How do electric cars work?
Unlike petrol or diesel cars, which run off a traditional internal combustion engine (or ICE), electric cars are powered by an electrically charged battery pack. This works to power the motor and turn the wheels. Instead of being reliant on common methods of fuel, such as petrol and diesel, these vehicles depend on electricity for power.
Electric car owners can supply power via a wall socket, like those used for other electrical appliances, or from a dedicated charging unit. They just plug the car’s charge port to a source of electricity and the battery receives power that is stored inside the vehicle.
A variant on the electric car is the hybrid, which uses a combination of electricity and liquid fuels.
Completely electric vehicles don’t have tailpipes, and therefore produce no tailpipe emissions. In some ways, they’re seen as more environmentally friendly than other cars and are therefore chosen by many eco-conscious drivers. Electric vehicles are also significantly quieter than cars powered by petrol or diesel. They tend to only give off sound largely when they travel at moderate to high speeds, due to wind resistance or tyre noises. Even then, regular cars are still considered far louder.
Similar to regular vehicles, electric cars have a thermal cooling system. Their batteries, containing lithium ions, are prone to heating when used – just like a regular engine – and therefore need to be kept at the correct operating temperature. The same goes for the power electronics and other key components. EVs also contain a regulator that makes sure the energy levels produced and consumed by the car are consistent. This protects the battery from burning out.