How does an electric car work?

Pulling the plug at the right moment is taking on a new meaning in the vehicle industry. We are talking about electric cars. Powered by electricity, they are conquering the world’s roads and are increasingly competing with conventional vehicles. 

The comparison  

Basically, electric cars are quite simple. The main difference between e-vehicles and conventional cars lies in the battery and the electric motor. The battery serves as a storage unit for electrical energy, much like a smartphone battery, only much larger. Modern vehicle batteries typically weigh between 300 kg and 700 kg, making them the largest and heaviest component of an electric car. On the other hand, the electric motor is smaller and simpler compared to the motors in conventional vehicles. While an internal combustion engine consists of about 2,000 moving parts, an electric motor requires only about 20. This simplicity means fewer potential sources of error and fewer workshop visits, which is not only convenient but also cost-effective. 


So how does an electric vehicle move? The battery stores the electrical energy, which is then converted by the motor into kinetic energy that propels the vehicle forward. An interesting advantage comes into play during braking. Some of the kinetic energy generated during braking can be captured and used to recharge the battery instead of being lost as waste heat. This regenerative braking function significantly increases the efficiency of e-vehicles. 

While driving, the battery’s energy gradually depletes and needs to be recharged. This is where the charger comes into play. It enables the efficient management and storage of electricity from charging stations in the battery. To properly assess the environmental impact of an e-vehicle, it is important to consider the source of the electricity used for charging. Although e-vehicles themselves do not produce greenhouse gas emissions, the sustainability aspect lies in the use of green energy from sources such as solar or wind power. 


Today’s e-vehicles can cover a range of 200 to 700 km on a single charge, depending on driving style and speed. Since the average daily mileage of most vehicles is less than 40 km, e-vehicles are well suited for daily use. For longer trips, an occasional charging stop may be required. Fortunately, fast-charging facilities along highways allow quick recharging in as little as 15 to 30 minutes, so drivers can continue their journey. This shows how practical and convenient electromobility is. 


In conclusion, we have found that electric vehicles are relatively simple, yet offer immense potential for achieving sustainable transportation. Of course, the devil is in the details. So stay tuned.