How Do Electric Cars Work? Everything You Need To Know

how do electric cars work

When you’re on the look-out for a new vehicle, you may come across electric cars or electric vehicles (EV). If you’re asking yourself what exactly electric cars are and how do electric cars work, this article will clear up all the confusion so that you can make an informed buying decision. 

Keep reading for everything you need to know about electric cars.

How Do Electric Cars Work?

how do electric cars work

So, how do electric cars work? An electric car or a battery electric vehicle is powered by one or more electric motors. The motors are powered by rechargeable batteries. The batteries are recharged either from a wall socket or a dedicated charging unit. This means you have the benefit of recharging your electric car at home.

Electric cars differ from hybrid cars because they don’t have petrol or diesel engines. This means that electric cars are significantly cheaper to fuel than conventional petrol or diesel cars. 

The difference between traditional cars and electric cars is that electric cars don’t produce tailpipe pollution or emissions. Meaning they’re often better for the environment. They depend less on fossil fuels although they use electricity which generally still uses fossil fuels. 

However, as they are charged from the national electricity grid, they can contribute to toxic emissions while charging. However, when a traditional car is compared to an electric car, an electric car is more eco-friendly. 

Do Electric Cars Have Engines?

how do electric cars work

If you’re wondering how an electric car engine works, the answer is: it doesn’t!

Electric cars do not have engines. What they do have instead, are motors. The motor is what turns the wheels and makes the car move. But how do these motors work and what makes them different from combustion engines?

Instead of using fossil fuels to move forward as an engine would, the motor uses electrical energy stored in the car’s battery. Electric motors are also simpler, more reliable, and easy to repair. 

The reason for this is that, unlike an engine that has many moving parts that work together to function, an electric motor only has one. 

Another difference is that cars with engines have only one engine. Whereas an electric car may have more than one motor. 

When it comes to acceleration, a combustion engine needs to be spinning at several thousand revs before it can reach its maximum power.

On the other hand, an electric car gives its maximum power the moment it starts spinning. This means an electric car gives instant acceleration. 

How Do Hybrid Cars Work?

how do electric cars

Hybrid electric cars are powered by an internal combustion engine as well as an electric motor that is found in an all-electric car. 

A hybrid electric car can’t be recharged by being plugged in. Instead, the battery is charged by regenerative braking and the engine.

Electricity comes from a battery pack that is refilled by getting energy from deceleration. As a result, less gasoline is burned and there is better fuel economy. 

There are three types of hybrid cars:

  • Parallel hybrid
  • Mild hybrid
  • Plug-in hybrid

In a parallel or full hybrid, the electric motor and engine are connected and the two power sources blend to drive the car, either simultaneously or independently. 

In a mild hybrid, the engine is the main source of power. Whereas, the electric motor supports the engine by coasting, braking, and pulling away. The battery is charged by the engine and can’t run alone by electric power. 

The plug-in hybrid has a much larger battery pack that must be fully recharged using an external electricity source. It typically runs on electric power until the battery is nearly depleted then the car switches to use the engine. Batteries and other types of fuel are used to power the car. 

How Do Electric Car Charging Stations Work?

how do electric cars work

Instead of filling up your electric car with petrol or diesel, you plug it into a charging station.

There are three main different types of electric car charging stations, namely: 

  • Level 1 EV charging station
  • Level 2 EV charging station
  • DC fast chargers

Level 1 EV charging stations are often used at home. They can be plugged into a standard outlet and they use a 120 V AC plug. These chargers don’t require any additional equipment. They are the least expensive, but also take up the most time to charge. 

Level 2 EV charging stations are used for residential and commercial charging stations. They can’t be plugged into a standard outlet and are usually installed by a professional electrician.  Level 2 chargers use a 240 V or a 208 V, for residential or commercial use respectively. They have a faster charge of about two hours. 

DC fast chargers, also known as Level 3 or CHAdeMO EV charging stations, have the shortest charging time. They are used in commercial and industrial applications because they need highly specialised, high-powered equipment to install and maintain. However, not all-electric cars can be charged with this type of charging station. 

The Bottom-Line

how do electric cars work

So, electric cars: how do they work? You’ve got all the answers now, but let’s recap. 

Electric vehicles use electrically charged batteries to fuel the electric motor and get the car going. 

You can use a wall socket or a charging unit to recharge and supply power to your electric car

A hybrid car uses a combination of a motor and engine and can be divided into three different types – the full, mild, and plug-in hybrid. 

As a benefit, electric cars do live up to their reputation for being better for the environment than conventional cars.

Why FairSquare Is The Best Option For Buying Electric Cars

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FairSquare gives you the best car financing deals for you – completely transparent and independent.

Their benefits don’t stop there. FairSquare offers a soft search, zero-impact credit check that won’t affect your credit score

If you’re looking for a car, whether electric or hybrid, FairSquare has a variety of new and used electric and hybrid cars for you to choose from. 

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