How Do Electric Cars Work: The Simple Secrets to a Tech Miracle

Most of us already know that electric cars are a great way to make sure we protect our environment from at least part of the pollution we cause every single day. Not to mention the fact that the technology behind both electric and hybrid cars is fast advancing. This makes these tech miracles not only extremely functional, but also beautiful. If you are interested in purchasing your own electric or hybrid car, then you will want to know everything about the options you have. First of all, we thought we should answer the question “How do electric cars work?”. That’s why we made today’s guide all about that.

several electric cars from tesla parked on the street

How Do Electric Cars Work?

The first characteristic of an electric car is the fact that it replaces the traditional internal combustion engine with an electric one. The engine is powered by one or more large traction batteries that you have to recharge constantly. You can do that by plugging them into either a wall outlet (at home) or a charging station (that you can find in town). The batteries don’t only power the engine. They also power the lights and wipers of your car.

If you were to see an electric car in town, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference, unless you are really knowledgeable in this field. That is because the advanced technology has allowed car manufacturers to come up with models that look almost exactly like traditional cars. At least on the outside, that is. The only difference is that an electric car doesn’t have an exhaust system.

However, if we look at the inside of an electric car, we won’t find a gas tank. That is because electric cars don’t require fuel. We can find the batteries that power the engine either in the trunk or under the car. They are similar to those that help traditional cars start the engine. However, they are more powerful and able to store energy. The batteries of an electric car come with a regulator. The regulator ensures that the energy the car produces is constant with the one it consumes. That way, the battery doesn’t burn out.

small electric car plugged in a recharging station

Most parts of an electric car, such as the air bags, the brakes, the controls system, and the transmission system are the same as those of a traditional car. The engine is what makes an electric car stand out. At the moment, all electric cars use these motors: an AC induction one that accelerates really well, a DC brushless that excels in speed, and a permanent magnet one.

So, as we’ve managed to show, an electric car has three main components: the engine, the battery, and the controller. When you start your car, the current passes from the battery, through the controller, to the engine. The engine is the one that converts electrical energy into mechanical energy that allows the car to move.

How Do Hybrid Cars Work?

Now that we’ve answered the question “How do electric cars work?”, let us focus our attention on hybrid cars as well. If you want to understand how a hybrid car works, all you have to do is think of it as a combination between a gasoline-powered car and an electric car. That is because hybrids contain certain parts of both, as an attempt to incorporate the best of each.

First of all, hybrid cars come with an electric motor and batteries, the same way electric cars do. Even though you can power them either entirely or partially by using electricity, you also get an internal combustion engine that you simply fuel like you would a traditional car. Those hybrids that you can also power with electricity are “plug-in hybrids”. So you can simply drive your car on electricity and only switch to gasoline when you run out of electricity.

What you should know is that the electric engine is still the one that the car normally uses. This happens when you drive up to around 15 miles per hour. However, when you want to accelerate, you will notice that the gasoline engine takes its place. Sometimes, both engines work together and provide you with even greater speed. That is because hybrids have a power-split transmission. Moreover, hybrid cars also come with the so-called Electric Motor Assist feature. When you pass another car, accelerate, or climb hills, the electric engine assists the gasoline one.

plug in hybrid car from prius

Hybrids also enjoy the Regenerative Breaking technology. This captures mechanical energy that you normally waste when breaking. Then, it converts it into electrical energy that it feeds back to the battery. Furthermore, when you stop the vehicle, the engine automatically shuts off. Similarly, when you press the accelerator, the engine restarts. This great technology is called Automatic Start/Stop and it helps you avoid wasting energy when the car is idle.

Perhaps one of the greatest things about hybrid cars is the fact that when you’re using the gasoline engine, this one constantly produces electricity. This electricity goes straight to the batteries. This means that you can use it later without having to necessarily plug in the car.

Summing It All Up

Both all-electric cars and hybrid cars are definitely a great alternative to the traditional vehicles that pollute our environment. We hope we have managed to answer the question “How do electric cars work?” and provide you with more useful information about the technology behind hybrid cars as well.

Regardless of whether you choose to buy an all-electric car or a hybrid, you will be able to enjoy truly amazing features that make for a less expensive and more comfortable ride. From the ability to save a lot of money on gasoline with the all-electric car, to the possibility of enjoying the best of both worlds with the hybrid car, car manufacturers constantly prove to us that we can find green alternatives to the traditional car if we really want to. If we consider all of the benefits of electric and hybrid cars, it is hard not to become a fan.

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