Understanding electric cars and how they works

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Understanding electric cars

Electric cars can be more expensive, but government incentives and tax breaks can often help offset the cost. Furthermore, electric vehicles are typically easier to maintain — and surely more efficient. In this article, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about electric cars as the following questions will be answered:

  • What is an electric car (EV)?
  • Do electric cars use gas?
  • Do electric cars use oil?
  • How do electric car works?
  • What are the key components of an electric car?
  • What are the types of electric cars?
  • What fluid is required in an electric car?
  • How do you charge an electric car?
  • Can electric cars charge themselves?
  • How far can an electric car go with a full charge?
  • How long does it take to charge an electric car?
  • How much does it cost to charge an electric car?
  • How much does an electric car cost?


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What is an electric car (EV)?

Electric vehicles (EVs) are powered by a battery rather than a gasoline tank and have an electric motor rather than an internal combustion engine. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are a hybrid of gasoline and an electric car, consisting of a battery, an electric motor, a fuel tank, and an internal combustion engine.

An electric car, sometimes known as a battery-electric car, is a vehicle that is propelled by one or more electric motors that use energy stored in batteries. Electric vehicles are quieter, generate no exhaust emissions, and have lower overall emissions than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. Because of lower fueling and maintenance costs, the total cost of ownership of current electric vehicles is lower than that of equivalent ICE vehicles. Charging an electric automobile is possible at several charging stations, which can be built in both private and public spaces.

Many countries have established government incentives for plug-in electric vehicles, including tax credits, subsidies, and other non-monetary incentives, while several countries have enacted legislation to phase out sales of fossil-fuel vehicles to reduce air pollution and limit climate change. Electric cars and trucks are often cleaner than even the most efficient conventional vehicles in terms of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The degree of cleanliness is determined by the type of vehicle and the source of the electricity.

When battery-electric EVs are fueled by the cleanest energy grids, their greenhouse gas emissions are comparable to that of a car that gets more than 100 miles per gallon. Charging and operating an EV can be nearly emission-free when powered entirely by renewable energy sources such as solar or wind.

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Do electric cars use gas?

BEVs, or battery electric vehicles, use electricity stored in a battery pack to power an electric motor that turns the wheels. Battery-electric cars and trucks are referred to as “all-electric” vehicles since they do not use gasoline or diesel and are powered by electricity.

Do electric cars use oil?

Because an electric automobile employs an electric motor rather than an internal combustion engine, it does not require motor oil. Oil is required to lubricate various moving parts in traditional gas vehicles’ combustion engines. At high speeds, the valves, pistons, and other moving parts of an engine should glide easily past one another, which is why oil is introduced to the engine to lubricate these interactions and reduce friction.

The addition of oil to an engine allows it to run without seizing or overheating. To keep the car’s engine running smoothly, tiny metal flakes that develop in the oil due to metal-on-metal contact must be removed after a while, so you drain the oil and replace it with new or fresh oil.

In an electric vehicle, however, none of this occurs. Electric vehicles are propelled by an electric motor and a battery. There are no moving parts such as valves, pistons, engines, or other components that require lubrication. As a result, frequent oil changes are not required for electric vehicles.

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How do electric car works?

Electric vehicles (EVs), often known as battery electric vehicles, are powered by an electric motor rather than an internal combustion engine. The electric motor is powered by a huge traction battery pack, which must be plugged into a wall outlet or charging equipment, commonly known as electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE).

The batteries of electric vehicles (EVs) are charged by plugging the vehicle into an electric power source. Even though power production contributes to air pollution, the United States Electric vehicles are classified as zero-emission vehicles by the Environmental Protection Agency since they emit no direct exhaust or tailpipe emissions.

Commercially available EVs include both heavy-duty and light-duty models. Electric vehicles are often more expensive than comparable conventional and hybrid vehicles, while some costs might be offset by fuel savings, a federal tax credit, or state incentives.

Watch the video below to learn how an electric car works:

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What are the key components of an electric car?

The followings are the key components of an electric car:

  • Battery (electric auxiliary)
  • Charge port
  • DC/DC converter
  • Electric traction motor
  • Onboard charger
  • Power electronic controller
  • Thermal system (Cooling)
  • Traction Battery Pack
  • Transmission

components of electric vehicles

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Battery (electric auxiliary)

The auxiliary battery in an electric drive vehicle delivers electricity to power vehicle accessories.

Charge port

The charging port allows the vehicle to connect to an external power supply to charge the traction battery pack.

DC/DC converter

This device converts higher-voltage DC power from the traction battery pack to the lower-voltage DC electricity required to power vehicle accessories and recharges the auxiliary battery.

Electric traction motor

This motor powers the vehicle’s wheels by drawing power from the traction battery pack. Some cars have motor-generators that do both the driving and the regeneration.

