the most difficult element.
If we talk about the mechanical part, then the device of the electric vehicle is minimized, the battery feeds the engine, which turns the wheels directly or through a gearbox.
Varieties of Electric Vehicles
Considering the rather fast pace of development of electric vehicles, it is worth noting that there are already different types of them. First, they are classified by body type and purpose:
- Passenger cars for private use (sedans, SUVs, hatchbacks, etc.).
- Freight – electric vehicles for the transport of goods.
- Utility – performing specific tasks, such as forklifts, municipal vehicles, and so on.
- Public transport – electric buses, electric trains and so on.
Secondly, this type of vehicle can be subdivided by the type of batteries:
- Li-ion batteries are the most common type of battery for electric cars.
- Supercapacitor-powered machines – this type of energy storage is currently under development. He has a lot of features and pretty good prospects. However, so far this is only a prototype.
These are the two main types of batteries that hold promise.
On The Other Hand
Above, we examined the advantages of electric vehicles, which mostly relate to technical issues. After all, the maximum speed of an electric car is by no means inferior to cars with an internal combustion engine, and if we talk about power, then here the electric drive is the obvious leader.
But like everything else in this world, electric cars have the other side of the coin. Their main disadvantages include:
- Power reserve in conditions of the insufficiently developed infrastructure of electric filling stations;
- The problem of using electrical appliances in the cabin while driving.
There are other minor drawbacks as well. However, above we have listed the most important and requiring attention. Let’s take a closer look at them.
Limited range is one of the few downsides to electric vehicles. However, this drawback is quite significant, given the fact that in our time it is far from always and everywhere you can find an electric filling station.
If he talks about cities, then there is no problem. Almost in any more or less developed city, there are special places for charging a car (at gas stations, in parking lots near large hypermarkets, and so on). However, outside the city limits, such charging points are extremely rare.
But for out-of-town trips, electric vehicles are still less suitable than combustion-engine vehicles. And the answer to the question of when electric cars will replace conventional cars depends on how quickly the network of charging stations will develop and will be able to cover all roads both in cities and beyond.
Of course, active work is currently underway to improve the autonomy of the electric vehicle. And today there are models that can travel up to 1000 km. But this applies to units.
If we talk about mass serial electric cars, then on average their power reserve varies in the region of 200 km, which at the moment is not enough for out-of-town travel. More expensive models can cover 300-500 km. However, even this is not enough, especially when you consider the speed of full charging.
You can increase the mileage of your electric vehicle by installing a larger battery and by using battery-saving modes. In addition, the maximum power reserve can be achieved by gentle driving, without harsh pressing on the gas pedal.
Charging speed is also an important factor, as besides having to find a charging station, it will take some time to fully charge. And at best it will take you about 30-40 minutes if you find a constant-current fast-charging station.
If we talk about ordinary sockets, then a full charge can take up to 8-12 hours (depending on the battery capacity).
Interior Heating Problem
It so happened that we live in the northern part of the hemisphere, in which winters are quite frosty. In this regard, driving in the winter season is necessarily associated with heating the passenger compartment.
Heating the vehicle interior uses up a significant part of the battery’s energy reserve, which is why the range is significantly reduced.
In addition, the simultaneous inclusion of such powerful consumers puts a heavy load on the power section, which can cause it to overheat, and strong heating of the battery leads to a decrease in its capacity.
Some electric vehicle models use separate batteries to power the interior electrical appliances. This partially solves the problem. But the question is, how long will the battery last if you have to drive almost the entire working day.
Electric Car Price
The cost of a car with an electric motor, as a rule, is 30% higher than the cost of a similar car with an internal combustion engine.
And in conditions when the electric drive has a lower cost than the internal combustion engine and also considering that electric cars lack a number of components inherent only to cars with internal combustion engines (exhaust system, fuel supply system, fuel pump, lack of many consumables, and so on), the question arises: why are they so expensive?
And here it is important to consider the cost of the battery. After all, she alone can have the price of half a car. For example, the cost of a battery for a Tesla Model S car is about US $ 19,000.
