Friends… we see many sports cars on road… their cost is astronomical… their speed limit z sky… everyone of us go crazy about them… but we should show some concern towards atmosphere. So this is the time we must feel the responsibility. Electric vehicles are the best substitutes. electric vehicle is any form of transportation that uses electricity as its power source. Examples of some electric vehicles include golf carts, trolleys, forklifts, and even your remote control car. All of these vehicles use some form of electricity to power an electric motor that makes the vehicle move.
You may be thinking that an electric car is just an enhanced golf cart, but you’ll be surprised to find out that there are EV sports cars, sport utility vehicles, and even pickup trucks. In fact, many electric cars are converted from gas-powered cars, so they look just like an ordinary car.
Now you may be wondering how an EV is different from a gas-powered car. Basically, you have an electric motor instead of an engine, and anywhere from 16-30 batteries instead of a gas tank. The batteries that most EVs use are actually the same type of batteries that start your gas-powered car: Lead Acid. Since Lead Acid batteries are used in almost every gas powered car, they are very cheap and easy to find, and that is why many EVs use them. Unfortunately, Lead Acid batteries are big, heavy, and cannot store very much energy. EVs that use Lead Acid batteries have been plagued with a limited range for years. New types of batteries are now being used, such as Nickel Metal Hydride and Lithium Ion, but unfortunately, these types of batteries are much more expensive and raise the price of the EV.
Lead acid batteries:
These are fluid filled, lead acid batteries, commonly used in most electric and gas-powered vehicles, they are 97 percent recyclable.
The history of EVs is quite expected…
Shortly after Joseph Henry’s invention of the first electric direct current (DC) motor in 1830, engineers became interested in creating an electric powered vehicle that would be a reliable source of transportation. Their early prototypes were in constant change, as engineers tried to make capacity for two passengers, increase the top speed and make the body weather resistant.
Even though the development of electric vehicles began in the early 1800′s, the process was not perfected until much later, after the creation of rechargeable batteries by the French engineer, Gaston Plante, in 1859. After this invention, the electric car industry quickly expanded to reach over 50 companies in 1912 and produce over 34,000 electric cars.
At this point in time, gas-powered cars were still very unreliable and required the driver to “crank” the vehicle before driving. Despite the fact that EVs were quieter, more reliable, and more efficient than gas-powered cars, their limited range led to a decrease in their popularity. With the invention of the electric starter for gas-powered cars, a dramatic increase in their reliability, and the cheap price of gasoline, gas-powered cars took over the market and the EV industry vanished.
The 1990′s brought around a significant change. New types of batteries were being developed; batteries that would greatly extend the range of EVs. Carmakers began to find ways to increase the efficiency of their vehicles. This increase in efficiency gave EVs the increase in performance and range that they needed. Electric vehicles were once again becoming a viable alternative to gas-powered cars. The high price of the batteries kept car makers from bringing EVs to the average consumer, but companies that needed fleets of vehicles to travel short distances at a time for deliveries and such were quick to buy a vehicle that was quiet, could be refuelled for practically nothing, and was nearly maintenance free. States like California and New York realized how much of an effect EVs could have on the pollution level and began legislation to force carmakers to sell EVs.
Working of an electrical vehicle:
On the outside, most electric cars look exactly like gas-powered cars. You will notice that an electric car lacks a tailpipe and gas tank, but the overall structure is basically the same. Once you lift up the hood, however, the difference becomes dramatic. Instead of a huge engine and all of the things you would expect to be under the hood, all you will see is an electric motor and its controller. The electric motor needs no oil, no tune-ups, and since there is no tailpipe emissions, no smog checks.
If you look under the car, and sometimes in the trunk, you will see the EVs power source: the battery pack. This battery pack is just a group of car batteries no different than the one that starts your gas-powered car. These batteries act as a “gas tank” and supply the electric motor with the energy necessary to move the vehicle. The controller acts as a regulator, and controls the amount of power received from the batteries so the motor does not burn out.
Everything else in the electric car is basically the same as its gas-powered equivalent: transmission, brakes, air conditioning, and airbags. In fact, many newer EVs actually have a single battery under the hood in addition to the battery pack. This solitary battery is constantly recharged by the main pack and it powers all of the electronic devices in the car, just like the battery in a gas-powered car.