Onboard charger

Converts incoming AC from the charge port to DC power for charging the traction battery. While charging the pack, it also connects with the charging equipment and analyzes battery properties such as voltage, current, temperature, and state of charge.

Power electronic controller

This equipment handles the flow of electrical energy given by the traction battery, managing the speed and torque produced by the electric traction motor.

Thermal system (Cooling)

This system keeps the engine, electric motor, power electronics, and other components within a safe operating temperature range.

Traction Battery Pack

A battery pack that stores energy for use by the electric traction motor.

Transmission (electric)

The transmission is responsible for transferring mechanical power from the electric traction motor to the wheels.

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What are the types of electric cars?

The followings are the various types of electric cars:

  • Battery electric vehicles
  • Hybrid electric vehicles
  • Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles


Battery electric vehicles

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), commonly known as EVs, are entirely electric vehicles with rechargeable batteries and no gasoline engine. The battery pack, which is recharged from the grid, provides all of the energy for the car. BEVs are zero-emission vehicles since they produce no harmful exhaust emissions or air pollution hazards like typical gasoline-powered vehicles do.

Hybrid electric vehicles

Hybrid Electric Vehicles, or HEVs, are powered by both a gas engine and an electric motor. All battery energy is obtained through regenerative braking, which recoups otherwise wasted braking energy to support the gasoline engine during acceleration. This braking energy is generally wasted as heat in the brake pads and rotors of a traditional internal combustion engine car. Regular hybrids cannot recharge by plugging into the grid and cannot charge with EVgo.

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles, or PHEVs, are powered by both an engine and an electric motor. They, like ordinary hybrids, can recharge their batteries via regenerative braking. They vary from normal hybrids in that they have a considerably larger battery and can recharge by plugging into the grid.

While normal hybrids can drive 1-2 miles before the gasoline engine kicks in, PHEVs can travel anywhere from 10-40 miles before the gas engine kicks in. When the all-electric range is reduced, PHEVs behave like ordinary hybrids and can travel hundreds of miles on a single tank of gasoline.

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What fluid is required in an electric car?

While an electric car requires less maintenance, this does not imply it should be ignored. Remember, there is no such thing as a zero-maintenance automobile. Although you will never need to change the oil in an EV, you should still make routine checks on the following fluids in EVs:

  • Coolant
  • Break fluid
  • Transmission fluid



Heat is a major issue for both electric and gasoline-powered vehicles. Coolant is required to regulate the heat generated by your electric car’s lithium-ion battery. This is one area where an electric vehicle and a combustion-engine vehicle follow the same procedure.

Check the coolant levels in your car’s battery, power inverter, and cabin heater. Although the cabin heater is unimportant, the other two components are vital. If you’ve ever heard of an electric car catching fire, it was most likely due to an overheated battery. Keep the coolant levels high to prevent the battery from exploding.

Break fluid

While electric vehicles utilize brake pads, they rarely need to be replaced due to the regenerative braking mechanism. The technology lowers brake wear by converting the kinetic energy of a moving vehicle into electric energy for the battery. Essentially, the system serves as the principal method of slowing the car and reducing the amount of wear on the brake pads.

An electric car’s regenerative braking system is an important piece of power-producing equipment. Typical service for an electronic car includes ensuring that the braking system is operational, which is critical because this is your major means of slowing down the vehicle in addition to creating power. Because there are significant safety consequences, you should have your brakes serviced regularly.

Transmission fluid

An electronic vehicle’s multi-speed or direct-drive gearbox may require fluid changes during the duration of ownership. It is critical to consult your owner’s manual to determine the recommended interval for performing this service on your specific electric vehicle.

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How do you charge an electric car?

To keep their batteries charged, most EV drivers plug into a ChargePoint every time they park. Drivers may need to charge while on the road, which requires the use of higher-powered chargers. Depending on where you are, you can begin charging by plugging in or using an app, contactless card, or RFID card.

Can electric cars charge themselves?

Regenerative braking is a sophisticated mechanism that allows an electric vehicle’s battery to retain kinetic energy from the wheels when the brake is applied. The kinetic energy is transferred from the car’s wheels to the drivetrain, and a portion of it is stored in the battery.

Of course, this energy storage occurs on a rather tiny scale and isn’t nearly enough to charge the electric car for an extended period, but inventors have already suggested improving this regenerative braking function to enable EV self-charging. For example, the concept of applying regenerative braking on a bigger scale to enable EV self-charging is incorrect since it is insufficiently energy-efficient to create a stable charging infrastructure.

As previously stated, just a portion of the kinetic energy from the car’s wheels is stored in the battery. Even with wheel generators and alternators, the amount of energy transferred is insufficient to charge an electric car’s battery efficiently.

