Smart car charging

How Electric Cars Work​

​Electric cars aren’t just the future of road travel, they are very much the present.

The Main Types of EV Explained

Before looking specifically at the idea of how do electric cars work, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the different types of electric vehicles. If nothing else, this insight can help you make an informed decision when purchasing your vehicle. The three main types to consider are;

  • Plug-in electric  - Also known as all-electric or battery electric vehicles (BEVs), they are powered purely by electricity and do not include a traditional engine that uses petrol or diesel. This is the greenest type of vehicle on the market and does not produce any emissions. While a lack of charging stations once made them inconvenient, their sales have significantly grown in recent times.
  • Plug-in hybrid  - This type of vehicle runs primarily on electricity via its battery but will also have a traditional internal combustion engine that uses petrol or diesel when the electricity stores run out. It is a preferred choice for many as there are no emissions when driving in electric mode while still providing a safety net when you cannot get to a charger.
  • Hybrid electric - The hybrid electric vehicles are similar in function to a plug-in hybrid except the traditional fuel engine is used as the primary source of power. There are two types of hybrid electric vehicles; Full Hybrid Electric Vehicles  (FHEVs) and Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicles  (MHEVs). The batteries are charged by storing energy through regenerative braking rather than plugging it into a charger. These are the closest hybrid to a traditional, fuel car but still reduce emissions.

With many manufacturers now producing models for all three types, finding a solution that suits your budget and driving preferences should be an easy task.

With many manufacturers now producing models for all three types, finding a solution that suits your budget and driving preferences should be an easy task.

How Do Electric Car Engines Work?

Electric vehicles require plugging into a charging point to charge the engine, where the energy is stored and used to power the wheels.

What parts make up an EV?

Electric vehicles have a significant amount less moving parts than an internal combustion engine, making them simpler to maintain, parts that make up an EV include:

  • Electric engine – the two types of electric motor are DC and AC, with the latter being more common.
  • Inverter – For vehicles with DC charging, this converts the DC (Direct Current) into AC (Alternating Current).
  • Drivetrain – this sends power from the engine to the wheels.
  • Batteries – Store electricity from charging, the more kW the EV battery has, the further the range capabilities will be.
  • Charger – Your EV will come with all the necessary charging cables required to plug into a fast or domestic charge point.

How are EV batteries measured? What is a kWh?

Electric vehicle batteries are measured in kilowatt hours (kWh), which is basically just a unit of electricity. So when you’re searching for electric vehicles for sale and the description says it has a 50kWh battery that means it can store up to 50 units of electricity. Another term you will come across in relation to EV batteries is kilowatts (kW), this is a measurement of how much power that electric car will need to operate.

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