An electric vehicle (EV) is one that operates on an electric motor, instead of an internal-combustion engine that generates power by burning a mix of fuel and gases. EV addresses the issue of rising pollution, global warming, depleting natural resources, etc. Though the concept of electric vehicles has been around for a long time, it has drawn a considerable amount of interest in the past decade amid a rising carbon footprint and other environmental impacts of fuel-based vehicles.
Electric vehicles now include cars, transit buses, and trucks of all sizes, and even big-rig tractor trailers that are at least partially powered by electricity.
Key Components of an Electric Vehicle
Battery (all-electric auxiliary): In an electric drive vehicle, the auxiliary battery provides electricity to power vehicle accessories.
Charge port: The charge port allows the vehicle to connect to an external power supply in order to charge the traction battery pack.
DC/DC converter: This device converts higher-voltage DC power from the traction battery pack to the lower-voltage DC power needed to run vehicle accessories and recharge the auxiliary battery.
Electric traction motor: Using power from the traction battery pack, this motor drives the vehicle's wheels. Some vehicles use motor generators that perform both the drive and regeneration functions.
Onboard charger: Takes the incoming AC electricity supplied via the charge port and converts it to DC power for charging the traction battery. It monitors battery characteristics such as voltage, current, temperature, and state of charge while charging the pack.
Power electronics controller: This unit manages the flow of electrical energy delivered by the traction battery, controlling the speed of the electric traction motor and the torque it produces.
Thermal system (cooling): This system maintains a proper operating temperature range of the engine, electric motor, power electronics, and other components.
Traction battery pack: Stores electricity for use by the electric traction motor.
Transmission (electric): The transmission transfers mechanical power from the electric traction motor to drive the wheels.
EVs are either partially or fully powered on electric power.
Electric vehicles have low running costs as they have less moving parts for maintaining and also very environmentally friendly as they use little or no fossil fuels such as petrol or diesel. While some EVs used lead acid or nickel metal hydride batteries, the standard for modern battery electric vehicles is now considered to be lithium ion batteries as they have a greater longevity and are excellent at retaining energy, with a self discharge rate of just 5% per month. Despite this improved efficiency, there are still challenges with these batteries as they can experience thermal runaway, which have, for example, caused fires or explosions in the Tesla model S, although efforts have been made to improve the safety of these batteries.
There are 3 main type of Electric Vehicles:
1. Hybrid Electric Vehicles - HEVs are powered by both petrol and electricity. The electric energy is generated by the car’s own braking system to recharge the battery.
2. Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicles - PHEVs can recharge the battery through both regenerative braking and ‘plugging-in’ to an external electrical charging outlet.
3. Battery Electric Vehicles – BEVs are fully electric vehicles, meaning they are only powered by electricity and do not have a petrol engine, fuel tank or exhaust pipe.
Advantages of Battery Electric Vehicles
1) No fuel, no emissions
This is the key point that attracts many people to electric cars. The electric engine within an EV operates on a closed circuit, so an electric car does not emit any of the gases often associated with global warming.
2) Running costs
Because you’re not paying for petrol or diesel to keep your car running, you can save a lot of money on fuel. Electric Vehicle with high life cycle battery significantly reduces the replacement of battery which eventually reduces the capital cost requirement.
3) Low maintenance
Because the EVs have less moving parts and components which do not require high maintenance cost.
Question about how well an electric car can do versus traditional engines.
As more manufacturers have piled into the market with their own take on the electric vehicle, the performance levels of EVs has rocketed. Electric cars are lighter, and – as all of their power is generated from a standing start – their acceleration capability can surprise.
EVs are more spacious than conventional cars due to the lack of a large engine; they also offer a smoother drive with lower levels of noise.
5) Government Incentive
As India is also slowly moving towards formulating an effective EV policy, both Central Government and State Governments have introduced various subsidy schemes for promoting Electric Vehicles in the Indian market.
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