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How far can an electric car go with a full charge?

Present electric vehicles can go approximately 250 miles on a single charge, however, some, such as Tesla’s, can travel approximately 350 miles on a single charge. Many automakers have declared intentions to bring electric vehicles to market with extended range and faster charging.

The Future Has Arrived, and More Long-Range EVs Are on the Way. Here are some comparisons of popular electric vehicles that can travel more than 200 miles on a single charge:

  • Audi E-Tron – 204 miles
  • Nissan Leaf Plus – 226 miles
  • Jaguar I-Pace – 234 miles
  • Chevrolet Bolt – 238 miles
  • Kia Niro EV – 239 miles
  • Hyundai Kona EV – 258 miles
  • Tesla Model X – 305 miles
  • Tesla Model 3 Long Range – 322 miles
  • Tesla Model S – 391 miles


General Motors and Volkswagen, among others, plan dozens of affordable electric vehicles in the next few years. The cars listed above are just the tip of the iceberg. How far can you expect an EV to go shortly? Here are some of the most anticipated electric automobiles for the next year or two. The majority of these are estimates:

  • Ford Mach E – Up to 300 miles per charge
  • Volvo Polestar 2 – 300 miles per charge
  • Volkswagen ID.4 – 220 miles per charge
  • Mercedes EQC – 220 miles per charge
  • BMW iX3 – 200 miles per charge
  • Volvo XC40 Electric – 200 miles per charge


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How long does it take to charge an electric car?

Charging an electric car might take as short as 30 minutes or as long as 12 hours. This is determined by the size of the battery and the charging point’s pace. With a 7kW charging point, a typical electric car (60kWh battery) takes a little under 8 hours to charge from empty to full.

How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

An EV’s fuel efficiency is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh) per 100 kilometers. The cost of energy (in dollars per kWh) and the efficiency of the vehicle (how much power is utilized to travel 100 miles) must be known to calculate the cost per mile of an EV. If the cost of electricity is $0.13 per kWh and the vehicle needs 33 kWh to travel 100 miles, the cost per mile is around $0.04. If power costs $0.13 per kilowatt-hour, charging a 200-mile-range EV (assuming a depleted 66 kWh battery) will cost around $9. To compare the gasoline prices of several conventional and plug-in vehicle types.

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How much does an electric car cost?

In June 2019, the average price of a new car in the United States was $36,600. This was a 2% rise over the previous year. However, according to Cox Automotive data, the average cost of an electric vehicle has dropped from $64,300 to $55,600, a 13.4 percent decrease from the previous year.

The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for several of the market’s main electric vehicles and their various versions is listed below:

1. Tesla Model S

The MSRP for the Tesla Model S Long Range: is $81,190, and Performance: $101,190. Tesla Model S, most closely comparable to the Mercedes Benz CLS Class, is the exception to the trend in electric vehicles costing more than their gas-powered equivalent competitors.

2. Tesla Model 3

The MSRP for the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus Battery: $41,190, Long Range Battery: $50,190, Performance: $58,190. While battery degradation may be a concern for Tesla owners during the first 50k miles, it becomes less of an issue later on. At 160k miles most Tesla models only lose 10% of battery life.

3. Tesla Model X

The MSRP for the Tesla Model X Long Range: $86,190, Performance: $106,190

4. BMW i3

The MSRP for the BMW i3 120 Ah: $45,445, s 120 Ah: $48,645, 120 Ah with Range Extender: $49,295, s 120 Ah with Range Extender: $52,495

5. Nissan Leaf

The MSRP for the Nissan Leaf S: $32,525, SV: $35,115, S Plus: $39,125, SV Plus: $40,675, SL Plus: $44,825

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6. Chevrolet Bolt EV

The MSRP for the Chevrolet Bolt EV LT: $37,495, Premier: $41,895

7. Hyundai Kona

The MSRP for the Hyundai Kona SEL: $38,310, Limited: $42,920, Ultimate: $46,520

8. Volkswagen e-Golf

The MSRP for the Volkswagen e-Golf SE: $33,000 (est.), SEL Premium: $40,000 (est.)

9. Audi e-Tron

The MSRP for the Audi e-Tron Premium Plus: $75,795, Prestige: $80,095, Sportback: $81,000 (est.)

10. Jaguar I-Pace

The MSRP for the Jaguar I-Pace is S: $70,875, SE: $77,275, HSE: $81,925

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In Summary

There is no doubt that electric cars are a great and new invention that increases the consumption of green energy. It is a technology that has more to offer and there is still more to come has manufacturers have promised. I think that is all for this article, where we’ve enlightened you on everything you need to know about electric cars.

I hope this article was helpful, if so, kindly share it with other students. Thanks for reading, see you around