Of course, cheaper models of electric cars have cheaper batteries, but their capacity is much lower. Even so, the battery will cost around $ 6,000-12,000 (depending on model and capacity). Therefore, it should be understood that prices for electric vehicles are formed taking into account this expensive element.
There is a cheaper option – a used car. But when buying such a vehicle, there are certain risks. After all, you do not know how the car was used, and you will not be able to check how worn out the battery is in it. In addition, the car could well have been in an accident with serious.
All of this is quite difficult to diagnose, especially for inexperienced drivers. However, if you still decide to buy a cheap used electric car, then you should carry out the most detailed diagnostics, preferably with the help of an experienced car mechanic.
If we talk about new electric cars, then their cost is indicated in official dealerships. But with used models, everything is somewhat more complicated, because a lot depends on the condition of the car, its model, year of manufacture, and many other factors.
A used Tesla Model S can be purchased for $ 40,000- $ 45,000, while a new one will cost about € 57,000 abroad.
To this amount, you need to add import tax and issuance of documents but as already mentioned, there are cheaper analogs, such as the Nissan Leaf, Renault ZOE, and so on, which are also officially sold in the CIS countries.
As mentioned above, in the CIS countries, charging station networks are just beginning to develop and cover only cities. However, when leaving the city, it is extremely difficult to find such points.
And even in the more developed European countries, the infrastructure of the electric filling stations is still underdeveloped. At the same time, European states are actively working on solving this problem, which, unfortunately, cannot be said about the CIS countries.
Of course, large cities are already such stations, but not actively developing. Therefore, when leaving in an electric car, you should carefully consider the route on which the necessary gas stations should meet.
In addition, it is worth noting that they may differ in charging speed, the type of current (constant or variable), the available connectors, and so on.
Modern Electric Vehicles
The modern electric car is the crown of the technological achievements of mankind. Models such as the Lucid Air, Tesla Model X, and S, and Byton Concept are able to surprise even the most sophisticated car enthusiast.
They are equipped with the most advanced technologies, including the autopilot, which is able to independently follow the road markings, maintain a safe distance, activate emergency braking in case of danger, and so on.
Of course, not all-electric vehicles have this capability, but the more the field develops, the more affordable and technologically advanced cars become.
Electric Car Driving License
Among inexperienced drivers, there is an opinion that a driver’s license for driving an electric car is somewhat different from the document that is required to drive ordinary cars. But this is just a myth. To drive an electric car, the most common driver’s license is enough for you:
- Category “B” – for driving cars with a maximum permissible weight of up to 3.5 tons.
- Category “C” – for driving trucks with an MPW over 3.5 tons.
If you have a license to drive a car, for example, category “B”, then you can easily drive any light electric vehicle.
Electric Vehicle Insurance
Electric vehicle insurance has three factors that affect the cost of taking out insurance:
- The age of the car – the newer the car is insured, the lower the price tag.
- Place of registration – in large cities the cost is slightly lower than in small and remote settlements.
- The cost of the car.
In the case of electric vehicles, the volume of the engine is not taken into account, as is the case when insuring cars with internal combustion engines.
And only on the basis of the above three points, the size of the annual insurance premium is calculated. Also, the cost of insurance depends on the type of insurance:
- OSAGO – compulsory insurance (the so-called “car insurance”). Includes only reimbursement of damages to third parties injured in an accident due to the fault of the policyholder.
- CASCO is mandatory only if the electrical was purchased on credit. This type of policy has a full range of insurance (full compensation for thefts, road accidents, and so on).
Considering all of the above, all the pros and cons of electric vehicles, it becomes obvious what influences the decision to purchase this type of transport. The benefits include:
- Ease of repair and maintenance;
- Profitability (including maintenance);
- Environmental friendliness;
- Power reserve;
Also, the disadvantages include the fact that the battery lasts about 8-10 years, depending on the mode of use. This means that you will have to carry out a complete replacement of the battery every ten years (subject to careful attitude and proper use of the vehicle).