Electric cars: Operation
Electric cars are beginning to appear on the streets and highways worldwide in a more prominent way than they have been doing so far.
A more excellent supply of vehicles with more autonomy and the restrictions on circulation in some cities are making more drivers decide to buy electric cars. But do you know how electric cars work? We'll tell you then.
electric car operation
This sustainable mobility alternative obtains energy from rechargeable batteries. These are not only used to power vehicles but are also used to operate windshield wipers and lights.
Batteries are located under the vehicle and sometimes in the trunk. Although these are the same type of batteries commonly used to start a gasoline engine, they store the energy used to power the vehicle and count with a regulator on the batteries to ensure the amount of energy produced and consumed by the car.
The three main elements of the electric car are the electric motor, controller and battery. When you start the vehicle, current flows from the storm. The controller takes power from the battery and passes it to the electric motor.
An electric car has the quality that its propulsion system comprises one or more electric motors powered by the energy stored in a rechargeable battery. The battery is recharged with energy by plugging the vehicle into an electrical outlet or, thanks to a self-regeneration system, especially during braking.
Difference between a conventional motor and an electric motor
Starting with the fact that electric cars are considered the best alternative to other vehicles because they can help significantly reduce the pollution associated with combustion in today's world… let's see further differences between these two engines.
1. Energy storage: Electric motors store energy inside the battery while the gasoline engine uses the energy produced by the ignition of the fuel, that is, gasoline or diesel.
2. Environmental impact: Electric motors use energy from renewable energy sources such as solar and wind or non-renewable energy sources such as coal and natural gas. It all depends on how your home is drawing electricity. On the other hand, gasoline engines burn fuel that releases carbon dioxide and has a substantial environmental impact.
3. Fuel: Gasoline or other internal combustion engines work by burning fuel, while a rechargeable battery powers an electric motor.
4. Cost: According to research, it is believed that the electric vehicle costs around 2 cents per mile while the gasoline car costs just over 12 cents per mile.
5. Recharge or refuel: A standard gasoline car takes less than 5 minutes to fill the empty tank, while an electric vehicle takes 6-7 hours to charge. This, again, depends on the size of the battery.
6. Speed: the speed of an electric vehicle can go up to 100 miles per hour, while the same for a gasoline engine can go beyond 300 miles per hour.
Other aspects include the types of batteries, which, although they make cars more efficient, are not essentially the easiest or the fastest to maintain but are emerging as a great option.
elements of electric cars
An electric car can use different propulsion technologies and is generally basically made up of the following elements:
The internal charging unit (the external charging infrastructure is not a natural part of the electric vehicle).
Direct current/alternating current (DC/AC) or direct current/direct current (DC/DC) conversion systems and inverters.
The electric motor.
Electric vehicle elements and operation
Electric cars have internal power and charging unit. Its function is to transform the alternating current energy from the electrical network into direct current to assess the electric vehicle's battery.
The continuous evolution of the capacity of the batteries used by electric vehicles (20 kWh to 60 kWh) in the last five years forces vehicle manufacturers to constantly improve these power control units and propose new internal filter designs. , to avoid the emission of harmonics to the electrical network and possible leakage currents in alternating and direct currents.
There are many types of batteries, but lithium-ion batteries have become the benchmark technology due to their characteristics, making them ideal: they have no memory, are very durable, and can withstand many charge cycles. Lithium-ion batteries store the energy the charger provides (connected to an alternating current network) in direct current.
This main battery is how the entire electric car is powered; therefore, in vehicles with a direct current electric motor, this battery is directly connected to the engine. On the other hand, in electric cars with an alternating current electric motor, the battery is connected to an inverter, a piece of equipment that transforms direct current into alternating current.
converters and investors
The converters are equipment that transforms the voltage of the electricity supplied by the batteries, generally lowering its voltage to a level of 12 Volts, the usual operating voltage of the auxiliary elements of electric vehicles, such as lighting and control systems, among others.
The inverters transform the direct current that the main battery gives into alternating current, so this equipment allows the alternating current motor of the electric car to be fed thanks to the use of batteries, which store energy in the direct form of current.
Electric motors for cars: types, characteristics and advantages
The engine of an electric vehicle is one of the essential elements in its design, operation and functioning since it determines the existence or not of other components, such as inverters and converters. The motors used in an electric car can be direct current or alternating current.
Although there are different types of electric motors on the market, all of them are mainly made up of a stator, the rotor and the casing:
The stator is a part of the rotating machine and can be from electromagnets to magnetic plates.
Inside is the rotor, which is the moving part.
A metal casing encloses the two components.
These motors can be of various types for each technology, but the most used in electric traction are those we present below.
alternating current motors
Asynchronous or induction motors
The main characteristic of asynchronous or induction motors is that the rotation of the rotor does not correspond to the speed of course of the magnetic field produced by the stator. All these components are inside the corresponding casing, which aims to protect and contain them.
This type of motor is made up of a rotor that can be of the squirrel cage or wound type and has high efficiency, low cost and excellent reliability. However, it has low power density (low power for its size) and low starting torque. Even so, it is the most used motor in the electric vehicle industry; for example, Tesla incorporates this type of motor in its vehicles.
Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor
Permanent magnet synchronous motors have a constant rotational speed. An in-wheel engine can be placed directly on the shaft, saving space and weight. These motors are expensive but have a wide range of use in electric vehicles and hybrids. Nissan, Opel, Lexus or Toyota, among others, opt for this engine.
DC motor: permanent magnet motor
Permanent magnet motors do not have brushes and are direct current motors, which makes their regulation much more accessible. In addition, they are reticent and do not require maintenance. Despite this, they are still in an experimental state.
How to charge an electric car
Electric cars usually have a charging port in the rear area, and, on some occasions, they may have two: one for regular charging and one for fast charging.
To charge the vehicle, we must know that there are two different charging points:
This type of energy source is found in our house, garage or place of work. It is the most common power source for our vehicles.
Opportunity charging: in this case, the energy source is of public origin; they are located in different parts of the city and are usually called charging stations.
Depending on the charging point we use, we can distinguish three charging modes in our electric car:
Regular charging: the car is connected to a traditional socket with a control box. It is usually carried out at linked charging points, and although it can also be carried out at an opportunity charging point, it is less frequent.
Semi-rapid charging: must be done at dedicated charging points, as control measures are needed.
Fast charging: in this case, charging can only be carried out in opportunity areas since the necessary connectors for its execution do not exist in homes. It is usually a continuous current of about 125A. This charge lasts 15 minutes for a half order and approximately 30 minutes for a complete account.
It is recommended that the charge be carried out at night, primarily if the order is issued at a linked charging point, since the energy cost is lower, both in demand and in price.
Although today, there is only this means of charging for electric vehicles, research is being carried out so that they can be recharged by induction or even while driving through the electromagnetic induction function automatically.