If you are planning on getting your own electric car, or building one in our EV Builder, there are a few things you should know about each component of an EV:
First of all, there are three major types of electric motors in EVs today: DC Brushless, AC Induction, and the Permanent Magnet motor. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. The DC Brushless will offer the highest top speed, but the lowest acceleration. The AC Induction motor has the highest acceleration and an average top speed, but also has a higher price tag. The Permanent Magnet motor falls right in between the other two in both categories.
As far as batteries, Lead Acid are the most popular and the cheapest. They are also 97% recyclable. The Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries are smaller than the Lead Acid and give higher performance, but also cost much more. The Lithium Ion batteries give the best performance and range, not to mention being much smaller in size than the Lead Acid, but also come with the highest price tag. All types of batteries have to be completely replaced every 3 or 4 years.
Electric cars do not require any special tires, but because their range is very limited, it pays to buy the more expensive Low Resistance tires to increase your vehicle’s range.
Carmakers have been constantly competing to produce a better charging system for EVs, and there are currently two methods: Conductive charging and inductive charging. Conductive charging requires metal to metal contact and uses the electric current to charge the batteries. The Inductive charging process uses a much safer paddle which creates a magnetic field that charges the batteries. The Inductive charging system is more expensive, but is gaining much more support and may eventually replace Conductive charging completely.
Since EVs use an electric motor, you can take advantage of the motor’s momentum when you apply the brakes. Instead of converting all the potential energy in the motor into heat like a gas-powered car does, an electric car uses the forward momentum of the motor to recharge the batteries. This process is called regenerative braking. Although this process can only recover a fraction on the energy used to accelerate the car, it can increase the vehicle’s range as much as 15%. You can still use a normal braking system on an EV, but the regenerative braking is worth the extra cost.
PROS AND CONS:
Like anything in life, things can have both its advantages as well as its disadvantages.
The silence of an EV
The first thing that a person will notice as soon as they drive an EV for the very first time is that it is considerately quiet. You can roll up the windows and the noise of everyday life seems to disappear, allowing you to enhance your listening pleasure for music, conversations on your car phone, or just giving you the peace to think freely while driving. The drawback to this is that a lot of drivers depend upon noise in order to control their driving. You know that if you hear the acceleration of a motor rapidly coming towards you, you can react in time to move away. This also applies to pedestrians and can help to keep them out of danger. Engineers and manufacturers are speculating when and whether they should install some kind of device that will produce a noise to warn others when an EV is approaching.
The features of an EV
Like gasoline powered vehicles, most EVs come with an AM/FM stereo and cassette deck, air conditioning (A/C), anti-lock brakes, dual side air bags, and options like tinted windows, cup holders, CD players, car alarms, etc. One disadvantage to an EV however, is that the air conditioning can decrease the vehicle’s range as much as 20%. The other electronic devices, however, usually constitute no major change in the vehicle’s range.
The performance of an EV
EVs drive very similarly to that of gasoline powered vehicles. The car is a well-balanced structure; the batteries are in the middle of the vehicle, giving the driver great handling ability. Most EVs can perform up to par with gas-powered vehicles, although they cannot achieve the same top speeds. Many EVs can beat gas-powered cars “off the line” because an electric motor produces full torque instantaneously whereas an ICE must build up torque.
The reliability of an EV
Many EVs have been customized with special features such as resealable tires, programmable charging systems, and regenerative breaking. In addition, they have proven to be low maintenance and fairly cost efficient vehicles, with batteries that can last up to four years or 40,000 miles (depending upon the type of batteries being used). Most car companies lease their EVs however, so the consumer never has to cover the cost of replacing the battery pack.
The safety and the concern of an EV
For safety features, circuit breakers and fusible links are installed to make explosions, fires, and electrocution a highly unlikely experience. In car accidents, EVs are considered to withstand impact a lot better than most gasoline-powered vehicles, as the fluid filled batteries help to absorb most of the impact. However, if the sealed lead-acid batteries should some how rupture and a person comes in contact with the fluid, the acid can cause serious harm unless thoroughly cleansed with water very rapidly.
Ravi Teja(3/4 ECE) MGIT
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